Oxfam International gets my award this month for masterful timing: While an assortment of the richest and most powerful people in the world were gathering for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam released a report on income inequality.
Given the tremendous disparities in wealth accumulation between the first world and third world, that attention-getting ratio is kind of, sort of, maybe a bit rigged. But still.
More interesting to me is the report’s estimate that 95% of economic growth in the U.S. since 2009 has gone to the wealthiest 1% of citizens. As Forbes notes, it also quotes Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’
Alas, if you feel like you haven’t gotten ahead much in the past five years…you’re probably right.