The 2019 edition of Oxfam's annual report revolves around the question "Public Good or private wealth?" Here is his summary:
Boomtime for the world’s billionaires
It is 10 years since the financial crisis that shook our world and caused enormous suffering. In that time, the fortunes of the richest have risen dramatically:
• In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled.
• The wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $900bn in the last year alone, or $2.5bn a day. Meanwhile the wealth of the poorest half of humanity, 3.8 billion people, fell by 11%.
• Billionaires now have more wealth than ever before. Between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days.
• Wealth is becoming even more concentrated – last year 26 people owned the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, down from 43 people the year before.
• The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $112bn. Just 1% of his fortune is the equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people.
• If all the unpaid care work done by women across the globe was carried out by a single company, it would have an annual turnover of $10 trillion – 43 times that of Apple.
While the richest continue to enjoy booming fortunes, they are also enjoying some of the lowest levels of tax in decades – as are the corporations that they own:
• Wealth is particularly undertaxed. Only 4 cents in every dollar of tax revenue comes from taxes on wealth.
• In rich countries, the average top rate of personal income tax fell from 62% in 1970 to 38% in 2013. In developing countries, the average top rate of personal income tax is 28%.
• In some countries like Brazil and the UK, the poorest 10% are now paying a higher proportion of their incomes in tax than the richest 10%.
• Governments should focus their efforts on raising more from the very wealthy to help fight inequality. For example, getting the richest to pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth could raise more money than it would cost to educate all 262 million children out of school and provide healthcare that would save the lives of 3.3 million people.
• The super-rich are hiding $7.6 trillion from the tax authorities. Corporates also hide large amounts offshore. Together this deprives developing countries of $170bn a year.
Poland appreciated for social expenses
At the end of 2018, Oxfam appreciated Poland's social efforts by placing it in the first place in the appropriate classification of its "The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2018 ".
"Poland ranked first in terms of social spending. Our country took 114th place on the list in terms of taxation. We were better in the category of workers' rights. We took 33rd place. Overall, Poland ranked 20th in the ranking for 157 countries."