These 8 Men Own As Much Wealth As Half The World

”It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few”

A new report has revealed that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow around the world. And there’s a dramatic marker laid down to punctuate the effect: Just eight individuals, most of them living inside the United States, control was much wealth as 3.6 billion people. Many of those billions live in extreme poverty, without access to clean drinking water, healthy food, reliable shelter, quality education, or healthcare.

“It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day,” Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, said of the findings. “Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”

But it’s more than just eye-catching numbers that make for easy news headlines to circulate around social media. Oxfam International, a collection of non-profit agencies working to alleviate poverty around the globe and the authors of the new data, says such a stark gap between the wealthy and the poor could continue to fuel the type of political resentment that has played a role in everything from Brexit to the surprising victory of President-elect Donald Trump.

The list of the eight men starts with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the top, considered to be the world’s wealthiest individual. Of course, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation arguably has become one of the most important charitable organizations in the world, with Gates himself saying he hopes to have invested all of his fortune into improving the world by the end of his lifetime.

The rest of the list, in order of estimated wealth based on the Forbes billionaire list is as follows:

• Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of Inditex

• Financier Warren Buffett

• Mexican businessman Carlos Slim

• Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

• Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

• Oracle’s Larry Ellison

• Michael Bloomberg, businessman and former mayor of New York City

Amazingly, just a year ago, Oxfam said 62 people controlled half the world’s wealth, but was forced to revise that number downward after new financial figures were released. An estimated 42 percent of the world’s wealth is controlled by the six American men on the list.

Oxfam offers up a list five solutions it hopes President-elect Trump, the U.S Congress, and leaders around the globe will pursue to help reduce the wealth gap, and more importantly, ensure that those struggling have access to essential resources:

• Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year

• Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage

• Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work

• Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone

• Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education

AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less