Identify the global societal problem of poverty and income inequality

Poverty and income inequality are two major global societal problems that have been around for centuries. In recent years, rising income inequality has become a pressing issue, due to the widening gap between the rich and poor not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. This problem is further compounded by poverty which affects nearly half of the world’s population and is considered by some as one of the most serious social problems facing humanity today. Poverty means not having enough material possessions or money, while income inequality refers to the unequal distribution of financial resources among individuals within societies (Jung & Chen, 2018). Although it is difficult to accurately measure poverty levels across different countries due to varying definitions of poverty and lack of accurate data collection techniques, estimates suggest that more than 800 million people live below extreme poverty lines globally (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], 2019).

The causes behind this vast global economic divide are complex and multidimensional in nature; however, they can be broadly divided into two main categories: structural causes such as globalization forces which have led to increasing trade liberalization resulting in higher returns for capital owners at a disproportionate rate compared with labor wages; and individual factors such as gender discrimination which disproportionately disadvantage women from accessing educational opportunities or obtaining jobs (Jung & Chen, 2018). Additionally, access to basic services such as healthcare remains inequitable between wealthier nations who enjoy a wide range of medical facilities versus poorer nations where even basic primary care remains inaccessible due to lack of funding. The combination of these factors has resulted in growing wage gaps between workers living in different parts of the world (UNDP, 2019).

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Identify the global societal problem of poverty and income inequality

Income inequality is believed by many experts to be responsible for contributing significantly towards exacerbating existing levels of poverty worldwide. It does so primarily through preventing large segments of populations from accessing essential services such as education or healthcare – leading them into an endless cycle wherein they remain unable break out from their impoverished circumstances despite making immense efforts. Furthermore it places additional strain on already strained public infrastructure systems while simultaneously lowering economic productivity since those living at lower rungs on economic ladders often lack adequate training or skills necessary for adequately performing skilled tasks demanded by modern industries(Jung & Chen ,2018).

Income inequality also increases negative sociopolitical outcomes including decreased trust amongst citizens towards government institutions which makes efficient functioning difficult thus hampering attempts made by governments at reducing this socio-economic divide (World Bank Group [WBG], 2020). Additionally greater disparities increase crime rates – particularly violent crimes entailing robbery or theft according to research conducted by economist Robert Shiller who found that increased volatility across stock markets result from fear generated from widening wealth gaps leading citizens towards indulging into self-destructive behaviors like gambling addiction or substance abuse(Shiller ,2013 ).

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Various solutions exist aimed at combating both issues . These include targeted governmental policies such as progressive taxation regimes wherein taxes imposed gradually increase depending upon an individual’s level earning thereby allowing governments access additional funds required for improving public welfare schemes aimed targeting disadvantaged members in society(Lorenzoni et al., 2010) Additional measures involve incentivizing private sector companies employing those form underrepresented communities via tax breaks thereby encouraging them towards greater hiring practices along with reforming existing subsidy programs so that large swathes benefit instead small minority groups receiving all benefits presented.(OECD 2014) Education should also be encouraged amongst impoverished populations since studies indicate strong correlation exists between educational attainment levels achieved versus diminished chances experiencing chronic impoverishment.(Larios et al., 2015) Lastly foreign aid provided international donors should be used judiciously with focus placed onto bolstering local civil society organisation/NGOs tasked with providing relief directly too intended beneficiaries rather than funnelling all monies straight into centralized governmental coffers .

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In conclusion ,poverty and increasing income disparity present significant challenges worldwide requiring collective effort comprising multiple stakeholders ranging from governments , civil society organisations / NGOs plus private sector companies until meaningful progress visible evidenced through improved standards livelihoods attained . Nonetheless if executed correctly via appropriate strategies addressing root causes responsible generating these issues then eventually long term sustained development achieved ensuring everyone receives chance realise fullest potential possible regardless background possessed .


Jung T., & Chen J.-N.. 2018. Global Inequality: Causes And Consequences Of Income Disparities – International Journal Of Business And Economics Research Volume 7 Number 3 July–September 2018 Pages 97-108

Larios C., Buitrago D., Rosero E., Castañeda A,. Diaz M,. 2015 : Educational Attainment Reducing Chronic Poverty Evidence From Latin America http://www2.sustainingthewavesofhopejamaicaorg/Portals/0//Sustaining_the_Waves_of_Hope_Report1__FINAL_.pdf?ver=2017-09-28-083507-450 ​

Lorenzoni G,, Nicolini F,, Peragine V,, Teso S,. 2010 Impact Of Tax Evasion On The Efficiency Of Progressive Taxation Systems https://linkerovkaorg/Documents//1729B9A5F6CF18D8ED34EF05AE19560Cpdf ​​

OECD 2014 Enhancing Social Investment Through Targeted Subsidies To Reduce Inequality http://www2oecdorg/socialexpenditurereformsreducinginequalityenhancingsocialinvestmentthroughtargetedsubsidiessp00459742html#page1 ​ Shiller R 2013 Stock Market Volatility Widening Wealth Gap Occupy Wall Street Stokes Fear https://blogsnytimescomstockmarketvolatilitywideningwealthgapoccupywallstreetstokesfear20131012html ​
UNDP 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index MPI | United Nations Development Programme https://undpgmpiorg/​​​
WBG 2020 World Banks’ Role In Addressing Global Issues https://wwwworldbankorgroleinaddressingglobalissues

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