No Justice In Income Distribution When We Seek Privileges

No Justice In Income Distribution When We Seek Privileges


According to the latest data, income distribution in Türkiye has been noticeably deteriorating since last year. While the top 20% of all Turkish citizens had 45.9% of the country’s total income in 2014, this rate has increased to 49.8% in 2023. In other words, the top 20 percent, that is the rich, hold half of the total wealth.


The share of the 20% with the lowest income declined from 6.2% to 5.9% in the same period. That is to say, the poverty rate is visibly growing. Here’s the result of a five-level analysis: Between the lowest and highest income groups, the share of income for each 20% increases, but even the upper middle-income groups could hold only 20.5% of the total income. The sad but true fact is that the share of no income group other than the top 20% has increased since 2014. It became even smaller.


Considering that all this data is calculated on a lump-sum basis and based on survey results, we could say that the reality is even worse than that. Surely, if the top 10% was analysed instead of the top 20% of the highest earners in Türkiye, we would definitely see a shocking result, which makes me think of a quote by Aldous Huxley: “Because most people cannot have their basic needs fully met, they cannot voice their political preferences in a just political environment.”


This situation that Huxley talks about does not involve merely politics. People leading difficult lives tend to not raise their voices against wrongdoings and injustice, they even become a part of it, because they do not want to lose their jobs or business opportunities. As poverty increases, abuse and exploitation increases. Based on this fact, it is rational to conclude that people with low income should stop taking out loan after loan in an attempt to increase their purchasing power, on the contrary, they should try to increase their disposable income which is the amount remaining after deduction of taxes and social security charges.


Increasing wages or reducing inflation are not enough alone to motivate people to save money. When people go out, they should be able to see others spending in line with the country’s average income level. If, instead, they see people leading luxurious lifestyles, both the government and the private sector pouring money in expensive projects everywhere, they too want and try to be a part of such privilege.


So, instead of dispersing resources as if to beggars, our economy must be redesigned in a way that enables people to meet their essential needs without enduring financial hardship. As wages, rents, prices and earnings are going up, 80% of Türkiye is becoming poor and cannot receive a fair share of national income, which apparently suggests the presence of an oligarchy, created knowingly or unknowingly.