Whoa whoa whoa, headline fail (to be fair, the linked article started it). The data does not state that 85 of the wealthiest folks own half the world's wealth. It actually states "...the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world's population..."
So in essence, the top, say .00001%'s wealth = the bottom 50% wealth. In other words, the top 85 people have the same wealth as the bottom 3.5B people. A shame, to be sure, but completely different than saying they own 1/2 the world's wealth. The article is forgetting about all folks #86 through 3.499 billion.
OK, now that that's off my chest, it's a dang shame that so few control so much, often at the expense of those much less fortunate.
The Atlantic has a better article on this:
It states that one reason some countries are experiencing a reduction in the inequality gap is "thanks to a combination of...high taxation and public spending." Not exactly what the people in the US want the hear (especially regarding taxes), but if they were interested in reducing the income gap (which has grown the fastest in the US over the last several years), then they should seriously revisit these issues. I for one could imagine a higher federal income tax. I made almost 6 figures last year and am paying...wait for it...a 3.6% federal income tax rate. This increases to 11.3% when I consider SS and MC. I feel that a higher rate (on most people, not just these 85 people) would not only reduce the deficit but decrease the income gap as well.