A Tale of Two Tails
The years since the financial crisis have looked quite different to those living on the far tails of the income spectrum. As the number of billionaires doubled at the rich end, poverty has deepened at the poor end. A striking example of the latter is the increase in child poverty in affluent countries, where an additional 2.6 million children have fallen below the poverty line since 2008, bringing the total to 76.5 million. The rise of child poverty was particularly severe in places like Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Greece, and Ireland, where it rose by over 50%. Steep government budget cuts in the wake of fiscal austerity policies were a major contributor to the growing crisis of child poverty, weakening the social protections on which many families relied. At the same time, policy actions (or a lack thereof) since the crisis have ensured that the billionaires got their recovery. When do the children get theirs?