* The gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over 30 years, and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according to a new OECD report, “Divided We Stand”.
Social inequality continues to grow across the European Union despite a modest fall in unemployment.
More than a thousand participants have attended the Brussels Economic Forum which brought together leading politicians, academics and rights activists from around the world.
There is no common trend in raising inequality in Europe but some countries like Spain, the UK, Sweden, have experienced a large increase in income inequality, of the same magnitude as in the US. The main question is whether for instance the next generation can for the same type of job maintain the same living standard as the previous generation.
The global economic crisis is aggravating social inequalities and poses many challenges to social cohesion. However, already the growth era which preceded the crisis saw an increase in economic and social inequalities. The gap between the low and high earners has increased and many of the jobs created were precarious. Government transfers, the tax system and public services have not always been able to mitigate the rising earnings inequality.
Some economists identify income inequalities as one of the causes of the current crisis and many consider that Europe cannot sustainability exit its economic crisis without a more inclusive growth model. Still, others think inequalities are a fact of life that motivates individuals to work their way up the social ladder. When it comes to dealing with inequalities, some emphasis taxing the rich and fairer income redistribution, while others focus on providing better education and opportunities for all.
This video clip looks into the challenges posed by inequalities by confronting ideas, opinions and suggestions from the public with the views of three distinguished experts. It will open the high-level expert conference on Inequalities in Europe and the Future of the Welfare State, organized by the European Commission in Brussels on 5-6 December 2011.
The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: PressTV