Monday, October 20, 2014

Global Inequality

Capitalism can't surmount inequality as the system itself creates the curse that humanity struggles to defeat. Crisis not only generates inequality and poverty in capitalism. Crisis also aggravates inequality-situation although the system fattens with profit.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in a recent report. “It is hard not to notice the sharp increase in income inequality experienced by the vast majority of countries from the 1980s. There are very few exceptions to this”, said the report.  Three years ago OECD Secretary-General informed: “Income inequality in OECD countries is at its highest level for the past half century.  The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10%  across the OECD, up from seven times 25 years ago.” He was presenting Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising , an OECD study report, in December 2011. The Secretary-General said: Inequality increased further in the US , Germany , Denmark , Sweden , Israel . It has “fallen in Chile and Mexico , but in these two countries the incomes of the richest are still more than 25 times those of the poorest.”

The OECD finds, “the distribution of “market income” (gross earnings and capital income) kept widening … Measured by the Gini coefficient (which is 0 when everybody has the same income and 1 when one person has all the income), market income inequality rose by 1 percentage point or more in 20 OECD countries between 2007 and 2011/12.” (OECD 2014)

 “Lower income households”, the OECD finds, “either lost more during the crisis or benefited less from the recovery. Across the OECD countries, real household disposable income stagnated, and the income of the bottom 10% of the population declined from 2007 to 2011 by 1.6% per year. Focusing on the top and bottom 10% of the population in 2007 and in the latest year available shows that, on average across the OECD, the drop in income was twice as large for the bottom 10% compared with the top 10%. Out of the 33 countries where data are available, the top 10% has done better than the poorest 10% in 19 countries.”

In Australia , poverty is on the rise. More than one million Australians are in severe poverty, with access to less than 30 percent of national median income. More than 2.5 million people, and one in six children, are struggling to fulfill their daily basic needs. More than 600,000 children, and one-third of children in single parent families, lived below the poverty line. A significant number of Australians remained in “deep and persistent” poverty for extended periods, often for more than five years. More than 40 percent of all people on social security benefits fell below the poverty line. More than 100,000 persons are homeless. Adult working-age Australians are more likely to be homeless than any other age group, constituting 44% of all homeless persons nationally. Children have the second largest representation among those classified as homeless, with more than 1 in 4 homeless, children. (Cassells, R., Dockery, M., and Duncan , A (2014), Falling through the cracks: Poverty and Disadvantage in Australia , Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and Poverty in Australia 2014 , the Australian Council of Social Services)

The ACSS report cited the Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Income and Expenditure Survey that asked people about their actions because of a shortage of money. Actions taken by the respondents over the last year due to a shortage of money included “Pawned or sold something”, “Sought financial help from friends/family”, “Unable to heat home”, “Went without meals”, “Could not pay gas/electricity/telephone bill on time”.

Australia, it was claimed during the financial crisis, was not facing the crisis as the economy was happily cashing on coal export.

Taken from here 

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