Report: Thailand most unequal country in 2018
Thailand has overtaken Russia and India as the most unequal country in the latest survey by a Swiss bank.
Banyong Pongpanich, chairman of Phatra Securities, posted on Facebook on Wednesday the findings of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2018 conducted on 40 countries.
He expressed concern about the trend. Two years ago, Thailand ranked third in the report, after Russia and India.
“In 2016, the 1% richest Thais (500,000 people) owned 58.0% of the country’s wealth. In 2018, they controlled 66.9%, overtaking their peers in Russia whose wealth share fell from 78% to 57.1%,” he wrote.
The richest in Turkey also did well this year even though the economy was bad. “The wealthiest people there control 54.1%, outstripping second-ranked India, which fell to the fourth from 58.4% to 51.5% this year,” he wrote.
Apart from these four, there are no other countries in the world where the richest 1% controlled more than half of their countries’ wealth.
The most equal countries are Belgium, where the top 1% had 20.1%, followed by Australia (22.4%).
At the other end of the scale, the 10% poorest Thais had 0% wealth. Mr Banyong noted if debts are taken into consideration, their net worth might be negative.
Meanwhile, 50% of the poorest Thais (25 million people) had 1.7% of the country’s wealth while 70% (35 million) controlled 5%.
My Banyong pointed out the Gini index also confirms Thailand’s rankings. It stood at a whopping 90.2, where 100 means one person has it all and 0 means everyone has the same share.
To solve the problem, he suggested neoliberalism and welfare to push both growth and wealth distribution.