Inequality is getting so bad it’s threatening the very foundation of economic growth

Income inequality has been rising so rapidly in the United States and around the world that it threatens to make economic growth less durable, according to research from the International Monetary Fund.

“While strong economic growth is necessary for economic development, it is not always sufficient,” four IMF economists write in a new blog.

“Inequality has risen in several advanced economies and remains stubbornly high in many that are still developing,” they added.

“This worries policymakers everywhere for good reason. Research at the IMF and elsewhere makes it clear that persistent lack of inclusion—defined as broadly shared benefits and opportunities for economic growth—can fray social cohesion and undermine the sustainability of growth itself.”

That’s because growth that excludes large portions of the population reinforces inequality in a variety of ways, like access to education, technology, resources and even social connections that help individuals land jobs and remain relevant in the labor market.

In many countries, the richest 1% have benefited disproportionately from economic growth in recent years, the IMF says, confirming other studies on the issue.

“The top 1% accounts for around 10% of total income in many G20 countries, with shares even higher in the United States and South Africa,” the IFM said in a larger study released in July.

– Business Insider

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