WEALTH, POVERTY, AND INEQUALITY
Every two years, the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC) publishes a report entitled, "The Report on the World Situation." In 2013, ECOSOC Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo wrote in the report's preface:
"When world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration in 2000, they pledged to create a more equitable world. Yet, in many countries, the ladder of opportunity has become much harder to climb. Large disparities in access to health and education services, land and other productive assets between the richest and the poorest households persist. Wealth inequalities are inherited across generations and are present across locations, trapping large pockets of society in poverty and exclusion."
Is life unfair? Yes. Does it have to be unfair... or is there a better way?
Since all populations gravitate towards a top-middle-bottom pattern of societal hierarchy, the debate isn't whether Inequality exists but instead whether it needs to exist, whether there isn't a better societal model available that would be fair to everyone. For people who debate this issue for a living, the phrasing they prefer is: Is Inequality inevitable?
Use the Learning Resources listed below to prepare for our discussion on Wealth, Poverty, and Inequality. Keep in mind that these websites are a tiny sample of all the information that can be found on the Internet pertaining to this subject.
Inequality Matters: Report on the World Situation
Produced by the UN Economic and Social Affairs
Click here to view reports from previous years.
Oxfam Briefing Paper: "Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality"
Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Million
Produced by UNICEF
Building a Better America - One Wealth Quintile at a Time *
2011 Report created by Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School) and Dan Ariely (Department of Psychology, Duke University)
*source material for the video "Inequality in America"
Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in Developing Countries
Prepared by the Poverty Practice in the Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP
It's the Inequality, Stupid: Eleven Charts That Explain What's Wrong With America
Data compiled from many sources by
Mother Jones Magazine
Chart: Income Distribution in 2010
Created by Catherine Mulbrandon
Inequality in America
Based on the report, "Building a Better America - One Wealth Quintile at a Time"
Record Inequality Between Rich and Poor
Produced by OECD: The Organisation for Economic
Co-Ordination and Development
Companion to "Inequality in America"
Produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affiars
Bill Moyers speaks with Paul Krugman about Inequality and about Thomas Piketty's book, "Capital in the 21st Century."
UN Agencies and Programmes focused on Wealth, Poverty, and Inequality
The World We Want, My World, and A Better World Campaigns
Non-Governmental Organizations Focused on Inequality