62 vs 3.5 billion

62 Versus 3.5 Billion



based asset (2) roughly (2)
barely equal (2) translate (2)
anti poverty according to
annual average influence
skew accuse in their favor
stash majority tax haven
earn deprive estimate
fund revenue offshore
haven revenue


$1.76 Trillion Each

As of 2015, the world’s richest 62 individuals have the same amount of money and assets as the poorest half of world’s population — roughly $1.76 trillion each — according to a report by Oxfam.

This translates to multibillion-dollar fortunes for the few super rich, while 3.5 bil-lion people live on the rest, which is barely enough for everyday basics like food, clothing and shelter.

Increase; Decrease

The UK-based, anti-poverty organization says that since 2010, the wealth of the top 62 people on the Forbes’ billionaires list has risen by 44%. Meanwhile, the wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people fell by 41% (in 2010, the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population equaled that of the richest 388 indi-viduals).

In dollar terms, the average annual income of the poorest 10% actually rose — but by less than $3 a year in the past 25 years, or an increase in individual incomes of less than one cent a year.

Tax Havens

Oxfam accuses the rich of using their influence to skew the system in their favor, namely by stashing their earnings in tax havens where approximately $7.6 trillion are kept.

This deprives governments of taxes to fund development programs.

As an example, about 30% of all African financial wealth is held offshore, costing an estimated $14 billion in lost tax revenues every year.

The report also found that the majority of low-paid workers around the world are women. Even at the highest levels, women represent nine of the richest 62 people.

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1. If the world’s total cash and assets is worth $3.52 trillion, it is equally divided among the 7 billion people on the planet. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Has this distribution always been like that, or has it be become more unequal?

3. What can you say about the incomes of the richest versus the poorest?

4. Why has inequality or the wealth gap increased to dramatically (according to Oxfam)?

5. The most extreme cases of inequality is probably in Sweden. True or false?

6. What is Oxfam? Are they completely neutral or do they take sides? Are they objective or biased and subjective?


A. I am very surprised that the 62 richest people in the world has the same wealth as the poorest 50%. Yes or no?

B. Is wealth disparity or the wealth gap good, bad, both good and bad, neither, or it depends?

C. Which is “better”, having a large, medium or small wealth gap; having more, less or medium inequality? Or is this the nature of things?

D. Should governments do more to tackle inequality or the wealthy gap? If yes, what should they do?

E. What should or must the poor do to improve their lot?

F. What will happen in the future? Will the income gap widen, stay the same or be more evenly distributed?


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