Monday, December 5, 2011

The Social Contract Is Unravelling: Gap Between Rich and Poor Increases

How shocking and sad is this: the richest tenth of the population earn income that is about nine times that of the poorest tenth, ans is egtting worse. The gap increased about 10% since the mid 1980s

This was in a report by the OECD today.

  • Mexico, the U.S., Israel and the U.K. are among the worst, with the biggest divide between rich and poor.
  • Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic are among those with the lowest gap.
The earnings multiple is 14-to-1 in the U.S. and Israel, compared with about 10-to-1 in the U.K., Italy and Japan and 6-to-1 in Germany and Denmark.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria: “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries,”  “This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that the greater inequality fosters greater social mobility.”

“There is nothing inevitable about high and growing inequalities,” “Up-skilling the workforce is by far the most powerful instrument to counter rising inequality. The investment in people must begin in early childhood and be followed through into formal education and work.”

The OECD's standard measure of income inequality (GINI) rose in 17 out of 22 OECD countries for which long-term data are available. Only Turkey, Greece, France, Hungary and Belgium recorded no increase or small declines in their coefficients.

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