A report published by OXFAM under the title of “An economy for the 99 percent”shows that the world inequality rate and indexes have dramatically increased in little time; just one year ago the Oxfam international confederation had pointed out that half of the world´s wealth was concentrated in 62 people, one year later, it is concentrated in only 8.
“It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is rapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy” said Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International.
The economic growth that has been recorded in these past years has developed in an extremely unequal manner. Seven out of ten people live in a country where inequality has increased over the past 30 years.Income of the poorest 10 percent of the world’s population increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while income of the richest 10 percent multiplied 182 times over that period, at $ 11,800 a year.
Byanyima pointed out that “public anger with inequality is already creating political shockwaves across the globe. Inequality has been cited as a significant factor in the election of Donald Trump in the US, the election of President Duterte in the Philippines, and Brexit in the UK”.
In this world context of extreme economic inequality and agitated political environment it is necessary for solutions and real political alternatives to be forged; the continuity of neoliberal policies that have taken the world economy to such point cannot solve the problem at its core.
Oxfam notes that “Governments should increase taxes on both wealth and high incomes to ensure a more level playing field, and to generate funds needed to invest in healthcare, education and job creation”.
In Colombia the opposite situation is the case, where the Government just passed a tax reform in which the citizens with lowest income are more affected proportionally in comparison to the wealthy. The neo-classic paradigm of reducing taxes at maximum to the wealthy in order to “create jobs” has been proven wrong in all countries where it has been applied.
“Trickle-down economics”, the cut on social expenses and programs, the increase of public debt with international lenders such as the IMF and the World Bank, the prioritizing of financiarized economy among others have destroyed middle classes and devastated the lower ones causing a generalized discomfort that opens the door for alternative political proposals and programs to achieve relevance. The task is to build those political alternatives and dispute power to the traditional elites.