Working for the Few. Political capture and economic inequality


Housing for the wealthier middle
classes rises above the insecure housing of an slum community in Lucknow, in India.

Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one
percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where
economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. 

The World Economic
Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress,
impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a
global scale. This massive concentration of economic resources in the
hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and
economic systems, and compounds other inequalities – such as those between
women and men. 

Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and
governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the
detriment of ordinary people.

In this paper, Oxfam shows how extreme inequality is not
inevitable, with examples of policies from around the world which have reduced
inequality and developed more representative politics, benefiting all, both
rich and poor. 

Oxfam calls on leaders at the 2014 World Economic Forum at Davos
to make the commitments needed to counter the growing tide of inequality.

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