Private Good or Public Wealth?

Universal health, education and other public services reduce the gap between rich and poor, and between women and men. Fairer taxation of the wealthiest can help pay for them.

Authored by: Max Lawson, Man-Kwun Chan, Francesca Rhodes, et al.

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation
Region: No Region
Year: 2019
Citation: Lawson, Max, et al. Public Good or Private Wealth: Universal Health, Education and Other Public Services Reduce the Gap between Rich and Poor, and between Women and Men. Fairer Taxation of the Wealthiest Can Help Pay for Them. Oxfam, 2019

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Executive Summary

Our economy is broken, with hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top. The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis and their fortunes grow by $2.5bn a day, yet the super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades. The human costs – children without teachers, clinics without medicines – are huge. Piecemeal private services punish poor people and privilege elites. Women suffer the most, and are left to fill the gaps in public services with many hours of unpaid care. We need to transform our economies to deliver universal health, education and other public services. To make this possible, the richest people and corporations should pay their fair share of tax. This will drive a dramatic reduction in the gap between rich and poor and between women and men.