Despite the self-serving denials of some politicians and their backers, it now clear the growing global wealth inequality of the last decade is not only clearly holding back the global economy, but also leading to billions of people living in hunger and poverty. However, as a new Pew Research study makes clear, the citizens of the world are finally waking up to the fact that the greedy super-rich are taking way more than their fair share of global resources, and it’s time to do something about it.
Global wealth gap is huge and still growing
The size of the growing gap between rich and poor around the world is truly stunning. A recent Crédit Suisse report notes that those with a net worth of more than $1 million represent just 0.7% of the global population, but they own more than 41% of the world’s wealth. Moreover, and even more stunning, those with a net worth of under $10,000 represent 69% of the population, but less than 3% of global wealth. Some economists believe the wealth gap is at an all-time high, and virtually all agree both U.S. and global income and wealth inequality is only going to get worse unless there is a sea change in public perception.
Public finally waking up to the dangers of wealth inequality
In the introduction to a November 8th article detailing the results of their recent survey on wealth inequality, the Pew Research Center noted a new report released by the World Economic Forum ranks inequality as the top global trend in 2015, based on a survey of 1,767 global leaders from business, academia, government and the non-profit sector.
The results of Pew’s own survey strongly support the World Economic Forum study. Pew found that in all 44 nations where they polled, significant majorities say inequality is a “big problem” facing their country, and majorities in 28 nations consider it a “very big problem”.
A surprisingly large 93% of Africans polled said that inequality was a big problem or a very big problem, as did 91% of Europeans. Around 82% of both Asians and Latin Americans felt the same way, but only 78% of Americans believed that inequality was a major problem.
Only 32% of Americans felt that wealth inequality was a very big problem, but more than 84% of those surveyed in Greece, 74% of those in Spain and 73% of those in Italy believe the gap between rich and poor is a very big problem.
Of note, survey respondents identified government policies as the number one factor in the growing problem of wealth inequality.