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Global Income Inequality Rise Amid The Pandemic

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There has been a lot of controversy regarding the pandemic that began in late 2019 has is still wreaking havoc in the world. Some believed it to be a deliberate attempt by the ultra-rich Corporate owners to increase their wealth, while others considered otherwise. Whatever may be the reason behind this outbreak, one thing that keeps the world concerned is the appalling rise in the global inequality numbers at an unprecedented rate, which has, so some experts believe, reached a point of no return. 

There has been a rise in income inequality in unprecedented ways in the world. Even the so-called first-world countries are bearing its results with high inflation and unemployment. The major industries like real estate, manufacturing, automobile, construction, etc., have been struck most drastically. The global migration crisis due to decades-long proxy wars among the “big powers” has further exacerbated the intensity of the economic crisis throughout the world.

The world’s top three industries that have accumulated almost half of the wealth are 1) arms and armament creation, 2) alcohol and addiction, and 3) pharmaceuticals. In the first year of the pandemic i.e., from late 2019 to late 2020, the pharma industry doubled its profits due to an increase in drug demands and new experiments in the field for finding vaccines. Besides, personal protective equipment (PPEs) gave an unprecedented boost to manufacturers across the world. Resultantly, according to Oxfam’s recent studies, the year 2020-2022 saw an 80% increase in the wealth of the owners of these industries. 

Oxfam’s survey has also declared that in the previous two years of the pandemic, the world’s top ten richest persons including Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc., have doubled their wealth from $700 million to $1.5 trillion. This is an average rate of $1.3 billion per day. With this drastic increase in their income and earnings, this super-rich class has further widened the gap between them and the rest of the world.

With such striking gap creation in the global income levels, Oxfam has termed this inequality as the “economic violence” on the poor who are already bearing the brunt of the pandemic with millions of deaths, lack of medical facilities, and healthcare, and the rising unemployment and poverty. Due to this inequality, the findings have estimated 21,000 deaths of the poor per day with the increased gender-based violence/ inequality, hunger, climate change, migration, accompanied by the dire effects of the pandemic. 

The experts have suggested making this super-rich accountable and responsible for the accumulation of this wealth that has led to a further increase in the rich-poor gap in the world. These individuals can be taxed by their countries’ governments to ensure a smooth flow of tax and a part of their wealth that they have gained through the poor’s labor. This money can be used for creating healthcare systems, paying for vaccines, fighting economic discrimination, and dealing with the climate crisis to prevent further damage to human beings and the planet.

Unless the world doesn’t join hands together and create a sustainable and equal world order, the pandemics, climate change disasters, and global economic crises will continue to kill the innocent while the powerful ones hoard more wealth.

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