Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:0AM
US philanthropist Bill Gates, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gestures during a session of the World Economic Forum, on January 19, 2017 in Davos. (Photo by AFP)
US philanthropist Bill Gates, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gestures during a session of the World Economic Forum, on January 19, 2017 in Davos. (Photo by AFP)

The world’s eight richest billionaires hold the same wealth as the poorest 50% in the planet's population, according to Oxfam, which warns of an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor as well as a dangerous concentration of wealth.

To put it simply, the world's poorest people are losing out in the global economy.

The significant imbalance in wealth control and power is all the more concerning when one considers that the concentration of wealth at the top is holding back the fight to end global poverty and that business profits are supposed to be more important than combating malnutrition, lack of education, poor access to healthcare and assisting those living below the poverty line.

Discussions over the gap between the wealthy and the poor have led to a common assumption that inequality is directly related to globalization and technological change, making most people less competitive, and the well-educated more competitive.

And while there may be truth to that, the real culprit is the rising concentration of political power in the hands of the corporate and financial elite. These “elitists” have significantly altered the way in which the economy runs.
It is not the wealth of the world’s rich that one should be concerned about but the welfare of the poor, which needs to be improved.