Monday, October 22, 2012

[EQ] Growing inequality is one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. But it is not inevitable

The Economist - Special report: The world economy

For richer, for poorer

….Growing inequality is one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. But it is not inevitable….

The Economist Oct 13th 2012

“…..Although inequality has been on the rise for three decades, its political prominence is newer. During the go-go years before the financial crisis, growing disparities were hardly at the top of politicians’ to-do list. One reason was that asset bubbles and cheap credit eased life for everyone. Financiers were growing fabulously wealthy in the early 2000s, but others could also borrow ever more against the value of their home.

That changed after the crash. The bank rescues shone a spotlight on the unfairness of a system in which affluent bankers were bailed out whereas ordinary folk lost their houses and jobs. And in today’s sluggish economies, more inequality often means that people at the bottom and even in the middle of the income distribution are falling behind not just in relative but also in absolute terms.

The Occupy Wall Street campaign proved incoherent and ephemeral, but inequality and fairness have moved right up the political agenda…”

Latin America - Gini back in the bottle

An unequal continent is becoming less so

The Economist Oct 13th 2012 at:


“……According to Nora Lustig, an economist at the University of Tulane and one of the first to document the narrowing of the region’s income gaps, two things have made a big difference.

First, the premium for skilled workers has been falling: a surge in secondary education has increased the supply of literate, reasonably well-schooled workers, and years of steady growth have raised relative demand for the less skilled in the formal workforce, whether as construction workers or cleaners.

Second, governments around Latin America have reinforced the narrowing of wage gaps with social spending targeted at people with the lowest incomes. These include more generous pensions and conditional cash transfers—schemes that offer payment to the poorest families in return for meeting specific conditions, such as making sure their children go to school.

The most striking change has been in education….”



In this special report

·         For richer, for poorer

·         As you were

·         Like a piece of string

·         Like father, not like son

·         The rich and the rest

·         Makers and takers

·         Crony tigers, divided dragons

·         Lessons from Palanpur

·         Gini back in the bottle

·         The new model

·         Having your cake

·         A True Progressivism


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