The last 40 years have been great to poverty reduction across the World. More people on the globe have exited poverty and gained access to goods and food than in any historical perio
. However, while millions are leaving misery, especially in Asia, the rich are becoming richer.
The middle class, the 40% in the the middle, is more and more squeezed between the bottom 50% and the top 10% – the rich.
In a reaction to their lost status, especially in the West, where 85% of the high-income population is concentrated, the middle class is beginning to elect leaders who promise to bring back the past with radical discourse and simple solutions.
This is reflected in governments that came to power or were reelected in countries like USA, Russia, Italy, India, Poland, Philippines, Brazil, Turkey, and Hungary.
France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland are also seeing leaders of this type increase. The UK voted to exit the European Union, and the right-wing is advancing in the European Parliament.
As the income of poor countries inches closer to that of rich countries and internal inequality increases, the World is returning to an economy configuration similar to the end of the 19th century, when nationalism and populism led to the conflicts in the 20th century.
In no other period in history have so many people emerged from extreme poverty and gained access to goods and food as in the last 40 years.
But as millions come out of poverty, the middle class is increasingly squeezed between the poorest 50% and the richest 10%.
In 40 years, the poorest half in the US has earned just over $ 200. Since the 1980s, total Americans in middle class families has shrunk from 60% to 50%.
Gross annual income of the poorest 50% was stagnant at around $16.5 thousand while that of the richest 10% more than doubled to $311 thousand
Super rich in Brazil lead global income concentration. Among democratic countries, no other has higher income accumulation at the top 1%;
Privileges, slavery and patrimonialism are seen as causes of record inequality. During the crisis, income concentration increased and poor people lost more.
Asian countries lift millions out of misery, but income gap opens. In China, state uses heavy-handed and publicly funded businesses to create jobs, but doubts about the sustainability of the interventionist model grow.
Considered the most unequal country in the World, South Africa has a strong heritage from the segregationist and racist apartheid regime.
With unemployment at nearly 30%, millions live in so-called slum cities, and the richest 10% make up almost 70% of all income in the country.