Sixty-two people own more than half the world’s wealth

The richest 1 per cent, or 62 people, have more wealth than the rest of the world combined.

Sixty-two people own more than half the world’s wealth

An Oxfam report released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos has found that 62 of the world’s richest people have the same wealth as 3.6 billion people.

The report, released just prior to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, highlights the ever-widening disparity between the world’s richest and poorest.

Around five years ago, 388 people owned more wealth than half the world’s population. Since then, the wealth of the world’s richest 62 people has increased by around half a trillion dollars, or about 44 per cent, whilst the wealth of the bottom half has decreased by 41 per cent.

"What it's showing us is that the inequality gap is widening at a much faster pace than what we thought, and the concern is that we are really locking billions of people into a cycle of poverty and there aren't the mechanisms there to pull them out of that," said Oxfam Australia chief executive Helen Szoke.

The contentious issue of corporate tax havens, which enables the richest individuals to hide around $7.6 trillion, has been explained as one reason for this disparity.

"About $100 billion annually is lost to poorer nations because corporations put their money into low-tax jurisdictions," Ms Szoke said. "And once that happens it means that a fair share of tax isn't being paid to support the social infrastructure that's necessary to help people lift out of poverty, like education, for example."

Oxfam points out three key issues that need to be addressed at the WEF:

  • the issue of tax practices and clamp down on corporate tax avoidance
  • using tax money to invest in social infrastructure
  • identifying the need for a living wage, rather than a minimum wage

Ms Szoke hopes that business and government sectors can come together at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, this week to reach a viable solution for this issue.

How do you feel about this? Are you surprised at how high these figures are? What solutions do you think could help this situation? Do you think the Government is doing enough to curb corporate tax avoidance?

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Read the Oxfam report





    COMMENTS

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    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    8:43am
    Low tax havens exist because of competition. Don't the lower taxing countries deserve to compete on favourable terms, given that they are struggling economies?
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    10:03am
    Frank, I think you're avoiding the real issues here.

    If you/we really care about countries with struggling economies, we should probably find a better way to help them than as tax havens for the super rich.

    I doubt if that really improves the lives of their citizens all that much.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    10:20am
    The typical comment from the Liberal Party stoolie.
    I have been saying that the rich are plundering the nation for years and it comes as no surprise that this is a worldwide problem.
    Offshore tax havens rate the same as transfer pricing used by multinationals. They are elaborate scams to cheat nations out of money. SO WHY DOES MALCOLM TURNBULL USE A CAYMAN ISLANDS TAX HAVEN? And worse than that why has the current government enacted legislation to permit the rich to hide their dealings when they are clearly in the public interest?
    Corruption is not hard to spot. Just follow the money trail.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    12:16pm
    Barak, I don't want to put you and mick on the spot here, but let's take Ireland for example? They have a corporate tax rate of 15%.
    What should we do to help Ireland become less competitive?
    We seem to be helping Ireland at the moment by raising taxes and harassing businesses.
    I'm curious, what extra help should we provide? So that we can keep our taxes high?
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    12:30pm
    The way forward is NOT a race to the bottom. That is how the rich win the game. The way forward is to enact legislation in any country of origin stating that the local tax rate is the only applicable tax rate in that country. But of course transfer pricing needs to be outlawed as well. Watch the rats in government cringe when you suggest that!
    Rae
    22nd Jan 2016
    8:03am
    Frank How long do these developing, ancient civilisations such as China, India and the Middle East need to get the act together.

    Surely it is time they realise that holding on to obsolete culture is not serving them well. Whining and wailing and blaming the wealthy western nations because equality and fairness worked.

    Why do we have to give up wealth so these thousands of year old civilisations can have it?

    The only time in history there was a strong middle class and reasonable equity between capital and labour was during high taxes and equity of income sharing.

    As we move into low taxes and inequality of income distribution the middle class is being forced downward and a few huge monopolies becoming the new aristocracy.

    Money is wasted on private education and health where before a functioning public provision served all and encouraged society to assimilate. We went to school together. We were all in it together.

    Not anymore.

    Very soon China will not only own our electrical grids, ports, airports, mines and food production but we may as well save a lot of angst and money and sell Canberra to them.

    I can play the dog eat dog game but I don't have to like it.
    And I don't like it. Not one little bit.
    student
    23rd Jan 2016
    8:32pm
    The wealthy make the laws, either through political participation or corporations. So, forget about taxing the rich. Secondly, once someone is out of social welfare, then they turn the blame for being poor back onto the poor and because the very rich (elite/wealthy) has no need for social welfare, they feel a need to rid society of social welfare and those that rely on it. Everything is a commodity now ie: everything has monetary value.

    Compassion, morals and equality are not in society anymore, or they are in such small doses they don't have any power. I wonder how the elite feel? Do they fear their other 60+ most wealthy people in the world?

    20th Jan 2016
    10:04am
    It's no surprise. It takes money to make money.

    20th Jan 2016
    10:05am
    The article asks "Are you surprised at how high these figures are?"

    Well, no, not at all.
    Amadeoz
    20th Jan 2016
    10:06am
    I propose that we join the competition and become a tax haven? Cut the corporate tax in half or better and Australia will attract the big earners. What are we waiting for, that everybody will suddenly become honest and join us on our level playing field? Dream. If we can't beat them, let's join them! We all want lower taxes.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    10:08am
    Your final sentence is a huge issue.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    10:22am
    That is the solution of course. When too many people get on a rort then the loophole is closed quickly....and the next one opened. The issue might be the cost of setting up an offshore account. That I might think is how the rich keep average citizens out.
    Happy cyclist
    20th Jan 2016
    11:25am
    Actually, Amadeoz, we DON'T all want lower taxes, "taxation is the price we pay to live in a civilized society". I am happy to pay tax but I am not happy to know that those most able to pay their share don't, including corporations. Taxation has provided the fabric of our daily lives and continues to do so. What we need to do is ensure our taxes are wisely spent and try to get everyone to pay their fair share. Now that would be a society worth living in.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    11:49am
    Total agreement Happy Cyclist, but the top end of town is of the opinion that they own the game so they can do what they please. Given that their money also buys politicians then the suggestion from Amadeoz is sound: if you can't be 'em join 'em. That'll end the corrupt game real quickly.
    Rae
    21st Jan 2016
    7:38am
    And when we get all those big earners, what happens then. Do property prices rise higher, or builders only build luxury apartments.Do we fly like cattle because the 48 bed jet is only for the wealthy? See the nurse as the rich have retained the doctor at their convenience?
    Will rents, insurance, prices rise because there are more high income earners. Will we become like Naples, Florida where the beach and shops parking fee is $1 for five minutes to discourage the poor from even being there at all.
    If you are not one of them living around a bunch of really wealthy can be soul destroying.
    Right now it is possible to earn considerable money before income tax. In fact I've never paid so little income tax in my life as I do now.
    Howard and Rudd lowered and lowered it.
    I'd like to see income rise even if I had to pay a bit more tax.
    If wages rose then so could my investment returns but I don't want that at the expense of ordinary workers.
    There must be a point where wages and profit cause the economy to purr along and both workers and investors benefit.
    Right now it is a very few getting all the profit and that has to end badly in my opinion.
    Historically the higher the income inequality becomes then the worse the following Depression.
    Personally I would not care if CEOs earned hundreds of millions dollars if it didn't affect me but it always does. It disrupts the investment markets where I make my living. I lose money when they take those sorts of bonuses out of the businesses.
    Funny how they can justify huge incomes while refusing workers a living wage.
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    7:45am
    Yes, this country can afford to be paying a lot more income tax.

    Under the encouragement of failed Tony, they rejected a mining and carbon tax. The money has to come from somewhere.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    8:32am
    Rae, have you ever wondered why Labor and the Unions are opposed to employee share schemes?
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    9:25am
    And Rae, have you ever wondered why the Liberal Party refuses to disclose where it gets its election funding from and the strings attached?
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    9:27am
    Frank - I got some shares in an employee share scheme once. Three months later the company laid me off. Three more months later the company went bankrupt.
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    9:51am
    Don't blame Labor or unions for losing your job or your shares Rae. That was done by big business and you were just a worthless slave to them. Happens all the time.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:55am
    Now you're starting to sound like you have a problem mick.
    Brissiegirl
    20th Jan 2016
    10:14am
    Doesn't something like the top 25% pay 75% of the total tax-take? I can understand the "wealthy" getting fed up with propping up. Don't forget, it's these "wealthy" companies who take the risks, who employ people (big risk in itself). I just think we should all stop calling people "rich" because it's bagging success. For those who are able, the harder we work the richer we get. Rich isn't always measured in dollars. As for equality - it will never exist. There will always be some who have more, some who have less. Unless the whiners want to cut down the tall poppies so that everyone becomes equally poor.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    10:25am
    The harder we work the richer we get?

    ROTFLMAO.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    10:29am
    You must be a simpleton Brissiegirl. Your understanding defies logic.
    The only meaningful figure if you want to compare taxpayers is what PERCENTAGE of their income they pay in tax. And remember that the number of rubbery 'deductions' available to the rich are substantial....and then there are tax havens and superannuation.
    Your reference to the rich creating jobs misses one important clarification: THEY DO NOT DO IT BECAUSE THEY CARE. THEY DO IT BECAUSE OF PROFIT. FOR THEM! Get the picture!
    The game which is doing the rounds is for the rich to head to any geographical location where they can exploit vulnerable governments and people. Ireland was one such place. Obscure little islands which most people have never heard of are another. The result is clear: AVOID PAYING TAX.
    This is not about "tall poppies". It is about nations who need to exist and citizens who need to survive rather than be turned into slaves.
    Your comment sounds like a rich person poo pooing the complaints.
    Brissiegirl
    20th Jan 2016
    11:10am
    Sorry mick I don't think you can dismiss my viewpoint by "accusing" me of being a rich person (which I am not). I just feel sick of people continually bagging what amounts to success and prosperity. The green-eyed monster is alive and well. Yes, the harder I worked, the richer I got - rich in personal satisfaction, salary raises as my work contributions were increasingly valued, and rich in the feeling that I was supporting myself and not leaning on other taxpayers. It's an ordinary life and made all by myself. I would never have had my jobs but for the 25% paying 75% that trusted and employed me. I can see many people are dissatisfied and feeling "exploited", but as an average person, I just don't feel jealous. I think we have poured so much money into countries that have become so dependent and much of that money has been spent by high-living despots and guns that facilitate wars. Just my opinion, nothing rude or sinister.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    11:26am
    Yes good comment brissiegirl I think your two comments hit the nail on the head.
    Don't worry about mick his view is about how bad the rich are and how good his union mates are he is biased against anyone who has a go and may be a bit better off although from his comments hes going all right as well just doesn't want to admit it.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    11:55am
    Brissiegirl: The issue is that the top end are NOT paying too much tax as they continually bleat. If they were forced into the same tax system which the rest of us use then that would become clear.
    You have to remember that saying 75% of all taxes are paid by the top 25% tells you zilch unless you know how much this group of people earned. Its pretty obvious that if the top 62 people in the world own half of everything then the taxes they are paying are totally inadequate.
    I am in favour of transparency....but the current right wing government has moved to hide the facts with its recently introduced legislation. Now their rich benefactors (including the current PM) can rort as much as they like and nobody is able to see. That is not democracy of any sort.
    Frank
    20th Jan 2016
    12:06pm
    Got invited to a Liberal Party fundraiser the other day robbo. Was looking around for you there but couldn't find you. Must have been your golf day.
    I just changed the place I park my loot from Ireland to the Cayman Islands. Much less tax again. You should consider doing the same.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    12:10pm
    Yes, well said Brissiegirl. We cant make the poor rich by making the rich poor. It will not work.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    12:31pm
    Nobody ever suggested that Frank. The issue is extracting the taxes of the land out of rich people who believe that the tax system is mad for poor people, NOT THEM.
    Rae
    20th Jan 2016
    2:02pm
    The biggest problem is the disconnect between productivity and income equity. It has been getting larger year by year for 4 decades.

    If the marginal productivity was shared just a little bit better then Brissie girl would have maybe 50% of the population as clients and 50% would be sharing the tax load.

    There wouldn't be less rich people there would be less poor people.

    We won't fix it however. It will go on to the bitter end.

    Orwells recount " The Road to Wigan Pier" should be compulsory reading. A perfect example of what happens when a few have all the wealth and redistribution has failed and public good is ignored.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    2:38pm
    Rae that is precisely why we don't want the unions in control of a big slice of the superannuation pie.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    2:44pm
    Huh?

    And who is "we"? It ain't me.
    Gra
    20th Jan 2016
    4:13pm
    But Brissiegirl, honestly, don't you feel just a little cheated when every year you get hammered with taxes while your employer or the likes of Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehardt etc avoid their tax liabilities courtesy of family trusts etc and often pay as little as 1% sometimes nothing?
    Gra
    20th Jan 2016
    4:16pm
    @ Frank - I don't know what you're on about. The union backed Super funds do better than others so where is the problem with unions controlling a bigger slice. If it's good for the members, what is the problem? You would rather workers get slugged higher fees and earn less with their super?
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    4:24pm
    Sorry Frank I was actually in the Cayman Islands that day I ran into a bloke named Malcolm something I heard he is doing a good job in OZ I think they call him Mr 68%.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:34pm
    I never made it, someone took my ticket and passport. Know anything about that mick?
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    4:41pm
    Got the same problem Frank.
    roy
    21st Jan 2016
    9:11am
    Oh well, roll on my next skiing trip in the USA or Europe and I can forget about being a poor little downtrodden Aussie tax payer being robbed by the rich for a few weeks.
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    9:30am
    Please excuse my rudeness mick. I am such an ass and have forgotten to take my pills today.
    Time to report back to Liberal Party headquarters and see what they want me to post about unions today. Employers are putting pressure on us to discredit unions so I'll see what I can do.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:33am
    mick you only discredit yourself.
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    9:55am
    Discredit is what most of your posts are Frank. Whitlam constructed the appropriate phrase which describes you: "Kerr's cur".
    Your posts are mostly political propaganda better suited to Putin's troll factory, not Australia. The fact that this sort of malicious stuff comes from the Liberal Party tells us all what the Party is made of. Sickening stuff!!
    As I keep saying Frank: go look in the mirror. But then perhaps you have grown used to what you see.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jan 2016
    8:44pm
    I am sick of fools saying ''the rich deserve their wealth'' and shouldn't have to pay high taxes just because they work harder. They DO NOT. The fact is that they consume far more than their fair share of national resources, and accordingly they should pay for their use of those resources. There's no jealousy involved in declaring that those who use the most resources should pay the most tax.

    Poor people are less likely to use educational resources extensively. They drive less, because they can't afford as much fuel. They use shipping ports less because they don't import and export goods. They use don't use the roads to freight goods around the country. It goes on and on and on. The wealthy are using resources the poor are paying for, and that's WRONG. We need reform to make the well-to-do pay for what they use, and we need reform to ensure a healthy society - that is, one in which the privileged are pleased to be able to support the less privileged to enjoy a decent life style. Anyone who isn't happy to contribute to social health is a vile person who should have no place in a decent society.
    bob menzies
    20th Jan 2016
    10:55am
    Must give credit where it is due - Mick has been saying this for a long long time - I actually listened to a long interview with the head of Oxfam the other day and I was surprised (as was the interviewer) that the CEO of Oxfam felt that country tax havens (such as the Cayman Islands) is the first issue to attack - I didn't realise the problem was as bad as the report shows - it is unsustainable that 62 people should have as much wealth as the lowest 3.6b (there is close to 8b on planet at last count).
    If they made the 0%tax havens go to level of next level countries eg 15% (Ireland,Singapore,Belgium) - not sure how this helps countries like OZ.
    Mick all australian federal governments since federation have not done enough to make transparent taxation arrangements.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    11:57am
    I'd be in favour of disallowing the use of Tax Havens. The mere name tells you what their purpose is: to do a book manipulation and pay little or no tax. It's wrong.
    wally
    20th Jan 2016
    11:05pm
    If places like the Cayman Islands (for example) owe their prosperity yo making themselves so called tax havens, perhaps Australia should take he lead and declare war on the Cayman Islands. That is, if we could bind the accursed place. (Perhaps Malcolm's contacts at Goldman Sachs could assist with that!) The other alternative would be to allow the rise in the sea level (due to Global Warming) submerge the Cayman Islands thus drowning that particular problem.

    Switzerland, famous for secret bank accounts for the rich and famous, of course would not be susceptible to Global Warming like the Cayman Islands. The Swiss would need a different approach. I doubt that a boycott of Nestles chocolates and coffee, together with a boycott on cuckoo clocks would be all that successful.:)
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    5:13am
    Some good thinking there wally.

    I just checked. the highest point in the Cayman islands is only around 43 metres above sea level. A decent melting of the ice caps will easily submerge them.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:22am
    Barak, wally was tongue in cheek.
    Franky
    20th Jan 2016
    11:03am
    There is one quick and easy way to restore equality - it was proposed by the likes of Pauline Hanson and has also been discussed in Europe, it's a FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX. It would eliminate a lot of speculation which is only benefiting the wealthy and is non-productive.
    How Pauline Hanson was treated by politicians and the media tells us on how popular such a tax would be! It's sad that we live in such a dictatorship of big business, but change is inevitable and not far off.
    Not Amused
    20th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    The tax mentioned would be a tax on the middle class, including farmers, pensioners and small businesses. Not one bank would pay one cent of it. Almost every country in Europe, in concert with international academics, determined it would be a disaster with net negative revenue. In 2010, at the request of the G20, the IMF undertook a study, determining that it would be a large burden borne by ordinary taxpayers, “Its real burden may fall largely on final consumers rather than, as often seems to be supposed, earnings in the financial sector. A tax levied on transactions at one stage ‘cascades’ into prices at all further stages of production.”
    The UK Parliament Economic Sub-Committee of the House of Lords reported that a tax like this would likely induce a loss in GDP between five and 20 times larger than the revenues raised from the tax. Collect $1 from such a tax, and GDP reduces by $20. That $20 would have been taxed approximately 40 percent, or $8 lost revenue.
    The EU Commission’s own Impact Assessment, before including negative relocation effects admitted a 3.43% fall in EU GDP equates to a fall in economic output worth €421 (£362) billion and a 0.34% fall in employment equates to a loss of 812,000 jobs.
    City of London Economic Research reporting on the household savings losses on three countries only, “Spain 16 percent household savings loss, Germany 14.1 percent household savings loss, Italy 12.3 percent household savings loss.”
    The Dutch Central Bank study showed that 1.7 billion euros, over 42% of the annual FTT cost in the Netherlands, would be borne by pensions.
    The Swedish Finance Minister warned that the same tax (Sweden experimented with it and had to drop it such were its devastating effects). It resulted in implementation costs out-running its own revenues. Revenues achieved 3 percent of revenue projections before subtracting reduced GDP revenue losses in all other areas.
    In finance and global ministerial circles, this tax is known as “fool’s gold”. We should be careful what we wish for, especially from under-informed politicians who tout an idea that sounds simple and makes them sound knowledgeable, yet they have no educated understanding of why it is economically unviable.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    11:59am
    That's small change Not Amused. I fail to understand why we cannot elect people who are not 'owned' by the big end of town and who will act in the interests of the nation.
    Not Amused
    20th Jan 2016
    12:35pm
    mick --- I set out actual evidence and statistics in reply to a poster's proposition regarding an internationally researched and thoroughly discredited tax that would truly hurt the very people being defended here. Those bad impacts described, particularly the destructive financial impacts on farmers, small businesses and pension funds, are not "small change". As is so often said, just keep badgering away at the rich until everyone is equally poor and then suffer the social chaos that ensues. Frank is realistic in suggesting we won't make the poor rich by making the rich poor. We should celebrate success and prosperity.
    Why aren't the churches paying tax? We are bringing people to this country who make no contribution to our tax system whatsoever, many of them sucking more than 20 years' worth of benefits from the taxes of middle-income workers. Instead of bagging the rich who provide the jobs, take a good hard look at the thousands of leaners who are coming here because "money come out of hole in wall."
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    12:49pm
    Not Amused: whilst I don't disagree with some of your suggestions you seem to want to ignore the main event. Sure there are plenty of places to save money but the facts are that big business and their rich owners are plundering the world. Your take about not bagging the rich because they may take their capital elsewhere ignores the facts that rich people are NOT benevolent people. They operate their businesses TO MAKE A PROFIT, and nobody denies their right to have that. The issue is, as per this story, that the rich are paying less tax (as a percentage of their income!!!) than average citizens and that it wrong! Package it any way you like but that is how it plays out.
    For the record I do not agree with our handout mentality and the bastards only do it to buy votes.
    Not Amused
    20th Jan 2016
    1:56pm
    Which rich people mick do you know who are not benevolent? There are vast numbers of hospital wings, research entitities and reputable charitable institutions massively supported by "rich people". Yes, businesses are there to make a profit.If you had a job, you will know that in order to pay your wage, you had to help them make a profit or your job would not exist.
    Corporate tax avoidance - Oxfam would screw every cent it can from any source, it advocates for more and higher taxes (for them) and keep pouring it into the bottomless pit of takers who have been grabbing money from every direction for donkey's years and still say they are no better off. Their CEO's get better salaries and live in better houses than most could dream about. There are at least 30 charities that pay their bosses way over $200,000 AUD p.a. equivalents. So their continual whining about the rich (who provide the jobs that pay the taxes they want to distribute to their chosen causes) and their self-perpetuating empires of bad decision-making sure doesn't fool everyone.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    2:44pm
    Not Amused: It is well undetood in America that the role of rich people has changed. Whilst some still give Warren Buffett made the comment no too long ago that his secretary paid more tax than he did. He was talking about the PERCENTAGE of income here, not raw dollars.
    The reality is that you clearly have skin in the game and you ARE THE PROBLEM. Your post is rather sad.
    If it helps any consider the following information which was picked up today:

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) research says about 7 million jobs will be lost due to automation . However, they add that around 2 million new jobs will be added.

    So please stop with the mindless rhetoric. It is what it is and the gap between rich and poor is only going to continue widening with people like you crying 'it's all mine'. When did they stop making decent people?????
    Swinging voter
    20th Jan 2016
    3:26pm
    Hang on Mick not Amused does not have to stop giving opinion here and where did he:she crying 'its all mine'? Not amused is the problem? You can't debate because what you are implying about another poster is plain rude. I was interested to read what not Amused took the time to point out. The average punter is too quick to swallow the rubbish dished out by hack politicians who set themselves up as economic wizards. Well done not amused.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:20pm
    All opinions welcome. Agreed.
    dezyna
    20th Jan 2016
    11:13am
    " Do you think the Government is doing enough to curb corporate tax avoidance?" Serious? The rich people own and direct the Government.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    11:59am
    Precisely. Corruption at work!
    Golfer
    20th Jan 2016
    11:45am
    "Sixty two people own more than half the world's wealth" is a very inaccurate and inflammatory statement to make. Oxfam really said that 62 of the worlds richest people have the same wealth as 3.6 billion people.
    A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE.

    by way of explanation, let's say that the worlds wealth is $1,000,000 (simplified example) and half of the worlds population (aka 3.6 billion) has a wealth of $300,000 (and that is likely high) then the "offending" 62 people have between them $300,000 and that's SIGNIFICANTLY less than the HALF that is suggested by the author of this article..

    Another example of the BS that dominates this web forum.
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    9:36am
    What a lot of right wing BS you go on with...AGAIN. Are you living in denial or what?
    "Inflammatory"? "Inaccurate"? Really? Is that the best you can do with the FACTS?
    If you believe that Oxfam is wrong then I suggest you first of all take the matter up with Oxfam and point out where it is wrong and only then come back to this website and claim the garbage you go on with.
    Your example, for want of another word, defies logic.
    mgibby
    20th Jan 2016
    2:26pm
    I am continually amazed at the nievety of people. Who do you think makes the laws, the 62 richest or the 62 poorest.
    Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, it has been and always will be about power. These people, either individually or through their corrupt corporations set the money markets/economies and we the cannon fodder have to manage the best we can.
    At the risk of being pilloried, I will put my trust and faith in the God of the Bible, who I understand, owns all of what these rich people have anyway.
    As a wealthy man on many occasions told me, "It is a false economy." I will take my chances with Jesus Christ thanks very much.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    2:31pm
    mgibby - I don't have the same beliefs you do about Jesus, but the stories about him certainly don't suggest he was a fan of the hoarding of wealth.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    2:47pm
    Always good to read a post from a person who has faced reality mgibby. What bring me to the point of tears on occasion though is the misunderstanding that people can change this....but it is all but impossible when the devil owns the media and people believe all that they hear and read. Sheep!
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    I'm pretty sure Jesus was against the taxman. But don't let that stop you lefties from wanting higher taxes.
    Happy cyclist
    20th Jan 2016
    3:46pm
    What us lefties want Frank is a more just and equitable world where everyone enjoys a good quality of life and 20,000 people do NOT die every day of preventable hunger. If higher taxation will achieve some of that wishlist, bring it on.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    3:53pm
    Frank - using simplistic labels like "lefty" to try to insult others is a weak debating strategy.

    Simple labels please simple people.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:24pm
    He would be rolling over in heaven if he knew what you lefties had planned. Higher taxes and redistribution of wealth.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:23pm
    The Franks of this website love to use the "lefties" and "union" barbs to attack anything which is not owned by the rich and their companies. The ABC is a regular target whenever it tries to give both sides a go. Can't permit the facts to be aired when you own the game can we.
    jonty
    20th Jan 2016
    2:42pm
    My opinion has always been that there should be a limit on wealth, whether it be $1 Million or $1 Billion or some other number. Everyone is entitled to live with dignity.
    As money is the greatest manipulator the super rich and multi-nationals have far more say in legislation than is reasonable. Plus they own the Media and so they are always in a position to hide their activities which are to the detriment to ordinary people.

    Also contrary to what is constantly suggested, the only reason that Australians have a 'fair wage' system (which is constantly under attack from the rich media) and a universal health system (Medicare) is because of the peoples collective ie. the unions. Without them most ordinary people would be living in abject poverty. And the laws and regulations the present Liberal government are currently enacting are designed to make sure they do live hand to mouth with no dignity whatsoever.
    What's more the Liberals don't deserve to be in government because they don't want to govern. They just want to hand the responsibility over to privatisation so that profits can be made from the legitimate taxpayers and take that money off-shore.....They are not to be trusted. If they could be we would not have such a small number of people owning over half the world's wealth !!.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    2:45pm
    Well said jonty
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    2:49pm
    Yep. On the other side of that Communism failed because there was no incentive for people to work hard or innovate. But for sure there needs to be a limit.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    3:04pm
    You three would be better suited to live in a communist country. Here in Australia we are trying to break down barriers, smash limits and shoot for the stars in every respect.
    We are proud to say that we have the worlds richest woman. We have one of the best living standards and welfare systems in the world.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    3:11pm
    Proud of Gina?

    ROTFLMAO.

    Comments like "You three would be better suited to live in a communist country" are just idiotic.
    Swinging voter
    20th Jan 2016
    3:20pm
    Jonty The original unions of a long gone era were well intended and did their jobs very well. Then they found greedy ways to financially help themselves, use their networking of big-headed incompetent leaders to build political empires and without whom their hard working members wouldn't now be funding fat cat union boss corruption, lavish lifestyles and out and out thuggery. They outlived their original purpose morphing into stand-over organisations that use innocent working people's money to pay for prostitutes and all manner of disgraceful behaviour.We talk about business making profits at least they employ hundreds of thousands of people. Union bosses are nothing but takers.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    3:55pm
    Swinging voter - Unions will have outlived their usefulness when all employers are always fair to all employees, and have complete knowledge of all industrial law.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:17pm
    Barak, try to keep up. Swinging voter is 100% on target with that post. Unions have no business having a political party these days.
    Swinging voter
    20th Jan 2016
    4:23pm
    I suppose Barak that former AWU secretary Bill Shorten held the same opinion (always being fair to all employees) when he was caught on cctv throwing the f... word at the inoffensive little pie shop lady. I know which of the two I'd prefer - the small businesswoman. I'd pick her head and shoulders above a former union boss who's convinced himself he's worthy to be running this country and our economy. Run our economy? He couldn't even accept with a modicum of grace that at the end of the day the shop owner had naturally sold out and was simply unable to supply his kid with a pie...
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    4:33pm
    Swinging voter i'm glad he didn't drive to the pie shop he may have taken it out with the pie lady and all her pies.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    4:35pm
    Unions will have outlived their usefulness when all employers are always fair to all employees, and have complete knowledge of all industrial law.

    (I reposted it because some of you chose to talk about something quite different, while pretending to respond to me.)
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:45pm
    The poor little pie shop lady was a Labor voter. Imagine if she was a Tony Abbott fan? Kind of reminds me of the Labor boss who broke the taxi drivers arm over a fare dispute. And the other Labor leader who called the F bomb when describing the Chinese. Our biggest trading partner for heavens sake?!!
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    4:46pm
    Obsessed.
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:35pm
    Are you for real Swinging Voter? The only reason unions ever existed was because your right wing buddies have always manipulated the labour market to get their slaves. The same is AGAIN happening with the current government nibbling away at penalty rates for already poorly paid workers who are on call 24/7. You need to look at your posts rather than repeat the BS which the big end of town circulates.
    I deplore corruption of all manner and this is a problem not limited to unions. Have a look at the totally CORRUPT relationship between election funding for the Liberal Party (from wealthy Australians and their big business interests). That is where the real game is. Not unions. In case you missed it the torpedoing of the Carbon Tax (a good good tax!) resulted in taxpayers stumping up $8 billion a year in lost revenue. I call that a political bribe and this should result in jail sentences as would be the case had unions or any other part of society engaged in such a blatant fraud. But because it is dressed up as 'politics' it is accepted as government policy rather than the massive fraud on the public which it really is.
    Talk your way around the issues and dress them up as you choose but they are what they are.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    5:39pm
    Barak, have you got something against a woman being wealthy?
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    5:47pm
    mick, it was Clive Palmer who stopped the carbon tax and saved all Australian households from living in poverty. Had his company QNi not donated $21m to the PUP the carbon tax would have still been with us. Many Australian workers would have been out of a job. And the Senate would have 2 less Independents.
    Rae
    21st Jan 2016
    7:57am
    Actually Frank the unions are old hat. Workers would be better incorporating into private employee corporations with teams of lawyers negotiating contract prices for their labour just like any other business input. That way the value of marginal productivity would have to be taken into account. There are also huge benefits to being a corporate as well including limited liability and 30% tax rate.

    The unions could all go including such expensive entities as the AMA, business council, mineral council etc.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    8:40am
    Spot on Rae! Good post!!
    Of course there will always be a few negative recalcitrants who will miss out.
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    9:16am
    You two would not have a rational thought on unions between you. Brainwashed to hate.

    Frank, your question about wealthy women was stupid.

    The carbon tax was a good tax.
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    9:40am
    Can't you hear the right wing interests at work here. Unions were a necessity for workers to avoid slavery, abject poverty and 100% of everything being owned by the rich. That game is still at hand and given the increasing divide between rich and poor it seems that the rich are winning.
    I find it interesting that the focus of the trolls on this website is on unions whilst never uttering a word about the utter rorts and manipulation of the national wealth by the rich and their big business interests. That is where the real story is.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    10:06am
    mick you would love to see people like Twiggy with limited power and options. You'd love to see his wealth minimised. Well you are getting your wish even without the carbon tax. But be prepared for the spin off. No more record donations, limited options in his fight against slavery, real slavery mick. Are you ready for that? Or doesn't it matter? Collateral damage? More people will give when they have more than they need. When times are tough and the future looks grim, people don't know how much they need. Are you a generous person mick? Do you understand the virtue in giving?
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    10:47am
    Are you kidding Frank? I just want to see the bastards pay their taxes just like poor people earning $50 000 a year. They can keep their donations as these are SMALL compared to taxes avoided.
    Good attempt to mislead Frank. Your speciality.
    Rae
    21st Jan 2016
    2:22pm
    Barak I am still a card carrying member of a union and was a union rep for 17 years. I have also set up and run businesses. I've also lost money because of devious public companies. Those share consolidations are legal theft in my opinion.

    Unfortunately the unions have forgotten their job description.
    Otherwise more that 13% of us would be paying members.

    And the retirees slammed by recent government legislation would still be treated fairly.

    Right now they are denied any justice.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    2:46pm
    "About $100 billion annually is lost to poorer nations because corporations put their money into low-tax jurisdictions," Ms Szoke said. "And once that happens it means that a fair share of tax isn't being paid to support the social infrastructure that's necessary to help people lift out of poverty, like education, for example."

    Is Ms Szoke complaining that poorer nations are helping themselves? Is Ms Szoke suggesting the alternative would be better? That higher tax be paid in say the likes of Australia and we then donate a liberal share to the poorer countries? What a load of garbage!!!
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    2:53pm
    Garbage? That's what you normally post Frank.
    The issue is that if taxes are necessary then we ALL need to pay them. It is NOT satisfactory that rich people have their accounting frauds whereby they can legally escape because THEY enacted the laws which let them do it. And it is not satisfactory that this rich man's government can refuse to close the loopholes whereby multinationals and rich Australians can squirrel their money from OUR COUNTRY into Tax Havens of any sort, local or overseas.
    Corruption is corruption is corruption!!
    roy
    21st Jan 2016
    9:15am
    Does anybody know here I can get some treatment for my insane jealousy of people who have more money than me and can afford good accountants to help minimise their tax affairs?
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    10:05am
    I'm such a dill. Really. Doesn't mick know that I and my rich friends do not want to pay our rightful taxes. That is for working people only and we have our own rules.
    roy
    21st Jan 2016
    7:01pm
    I think we should send more money to poorer countries so that the leaders there can buy themselves much more up to date Mercedes, it's just not fair otherwise and they can then transfer more money to their Swiss bank accounts.
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    8:43pm
    Mine works real well.
    Chris B T
    20th Jan 2016
    3:13pm
    How many of these poorer nations have over paid politicans, police, army and just plain ordinary corruption as well.
    No matter of how much humanitarian relief by food,money or any other means the needy will still be the needy.
    Wealth within these countries would be as bad if not worse than 1% worlds wealthy.
    Australia's only way is to set minimum tax thresholds, that way no one can avoid paying tax. You earn it here you pay tax here.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:11pm
    Chris, the rate of tax is part of the issue, but the real problem is the tax system.
    Our tax system was introduced when the taxman rode up on his horse and asked for money to put in his saddle bag. And the baker , butcher cooper gave him what they could afford.
    The world of commerce and trade is much more sophisticated these days. While the tax system has been massaged in a political sense by governments during the last 200 years, it is essentially the same system. Businesses are asked how much they made and are asked to send a percentage into the ATO. All that's different is the horse has been made redundant.
    We now have the technology to track trades in country of origin so why shouldn't we use it??
    We also have the skill and technology to track the shifting of equity and debt. Why aren't we using it??
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:38pm
    The real difference is that governments are effectively 'owned' by the big end of town. And when you are a stooge you do not bite the hand which feeds you...........so you betray those who voted you in and the nation you gave you sustenance.
    Most politicians are what Gough Whitlam described as "Kerr's cur". despicable people who suck on the fabric of society for their own interests.
    roy
    20th Jan 2016
    6:41pm
    I'm alright Jack, I'm in a final salary/defined benefit pension scheme so stuff the lot of you, you should have planned your careers better.
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    10:07am
    I've got a parliamentary pension for life and a job on top of that mick. The Party looks after me real well as long as I post anti union and anti Labor stuff.
    Chris B T
    21st Jan 2016
    2:11pm
    It would be nice to keep the comments/replys in relation to the
    POST / ARTICLE / STORY.
    Then about some other precived BULLS88## and story telling about ones self.
    Polly Esther
    20th Jan 2016
    4:09pm
    I think mick has forgotten to take his medication today.
    And mick you shouldn't show your lack of breeding by calling someone a 'simpleton' just because you don't agree with their thoughts, which they are entitled to have by the way. It makes you appear to be a spoilt little brat, which I originally didn't imagine you to be at all.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    4:37pm
    How polite is attacking someone's breeding?
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    4:59pm
    Barak, it's a polite and old fashioned way of saying to young upstarts that they bring no kudos to their family by their lack of etiquette. There is also the underlying threat that the parents of the ill mannered upstart will be made aware of his poor form.
    mick's parent's should accept some responsibility for his name calling.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    5:01pm
    It's not polite.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    5:11pm
    Barak, don't you think parents should be responsible for their children's behaviour?
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:40pm
    I'm a big boy and can take the heat. If I blow up occasionally it is only because of posts which defy reality and serve the minority interests. Call it what you like.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2016
    5:52pm
    So, it is others who are responsible for your actions? Not you mick? That would make sense to me if you were a toddler, but as you say, you are a big boy.
    So what or who made you register and post under the name of "Frank"?

    20th Jan 2016
    4:39pm
    I've decided that Lib lovers can't do Maths.

    They somehow think that it's OK for 62 people to control all that wealth, presumably because they think the Liberal Party will help them join that group.

    Wanna know the real chances of that?
    MICK
    20th Jan 2016
    5:44pm
    They do the maths real well Barak. It's called protecting your patch and the rich are well adept at milking the system and people for all they can get. Their game plan is to take it all and the last few years has seen huge growth in the fortunes of the rich and the gap widening between rich and poor.....with the rich all the time crying for more, more, more. If the GST increase gets up then the first thing to happen will be TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY. Already in the pipeline and this most dishonest of all governments has been hard at work with its smear campaign against Labor and also Palmer so that it gets to control both houses and do as it likes. That is what grubs do!
    roy
    20th Jan 2016
    6:33pm
    I just cannot help being a really jealous man, it's in my breeding, I've never been much good at anything so therefore I loathe anybody who has more wealth than me. I can barely afford to go skiing in Brackenridge every year, it's just not fair.
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    9:47am
    Sorry mick. I am such an idiot and all I can ever do is attack unions and Labor. That's what they pay me to do.
    I call you jealous because me and my rich friends want to own everything and poor people like you should just lie down and let us plunder you. Its just not fair that some people think that we should be paying reasonable taxes as how else can we afford the new yacht to enter into the Sydney to Hobart next year if we pay tax?
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:53am
    not funny mick
    MICK
    21st Jan 2016
    10:09am
    Huh?

    20th Jan 2016
    8:47pm
    I suppose everyone's definition of 'rich' is different. I recall the bleeding hearts screaming about Nike using slave labour to make their products and charging like a wounded bull. I was in Bangkok when the Nike company bowed to pressure and closed the factory there. The bleeding hearts were happy but the locals were devastated. Nike was paying almost 3 times the local wage and each morning there was a line-up to get work there. Sure, a couple of bucks a day to westerners is not much but to Thailand it was good money.

    If countries want to be tax havens I'm sure that they have done their sums and the benefits to the country far out weigh the negatives. All of us like to minimise our tax when submitting a tax return and 'rich' people are no different. I wonder how many of the posts to this article are just people who are envious.
    Anonymous
    20th Jan 2016
    9:21pm
    "Benefits to the country", eh?. Who do you really think benefits?
    roy
    21st Jan 2016
    9:05am
    Lots and lots of people on this site are just envious, it's a disease which never goes away. It's the same all names all the time full of insane jealously. why?
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:20am
    mick if you understand a little about Transactional Analysis, you come to realise that it may not be jealousy. It is a mild form of mental illness. Thomas Harris explains it in simple terms in his book "I'm OK You're OK." It's just not healthy to be continually in the "I'm not OK you're not OK" view for such long periods.
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    9:26am
    But with a continuing conservative political regime, very few people will be OK.
    Frank
    21st Jan 2016
    9:49am
    I'm probably the most envious person on this site. I want everything for myself and my rich friends and the tax system should not apply to us.
    Adrianus
    21st Jan 2016
    9:53am
    you can do better mick
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    4:07pm
    Well Barak, I'm sure the benefits are on both sides, a 'win-win' if you like. Tell us more about Labor Barak, how they are the puppets of the union which directs who will get a seat. Tell us about Labor's extensive knowledge about small business and how a free market works. Oh that's right, unions only want to know how to screw the bosses to the wall for backhanders, the more you get, the better your chance at the big trough; parliament.
    roy
    21st Jan 2016
    6:07pm
    I'm so envious of people who fly 1st class to skiing areas when my wife and I have to suffer in Business, life is not fair!
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    6:24pm
    Old man - we can abolish unions completely when every employer is always fair to every employee, and has perfect knowledge of industrial law.
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    10:07pm
    Sure Barak and we can trust unions when every union dishonest employee is caught out stealing members funds and is jailed and replaced by an honest official. Can you explain why Labor opposes making unions accountable to their members? There is about $2M per week going into union coffers and no accountability. You think that is fair on the battlers who pay union membership?
    Anonymous
    21st Jan 2016
    10:26pm
    Sorry Barak, typo. There is about $20M per week going to unions.
    JAID
    22nd Jan 2016
    8:55pm
    I have not read much more than the headline and the invitation to comment but confidently given my opinion. Sure there will sometimes be inequity, bullying and whatever along the way but this is not essential to the collection of wealth. 66 or fewer people could do so by completely reasonable means. Do I think that fair? Well it doesn't matter what I think, in a possible ideal situation where every such megawealthy person does so completely legally with a common helping of morality then the punters rule. The buyer decides whether it is worth it or not.

    We are TERRIBLE buyers.

    Terrible. We pay 80c at a checkout for some rubbish which bought in a little carton may be 5 or 10c and still make its producers profit. We don't do sufficient research and we don't deny ourselves when somebody is making an unreasonable profit. We encourage unreasonable profits routinely and that is patently obvious in any local store let alone at the level these people with 500 billion plus in their pockets operate at.

    No saviour for our idiocy is on horizon and until that flash of wisdom lifts from the miraged curve at the end of our vision we will have to trust that what goes around comes around. You dont keep 500 billion plus or keep piling up more unless it is working.
    PlanB
    23rd Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    I don't think you are all getting it the ones that have the MOST money in the world are the "Rothchilds / Rockerfellas / and the like " THEY are the ones that run the world and the likes of M.Turnbull are POOR compared to that lot.
    Lookfar
    25th Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    US academic David Kotz wrote in 2002 that:

    “Neoliberal theory claims that a largely unregulated capitalist system (a “free market economy”) not only embodies the ideal of free individual choice but also achieves optimum economic performance with respect to efficiency, economic growth, technical progress, and distributional justice. The state is assigned a very limited economic role: defining property rights, enforcing contracts, and regulating the money supply. State intervention to correct market failures is viewed with suspicion, on the ground that such intervention is likely to create more problems than it solves.”

    He then goes on to say,

    kotz“The policy recommendations of neoliberalism are concerned mainly with dismantling what remains of the regulationist welfare state. These recommendations include deregulation of business; privatization of public activities and assets; elimination of, or cutbacks in, social welfare programs; and reduction of taxes on businesses and the investing class. In the international sphere, neoliberalism calls for free movement of goods, services, capital, and money (but not people) across national boundaries.”

    It is not hard to see a close association between Kotz’s description of neoliberalism and the way the Liberal and National Parties conduct themselves in government today. Neo-liberalism reads like an LNP manifesto.

    Remember too, this is not a description of a theory or principal set in stone. It is a political preference chosen by a particular subset.

    5th Feb 2016
    6:42pm
    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and that's the way that finances have been flowing since the dawn of time. It'll be hard to change how things work now.


    Tags: finance, economy, money,