Global Inequality

OECD report: Global social inequality hits new record

By Gabriel Black, 23 May 2015

The growth of inequality has been accompanied by the expansion of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers.

Only one in four workers worldwide has a stable job

By Andre Damon, 20 May 2015

Jobs created in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis have been disproportionately contingent and part-time, according to a new report published by the International Labor Organization.

Christie’s $1 billion week: Art market heads for the stratosphere

By J. Cooper, 18 May 2015

Artwork, particularly 20th century and contemporary art, now functions as another commodity for the financial aristocracy to invest and speculate in.

State funding for higher education in US slashed by 20 percent since 2008

By Evan Blake, 14 May 2015

Throughout the US, states are on average spending $1,805 less per student than before the financial collapse.

Britain’s super-rich have doubled their wealth since 2009

By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2015

Britain is more attractive to the super-rich than anywhere except America.

One and a half billion people live on less than $1.25 per day

By Zaida Green, 17 April 2015

A new report by the Overseas Development Institute claims that official statistics may undercount the number of people in extreme poverty worldwide by as many as 350 million.

Poverty in Germany reaches a record high

By Denis Krassnin, 10 March 2015

The mounting gap between rich and poor in Germany is causing the country to fragment into disparate socio-economic regions.

Wealth of world’s billionaires surges past $7 trillion

By Joseph Kishore, 4 March 2015

The inexorable rise in the wealth of the ultra-rich, amidst economic stagnation, is an expression of the parasitic character of world capitalism.

One fifth of world suicides linked to unemployment

By Barry Mason, 24 February 2015

In 2008, the beginning of the economic crisis, suicides associated with job loss were nine times greater than previously thought.

Study shows inequality much higher in Germany than previously estimated

By Denis Krassnin, 19 February 2015

The richest .1 percent of the German population controls as much as 16 percent of the country's wealth.

Financial markets celebrate European Central Bank launch of €1 trillion quantitative easing program

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2015

The measure will have little or no impact on the real economy. Rather, it is aimed at making available further supplies of ultra-cheap cash for financial speculation.

Capitalism and the global plutocracy

By Andre Damon, 21 January 2015

A group of people who can fit into a double-decker bus control more wealth than 3.5 billion people, equivalent to the combined populations of China, India, the United States and the European Union.

Oxfam: Richest one percent set to control more wealth than the bottom 99 percent

By Andre Damon, 20 January 2015

As the global financial oligarchy descended on Davos, Switzerland this week, the Oxfam charity released new figures on the colossal growth of social inequality.

New York City’s housing and homelessness crisis intensifies under de Blasio

By Philip Guelpa, 16 January 2015

Amid rising homelessness and a dearth of affordable housing, de Blasio’s programs favor real estate interests and the wealthy elite.

Figure hits $4.1 trillion

Wealth of world’s 400 richest billionaires rose $92 billion in 2014

By Andre Damon, 3 January 2015

The wealth of the global financial elite soared last year amid surging stock markets fueled by cash infusions from central banks.

Global financial markets facing instability in 2015

By Nick Beams, 31 December 2014

Divergent central bank policies are a potential source of financial turmoil in 2015.

Social inequality in New Zealand over Christmas

By John Braddock, 29 December 2014

Hundreds queued for nine hours for emergency Christmas food parcels.

The Dow at 18,000: Contradictions mount in world economy

By Nick Beams, 27 December 2014

The ever-widening gap between financial markets and the real economy is creating the conditions for economic turmoil and the eruption of social and political struggles.

The state of world capitalism: Labor productivity up, real wages down

By Patrick Martin, 6 December 2014

The latest Global Wage Report by the International Labor Organization documents the international working class’s declining share of world income.

Bloomberg report names Atlanta and New Orleans as the most unequal cities in the US

By E.P. Bannon, 6 November 2014

A recent report released by Bloomberg listed the 50 most unequal cities in the United States.

A “great leap backwards”

UNICEF report: 2.6 million more children in poverty in developed countries since 2008

By Andre Damon, 29 October 2014

There are 76.5 million children in poverty in 41 developed countries, according to a report published Tuesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund.

A quarter of South Africans regularly go hungry

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 October 2014

Malnutrition is especially severe among women and children in South Africa, with Oxfam researchers reporting that childhood stunting has increased to 26.5 percent.

The American oligarchy

By Andre Damon, 18 October 2014

Whatever the pretense of “one person, one vote,” the fact is that the top 0.1 percent dictates policy and essentially selects the personnel tasked with carrying it out.

Richest one percent controls nearly half of global wealth

By Andre Damon, 17 October 2014

Hypothetically, if the growth of inequality were to proceed at last year’s rate, the richest one percent would control all the wealth on the planet within 23 years.

Wealth of world’s billionaires: $7.3 trillion

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2014

There are now 2,325 billionaires in the world, and their combined wealth has increased 12 percent from last year, according to a new report from Wealth-X and UBS bank.

Income inequality rises sharply in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 28 August 2014

The country is sharply polarised between a tiny minority who control much of the country’s wealth and monopolise political life, and the vast majority who have little control over either.

“Poor Door” for lower-income tenants underscores class divide in New York

By Steve Light, 22 August 2014

A 33-story luxury building under construction will have a separate back entrance for those who live in its “affordable” apartments.

One-third of the US population has no retirement savings

By Jake Dean, 22 August 2014

New reports continue to expose worsening economic conditions for millions.

The Financial Times’ attack on Thomas Piketty

By Joseph Kishore, 27 May 2014

In a series of articles over the past several days, and in a major editorial published on Monday, the Financial Times has launched a scurrilous attack on Thomas Piketty and his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

While wages, jobs stagnate

Median CEO pay in US tops $10 million

By Patrick Martin, 5 April 2014

The median worker would have to work 257 years to earn as much as the typical top 500 CEO made in 2013 alone.

Forbes list of world’s richest people highlights growth of social inequality

By Ed Hightower, 5 March 2014

The number of billionaires worldwide increased by 268, the largest such increase ever, with a combined net worth of $6.4 trillion.

Rolls Royce sales reflect mounting global social inequality

By Dietmar Henning, 1 February 2014

Record luxury cars sales reflect the super-rich’s stranglehold on the global population.

At Davos, Japanese prime minister inflames tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 24 January 2014

Abe likened the current friction between Japan and China to the rivalry between Britain and Germany on the eve of World War I.

Corporate criminals, billionaires gather for World Economic Forum in Davos

By Andre Damon, 23 January 2014

The 44th annual World Economic Forum began Wednesday, bringing over 2,000 corporate executives, major investors, government leaders, central bankers and celebrities to the Swiss Alpine resort.

The global plutocracy

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 21 January 2014

On the eve of the annual spectacle of parasitic wealth and power that is the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Oxfam charity has issued a report warning of the unprecedented growth of social inequality throughout the world.

Global unemployment rises above 200 million

By Mike Head, 21 January 2014

The ILO noted the glaring disparity between the recovery on global financial markets and the worsening situation facing workers.

Persecution of Roma stepped up after “blond angel” child trafficking allegations

By Julie Hyland, 9 November 2013

The discovery of “Maria” was the occasion for a hysterical campaign over alleged Roma child-trafficking.

Staggering growth of billionaires in China

By John Watanabe, 3 October 2013

The staggering growth in the worth of these ultra-wealthy individuals testifies to the widening social gulf between rich and poor.

Up to 150 million in Europe threatened with poverty

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 September 2013

A report released last week warns that nearly a third of the European population faces the threat of poverty.

Judge claims US and Israel pressed for release of Yugoslav war criminals

By Paul Mitchell, 8 July 2013

An International Criminal Tribunal judge alleges that the US and Israel have moved for the release Croatian and Serbian officers accused of war crimes.

Number of UK million-pound earners almost doubled in past two years

By Robert Stevens, 6 June 2013

A total of 18,000 people in the UK now earn £1 million. Two year ago, 10,000 individuals earned more than £1 million, and in 1999-2000, only 4,000 people did so.

165 million children malnourished worldwide

By Jake Dean, 1 June 2013

A new report by Save the Children, Food for Thought, highlights the extraordinary impact that malnutrition has upon a child’s cognitive development.

Trillions hidden in tax havens by super-rich, corporations

By Julien Kiemle, 30 May 2013

The ultra-wealthy, banks and corporations have some $32 trillion of wealth hidden in off-shore tax havens, according to a leaked cache of information.

Apple’s tax dodge: The case for public ownership

By Andre Damon, 24 May 2013

As social services are slashed allegedly because there is “no money,” Apple, the most profitable company in history, has avoided paying taxes on over $70 billion in income.

Over four billion people worldwide lack adequate sanitation

By Bryan Dyne, 26 February 2013

Lack of sewerage treatment contributes to contamination problems for the majority of the world’s population.

Study exposes global recession’s heavy toll on girls and women

By Kristina Betinis, 1 February 2013

The global financial crisis has taken a heavier toll on the basic conditions of girls and women when compared to the world’s population as a whole.

Billionaires gain as living standards fall

By Patrick Martin, 11 January 2013

The world’s 100 richest people increased their wealth by $241 billion in 2012.

Deepening social inequality and poverty in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 25 October 2012

Two recent reports detail the falling incomes of working people and rising levels of poverty, especially among children.

New Zealand “Rich List” reveals deepening social divide

By John Braddock, 7 August 2012

The wealthiest New Zealanders have not suffered from the austerity drive being imposed on the working class.

Global elite descend on East London for Olympics

By Paul Stuart, 27 July 2012

The Royal Dock complex, adjacent to London’s financial district at Canary Wharf, is hosting up to one hundred super yachts, including twenty of the world’s most opulent, as the Olympic Games begin.

World social inequality more pronounced than ever

By Ernst Wolff, 26 July 2012

The super-rich are currently hiding away between $21 trillion and $32 trillion in tax havens such as Switzerland or the Cayman Islands.

The new aristocracy

By Andre Damon, 28 June 2012

As governments throughout the world close schools, lay off workers and slash support to the poor, old and sick, the financial oligarchy that rules the world increases its wealth and power.

Today’s social divide and the Charles Dickens bicentenary

By John Clayton and Paul Bond, 23 February 2012

A comment on the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of English novelist Charles Dickens.

Half a billion children at risk for malnutrition

By Kate Randall, 17 February 2012

Save the Children warns that half a billion children around the world could grow up physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years due to chronic malnutrition.

Apple’s sweatshop supply chain

By Ben McGrath, 7 February 2012

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Progress Report is a cynical public relations exercise designed to whitewash the company’s image.

Mounting social struggles cast shadow over Davos economic summit

By Nick Beams, 28 January 2012

A new factor has entered the scene—the re-emergence of the international working class as exemplified in the Egyptian revolution and the ongoing social struggles around the world.

China’s list of billionaires expands again

By John Chan, 17 September 2011

The burgeoning list of billionaires has put China ever closer to the United States as the largest home of the super-rich, even as China’s average per-capita income ranks just 94th in the world.

Rising longevity masks growing life expectancy inequalities in Britain

By Simon Walker, 21 July 2011

The rich are living sometimes eleven years longer than workers in the poorest areas of Britain.

UN report hits German social policies

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 13 July 2011

The government in Berlin comes in for sharp criticism in a United Nations report on the social situation in Germany.

Capitalism and the climate change crisis

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 June 2011

Record levels of greenhouse gas emission constitute a damning indictment of the capitalist system.

International food crisis due to agribusinesses and speculation

By Barry Mason, 10 June 2011

The international development charity Oxfam issued a report this month highlighting the growing global food crisis.

Chasm widens between UK workers and financial elite

By Simon Walker, 7 June 2011

It was only weeks ago that the Sunday Times Rich List revealed how the international super-rich who reside in the UK have over the past two years fully restored their levels of wealth to pre-2008 levels.

Behind the battle over new IMF chief

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2011

In the midst of the Strauss-Kahn crisis, a World Bank report pointed to vast shifts underway in the structure of the world economy, which indicate that the conflict over the IMF leadership is just one of many to come.

Shanghai: Grinding poverty amid corporate opulence

By Jean Shaoul, 5 April 2011

Amid Shanghai’s commercial opulence, there is grinding poverty and deprivation on an even greater scale in this city of 20 million people.

Hong Kong: A tale of two cities

By Jean Shaoul, 17 March 2011

Social discontent in Hong Kong has been fuelled by a sharp rise in home prices and rents, which have doubled in the last five years.

Budget that enriches financial elite sparks protest in Hong Kong

By Jean Shaoul, 17 March 2011

Protestors took to the streets in downtown Hong Kong on March 6 to oppose the government’s budget, which will further enrich the financial elite.

Canada’s richest 1 percent grabbed one-third of all income growth since 1987

By Keith Jones, 9 December 2010

A study published last week shows that social inequality in Canada has now reached levels unseen since the 1920s, with the richest 1 percent of Canadians appropriating 13.8 percent of all market income.

UN agency predicts global food crisis as prices soar

By Barry Mason, 27 November 2010

A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report published this month warns that food price increases are “dangerously close” to crisis level.

IMF-ILO conference warns of political upheavals

By Richard Phillips, 28 September 2010

European Commissioner Laszlo Andor described 2010 as an “annus horribilis” for unemployment, but warned that “2011 may still turn out to be the annus horribilis for social cohesion”.

UN “poverty summit” exposes failure of world capitalism

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2010

The “poverty summit” that concluded at the United Nations Wednesday only underscored capitalism’s responsibility for conditions of desperate poverty and hunger which have deepened worldwide as a result of the global financial crisis.

Austerity for workers, tax cuts for business—Europe’s class policy

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 July 2010

A new report reveals that in the wake of the most serious economic crisis since the 1930s, European governments are continuing to cut corporate taxes while increasing the tax burden on the working population.

Egypt gripped by social unrest

By Jean Shaoul, 13 May 2010

On May 11, the Egyptian parliament approved a presidential decree extending the state of emergency for a further two-year period.

Global labour figures point to rising tide of joblessness

By Alex Messenger, 5 May 2010

The worldwide economic crisis has thrown tens of millions of workers—especially those in the youngest and oldest cohorts—into permanent unemployment

Sunday Times Rich List shows fortunes of British super-rich soar by a third

By David O’Sullivan and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Oxford East, 29 April 2010

The latest annual Sunday Times Rich List reveals a massive increase in the wealth of Britain’s super-rich.

German executives awarded themselves millions in 2009

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 17 March 2010

The chief executives of the companies and banks listed in the German stock exchange index DAX pocketed millions in 2009 despite the economic crisis and a sharp slump in industrial production.

World’s billionaires grew 50 percent richer in 2009

By Andre Damon, 12 March 2010

The world’s billionaires saw their wealth grow by 50 percent last year, and their ranks swell to 1,011, from 793, according to the latest Forbes list of billionaires.

Banks demand austerity measures against “profligate” countries

By Barry Grey, 25 February 2010

With the eruption of the European sovereign debt crisis, a new category has emerged in the bourgeois press—“profligate countries.”

British Labour presides over increase in inequality

By Paul Bond, 6 February 2010

A report commissioned by the Labour government shows how its pro-business agenda during its 13 years in office has led to a dramatic increase in inequality.

Britain: Young mother commits suicide and kills her son after months of poverty

By Julie Hyland, 15 December 2009

Earlier this month, a London Coroner’s Court heard that on June 13 this year, Christelle Pardo leapt from the sixth-floor balcony of her sister’s flat in Hackney, east London, holding her five-month-old son Kayjah in her arms.

UN abandons hunger reduction target

By Barry Mason, 18 November 2009

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation abandoned its hunger reduction targets in advance of the World Food Summit on Food Security that opened in Rome on November 16. Instead, it will now aim “to take action towards sustainably eradicating hunger at the earliest possible date.”

Food Summit in Rome presents “watered down” goals

By James Brewer, 17 November 2009

The opening of the Food Summit in Rome revealed the indifference of major world leaders toward famine.

Almost 200 million children undernourished in poor countries

By James Brewer, 13 November 2009

There are currently 195 million children under the age of five in underdeveloped countries whose growth is stunted due to chronic malnutrition, according to a UN agency.

BBC poll shows widespread disaffection with capitalism

By Julie Hyland, 12 November 2009

A global poll by the British Broadcasting Corporation shows widespread disaffection with the capitalist free-market, including a significant opposition to capitalism per se.

More than 1 billion hungry, UN agencies report

By Tom Eley, 15 October 2009

More than 1 billion people will go hungry in 2009, two UN agencies reported on Wednesday, an increase of over 100 million people in one year.

UN reports 1 billion of the world’s people going hungry

By Jerry White, 18 September 2009

For the first time in history, more than one billion people, or nearly one in every 6 inhabitants of the planet, are going hungry this year.

More than 1 billion people hungry worldwide in 2009

By Joe Kishore, 20 June 2009

Humanity will achieve the dubious distinction this year of having more than 1 billion members of its species living in hunger for the first time in history.

UN warns global jobs crisis may last eight years

By Bill Van Auken, 4 June 2009

The International Labor Organization issued a report Wednesday predicting that the jobs crisis sweeping the globe may last for eight years and warning that sustained high levels of unemployment will unleash social and political unrest.

British Labour’s divisive Equality Bill

By Julie Hyland, 9 May 2009

Far from promoting equality in any meaningful sense, the government’s Equality Bill advocates identity politics as window dressing for the growth of class inequality under Labour’s rule.

World Bank president warns economic crisis poses “human calamity”

By Andre Damon, 28 April 2009

As finance ministers meeting in Washington failed to adopt any new policies to confront the deepening world economic crisis, the head of the World Bank warned that it threatens to unleash “a human and developmental calamity.”

IMF and World Bank reports predict bleak future for Africa

By Trevor Johnson, 2 April 2009

The IMF predicts the global economic crisis will have a huge and disproportionate impact on sub-Saharan Africa.

More than one billion to go hungry in 2009

By Hiram Lee, 2 April 2009

The financial and economic crisis threatens to sharply increase the number of people suffering from hunger, despite a recent decline in food prices.

Global slump could throw 53 million more people into poverty

By Mike Head, 16 February 2009

Up to 53 million more people around the world could fall into poverty in 2009 as a result of the global economic slump, highlighting the worldwide character of the social catastrophe unleashed by the deepening crisis.

UNICEF report: Half a million women die from pregnancy complications each year

By Oliver Richards, 20 January 2009

A report by UNICEF finds that women living in the least developed countries of the world are 300 times more likely to die as a result of childbirth or pregnancy-related complications than women living in the developed countries.

Faces of foreclosure in Pittsburgh

Working class families feel brunt of housing crisis

By Samuel Davidson, 22 December 2008

The WSWS spoke to homeowners threatened with foreclosure at a recent meeting in Pittsburgh.

Nearly 1 billion of world’s people face chronic hunger

By Oliver Richards, 13 December 2008

The number of undernourished people in the world has increased from 923 million in 2007 to 963 million in 2008.

Michigan GM worker answers attack by New York Times columnist

By Jerry White, 27 November 2008

The WSWS spoke to GM worker Kandy O’Neil, inviting her to respond to a New York Times column criticizing her for insisting that auto workers should not be forced to pay for the crisis in the industry.

Death toll, public outrage rise in aftermath of Haiti school collapse

By Naomi Spencer, 11 November 2008

At least 94 school children have been killed, and at least 150 more injured, as a result of last Friday’s collapse of a school in Petionville, Haiti. Rescue workers continued to search through the rubble for survivors on Monday.

Britain: Labour, the Conservatives and the oligarchs

By Julie Hyland, 25 October 2008

A row over relations between Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, Labour’s Peter Mandelson and Conservative Party shadow chancellor George Osborne has brought to light the intimate relations between Britain’s major parties and the global financial oligarchy.

Ethiopian famine significantly worsens as Western powers fail to respond

By Barry Mason, 11 October 2008

Oxfam has reported that the number of Ethiopians needing emergency food assistance has jumped to 6.4 million from 4.6 million in June.

Britain: Forty percent of children live in poverty

By Peter Reydt, 3 October 2008

More than 40 percent of children in the United Kingdom are living in poverty, according to the latest research. That is some 5.5 million children.