Philip Alston, via Open democracy


Social Justice in the EU

In the EU, some 26 million children and young people are threatened by poverty or social exclusion. The social justice gap in Europe runs most strongly between north and south and between young and old. These are the central findings of Bertelsmann Stiftung’s most recent Social Justice Index report examining all EU member states.

Extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights

“A world in which the richest 1% owns 48% of global wealth, and in which this imbalance continues to accelerate, is obscene. Radical inequality inevitably sustains extreme poverty just as surely as it sustains extreme wealth. And extreme poverty is best defined as a condition in which the vast majority of human rights cannot possibly be realized. In other words, inequality is not just as an economic issue, but also one of human rights.”

A big-shot venture capitalist says we need inequality. What do economists say?

“Paul Graham, a venture capitalist and one of the founders of the startup incubator Y Combinator, would have you believe this rising inequality is a good thing. Or, at very worst, the inevitable consequence of a good thing. “You can’t prevent great variations in wealth without preventing people from getting rich,” he wrote in an essay that went viral online last week, “and you can’t do that without preventing them from starting startups.”

City and metropolitan inequality on the rise, driven by declining incomes

“The localization of the debate also reflects new research by Stanford economist Raj Chetty and colleagues that finds local conditions and dynamics matter importantly to economic mobility for the poor. And although Kentucky senator and GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul misleadingly blamed them for the high inequality present in their cities, many Democratic mayors have embraced tackling inequality as a framework for advancing a range of progressive policies on issues such as wages, education, and affordable housing.”

Will Inequality Ever Stop Growing?

“For nearly half a century now, inequality in America has been on the rise. The result is an alarming concentration of wealth among the country’s very well-off: The 400 richest Americans own more than the poorest 61 percent—194 million people. Unsurprisingly, this stratification follows the country’s racial cleavages: Just two of the richest 400 people are black, and the 100 richest households own as much as the nation’s entire African American population combined.”

It’s Time To Get Radical On Inequality

“Nobel laureate Stiglitz, author of The Price of Inequality and The Great Divide, studies the forces driving inequality and what is at stake if it continues. In his view, bad economic thinking deserves part of the blame — fanciful ideas like trickle-down and the notion that economists should try to increase the size of the economic pie and let the politicians worry about distribution. On the contrary, Stiglitz sees distribution as a problem economists must confront. He warns that an economic system that doesn’t raise standards of living for most Americans is a failure.”

Income Inequality Leads to Less Happy People

Fiscal conservatives might tell you that inequality is an inevitable and salutary side effect of the free enterprise system. In the U.S., after all, income inequality tends to be the most pronounced in highly innovative economies such as New York or the Silicon Valley. As a counterpoint, liberals might point to the many Scandinavian nations that are among the wealthiest, happiest, most productive, and most equal places on earth.

How much social mobility do people really want?

“Here’s a question I get asked a lot: “Ok, so what’s the ideal amount of social mobility?” Scholars interested in relative income mobility often use a quintile transition matrix, showing how much ‘stickiness’ there is in the income distribution..”

A desigualdade racha Nova York em duas

“A população da cidade continuará mais e mais rica, mas se chegarmos a um extremo, onde viverão aqueles que dirigem os táxis, que servem fast-food ou limpam os escritórios? Cada vez terão que se deslocar de mais longe, e chegará o momento em que vão procurar emprego em outra cidade”

Medeiros: “A desigualdade do Brasil é disfuncional para a democracia”

“O economista e sociólogo Marcelo Medeiros gosta de ser didático nas explicações. Foge o quanto pode da polarização política da moda para falar de um assunto delicado: a trajetória dos índices de desigualdade no Brasil, especialmente na última década. Professor de sociologia da Universidade de Brasília e pesquisador do IPEA (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada), subordinado ao Governo Federal, Medeiros tem longo percurso de estudo do tema. Mais recentemente, abriu caminho no Brasil, junto com orientandos que ele prefere chamar de colegas, para o estudo da disparidade de renda com base nos dados do imposto de renda, tal qual o economista francês Thomas Piketty.”

A desigualdade social chega a níveis alarmantes

“O relatório do Credit Suisse mostra uma sociedade global cada vez mais próxima desses padrões antigos e medievais, e mais distantes daqueles atingidos pelos países mais desenvolvidos nos anos do pós-Guerra. Desde o início da era neoliberal, a riqueza acumula-se cada vez mais no topo, enquanto as maiorias empobrecem em termos relativos e até absolutos”, escreve Antonio Luiz M. C. Costa, em artigo publicado por CartaCapital, 05-01-2016.

Dá para reverter a desigualdade social mundial?

“Nos últimos 30 anos, segundo a Oxfam, o 1% mais rico da população passou a abocanhar renda ainda maior, em 24 dos 26 países que forneceram dados sobre o período. O Brasil é citado como um dos poucos países onde a desigualdade está diminuindo.

Nos EUA, em 1978, um salário anual médio equivalia a US$ 48 mil (em valores atuais), e 1% da população ganhava US$ 390 mil. Em 2010, o salário médio caiu para US$ 33 mil, enquanto 1% da população ganhava mais de US$ 1 milhão.”