A recent report by Oxfam has shed new light on the growing crisis of economic inequality. According to the report, one percent of the human population now controls almost half of the world’s wealth. The 85 wealthiest individuals own as much as half of the world’s population.
The report warns of the dangers of inequality to economic democracy:
This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems, and compounds other inequalities – such as those between women and men. Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people.
President Obama has described inequality as “the defining challenge of our age,” though the administration’s efforts to address the challenge remain to be seen. Meanwhile, for the first time ever over half of the current members of Congress are millionaires.