A Jan. 29, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “Was there ever a time when so few people controlled so much wealth?”
An April 5, 2016 Foreign Policy article is entitled: “Taxpayers of the World, Unite!
The Panama Papers confirm that the world’s elite cheat, lie, and steal. Will the masses finally do something about it?”
A June 19, 2017 Aeon article is entitled: “The bloodstained leveller: Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?”
[End of updates]
A Jan. 21, 2015 CBC The Current podcast is entitled: “Income inequality shows the 1% will soon own 50% of all wealth, says Oxfam.”
This is among the most cogent overviews of income inequality that I have encountered.
I’ve also found it of interest to read a wide range of updates (see below) after I had heard parts of the original CBC broadcast.
Notes from the CBC The Current broadcast
I listened to the broadcast when it first aired.
I made notes, from the part of the broadcast that I heard:
The billionaires who control a growing proportion of the wealth of the world use media resources that are available to them to structure and define the world we live in. They exercise control over how key decisions affecting all of us are made. Clear and practical solutions, to the challenge that non-billionaires face, given this reality, are described in the CBC The Current broadcast.
[End of notes]
Text accompanying the CBC The Current podcast
In a week where the U.S. President has signaled new taxes and fees on the wealthiest American individuals and corporations and where the financially and politically powerful meet in Davos, Oxfam is warning of growing inequality across the globe. Today we look at the implications of counting up the haves and have-nots.
Last night president Barack Obama acknowledged the perils of income inequality in his United States. For the rest of the world, many hope income inequality will find its way onto the agenda of the world’s power brokers gathering today in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.
And, armed with some eye-popping new statistics, Oxfam timed the release of a wealth-gap report this week to get maximum attention there.
According to the UK-based charity, soon just 80 individuals will have in their hands the same wealth as half-of-the-rest-of-the-world, combined. And the prognosis is for that enormous wealth gap, to just keep on growing.
John Young is the director of outreach for Oxfam Canada.
Not all economists will agree with Oxfam’s reading of the world’s inequality. And some may say that looking at wealth concentration is only looking at one part of a more complicated puzzle.
We’ve been talking about inequality on a global scale, but recent stats suggest that a similar trend is underway here in Canada, with a growing gap between the few who have a lot, and the many who have much less.
Andrew Jackson is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Broadbent Institute.
This segment was produced by The Current’s Sarah Grant, Naheed Mustafa and Julian Uzielli.
- New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1% – Larry Elliott, The Guardian
- Oxfam’s global inequality report blasted as ‘very misleading’ by Adam Smith Institute – Ian Silvera, International Business Times
- Canada’s inequality growing: Stats Can – Dana Flavelle, Toronto Star
[End of text at CBC website for Jan. 21, 2015 CBC The Current podcast]
Quotation within the text
“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”
President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 2015
The CBC podcast provides opportunities for a wide range of views – including a libertarian perspective – concerning the topic at hand. Additional articles addressing the topics include:
A Jan. 9, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “Growing up on Easy Street has its own dangers.”
A Jan. 23, 2015 Globe and Mail article, from the Associated Press, is entitled: “Diplomat was outspoken critic of U.S. policies.”
A Jan. 24, 2015 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “The rich do get richer. Why can’t the poor also get richer?”
A Feb. 1, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Canada’s richest 1% aren’t the only ones prospering: Many people in middle brackets enjoy ‘remarkable income mobility'”.
A Jan. 25, 2015 Guardian article is entitled: “Majority of UK’s most influential had independent school education – survey.”
The latter article brings to mind a previous post:
A Feb. 6, 2015 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Three Reasons College Matters for Social Mobility.” The Twitter message, that I came across, that highlighted the article, noted: “Why college access matters – it transforms the life chances of bottom quintile kids.”
Two Feb. 11, 2015 Brookings Institution articles address gentrification:
The following post adds background to the discussion:
The net’s costs
A Jan. 17, 2015 Economist article is entitled: “Net costs: The internet causes inequality, selfishness and narcissism, according to a new book.”
In its review of The Internet is Not the Answer (2015) by Andrew Keen, the article concludes:
“The internet has certainly contributed to a gross increase in inequality in some areas of society. Yet the world is still in the middle of a technological revolution, and it is hard to see the picture when you are inside the frame. Unbridled techno-Utopianism shows only the revolution’s benefits, and is dangerously incomplete. It is handy, therefore, to have sceptics like Mr Keen around. But the depth of his distaste for it all risks missing the point by exaggerating the net’s many costs.”
Status Update (2013)
Previous posts have highlighted other research about the net’s costs and effects: