Oxfam Poverty and Inequality Report 2018

Oxfam’s annual report for 2018 shows a dismally widening inequality gap.

Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. Billionaires saw their wealth increase by $762bn in 12 months. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, while the bottom 50% saw no increase at all.

The Nursing Trap

Giving words to what we already know, Filipino Nursing Graduates and the Risk of the Migration Trap discusses the Sisyphean struggle that aspiring Filipino nurses undergo in their search for a better life outside the country. The key argument are the two traps that they fall into:

The first is the migration trap…: aspiring migrants obtain specific credentials in the hope of working overseas, yet are unable to leave when labor demands or immigration requirements change…. Lacking public funds, Philippine hospitals could not offer permanent positions to the staggering number of nursing graduates within the country, leaving many unemployed and unable to obtain the work experience needed for jobs in alternative destinations like Japan and Singapore. Filipino nursing graduates caught in this situation then find themselves in an opportunity trap…: the never-ending need to collect credentials in order to secure a positional advantage in the job market.

Moreover, the author argues that rather than brain drain, it is a problem of brain waste as “…qualified nursing graduates find themselves in industries and jobs that have little need for their skills.”


The rich get richer, the poor get poorer

The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870-2015 asks (and answers):

What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns?

And what’s key here is that if the rate of return is greater than the growth of the economy, inequality is exacerbated. Findings: over the past 150 years, the rate of return has been double the economic growth.

A global map of travel time to cities

A global map of travel time to cities to assess inequalities in accessibility in 2015:

Our results highlight disparities in accessibility relative to wealth as 50.9% of individuals living in low-income settings (concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa) reside within an hour of a city compared to 90.7% of individuals in high-income settings. By further triangulating this map against socioeconomic datasets, we demonstrate how access to urban centres stratifies the economic, educational, and health status of humanity.