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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 January 11 - 17  > Richest get richer, poor get poorer: international NGO report
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2017 January 11 - 17 [ECONOMY]

Richest get richer, poor get poorer: international NGO report

January 17, 2017
The eight people in the world have the same wealth as poorest 3.6 billion people who make up half the world’s population. This was noted in a report which was published in the face of the launch of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on January 17 in Davos, Switzerland.

It was the international NGO tackling the issue of social inequalities, Oxfam, which compiled the report titled, “An economy for the 99%”.

The eight super-rich includes Bill Gates, U.S. Microsoft founder, whose net worth is $75 billion, Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish fashion chain Zara (net worth $67 billion), and Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook CEO and co-founder, (net worth $44.6 billion).

The Oxfam report states that in order to maximize profits and perks, benefits, and salaries of top executives, multinationals are employing various measures, including “dodging taxes, driving down wages for their workers and the price paid to producers,” and using their money to ensure government policy works for them.

Meanwhile, regarding the issue of social inequalities in Japan, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called for changing the government from working only for the wealthiest 1% and large corporations to one working for the 99%. He made this call on January 15 in his report of the draft resolution to the 27th JCP Congress.

Shii noted that super-rich people in Japan are also getting richer while Japan’s overall national income has been declining, leading to a shrinking of the middle-class and an increase in the number of the poor. This was revealed in the government’s own data, Shii said.

Shii cited that the percentage of respondents who answered that their household economy is tight increased to 60% in 2015, up from 42% 20 years ago. Shii went on to say that as workers’ wages keep going down after reaching an all-time peak in 1997, more and more people have run into financial difficulty.

Shii also pointed out that the social gap issue concerns the whole Japanese society. Shii explained that under the current economic system, everyone is at a risk of falling into poverty once he/she loses a job due to dismissals, health problems, the need to take care of aged family members, or other reasons.

Shii called on all JCP members to work hard to establish a democratic economic system which is essential to eliminate the social inequalities and poverty.

Past related articles:
> Large corporations’ internal reserves hit record high while workers’ wages decline [September 2, 2016]
> Top 40 Japanese billionaires double value of their assets under Abe government [April 19, 2016]
> Top 40 Japanese billionaires double value of their assets under Abe government [April 19, 2016]
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