Eighty two percent of the global wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent, according to a recent report released by Oxfam, an international charity organization confederation aiming at reducing global poverty.
The poorest half the world's population had no increase in their wealth, the report said, noting that eight men now own the same amount of global wealth as the poorest half.
According to The World's Billionaires list (2017) from Forbes, 14 out of the 20 richest men or women in the world are from the United States, with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos ranking at the top.
Billionaire wealth has risen by an average of 13 percent annually since 2010, while the wages of ordinary workers,have risen by an average of only 2 percent year on year, the report said.
"The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.
"The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors," Byanyima said.
The glaring gap resulted from factors including the "excessive" influence of big business over government policy-making, and the "relentless" corporate drive to minimize costs in order to maximize the income of shareholders, the report noted.