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Abstract

Many think that poverty and inequality in the world are increasing. The article shows that they are both right and wrong. But far too many, even those who worry about the world's poor, do not seem to care that the rich are becoming so much richer. The wealthy are admired and are seen as role models. Apart from the question of fairness, public disinterest in inequality is worrying because inequality blocks progress for the poor. This is important because, despite some progress, there are still billions of desperately poor people in the world and poverty is no longer confined to poor countries. Neoliberalism, combined with globalisation, has generated inequality and poverty everywhere. Today, large numbers of poor people also live in the world's richest cities. Such poverty often produces social ghettos and can ferment envy and even violence. While we need not fear the apocalypse, the danger of social strife is constantly with us. Because violence is rarely in anyone's interest perhaps geographers should take inequality, at home and abroad, more seriously than they have to date.