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Mind Power: The richest 1%

According to a recently released Oxfam report, there is unprecedented growing global wealth disparity, where the richest 1 percent own more than the rest of the world combined.Yes, 1 percent of the people on earth have more wealth than all of us, the 99 percent combined. The report further states; “A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.”

In 2015, 62 billionaires had more wealth than half the world’s population – compared to 388 in 2010. “The average annual income of the poorest 10 percent of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year,” said Oxfam.

Runaway global inequality is greater than ever, the gap between extreme wealth and poverty widening annually. Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring called it “unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich — so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.”

Now, wait a minute… Of course I am not in the top 1 percent but I have a question: Are the top super rich gaining their wealth by robbing the bottom poor? Let us look closely at the list of the richest 62 top billionaires: Top on the list is Bill Gates, worth $79.2billion which he largely earned from Microsoft.

Is he robbing the poor? No, I am actually using one of his creative products to bring you this article.

He and his wife now spend most of their time and money fighting diseases globally. A friend of mine working with the College of Medicine once told me he flew business class, thanks to Bill Gates.

Third on the rich list is Warren Buffet, a billionaire worth $72.7 but so humble that he still lives in a house he bought in the late 1950s. He donated half his wealth to charity and I am sure, Oxfam might be one of the beneficiaries.

Fourth is Amancio Ortega, a Spanish billionaire worth $64.5billion and owner of Zara, the clothing company. Recently I was in a Zara shop, looking for something for my wife and I was fascinated by the diversity of countries of origin of their collection. You will see clothes made in Turkey, China, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Lesotho, you name it. I spent almost 40 minutes in that shop looking for a “made in Malawi” label, but sadly, I couldn’t find any.

The rich list has several Waltons, wife and children of the late Sam Walton. I once read the book, Made in America, the story of how Sam Walton built Walmart from scratch. It is an amazing story. The man was a serious hard working entrepreneur, so frugal that he was still driving his old red pickup truck even when he had billions. Walmart is probably one of the largest employers in the USA.

On number 16, we have our beloved young rich kid, Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook. At age 31, he is worth a whooping $33.4billion. Recently he and his wife became parents and decided to give away 99 percent of their share stocks to a unique charity they set up. They are only clinging to 1 percent of their wealth. Is Mark robbing the poor by providing a social network platform where we all can create an account for free?

On number 19 and 20 are Larry Page and Sergey Brin the founders of Google, worth $58.9billion combined. What would the modern researcher and student do without Google? While driving to a new location recently, all I had to do was Google the address and a street map was delivered to my phone! Are these two brilliant creators robbing the poor?

Jesus Christ once said, “I tell you that everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away”. (Luke 19:26). That doesn’t sound fair, does it? Jesus was responding to a reaction that some people made when a master who had given money to several servants to invest, instructed, “Take the money I gave to the servant who failed to invest and give it to the one who wisely invested and gained ten more”.

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