A World of (Increasing) Inequality

The combined wealth of the richest 1% will overtake that of the other 99% of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked, Oxfam warned.

In a recent research paper, Oxfam shows that:

  • the richest 1% have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014 and at this rate will be more than 50 percent in 2016. Members of this global elite had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult in 2014.
  • Of the remaining 52% of global wealth, almost all (46%) is owned by the rest of the richest fifth of the world’s population. The other 80%  share just 5.5% and had an average wealth of $3,851 per adult – that’s 1/700th of the average wealth of the 1%

The picture presented by these numbers is simply scary and, personally, difficult to accept. So much for uneven or asymmetrical globalization!!!

Oxfam also suggested a seven-point plan to tackle this growing inequality. Will national governments and the international community find the courage to act on them? It is not a secret, in fact, that inequality and poverty can be exploited by extremist organizations to gain support and find recruits.

The plan:

  1. Clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals
  2. Invest in universal, free public services such as health and education
  3. Share the tax burden fairly, shifting taxation from labor and consumption toward    capital and wealth
  4. Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers
  5. Introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal
  6. Ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest, including a minimum income guarantee
  7. Agree a global goal to tackle inequality.

The entire report can be downloaded here

Follow me on Twitter @EugenioLilli

 

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