Poor neighborhood Jakarta Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

De onzekerheid van ongelijkheid

NEW YORK – De mondiale ongelijkheid bevindt zich vandaag op een niveau dat voor het laatst eind 19e eeuw is waargenomen – en zet haar stijgende lijn voort. Hiermee samen hangt een gevoel van onmacht dat de vervreemding en woede heeft aangewakkerd, en zelfs tot nationalisme en xenofobie heeft geleid. Nu mensen het lastig vinden hun slinkende deel van de taart te behouden, hebben hun zorgen een politieke opening gecreëerd voor opportunistische populisten, waardoor de wereldorde in beroering is gebracht.

De kloof tussen arm en rijk vandaag de dag is verbijsterend. Oxfam heeft geconstateerd dat de acht rijkste mensen in de wereld nu net zoveel rijkdom bezitten als de armste 3,6 miljard. En de Amerikaanse Senator Bernie Sanders heeft er onlangs op gewezen dat de familie Walton, de eigenaar van detailhandelsketen Walmart, nu meer rijkdom heeft dan de onderste 42% van de Amerikaanse bevolking.

Ik kan daar mijn eigen schokkende vergelijking aan toevoegen. Gebruikmakend van de database van Credit Suisse over rijkdom, ben ik erachter gekomen dat de totale rijkdom van de drie rijkste mensen op aarde groter is dan die van alle mensen in drie landen – Angola, Burkina Faso em de Democratische Republiek Congo – die samen een bevolking hebben van 122 miljoen zielen.

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