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What Rising Inequality Means

Published on December 22, 2021


Redistribution measures have been ineffective and there are no policies discouraging accumulation of income and wealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the stark divide between the rich and the poor. At this juncture, evaluating the state of inequality serves as an eye-opener on the income/wealth divides prevailing across regions. Such divides are represented in terms of the share of income/wealth among the top 10% of the population against the bottom 50% of the population. With regard to income, the top 10% of the global population share 52% of the total income, while the bottom half survives with a mere 8.5% of it. This leaves 40% in the middle with 40% of the income. This distribution shows the tendency of a rising middle class with the lower disparity in income, but it also shows that the status of the poor is worsening day by day. In terms of wealth, the top 10% of the global population own 76% of the total wealth, while the bottom 50% share a mere 2%. The practice of unabated accumulation has been possible in the absence of effective measures of redistribution on the one hand and the absence of measures discouraging undue accumulation on the other.