Economic growth has done much to reduce absolute poverty in Thailand. According to the world bank, the poverty rate has dropped from a peak of 42% of the population in 2000 to 13% in 2011.
But the fruits of growth have not been enjoyed equally by all. Measurements of income inequality are little changed over the past two decades despite steady economic expansion. As the gap between the rich and poor widens, social and political instability is inevitable, not just in Thailand but elsewhere in the region.
For Cherian Mathews, the Asia regional director for Oxfam, growth alone clearly will not solve the problem of inequality, the income gap and social marginalisation.
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