The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.
Some people will say: Whatsoever. There have been always rich people and poor people. We can’t change.this. I would agree in so far, that it’s not a desirable aim, all people should be equal by income and wealth, but I don’t agree with the opinion, that the development during the last decades is harmless. It’s not a question of envy or of egalitarianism.
Mexico’s Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in world could theoretically spend every day 1 Mio $ and it would take 220 years till his fortune would be used up ( supposed there is no capital gain during this time). At the same time countless people suffer from unemployment, wellfare cuts and fallling real incomes. And at the same time hundred of millions people live without access to clean drinking water and without enough food to feed their families.
And the gap is steadily becoming bigger. The share owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014 and in 2020 it’s supposed to be more than 50%.
The consequences of extreme inequality are harmful to everyone. At first of course to the poor as above mentioned, but people with.better incomes can’t feel safe either. To much money in the hands of a few, who can’t spend their money for living, leads to bubbles of investment. And bubbles do burst. Who will pay the bill at last, always people with middle or lower income. Additionally extreme inequality fuels crime, corruption and even violent conflicts. It endangers the stability of the financial system and the growth in the economy.
And the politicians who want to be elected and reelected by us. I’m afraid nearly all of them ignore these problems. Or do they attach still the naive faith, that wealth going to those at the top will automatically benefit everyone ?
But one thing is true: Age-old inequalities on the basis of gender, caste, race and Religion – injustices in themselves- are exacerbated by the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. And inequality is no inevitable fate. It can be reversed and it has to be reversed.