The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis and their fortunes grow by $2.5bn a day, yet the super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades. The human costs – children without teachers, clinics without medicines – are huge. Piecemeal private services punish poor people and privilege elites. Women suffer the most, and are left to fill the gaps in public services with many hours of unpaid care. Yet most of our political leaders are failing to reduce this dangerous divide. It does not have to be this way. Inequality is not inevitable – it is a political choice. Concrete steps can be taken to reduce it.
This report focuses on the unparalleled power of universal public services like education and health in tackling poverty and reducing inequality. Universal public services are the foundation of free and fair societies. If they choose to do so, governments can deliver life-saving public services for all their citizens.
There is a growing consensus that the wealth of individuals and corporations is not being adequately taxed, and instead taxes are falling disproportionately on working people. For every dollar of tax revenue, on average just 4 cents are made up of revenue from wealth taxes.
The fortunes of the world’s super-rich have grown to record levels. By taxing wealth more fairly, enough money could be raised globally to ensure that every child goes to school and no one is bankrupted by the cost of medical treatment for their families. In doing this, it is possible to build a more Human Economy– one that is more equal and values what truly matters.