In recent decades, the gap between the wealthy people and the rest of the people in Jakarta has tremendously increased more than all the countries in South-East Asia (Wilson, 2017). Notably, Indonesia is ranked number six globally in terms of wealth inequality. Additionally, the four richest people in Indonesia currently own more wealth compared to the total wealth owned by the poor group, which is approximately 100 million people. Thus, it corroborates the concentration of wealth among a few individuals in Jakarta's capital city. Inequality in the country has adversely affected vulnerable citizens, especially women who experience insecurity at work and feel the pain of low wages. Access to infrastructure, including roads and electricity is unequal with a higher concentration of such services in the capital city of Jakarta and a low concentration in the rural areas (Wilson, 2017). Similarly, the huge size of the land is seized by rich individuals and big corporations who enjoy the benefits. Also, the education system is underfunded, and there is inequality in access.
What occurred in Jakarta is a significant reflection of what has been happening in the whole country. As the country undergoes a higher rate of economic growth, the gap between the poor and the rich is widening due to the high concentration of wealth among a few individuals. For instance, the Gini coefficient, which is used as an indicator of the country's inequality, increased from 0.3 to 0.4 in 2000 and 2015, respectively (Thynell, 2018). Based on the report by the World Bank, the county is among the highest concentration of wealth in the world. The richest in Jakarta, which is estimated to be 10 percent of the country's population, possesses approximately 77 percent of the country's wealth (Thynell, 2018). Unfortunately, wealth concentration in Jakarta is rapidly increasing compared to any other place in the world. Precisely, the income derived from the assets owned by the rich is taxed at a reduced rate with a significantly low rate of compliance compared to income from ordinary workers.
Based on the inequality rate in Jakarta, rich individuals have the opportunity to save a higher percentage of their income than the poor, thereby enhancing inequality in the long run. The fundamental evidence in Jakarta is the inequality that occurs in opportunities. Thus, children from low-income families lack a similar opportunity for education as their counterparts in rich families. The rich take their children to more expensive and high-quality schools, as those from low-income families are taken to mediocre schools (Hosseinpoor et al., 2018). The quality of the two categories of schools reflects a high concentration of wealth among the rich as the poor perpetually surfer and struggle in Jakarta.
In conclusion, inadequate sanitation and nutrition, and other services among children from low-income families demonstrates that they are less healthy compared to the children from rich families who have good food and adequate sanitation; hence, impairing the cognitive development among such children; thereby showing a perpetual concentration of wealth among the rich. The government may implement policies that would reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in the future.
Hosseinpoor, A. R., Nambiar, D., Tawilah, J., Schlotheuber, A., Briot, B., Bateman, M., Prasetyo, S. (2018). Capacity building for health inequality monitoring in Indonesia: enhancing the equity orientation of country health information systems. Global Health Action, 11(sup1), 7-12.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16549716.2017.1419739Thynell, M. (2018). Urban inequality in a fragile global city: The case of Jakarta. In Jakarta (pp. 15-40). Routledge.
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315111919/chapters/10.4324%2F978131511Wilson, I. (2017). Jakarta: inequality and the poverty of elite pluralism. New Mandala, 19.
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