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Current Affairs

Although the world continues to advance economically, scientifically and technologically, it is an uneven and disproportionate development by countries and continents that for many reasons do not allow a greater reduction of poverty and as a sample are the following data

Homelessness in the United States

In the year 2009, one out of 50 children or 1.5 million children in United States of America will be homeless each year. There were an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans estimated in the United States during January 2013, or 12 percent of all homeless adults. Just under 8 percent of homeless U.S. veterans are female. Texas, California and Florida have the highest numbers of unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18, comprising 58% of the total homeless under 18 youth population.Homelessness affects men more than women. In the United States, about 60% of all homeless adults are men.

Because of turnover in the population of people that are homeless, the total number of people who experience homelessness for at least a few nights during the course of a year is thought to be considerably higher than point-in-time counts. A 2000 study estimated the number of such people to be between 2.3 million and 3.5 million.According to Amnesty International USA, vacant houses outnumber homeless people by five times. A December 2017 investigation by Philip Alston, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, found that homeless persons have effectively been criminalized throughout many cities in the United States.

Causes of homelessness in the United States include lack of affordable housing, divorce, lawful eviction, negative cash flow, post traumatic stress disorder, foreclosure, fire, natural disasters (hurricane, earthquake, or flood), mental illness, physical disability, having no family or supportive relatives, substance abuse, lack of needed services, elimination of pensions and unemployment entitlements, no or inadequate income sources (such as Social Security, stock dividends, or annuity), poverty (no net worth), gambling, unemployment, and low-paying jobs. Homelessness in the United States affects many segments of the population, including families, children, domestic violence victims, ex-convicts, veterans, and the aged. Efforts to assist the homeless include federal legislation, non-profit efforts, increased access to healthcare services, supportive housing, and affordable housing.

Global inequality

The economies of the world have developed unevenly, historically, such that entire geographical regions were left mired in poverty and disease while others began to reduce poverty and disease on a wholesale basis. This was represented by a type of North–South divide that existed after World War II between First world, more developed, industrialized, wealthy countries and Third world countries, primarily as measured by GDP. From around 1980, however, through at least 2011, the GDP gap, while still wide, appeared to be closing and, in some more rapidly developing countries, life expectancies began to rise.However, there are numerous limitations of GDP as an economic indicator of social “well-being.”

Overall equality across humanity, considered as individuals, has improved very little. Within the decade between 2003 and 2013, income inequality grew even in traditionally egalitarian countries like Germany, Sweden and Denmark. With a few exceptions—France, Japan, Spain—the top 10 percent of earners in most advanced economies raced ahead, while the bottom 10 percent fell further behind.[72] By 2013, a tiny elite of multibillionaires, 85 to be exact, had amassed wealth equivalent to all the wealth owned by the poorest half (3.5 billion) of the world’s total population of 7 billion. Country of citizenship (an ascribed status characteristic) explains 60% of variability in global income; citizenship and parental income class (both ascribed status characteristics) combined explain more than 80% of income variability.

 

According to the world inequality report   “Our global wealth inequality estimates since 1980 therefore combine data from three large regions: the United States, China, and Europe. Europe itself is represented by three countries (France, Spain, and the United Kingdom), which on the basis of other countries for which we have wealth inequality data (in particular, Sweden and Germany) appear to be broadly representative. 

Available data show that global wealth inequality is extreme and on the rise

At the global level (represented by China, Europe, and the United States), wealth is substantially more concentrated than income: the top 10% owns more than 70% of the total wealth.1 The top 1% wealthiest individuals alone own 33% of total wealth in 2017. This figure is up from 28% in 1980. The bottom 50% of the population, on the other hand, owns almost no wealth over the entire period (less than 2%). Focusing on a somewhat larger group, we see that the bottom 75% saw its share oscillate around 10%. Wealth concentration levels would probably be even higher if Latin America, Africa, and the rest of Asia were included in the analysis, as most people in these regions would be in the poorer parts of the distribution. We leave this to future editions of the World Inequality Report.” (wir2018.wid.world).

Photo by Oliver Cole , Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

 

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