It has almost become a cliché to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities while also generating new ones. However, the following pages of this year’s Benchmarking Working Europe clearly reveal that, far from being a platitude, the nexus between the pandemic and rising inequalities is both increasingly measurable and alarming. But they also stress that inequality is not just a one-off historical incident linked to a particular crisis. It is in fact the product of an economic model that, for the past three decades, has progressively redistributed less and less wealth to the bottom percentiles of society, while accumulating more and more at the top. In other words, it is a structural problem. Given the corrosive impact that inequalities are having on the social and economic, let alone political and democratic, fabric of our societies, the policy responses to the problem of inequality must be equally structural in character.
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