Tax  Day
Unlike an income tax, a wealth tax reaches the root of both wealth and income inequality. In the image, a man wears a pin that reads 'I'm Rich, I Can Afford To Pay My Taxes' during a Tax Day protest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 15, 2017. Scott Eisen/Getty Images


  • A billionaire gained $1.7 million for every $1 earned by a person in the bottom 90%
  • Ninety-five food and energy corporations have doubled their profits since 2020
  • Oxfam International called for a higher tax on the rich

The world's super-rich has gotten richer in the past two years as the rest of the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic and extreme inflation, a human rights organization reported.

In its annual inequality report published Monday, Oxfam International said that the world's richest 1% grabbed nearly two-thirds of all wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020. This translates to $26 trillion — twice as much money as the rest of the world's population has.

Meanwhile, at least 1.7 billion workers currently live in countries with extreme inflation, even outpacing minimum wages, pushing more people into poverty.

"While ordinary people are making daily sacrifices on essentials like food, the super-rich have outdone even their wildest dreams. Just two years in, this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires —a roaring '20s boom for the world's richest," Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said.

The pandemic reportedly even boosted the rich's wealth, with a billionaire gaining roughly $1.7 million for every $1 earned by a person in the bottom 90%.

"Billionaire fortunes have increased by $2.7 billion a day. This comes on top of a decade of historic gains —the number and wealth of billionaires having doubled over the last ten years," the organization said in its report.

The report showed that 95 food and energy corporations — common commodities that have product prices rising rapidly — have more than doubled their profits in 2022.

The corporations reportedly made $306 billion in windfall profits, and paid out $257 billion or 84% of that to rich shareholders, the report noted.

The Oxfam report coincides with the annual World Economic Forum meeting of world leaders and some of the world's wealthiest people in Davos, Switzerland.

The organization called on governments to raise taxes on their wealthiest residents to at least 60% of their income from labor and capital.

"Taxing the super-rich and big corporations is the door out of today's overlapping crises," Bucher said. "It's time we demolish the convenient myth that tax cuts for the richest result in their wealth somehow 'trickling down' to everyone else. Forty years of tax cuts for the super-rich have shown that a rising tide doesn't lift all ships —just the superyacht."

Citing studies by the Fight Inequality Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam and the Patriotic Millionaires, the report surmised an annual wealth tax of up to 5 percent on the world's multi-millionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year.

The amount would be enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty, the organization said.

The World Bank previously reported that extreme poverty increased in 2020 for the first time in 25 years.

Oxfam said the wealth of the world's 10 richest men jumped from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic
Oxfam said the wealth of the world's 10 richest men jumped from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic AFP / Ozan KOSE