You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Oxfam’ tag.

Famine After Virus

By Shlomo Maital

   The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are figures in Christian faith, appearing in the New Testament’s final book, Revelation, an apocalypse written by John of Patmos, as well as in the Old Testament’s prophetic Book of Zechariah, and in the Book of Ezekiel, where they are named as punishments from God. They are Pestilence, Famine, War and Death.

   We are currently confronting Pestilence. And that’s bad enough, right? But now, Oxfam, the global organization that confronts hunger, warns that Famine is on the way and it may be worse.

   Here is the Oxfam report, issued today.

     “More people could die from hunger linked to coronavirus than from the respiratory disease itself, Oxfam has warned.   In a report, entitled The Hunger Virus, the charity cautions an estimated 122 million more people could be pushed to the brink of starvation this year as a result of the social and economic fallout from the pandemic including through mass unemployment, disruption to food production and supplies, and declining aid.   This equates to as many as 12,000 people dying every day, Oxfam warned, 2,000 extra fatalities per day than when the virus was at its peak in April 2020.”

   And shockingly, while this is ongoing, capitalism is pouring fuel on the famine fire:

   “The report also said that eight of the world’s biggest food and beverage companies, including Coca Cola, Unilever and Nestle paid out £14.3 billion ($18 billion) to shareholders as new global epicentres of hunger emerge. The pay-outs by the companies are 10 times more than what was requested in the UN’s Covid-19 appeal to stop people from going hungry, Oxfam said.”

   There HAS to be a plan to confront famine and hunger, at the same time we are working to confront the novel coronavirus. The Oxfam numbers, even if exaggerated, are terrible, and I do not believe they are exaggerated.

   Is anyone listening?

8 Billionaires = 3.6 Billion Poor

By Shlomo Maital  


   Oxfam is a British-based philanthropic organization that provides support for the poor world-wide. It is politically identified with the Left.   From time to time Oxfam generates reports showing the extreme inequality of world wealth distribution. The latest report claims that only 8 billionaires, the richest people in the world, hold wealth equal to the entire holdings of wealth of the poorest 3.6 billion people, or half the world’s population.

   Not long ago, this annual report claimed that 62 billionaires = half the world’s population.   So the rich have grown richer, the poor have grown poorer. Indeed, half the world has little or no wealth at all, per capita.   Oxfam uses Forbes Billionaire List data, and publishes its report to coincide with the Davos World Economic Forum, where the world’s makers and shakers meet.

            Here are the eight super-billionaires.

1.Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, led the list with a net worth of $75 billion. He is scheduled to speak at the forum in Davos this year. 2. Amancio Ortega Gaona, the Spanish founder of the fashion company Inditex, best known for its oldest and biggest brand, Zara, has a net worth of $67 billion.   3. Warren E. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, $60.8 billion. 4. Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican telecommunications magnate, $50 billion. 5. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, $45.2 billion. 6. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s creator, $44.6 billion. 7. Lawrence J. Ellison, the founder of Oracle, $43.6 billion. 8. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and founder of the media and financial-data giant Bloomberg L.L.P., $40 billion.

What can we learn from the Oxfam report, even if it is partly inaccurate?

* None involve inherited wealth. All did it on mainly their own.   * Gates and Buffett are committed to giving away all their wealth and their foundations are well on the way to doing this. * Bloomberg became a highly effective mayor of New York, and was close to running for President. * A majority built wealth in the world of high-tech. * Some have created a lot of jobs:   Zara, a retailer, and even Amazon, which is now hiring.

     With a billionaire now President of the United States, it is time to ponder these questions:   Is it healthy for society that individuals can accumulate vast fortunes? Do they use tax avoidance to build wealth, and is their philanthropy to some degree part of tax avoidance? Should there be a strong inheritance tax, so the playing field is levelled at least once a generation?  

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital