Inequality

“The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60% of the planet’s population.”

This is one of the shocking statistics in the 2020 Oxfam report on inequality. For decades, the world’s wealthiest have been amassing more money while the poorest have become poorer.

There are now more billionaires than ever before and the 10 richest own more wealth than most nations produce in a year.

Meanwhile, almost half of humanity lives on less than $5.50 a day and 735 million live in extreme poverty. Every day, 258 million children cannot to go to school.

Scottish economist Adam Smith said, “No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater members are poor and miserable.” But can inequality be solved?

Yes, says Oxfam. The wealth gap is often down to unfair taxation and low public spending on education and healthcare – problems that governments can fix. In a 2018 survey of those committed to fighting inequality, the Danish, Finnish and German governments came in top. The US came 23rd, while Africa’s richest nation, Nigeria, was last.

Oxfam’s campaign ‘Time to Care’ calls on more world leaders to commit to a fairer, happier society.

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Assembly

Solving global inequality might seem like an impossible task. In this video, Crash Course Economics discusses how to address the problem.

Activities

  1. Using some of the information from Oxfam, create an infographic that depicts global inequality.
  2. Imagine you are a world leader. Come up with three principles on wealth that would help make society fairer and happier.
  3. Write a letter to your country’s government asking them to address the wealth gap.