As global poverty continues to decline, another issue emerges. According to the World Economic Forum, rising income inequality and the polarization of societies pose a risk to the global economy, and may lead to increased polarization and lack of political stability. This, however, is not a global problem. In developing countries, inequality is decreasing and the amount of people living in extreme poverty is at an all-time low. Mobile technology is contributing to financial inclusion in countries without an established financial infrastructure, and global markets create trade opportunities.
However, the increase in inequality is affecting high- and middle-income countries, as labor-saving technology has replaced many blue-collar jobs that paid well. Those workers have had to switch to retail and home healthcare jobs, where the pay is typically lower.
The disparity between the rich and everyone else is larger than ever in the United States, and few places is this skewed wealth distribution more visible than in and around Silicon Valley. The chasm between tech multi-billionaires and the rest of the population in Northern California — where an estimated 31 percent of jobs pay $16 per hour or less and the median income in the U.S. today is about the same as it was in 1995 — has led to the conclusion that the tech sector is greatly contributing to increased inequality.