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World's 26 richest people own same as poorest half of humanity: Oxfam

25 Comments
By SAID KHATIB

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And these same charities are now infamous for the extravagant salaries of their top staff, leading to a decrease in donations, as people learn how little actually goes to help people out.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

And, what is amazing, these individuals overwhelming support left-leaning politicians!!!

It used to be that the the wealthy supported conservatives.

Now, they support leftists.

Which means.....

They virtue signal for leftist policies... as long as their own personal wealthy is protected.

'Tis a brave new world!!!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The richest people aren't taxed in places where the poorest people are though. So how is that supposed to help?

they consistently under-tax the wealthy.

What does it mean to "under-tax"? 

Here in Japan the government spends 100 trillion yen a year, while only taxing 65-70 trillion. So that is under-taxing, relative to spending... But people here hate the idea of even a small increase in the consumption tax rate.

And this is in a country of people which is relatively wealthy, compared to Ethiopia etc. There is huge inequality between the Japanese and the Ethiopians or people of whichever poorer nation one wishes to choose.

But how does one country hiking its tax rates on anyone help people in other countries?

It doesn't, does it?

So what's the point of this?

"The super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades," the Oxfam report said, 

Hey, don't "corporations" (aka, "groups of people") employ people and pay them wages?

I'd be good with "groups of people" that employ other people, paying zero taxes, to be frank. Because both those groups of people and their employees are paying taxes already - income taxes, consumption taxes. (Especially so for consumption taxes, when you are rich you pay lots of tax when you spend, if your country has consumption tax.)

People understand that taxing something means you get less of it - e.g. tobacco tax. So why would taxing profitable groups of people be a good idea? It's a bad idea, but it's the status quo.

"the human costs -- children without teachers, clinics without medicines –- are huge".

But there is no a correlation between the taxes that Bezos pays to the U.S. government or wherever, and kids in poor countries.

On the contrary, what we do see is rich guys like Bill Gates doing a lot of charity work around the world. Would a government have spent all that money in the same way (or better) had it taxed it off Bill Gates before he could?

I sure doubt it.

Rather than scapegoat the wealthy, it's governments that need to be criticised for their terrible spending results.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Doubt that "The Rich" will be losing any sleep over that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am amazed at the numbers, yet what are they supposed to do? Move to those nations where the people need the money and assistance the most?

How many of those countries listed have governments that literally steal from the wealth of the country and leave the people in abject poverty? Should those with money be responsible for propping them up as well?

How many of those "rich" 26 run or own businesses that directly puts money into the pockets of their employees?

Yes it's sad, but I think that part of the motivation behind this report is to shame those rich into doing more.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's so wrong on so many levels.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Even if you put that tax to use to 'educate' the poor, I am 100% sure that in areas were religion is in control of the masses, that money will go elsewhere. The educated can not be controlled and herded like sheep. It's a great thought in principal to tax the rich but actually getting that money to go to work is another animal altogether.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But how much do those richest people donate to the poor - we know 2 of the top 5 (Gates and Buffett) donate a LOT of money. But lets ignore that fact and keep attacking the poor.

Look, if you had (just guessing) $100, you would probably be better off than 1% of the people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They deserve it!

But please note that what goes up must come down and Jeff Bezos will see his 112 billion dollar fortune halved to 66 billion this year thanks to US divorce laws.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Disgusting World Wide Stupidity!!!

Billions of naive fools elect and tolerate useless corrupt politicians that enact stupid and idiotic laws and regulations that create such a totally unfair distribution of wealth and earnings... The highest/lowest paid in a company ratio must be no more than 10. The present 250 ratio is an absolute proof of slavery. Taxes for the wealthiest people and companies must reach 70%. The taxes for the poor must be much lower. The current taxes are absurdly low for the wealthiest ones and irrationally high for the poorest ones.

Warren Buffett thinks that rich people like him are the main problem for the economy. Warren Buffett says that he and his company Berkshire Hathaway are unfairly taxed too low.

Get rid of useless corrupt politicians! Elect smart honest legislators!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And, what is amazing, these individuals overwhelming support left-leaning politicians!!!

It used to be that the the wealthy supported conservatives.

Now, they support leftists.

Which means.....

They virtue signal for leftist policies... as long as their own personal wealthy is protected.

'Tis a brave new world!!!

Yeah, it's amazing how they've tricked the public for virtue signaling. Amazon with their infamous horrible working conditions, tax evasion strategies, and anti-union propaganda and Bezos wants us to believe that he's a liberal? All of the tech CEOs who make their living pushing back against government regulation which exists to protect us. I also read how most companies which appear to be liberal donate the most to Republican PACs and causes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tax evasion by the ultra-rich deprives developing countries of $170 Billion

Besides this being an emotional ploy to get people to get emotional charged up about this issue, I have to question just where do the people who created this report get their information?

From this alone the misconception that comes across, to me at least, is that the taxes that the "ultra-rich" pay should be directly going to these developing countries and not the coffers of the countries that they live in!

It's nations that decide where their overseas aid gets distributed and not the individuals, so making the assumption that it's the fault of the ultra-rich is wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

hike taxes on the wealthy to fight soaring inequality

This sounds easy but it is not. Who says the paid taxes end up where they're suppose to be? Not only that, don't you think the wealthy would move their 'hard-earned' money to some tax-free haven, which would make it only worse.

As wanderlust mentioned, donations have dropped because people don't trust these organizations anymore, greed is rampant in every circle of society and in every corner of the world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Our envy of others devours us most of all.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tax is not the answer.  Like governments have such a fabulous record of assisting the needy.  Yes the wealth of the super rich is obscene and yes the poor in many countries are way way too poor.

Maybe if Amazon paid its workers more that might be better way to distribute some of Bezos wealth?  Or iif Microsoft charged less for Windows?  Or we didn't pour money into Zuckerberg's pockets by being so wedded to Facebook?

Or how about if 3rd world politics wasn't so corrupt?  Might alleviate some poverty. 

Tax is pretty much never a solution to anything.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tax is pretty much never a solution to anything.

Stuff tax pays for:

Roads

Police

Firefighters

Schools

Hospitals

Military

Bridges

Etc.

I guess if you don't need any of those things to solve any problems, then yeah, tax never solves anything.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is a very misleading statistic. The fact that wealthy people have been able to benefit from economies of scale in a newly globalised world is only a small part of the story. The more significant factor behind this number has been explosive population growth in the poorest parts of the world. The poulation of Africa in 1950 was just under 200 million people. It's now 1.2 billion and estimated to rise to 4.2 billion by 2100. Even if we were to cap the wealth of these 26 individuals, they will continue to gain a greater and greater statistical share of the worlds wealth as the poorest people in the world continue to have unsustainable birth rates.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Get rid of useless corrupt politicians! Elect smart honest legislators!

Have you come across many?

In many of the world’s poor countries, corrupt leaders, despots and theocrats are aplenty. Getting rid of these people is difficult even if you have the right to vote.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a very misleading statistic. The fact that wealthy people have been able to benefit from economies of scale in a newly globalised world is only a small part of the story. The more significant factor behind this number has been explosive population growth in the poorest parts of the world. The poulation of Africa in 1950 was just under 200 million people. It's now 1.2 billion and estimated to rise to 4.2 billion by 2100. Even if we were to cap the wealth of these 26 individuals, they will continue to gain a greater and greater statistical share of the worlds wealth as the poorest people in the world continue to have unsustainable birth rates.

That is a misleading argument too though. Even if you exclude Africa, which is the only continent that still has explosive population growth, the wealth gap has been exploding across the developed world and even in countries with low or no population growth.  The top three wealthiest Americans are richer than the bottom half of American society combined for example.  This type of comparison is not a particularly useful way of measuring wealth inequality, but all the useful ones also paint the same picture: radical increases in the share of wealth going to the already wealthy while almost nothing gets left for anyone else.  Its the problem that inevitably happens when the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of economic growth (which is the current situation): those who already have money get an ever increasing share of it while everyone else gets squeezed out.  This has nothing to do with demographics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

hike taxes on the wealthy to fight soaring inequality.

That's not going to solve the problem of poverty.

Redirecting wasteful government spending to improve education would go a long way though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As soon as you make your first billion, buy a U.S. Senator. America's got the best government money can buy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That's not going to solve the problem of poverty.

Pumping billions and billions of dollars into helping the poor won't reduce poverty? Sound "logic."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I’m still waiting for mega-billionaires like George Soros, who believe in Socialism and gained their wealth through Capitalism, to give it away to the needy? What about the Catholic Church and their fabulous wealth?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I’m still waiting for mega-billionaires like George Soros, who believe in Socialism and gained their wealth through Capitalism, to give it away to the needy?

I have no horse in the game about George Soros, but you gotta fact check yourself.

America's top givers: #5 George Soros - 2017 giving $531 million

Link: https://www.forbes.com/top-givers/#3901452d66ff

The top six:

Warren Buffett. Bill & Melinda Gates. Michael Bloomberg. Walton Family. George Soros. Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

And these same charities are now infamous for the extravagant salaries of their top staff, leading to a decrease in donations, as people learn how little actually goes to help people out.

Oxfam America -

Percentage of donations going to the programs and services it delivers - 77.8%

Advertising (inc fundraising) - 14.8%

Administrative Expenses - 7.2%

Charities like Oxfam and Medecins Sans Frontieres go to the places no-one else will. War zones, droughts, famines, etcetera. That's why if you're looking for a reason to help the poor, rather than looking for a reason not to help them, you should do some research, support charities like Oxfam or MSF and not use an occasional scandal or alleged overpaid staff member in the charity sector as a reason to keep your wallet shut.

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4288

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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