Category Archives: World Views

Report: Income inequality rising in most developed countries

By Eliza Mackintosh

LONDON — The divide between rich and poor is widening in developed nations, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to the new data, economic disparity has risen more from 2007 to 2010 than in the preceding 12 years. Over this period, the OECD has documented increasing income inequality caused by the financial crisis, which it says is “squeezing income and putting pressure on inequality and poverty.”

In 2010, the richest 10 percent of people across 33 OECD member states earned 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10 percent. That factor is up from 9 in 2007. The largest differences among OECD countries were found in Chile, Mexico, Turkey, the United States and Israel, while the lowest were in Iceland, Slovenia, Norway and Denmark.

Levels of income inequality have worsened across three-quarters of all OECD countries since 2007. This gap rose most rapidly in nations where the euro crisis has hit hardest, coinciding with soaring unemployment. For example, in Spain and Italy, the average income of the top 10 percent stayed relatively stable, but the poor became drastically poorer. Continue reading

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Pew poll shows Europeans losing faith in the E.U.

By Eliza Mackintosh

LONDON – Five years after the financial crisis first hit Europe, citizens of European Union member states are growing increasingly wary of the body that was supposed to provide them with economic benefits. Public confidence in the E.U. has dropped to staggering new lows, according to an annual survey conducted by the nonpartisan, Washington-based Pew Research Center.

“The European Union is the new sick man of Europe,” according to Pew’s report of the survey results. “The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe.”

Support for the EU has taken a huge hit over the past year, falling in five of the eight E.U. countries surveyed by Pew. Overall, the E.U.’s favorability rating has fallen to just 45 percent, compared with 60 percent in 2012. The results of the study, for which Pew polled 7,646 people in March, suggest that many E.U. voters may oppose any further transfer of power to European Union institutions.

Source: Pew

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