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Richard Trinder
Editor
@richardtrinder
12:37 PM 25th January 2021
frontpage
Opinion

The Filthy Rich Are Destroying The World!

Inequality is sometimes easy to see
Inequality is sometimes easy to see
Well, perhaps it is not entirely true that the 'filthy rich are destroying the world', but in a report by Oxfam issued this week about the impact of the Coronavirus on inequality across the globe some very disturbing facts emerged. And when I say 'disturbing' I actually mean 'disgusting'. For example... (and I quote Oxfam directly):

Wealthier by the day

"The increase in the wealth of the 10 richest billionaires since the crisis began is MORE THAN ENOUGH to prevent anyone on Earth from falling into poverty because of the virus and to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for all."


In fact, the 10 richest billionaires on the planet have collectively seen their wealth increase by a staggering €444 billion since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while millions have fallen into poverty.

Economic recovery

"It took just NINE MONTHS for the fortunes of the top 1,000 billionaires to return to their pre-pandemic highs, while for the world's poorest, recovery could take MORE THAN A DECADE."


Racial Inequality

"In the US, close to 22,000 Latinx and black people would have still been alive as of December 2020 if these communities' COVID-19 mortality rates were the same as white peoples."


Is this fair?

Oxfam has a subtitle for its report:

"Bringing together a world torn apart by coronavirus through a fair, just and sustainable economy."


A noble sentiment that requires a significant mind-shift in global leadership, and global opinion.

In the first few days since Joe Biden's inauguration tech stocks have risen and Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have become a quite remarkable $18 Billion richer. However the problem is much wider than just these two extreme cases and most of us have some share of responsibility for the inequality. That being said it's so much more fun to focus on the filthy rich isn't it.

Bezos, Zuckerberg and the other billionaires may not actually have their fingers on a physical button capable of destroying the world, but they might just have collective ownership of a moral time-bomb that is quietly ticking in the background. As surely the FTSE 100 inexorably ticks upwards, their moral leadership might well be ticking down towards an uncertain future for us all.

The full report can be read here.