Re: “Global divide of wealth”, National, Feb 2.
It is unbelievable that in the 10 years since the financial (sub-prime mortgage) crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled – from 1,125 in 2008 to 2,208 in 2018, despite the slow recovery of the global economy.
In 2018 alone, compared to 2017, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased $900 billion (Bt29.7 trillion) or $2.5 billion (Bt82.5 billion) a day, and a new billionaire was created every two days.
In stark comparison, 3.4 billion people (almost half of humanity) barely escaped extreme poverty, living on less than $5.5 (Bt180) a day.
How can the poor be helped to get more access the world’s resources to build their fortune?
It is seen that tax on wealth amounts to only 4 per cent of all taxes, almost the lowest of all tax receipts. It implies that the wealth tax rate on the rich is too low to resolve the disparity. Also, it can be seen that their wealth continues to grow because the richest are enjoying a favourable tax structure, including the corporations they own.
Wealth is particularly under-taxed. Only 4 cents in every dollar of tax revenue comes from taxes on wealth such as inheritance and property taxes. At the same time, in the rich and developing countries, the average top rate of personal income tax tended to decrease. It implies that taxation of wealth is not the best approach or are there many non-tax approaches? It also shows in the inequality between the sexes that men own 50 per cent more of the total wealth than women. It implies that: should women be more empowered in economic status?
Why are the poor of the world still living with hardship and facing more suffering? Could it be that the approach of fixing the inequality is not enough to help them adjust, or be able to compete and have a decent standard of living.