Forward Thinking: For Richer, For Poorer

What is the cost and risk of inequality?

Forward Thinking: The Dangers of Inequality

The best and brightest should reap the rewards of their success.

But can this success become too divisive, and lead to an inequality that risks corruption, instability and public safety?

“Currently one percent of the population holds half the world’s wealth. In the United States, 158 families are responsible for half the campaign funding around elections,” explains Gregory Elders, a Bloomberg Intelligence environmental social and governance analyst.

“Right-wing parties have gained ground in many developed countries as the rich have gotten richer, and many others have been left behind. In the developing world the extremes between the haves and the have-nots is even more stark, with many struggling to get by unable to contribute their full potential to society.”

South Africa, one of the world's most unequal countries, is one example of the cost of inequality on the safety of society. However, there is hope for a better, more equal society through successful businesses.

Mangwanani Boutique Spa is an example of a company offering a new way forward. It offers impoverished women the opportunity, training and skills to achieve social mobility for themselves and their family.

Inequality is about more than fairness. Extreme levels can have dramatic effects on society, quality of life and the finances of corporations and governments. But how do we strike the right balance and what are the results of failing to address the problem?


Forward Thinking: Making Sense of Tomorrow’s Problems

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A six-part series that seeks to understand the challenges facing our world using the latest Bloomberg data and analysis. Watch on Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg.com.

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