The Sustainable Development Goals are indeed ambitious, as they go beyond Band-Aid solutions to eradicate — not just reduce — extreme poverty and hunger. But turning the goals into reality requires a fundamental change of approach on how resources are shared, in good economic times and bad.
By next year, the wealth of the richest 1 percent will be equal to the wealth of everyone else put together.
There will be no victory in the fight against poverty unless this trend of worsening inequality is reversed. That’s because money does not just buy a nice car, a better education or medical care. It often buys impunity from justice, elections, a pliant media or favorable laws, further perpetuating policies that concentrate wealth and increase economic inequality.
Tackling tax avoidance, scrapping fossil fuel subsidies, cracking down on corruption and setting up progressive and sustainable domestic taxation systems are a good place to start. But governments, including the United States, must find the political will to take on the power of the 1 percent in favor of the interests of the poor and marginalized.
- The New York Times