In signs of rising income inequality, India's richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country's total wealth -- higher than the global figure of about 50%, a new study showed on Monday.
The study, released by rights group Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos attended by rich and powerful from across the world, showed that just 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population.
The study said there are 84 billionaires in India, with a collective wealth of $248 billion, led by Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion) and Azim Premji ($15 billion). The total Indian wealth in the country stood at $3.1 trillion.
The total global wealth in the year was $255.7 trillion, of which about $6.5 trillion was held by billionaires, led by Bill Gates ($75 billion), Amancio Ortega ($67 billion) and Warren Buffett ($60.8 billion).
In the report titled 'An economy for the 99%', Oxfam said it is time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few. It said that since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.
Oxfam's overall conclusions are misleading - Capitalism is the actual source of inequality, Specifically exploitation takes place at the point of production and regardless of the wage transacted.
There is no doubt that Oxfam's statistics are reliable and a valuable source.
However, the conclusions made by Oxfam about the reasons of extreme global inequality- and the needed solution to the problem- consist a misleading message to the people. The misleading message is that the capitalist system can be improved and change towards a... "human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few".
Oxfam points out some actual issues, such as the tax dodging by corporate companies which drive down the wages of the workers in order to maximize profit, the use of tax heavens etc. However, the heart of the problem cannot be found in theories such as the "super-charged shareholder capitalism" or "casino capitalism". The heart of inequality the capitalist system itself- the capitalist mode of production is the root of all problems.
When Oxfam refers to the need for the creation of a "human economy", it hides the simple fact that, within Capitalism, an economy for the majority, for the working people, for the masses, isn't possible. It is also quite hypocritical from the side of Oxfam to keep calling on business leaders to play their part in building a human economy - the only part the bourgeoisie can play in Capitalism is the role of the oppressor.
The only solution for humanity lies on the total overthrow of the capitalist system. The working people, the masses in every country, must not have illusions about a supposed "human economy" within Capitalism, because Capitalism cannot be humanized. The only way out of the misery and the huge inequalities is the struggle against the capitalist exploitative system, for a new society, where the people will be the real masters of the wealth they produce.