Le déclin de la promotion sociale

NEW YORK – Les préoccupations relatives aux inégalités économiques sont omniprésentes. La question n’est pas tant celle de l’inégalité entre les pays, qui a en fait diminué ces dernières décennies, en grande partie grâce à des taux de croissance plus forts et une durée de vie plus longue dans plusieurs pays émergents (en particulier la Chine et l’Inde). Aujourd’hui, l’accent est mis davantage sur les inégalités – parfois appelées la disparité des revenus – au sein de chaque pays.

La raison en est que le problème de l’inégalité est bien réel et qu’il s’aggrave par endroit. Ces dernières décennies ont vu une concentration des richesses et des revenus dans le haut de l’échelle sociale – le fameux 1 pour cent – tandis que les revenus réels et les niveaux de vie de la classe moyenne et des pauvres de plusieurs pays développés ont stagné ou décliné.

Cette situation prévalait déjà avant le début de la crise financière mondiale en 2008 et ses répercussions (dont des taux de chômage élevés et durables) n’ont fait que l’aggraver. Et malgré quelques exceptions notables en Europe du Nord et en Amérique latine, l’augmentation des inégalités a frappé tant le monde développé que les pays en développement.

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