For several years, Oxfam International has released an annual report on global wealth inequity. The numbers were startling: In the 2016 report, Oxfam said the world’s richest 62 people owned as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion. The numbers were also wrong, Oxfam announced Monday. Better data show that last year’s report should have said that just nine billionaires possessed as much wealth as the poorest half of the planet in 2016.
And this year, Oxfam says, you only need eight megarich men to balance the scales with the accumulated wealth of 3.6 billion people. The charitable organization’s executive director describes the disparity as “obscene.” “Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty,” Winnie Byanyima said in a statement. “It is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”