Is more philanthropy a solution to growing inequality?

The spotlight on inequality has grown unabated. Last year, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) reported that South-east Asia regressed on just three of the 17 sustainable development goals, with the worst deterioration in widening inequalities. In Singapore, the President highlighted tackling social inequality as one of the key priorities for the Government's term.

Apart from those who do not believe inequality is an issue or who believe the market would somehow resolve the problem, the solutions are obvious. Raise the earned income of the low-income, tax the high-income more, or encourage voluntary transfers through philanthropy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline 'Is more philanthropy a solution to growing inequality?'. Print Edition | Subscribe