Why are today income inequalities – or their perception - on the rise in Europe and what to do about this?
The global economic crisis is aggravating social inequalities and poses many challenges to social cohesion. However, already the growth era which preceded the crisis saw an increase in economic and social inequalities. The gap between the low and high earners has increased and many of the jobs created were precarious. Government transfers, the tax system and public services have not always been able to mitigate the rising earnings inequality.
Some economists identify income inequalities as one of the causes of the current crisis and many consider that Europe cannot sustainably exit its economic crisis without a more inclusive growth model. Still, others think inequalities are a fact of life that motivates individuals to work their way up the social ladder. When it comes to dealing with inequalities, some emphasise taxing the rich and fairer income redistribution, while others focus on providing better education and opportunities for all.
This video clip looks into the challenges posed by inequalities by confronting ideas, opinions and suggestions from the public with the views of three distingiuished experts. It will open the high-level expert conference on Inequalities in Europe and the Future of the Welfare State, organized by the European Commission in Brussels on 5-6 December 2011. SHOTLIST