Even it Up: Time to end extreme inequality | Economic Inequality

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Economic inequality has reached extreme levels. From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity. Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth. It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people. In Even it Up: Time to end extreme inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication. If India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019. This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it. The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest. From Spain to South Africa, and Peru to Pakistan, people are already demanding a world that is fairer. This report supports a new campaign to join this growing movement to end extreme inequality and Even it Up. 
  Even it up TIME TO END EXTREME INEQUALITY  ENDORSEMENTS KOFI ANNAN Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate The widening gap between rich and poor is at a tipping point. It can either take deeper root, jeopardizing our efforts to reduce poverty, or we can make concrete changes now to reverse it. This valuable report by Oxfam is an exploration of the problems caused by extreme inequality and the policy options governments can take to build a fairer world, with equal opportunities for us all. This report is a call to action for a common good. We must answer that call. PROFESSOR JOSEPH STIGLITZ Columbia University, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics The extreme inequalities in incomes and assets we see in much of the world today harm our economies, our societies, and undermines our politics. While we should all worry about this it is of course the poorest who suffer most, experiencing not just vastly unequal outcomes in their lives, but vastly unequal opportunities too. Oxfam’s report is a timely reminder that any real effort to end poverty has to confront the public policy choices that create and sustain inequality. NAWAL EL SAADAWI Egyptian writer and activist Oxfam’s report reveals a new challenge to the capitalist patriarchal world and its so-called free market. We need to fight together, globally and locally, to build a new world based on real equality between people regardless of gender, class, religion, race, nationality or identity. ANDREW HALDANE Chief Economist, Bank of England When Oxfam told us in January 2014 that the world’s 85 richest people have the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity, they touched a moral nerve among many. Now this comprehensive report goes beyond the statistics to explore the fundamental relationship between inequality and enduring poverty. It also presents some solutions. In highlighting the problem of inequality Oxfam not only speaks to the interests of the poorest people but in our collective interest: there is rising evidence that extreme inequality harms, durably and significantly, the stability of the financial system and growth in the economy. It retards development of the human, social and physical capital necessary for raising living standards and improving well-being. That penny is starting to drop among policy makers and politicians. There is an imperative – moral, economic and social – to develop public policy measures to tackle growing inequality. Oxfam’s report is a valuable stepping stone towards that objective.  JEFFREY SACHS Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Oxfam has done it again: a powerful call to action against the rising trend of inequality across the world. And the report comes just in time, as the world’s governments are about to adopt Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Sustainable development means economic prosperity that is inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Yet too much of today’s growth is neither inclusive nor sustainable. The rich get richer while the poor and the planet pay the price. Oxfam spells out how we can and must change course: fairer taxation, ending tax and secrecy havens, equal access of the rich and poor to vital services including health and education; and breaking the vicious spiral of wealth and power by which the rich manipulate our politics to enrich themselves even further. Oxfam charts a clear course forward. We should all rally to the cause of inclusive, sustainable growth at the core of next year’s SDGs. JAY NAIDOO Chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Partnership Council, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition All those who care about our common future should read this report. Rising inequality has become the greatest threat to world peace, and indeed to the survival of the human species. The increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of very few has deepened both ecological and economic crises, which in turn has led to an escalation of violence in every corner of our burning planet. ROSA PAVANELLI Secretary General, Public Services International The answers Oxfam provides are simple, smart and entirely achievable. All that stands between them and real change is a lack of political will. Our job is to make the cry heard. To give action to the urgency. To ceaselessly expose the injustice and demand its resolution. The time to act is now. KATE PICKETT AND RICHARD WILKINSON Co-authors of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone This report is the first step in changing the policies which have enriched the few at the expense of the many. It is essential reading for all governments, for policy makers and everyone who has had enough of sacrificing public wellbeing to the one percent. HA-JOON CHANG Economist at the University of Cambridge Even It Up  is the best summary yet of why tackling inequality is crucial to global development. The gulf between haves and have-nots is both wrong in itself, and a source of needless human and economic waste. I urge you to read it, and join the global campaign for a fairer world.  EVEN IT UP TIME TO END EXTREME INEQUALITY
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