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How Inequality Kills

Nasser, Alan

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  22/12/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

The Global March of Neoliberalism: The World Inequality Report 2018



The World Inequality Report 2018

The undoing of social democracy must be effected on a global scale. Because one of the principal effects of neoliberalism is the remarkable growth of inequality, Thomas Piketty and associates have produced the World Inequality Report 2018, assessing the growth of worldwide inequality. (2) They conclude that "income inequality has increased in nearly all countries," and that "rising inequality… can lead to various sorts of political, economic, and social catastrophes." Inequality is lowest in Europe, where social-democratic economic policy is strongest, and has increased rapidly in North America, where the top 10 percent cop 47 percent of national income. The divergence in inequality levels is particularly extreme between Western Europe, which, as noted, retains significant vestiges of welfare state policy, and the United States, whose social democratic policies are the stingiest among the developed capitalist countries. The share of national income of the top 1 percent in both regions in 1980 was about the same, close to 10 percent. By 2016 it had risen slightly, to 12 percent in Western Europe, while in the United States it soared to 20 percent, while the share of the bottom 50 percent decreased from more than 20 percent in 1980 to 13 percent in 2016. Between 1980 and 2016 the global 1 percent captured twice as much of the growth in income as the bottom 50 percent. What’s more, Credit Suisse reports that as of 2015 the richest global 1 percent had accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. (3) In the same year, a mere 62 individuals had accumulated as much wealth as is held by the bottom 50 percent of humanity. (4)

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