Economic Inequality

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COVID-19 spreading fast in countries with lots of economic inequality

Three countries — the United States, Brazil, and Mexico — account for nearly half (46%) of the world’s reported COVID-19 deaths, yet they contain only 8.6% of the world’s population. Some 60% of Europe’s deaths are concentrated in just three countries — Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom — which account for 38% of Europe’s population.

Will The Pandemic Shore Up Inequality Or Bring Change?

As the world struggles against the current coronavirus crisis, could social and economic transformations follow as before? Below, Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel takes on this question, looking at how disease outbreaks in the past disrupted the status quo and catalyzed change. For example, the Black Death, the bubonic plague that tore through Europe and the Middle

Job or Health? Restarting the Economy Threatens to Worsen Economic Inequality

Efforts to quickly restart economic activity risk further dividing Americans into two major groups along socioeconomic lines: one that has the power to control its exposure to the coronavirus outbreak and another that is forced to choose between potential sickness or financial devastation. It is a pick-your-poison fact of the crisis: The pandemic recession has knocked millions

Inequality Is Immune to the Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to recognize, once again and with fresh eyes, that the American project has been living paycheck to paycheck. If that money suddenly stops flowing, in particular, to small businesses, manufacturers, and the service and hospitality industries, the entire country would go into arrest. And as is the nature of capitalism, economic inequality would

America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.

America’s economy has almost doubled in size over the last four decades, but broad measures of the nation’s economic health conceal the unequal distribution of gains. A small portion of the population has pocketed most of the new wealth, and the coronavirus pandemic is laying bare the consequences of the unequal distribution of prosperity. Consider

Toward an Economic Democracy

The most fundamental tragedy of the coronavirus crisis is human. It is lives being lost. Somewhere close behind is the feeling of desperation shared by working people. In an economy where it is estimated that 50 percent of the labor force survives from paycheck to paycheck, we are facing an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions

As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread

As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, it appears to be setting off a devastating feedback loop with another of the gravest forces of our time: economic inequality. In societies where the virus hits, it is deepening the consequences of inequality, pushing many of the burdens onto the losers of today’s polarized economies and labor

The Psychology Behind Inequality

Economic inequality is at an all-time high in the United States. Some claim that decades of systematic legislation have resulted in the wealthiest three families owning more wealth than the bottom half of the country. This trend is not reflected in other countries with developed economies: Out of all 36 countries with comparable economics, the US ranks

U.N. warns that runaway inequality is destabilizing the world’s democracies

Runaway inequality is eroding trust in democratic societies and paving the way for authoritarian and nativist regimes to take root, according to a dire new report from the United Nations. The findings note that solutions — including robust social safety nets, an active redistribution of wealth and the protection of workers rights — “have been recommended

Economic Inequality Out of Control, Reports Oxfam, Ahead of Davos

As world leaders in politics, business and economics converge on the Swiss village of Davos this week for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a new report published by Oxfam International reveals the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population.

Climate change and economic inequality loom large as the powerful descend on Davos

The world's political and economic elite are descending on the small Swiss Alps town of Davos this week for the annual World Economic Forum meeting where they hope to set this year's "global, regional and industry agendas." Approximately 3,000 people will be attending this year -- from President Donald Trump to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to climate

Can We Tackle Climate Change and Economic Inequality?

The news for both climate change and economic inequality has been undeniably dire. In December the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card concluded that a critical cooling system around the North Pole may be breaking down, just the latest ominous survey about the existential threat of the climate crisis. On the economic front, a recent

These 10 countries are closest to achieving gender equality

Iceland has closed almost 88% of its gender gap and increased its lead over second-ranked Norway. Iceland has once again held on to the top spot in the World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap Index. For 11 consecutive years the Nordic nation, with a population of just over 360,000, has been the frontrunner in the

Is rich people’s excessive income about to strangle the economy?

There is an economic warning sign which has gone off before every recession going back to the 1960s (and only delivered one false positive). It's called a yield curve inversion — and it just happened on Wednesday. Gulp. Now, this doesn't guarantee a recession, of course. Even going back that far, we're only talking about

A plan to fix inequality would target CEOs who make 100 times more than their employees

America is riven by enormous income inequality. Should Silicon Valley’s very richest pay to make that better? That’s the question behind an intriguing and politically timely new proposal that San Francisco lawmakers plan to put before voters next spring and that could lead to similar efforts across the country: A second-of-its-kind attempt to tax the companies

The Exploitation Time Bomb

Worsening economic inequality in recent years is largely the result of policy choices that reflect the political influence and lobbying power of the rich. There is now a self-reinforcing pattern of high profits, low investment, and rising inequality—posing a threat not only to economic growth, but also to democracy. Since reducing inequality became an official goal of

Nearly half of global wages received by top 10%, survey finds

Nearly half of all global pay is scooped up by only 10% of workers, according to the International Labour Organization, while the lowest-paid 50% receive only 6.4%. The lowest-paid 20% – about 650 million workers – get less than 1% of total pay, a figure that has barely moved in 13 years, ILO analysis found. It

Economic inequality: What’s new?

"I’m a capitalist, and even I think capitalism is broken,” said Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater, one of the largest private investment funds in the world. According to Forbes, Dalio ranks 60th on the list of richest people on the planet. “I believe that all good things taken to an extreme become self-destructive and that everything