News

Oxfam Takes On Inequality

Comments (2)
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

To paraphrase New Deal President Franklin Roosevelt, what good is political equality when there is still economic inequality? Answer: not much, as an Oxfam International report released earlier this month suggests.

Timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam’s “The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all” states that the “annual income of the world’s 100 richest people [is] enough to end global poverty four times over.”

Oxfam notes that while progress has been made in eradicating extreme poverty, rising levels of inequality are a growing concern. “In the last decade, the focus has been exclusively on one half of the inequality equation—ending extreme poverty,” the group reports. “But as we look to the next decade, and [to] new development goals we need to define progress, we must demonstrate that we are also tackling inequality—and that means looking at not just the poorest but the richest.”

The richest 100 individuals worldwide had a net income of $240 billion in 2012 alone, notes Oxfam. And in the past 20 years, the net worth of the top 1 percent of wealth holders has risen by 60 percent, “with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process.”

“We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many,” argues Oxfam International’s executive director, Jeremy Hobbs. “Too often the reverse is true.” Inequality, the report explains, depresses economic growth except for the production and sale of luxuries, limits social mobility, contributes to obesity and poor mental health and encourages crime and violence.

“In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce,” Hobbs continues, “we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.”

Setting a goal for the year 2025, Oxfam is calling for inequality to be reduced to 1990 levels. In order to accomplish this, it suggests closing corporate tax havens and increasing investment in public safety nets and services.

“Reducing inequality is a key part of fighting poverty and securing a sustainable future for all,” the report reads. “In a world of finite resources, we cannot end poverty unless we reduce inequality.”•

You can download the report at: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf.

Comments (2)
Post a Comment

Income inequality is a foolish issue to argue. You and your ilk would prefer everyone be worse off so long as the "gap" in income was smaller. Personally, I would rather do better myself even if it means the rich get richer. Having less money in my pocket but somehow taking solace in the fact that the rich are poorer is nonsensical. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Margaret Thatcher put it best.

http://www.pursuingholiness.com/margaret-thatcher-on-income-inequality/

Posted by k on 2.6.13 at 11:00

Also... money is not a finite resource. Aside from money, while there may be specific finite resources, human ability to expand existing and new resources is infinite in a free market.

Posted by k on 2.6.13 at 14:44
Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

From Our Readers
Baker: More of the Same; Props to Rohmann; Props to Rohmann
Between the Lines: A Gun Owner’s Resentment
Why make it expensive and difficult for law-abiding residents to possess firearms?
Sorry, Nixon
If the impeachment of our 37th president showed that the system works, what does Obama’s continued political survival say about it?
The Zipcar Is Here
Car sharing takes hold in the Valley.
Under the Microscope
Did ex-WSU president Evan Dobelle use university resources to support an identity as well as a lifestyle?
From Our Readers
Casino Opposition “Selfish”; Cut Foreign Aid, Not Our Military
Between the Lines: Deval’s Capital Management
He can rehab his office, but what about his legacy?
From Snowden to the Pentagon Papers
Can student interest in civics be rekindled?