All over the world, one economic fact remains the same. The most rich people in every country continue to get richer and the poor share less of the wealth. Recent global statistics show that the wealthiest 1 percent of the population saw twice as much growth as those in the bottom half.
The middle class, which exists primarily in North America and Europe, has seen the most slippage over the past 40 years, according to the World Inequality Report 2018. While globalization of some industries has significantly raised incomes for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in China and India, that has been accomplished at the expense of manufacturing and other middle-income workers in the developed world.
The report is prepared by an international team of notable economists. In past reports, they have chronicled the increasing gap between the poor and the wealthy in the United States. The top 1 percent on the wealth scale held about 10 percent of the country’s wealth, the 1980 report showed. By 2016, that figure had risen to 20 percent. In Europe for the same time frames, the top 1 percent had gained less, showing just a 12 percent income share.
The researchers attributed the growing gap in the United States to less progressive tax policies. European countries tended to favor more support for education, which in turn enhanced earning power for the middle and lower classes in those countries.
The tax legislation recently passed in the United States will be most damaging to the country’s middle and low-income classes, most economists agree.