In a report released this week, Oxfam International has spoken out against the opposite end of extreme poverty; extreme wealth. The report brief can be found here.
“Globally, 1 percent of the population have [sic] seen their incomes rise by 60 percent in recent years, according to Oxfam. In China, where the top 10 percent earn nearly 60 percent of the country’s income, Internet users regularly take to social networks to criticize public officials thought to be flaunting status items,” writes Olga Khazan of The Washington Post.
Oxfam’s claims are supported by multiple evaluative reports, which have claimed that rising income inequality is a key component of poverty traps. In fact, “severe income disparity” has recently been rated as one of the World Economic Forum’s top global risks for 2013.
While these claims are directly against the theory of trickle-down economics used by most developed and developing economies, Oxfam points out that, “Rather than creating jobs and lifting others out of poverty… super-rich minorities cause social unrest and depress demand for goods and services, limiting growth and innovation as a result. It’s an argument that’s also been echoed recently by several vocal billionaires.”
In their report, Oxfam goes on to make some specific claims as to what can be done to reduce debilitating income disparities, some of which are:
- Closure of tax havens around the world,
- A reversal of “the trend towards more regressive forms of taxation”,
- A global minimum corporation tax rate,
- Increased investment in free public services and safety nets for people out of work or ill.
Of course, part of the radical nature of the fight against extreme wealth is that oftentimes, money is power and the underdog has a lot against him.
– Nina Narang