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Can Limits On Extreme Wealth End Poverty?

With the global income gap continuing to widen, Oxfam International releases a statement that focuses on the rich rather than the poor.

What’s the Latest Development?

Last week, Oxfam International released a statement titled “The cost of inequality: how wealth and extreme incomes hurt us all.” In it, the anti-poverty organization cites the World Economic Forum’s recent report labeling “severe income disparity” as one of the top global risks for 2013, and offers several suggestions for curtailing wealth accumulation, including closing tax havens worldwide, setting a global minimum corporate tax rate, and limiting the size of bonuses. The goal, the report says, is “to end extreme wealth by 2025.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Rather than focusing on uplifting the poor through jobs and services, Oxfam’s statement addresses growing concern around the world about the ultra-rich “1 percent.” According to the organization, the top 100 billionaires earned enough money in 2012 “to end world poverty four times over.” While some of these billionaires, including Bill Gates, provide a great deal of aid, the growing economic gap between rich and poor won’t be alleviated unless extreme measures are taken. The real challenge lies with governments “willing to risk angering their wealthiest citizens in order to improve life for the poorest.”

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Read it at The Washington Post


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