Friday, September 21, 2018

Economic Disorder

Inequality is currently escalating. 

At a time when health care, education, and communications are advancing rapidly, much of humankind is barely surviving from day to day.

 Inequality, in fact, is one of the most lethal forms of violence. The excess rates of death and disability resulting from the social and economic inequality are measurable using life expectancy data. Past calculations have attributed between 10 and 20 million deaths per year to inequality. The numbers are even greater now, and the Commission on Social Determinants of Health of the World Health Organization has declared that social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.

Worldwide, just eight men possess the same wealth as the poorest half of humankind. Eighty-two percent of the wealth created in 2017 went to the richest 1 percent of the global population. 

All over the world, poorly paid work for the many is supporting extreme wealth for the few. Large corporations play a key role in widening this gap. They use their power and influence to ensure government policy works in their interests.

 Around 56 percent of the global population lives on between $2 and $10 a day, and it takes just four days for a chief executive officer from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in his entire lifetime.

Today, a child born in a Glasgow scheme can expect a life 28 years shorter than another living only 13 kilometres away.
A girl in Lesotho is likely to live 42 years less than another in Japan.
In Sweden, the risk of a woman dying during pregnancy and childbirth is 1 in 17,400; in Afghanistan, the odds are 1 in 8. 

In this manner, social and economic policies that create and augment the differences between—and within—countries are crucial factors in whether a child will grow up to live a flourishing life. The association between income distribution and population health is remarkable, as in the example of the U.S. Despite being the richest nation on Earth, it has the widest income disparities of any other Western country and, as expected, a lower average life expectancy than those countries. Although wages and earnings are measures of flow, wealth is a stock that families can use in case of economic need and vulnerability. Wealth inequality is much greater than income inequality. In the early 2000s, in the U.S., the wealthiest 1 percent of families held one-third of the total wealth, the next wealthiest 9 percent held another third, and the remaining 90 percent held the rest. In Russia, as in the U.S., the rise in wealth inequality has been extreme. The wealthy have stronger motivations to minimize redistribution while at the same time having more power to influence institutions, given the relatively higher share of their resources 

Greater income inequality is also associated higher levels of mental illness; murder and assault; obesity and obesity-related death; as well as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, racism, incarceration, and a number of other societal problems.

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