Lalo de Almeida
The last 40 years have been great to poverty reduction across the world. More people on the globe have exited poverty and gained access to goods and food than in any historical period. However, while millions are leaving misery, especially in Asia, the rich are becoming richer.
On the other side, income growth is low among the working classes in North America and some European countries, but it’s raising dramatically among the wealthiest 1%.
The middle class, the 40% in “ the middle “, is more and more being squeezed between the bottom 50% and the top 10% – the rich.
In no other country in the world has there been such a shocking reversal of income distribution as in the United States in recent decades. Since the mid-1970s, the country’s productivity has jumped 77 %, but the average hourly labor value in all strata increased by only 12%. According to the Global Inequality Report produced by the team of economist Thomas Piketty. Brazil is the democratic country with the highest concentration of income in the top 1 % of the pyramid, which capture 28.3 per cent of the country’s total income.
In South Africa, the country with the highest level of inequality in the world, even after the end of the apartheid regime, the historic income disparity between rich and poor continued growing. Today the 10 % richest dominate almost 70 percent of the country’s wealth. Segregation is still a reality, and since apartheid came to an end the number of townships in South Africa has risen from 300 to almost 2.700. In China, nearly 800 million left extreme poverty behind since 1978.
However, like almost every country in the world, increased inequality accompanied China’s poverty reduction. In reaction to their lost of status, especially in the West, where 85% of the high-income population is concentrated, the impoverished middle class is beginning to elect leaders who promise to bring back the past with radical discourse and simple solutions.