The Social Impact of Economic Inequality – Inter Press Service

Written by Blerim Mustafa

GENEVA, Sep 23 2019 (IPS) – Increasing economic inequality is a defining challenge of our time. In recent years, it has triggered analysis and reflection by many scholars, politicians and others on its causes and consequences on economic growth and efficiency, politics and democracy, human rights, individual behaviors, access to health, social cohesion and environmental degradation. The perception that the top 1% of income earners are gaining at the expense of the other 99% has resulted in widespread public debates in many countries on the social and political repercussions of inequality.

Inequalities in income and wealth are often blamed for the deepening anxieties of the middle class in many developed economies. Market power among business elites and multinational companies – in pursuit of higher profits – are one of the key drivers to inequality as access to resources remain in the hands of powerful business groups, and not in the hands of the people and their elected representatives. Serious doubts are therefore raised on the claims that globalization, technological developments and the “invisible hand” of capitalism and economic liberalism have liberated humans from disease, poverty and inequality.

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By Jessica Yap-Chung
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