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Every 30 hours during the Covid-19 pandemic a new billionaire appeared, and nearly a million could get into extreme poverty is about the same level in 2022. This is a sober statistic recently published by Oxfam.
In March 2022, the world had 573 billionaires more than in 2020, when the pandemic began, the world charity said in a brief release published on Monday, the first day of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. That equates to one new billionaire every 30 hours, Oxfam reports.
In addition, it is estimated that in 2022, 263 million people may find themselves in extreme poverty due to the pandemic, rising global inequality and rising food prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. That’s the equivalent of nearly a million people every 33 hours, Oxfam reports.
The organization noted that the total cost of billionaires as of March is $ 12.7 trillion. In 2021, the billionaire’s wealth was equivalent to almost 14% of world gross domestic product.
Gabriela Bucher, CEO of Oxfam International, said the billionaires were coming to the Davos summit to “celebrate the incredible surge in their fortunes”.
“The pandemic, and now the sharp rise in food and energy prices, has simply become a success for them,” she said.
“Meanwhile, decades of progress in the fight against extreme poverty have now turned back, and millions of people are facing an impossible increase in the cost of simple survival,” Bucher added.
Unexpected pandemic cases
Clarifying the growth of wealth in certain business sectors, Oxfam said that the fortunes of billionaires in food and energy have grown by $ 453 billion over the past two years, to $ 1 billion every two days.
For example, food giant Cargill, according to Oxfam, is one of four companies that control more than 70% of the global agricultural market. The corporation, owned by the Cargill family, made a net profit of nearly $ 5 billion last year – the largest profit in its history. There are now 12 billionaires in the Cargill family alone, up from eight before the pandemic.
At the same time, Oxfam said the pandemic had created 40 new billionaires in the pharmaceutical sector. Billionaires are those who have profited from their companies’ monopoly on vaccines, treatments, tests and personal protective equipment.
To prevent even greater inequality in wealth, and to support people growing on food and energy, Oxfam has recommended that governments introduce one-time solidarity taxes on the billionaire windfall pandemic.
Complete the “crisis profit”?
The charity also urged governments to end the “crisis profits” by imposing a 90% temporary tax on excess profits on windfall profits generated by large corporations in all sectors.
Oxfam has also proposed a permanent tax to curb extraordinary wealth, monopoly power and higher emissions of carbon dioxide produced by the super-rich.
It says that the annual wealth tax, starting at 2% for millionaires and 5% for billionaires, can bring in $ 2.52 trillion a year. That would be enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the planet’s population, and provide universal health care and social protection for those living in low- and low-income countries.
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