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Mexico and wealth inequality

Wealth inequality exists in all countries, but there are some who are more affected by the gap than others
Contrast between wealthy and poor quarters in Mexico City (bottom) and Brazil (top)- Alamy stock photo & File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
04/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Inequality is a word used to comprehend a reality applicable worldwide, but there is a specific type of inequality ruling in Latin America, and Mexico isn't exempt from it. What we're talking about is that from the moment of their birth, there is a situation which will make two people different. One will have access to health and education, the other won't. Further along, due to this same condition, the gap between their circumstances will increase and be sustained until their death; of course, this condition also made it possible for one of them to live 10 years more than the other.

Wealth inequality exists in all countries, but there are some who are more affected by the gap than others. According to the data presented today by EL UNIVERSAL, from all the Latin American nations, there are only seven countries with a worse wealth inequality than Mexico, but nine where the gap between the rich and the poor isn't as wide as ours. Only the State can do something to change this situation.

One of the most common mechanisms to regulate wealth is tax collection through a simple and ancient formula: the more you have, the more you pay. Resources thus collected are then forwarded to the infrastructure and services of the poorest areas, where the population needs to have the same opportunities as the inhabitants of the wealthiest areas.

However, wealth inequality experts caution – and herein lies the crux of the matter – that Mexico's tax system is lenient and more flexible towards those who earn profits from capital and dividends, as well as those who earn more resources, since they fall within a milder tax regime than the rest of the tax payers.

Another way to tackle wealth inequality is through social programs. In Mexico, several efforts have been made to end the circle of poverty: economic support is given to the lady of the house, and the need for underage children to attend school is stressed. Yet, analysts on the subject consider there are deficiencies in the programs, as they aren't always addressed to the poorest or the most vulnerable.

The country has been using the same mechanism for decades, and the results on breaching wealth inequality are scant. If the gap continues, perhaps it's high time we rethink our procedures and demand results. It's unacceptable to think more years will go by without seeing an improvement in the social conditions of thousands of Mexicans.

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