With extreme wealth comes the power to influence the rules. That means that we end up with government policies that favour the super rich, regardless of what would work best for the rest of us. These policies decrease social mobility, increase poverty and create economic instability (as we saw with the recent financial crisis). So extreme inequality isn't just unfair - it's downright dangerous.
What are the major challenges?
The undue political influence of multinational companies and some super-rich individuals is at the heart of the biggest social, economic and environmental crises we face, both in the UK and globally. The good news is that it's not inevitable, it can be reversed, and we've all got a role to play in making that happen.
- The super rich using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share
- Governments propping up the banks while cutting essential public services
- Low wages, unstable jobs, zero hours contracts
- Allowing polluting industries to obstruct a global response to climate change.
What can we do to rebalance our world?
Extreme inequality is not natural or inevitable - it's the consequence of political choices. Governments worldwide have the option of implementing policies that can start narrowing the gap right now. We need governments to act to give us a system which works for the many, and not just for the hugely privileged few.
- Implement progressive taxation policies which close tax avoidance loopholes
- Investment in essential public services, like free healthcare and education
- Legislate for a legal minimum wage which is also a living wage
- Stop subsidies to fossil fuel companies and limit their lobbying power.
Read our blog posts on inequality below, follow @oxfamcampaigns, and like our Facebook page to get involved in the campaign.