Sunday, 19 May 2013

Inequality surges in world’s richest countries, esp. in times of crisis

Inequality grew moreover the three years between 2007 and 2010 than it did over the 12years before that.

A majority of the countries experiencing the harshest rise of inequality were in Europe, where tough EU austerity policies took hold. Italy and Spain were hit worst. However, a 5 per cent decrease was seen annually in Iceland, Ireland, Estonia and impoverished Greece – which still remains on the verge of economic collapse.

“Households with children were hit hard during the crisis. Since 2007, child poverty increased in 16 OECD countries, with increases exceeding 2 points in Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia and Hungary.”

What makes the news grimmer is that cash injections into the world’s financial elite, via banks and markets, as well as Wall Street, essentially only helped the uppermost 10 per cent multiply their wealth. In the years since 2007, their financial portfolios are said to have grown by a large margin.  

But OECD’s data also explains that the economic crisis could not have been the sole factor in the widening gap between segments of society and in their redistribution of wealth. There has been a process that has been exploiting these economic conditions since 2008, via the bankrupting and impoverishment taking place in the developed world, most likely for the purpose of competing with the developing world’s working classes and their cheap labor.

So there is a widening base of severely underpaid working class workers across the entire world. 

But they don’t get nearly the kind of social, economic or healthcare benefits the upper layers of society do.

In the end, it will not get better – the report says. The only reason that 2010 seemed like the worst year is because the growth of the conditions of inequality was somewhat halted by many social state provisions, mostly across Europe.

Without them, the report says the real trouble we are in would be more evident, and so would its growth in the years to come. What we are seeing now is only the beginning.

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