Income Inequality is a Theme that is getting played across the world in developing as well as developed nations.Most of the turmoil in 2011 in the Middle East and the Occupy Wall Street Movement can be attributed to the growing Income Gap between the Have and Have -Nots.The Great Recession in 2008 can also be looked upon as a fallout of this.Gini’s Coefficient which measures the income distribution gap has shown continued deterioration all over the world.The Middle Class is shrinking and growing poor by the day and it is not only the Poor Class that is getting affected.
The Poor are getting the most affected as Food Prices have increased rapidly.The globalization of agriculture is one reason that food prices are going out of hand.Hunger Riots were seen in 2008 and in 2011,expect such movements to continue.The revolution in Egypt was also caused by spiralling prices of wheat .2008 saw a sharp rise in commodity prices everywhere as asset bubbles found their way from commodities like oil,gold etc to food based commodities as well.The sharp increase in food prices has led to massive distress amongst poor population across the world.Riots related to Food Scarcity has been reported across 35 countries which has gone almost unnoticed by the global media.Virtual doubling of food prices in 2008 in a short span of time pushed people living on a day to day basis into starvation.The unrestricted trading of food based derivative contracts had a major role to play in this spurt of prices.With the Lehman Collapse,the Food Prices also collapsed.However the global reflation being practiced by Central Banks is again fueling pressures on Food Prices.High volatility in Commodities which was almost unseen 10 years ago has become the “new normal”.Its no longer strange to find Oil prices moving 5% on a daily basis.With these commodities being treated more like financial assets rather than critical inputs of daily living,expect more Hunger Riots in the Future.
Income Inequality in India is quite shocking Income Inequality in India has been rising at an unprecedented rate in the last couple of decades.The opening of the Indian economy has led to even starker levels of income disparity among the very rich and majority of the Indian citizens.The Crushing Income Disparity is seen in the world’s most expensive $2 Billion House set amongst 42% of the world’s hungry children.The latest Forbes report lists 50 Indian Dollar Billionaires with 2 in the Top 10.A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 77% of Indians, or 836 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees
Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, that is rapidly changing.
#1 Today, only 55.3 percent of all Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have jobs.
#2 In the United States today, there are 240 million working age people. Only about 140 million of them are working.
#3 According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.
#4 Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.
#5 According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million Americans are either living in poverty or in “the fretful zone just above it”.
#6 According to that same article in the New York Times, 34 percent of all elderly Americans are living in poverty or “near poverty”, and 39 percent of all children in America are living in poverty or “near poverty”.
#7 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.
#8 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.
#9 The total value of household real estate in the U.S. has declined from $22.7 trillion in 2006 to $16.2 trillion today. Most of that wealth has been lost by the middle class.
#10 Many formerly great manufacturing cities are turning into ghost towns. Since 1950, the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has declined by more than 50 percent. In Dayton, Ohio 18.9 percent of all houses now stand empty.
#11 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.
#12 The number of pages of federal tax rules and regulations has increased by18,000% since 1913. The wealthy know how to avoid taxes, but most of those in the middle class do not.
#14 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#15 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years. During 2010 it got even worse. Last year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.
#17 Most Americans are scratching and clawing and doing whatever they can to make a living these days. Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#18 Food prices continue to rise at a very brisk pace. The price of beef is up9.8% over the past year, the price of eggs is up 10.2% over the past year and the price of potatoes is up 12% over the past year.
#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
#20 The average American household will have spent a staggering $4,155 on gasoline by the end of 2011.
#21 If inflation was measured the exact same way that it was measured back in 1980, the rate of inflation in the United States would be well over 10 percent.
#22 If the number of Americans considered to be “looking for work” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.
#23 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark at some point in 2012. Most of that debt is owed by members of the middle class.
#24 Incredibly, more than one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps at this point.
#25 Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 14.3 million.
#26 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
#28 According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.
#29 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
#30 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans now collectively own just 2.5%of all the wealth in the United States.