Extreme Income Inequality: ‘It’s fantastic’

 Differences in national income equality around the world as measured by the national Gini coefficient. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, and everyone else has zero income). Image By Hysohan (Data from Gini Coefficient World CIA Report 2009) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Differences in national income equality around the world as measured by the national Gini coefficient. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, and everyone else has zero income). (Click image to enlarge)
Image By Hysohan (Data from Gini Coefficient World CIA Report 2009) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is convening in Davos, Switzerland this week. Comprised of the world’s richest individuals, top CEO’s, world leaders and other powerful people, the intent of the meetings is to map out plans for the world’s economy during 2014.

The annual meeting chooses a theme each year. The 2014 theme is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business” and takes place over 4 days of meetings and forums, according to a piece released by Time, engaging “on all platforms” at the conference. “Our aim is to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges,” a statement from Time reads. The theme itself sounds ominous for the people not included at the meeting, since the decisions there will effect their lives the most.

Income inequality is scheduled to be one of the topics discussed. Irony is not. We should all have confidence in the WEF when we hear “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary say “it’s fantastic” that the world’s 85 richest people hold as much wealth as its 3.5 billion poorest people. In a study by an international relief organization, Oxfam, a new report this week found the richest 1 percent in the world controlled about $110 trillion in wealth, or 65 times more than the world’s poorest half.

Do the people meeting in Davos have any frame of reference to be anything but the 1% at the top? Do they know the struggles of a South African family trying to survive on $1 a day? Do they comprehend the oppression when $.23 an hour is considered “good pay” in some countries? How many times have they been homeless, hungry and cold? Has unemployment ever been their only means of survival? How many representatives of the actual 99% will be at the WEF?

Have you ever wanted to replace the “E” with a “T” in this wheel of fortune called a Forum?

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About MNgranny

An activist since the age of 17, MNgranny embraced the Occupy Movement from its beginning. After earning a BA in Mass Communications and enjoying a 30 year career, she is now disabled and dedicates her life to changing the world for the next generation. Her experiences include volunteering in community service organizations and taking leadership roles throughout her academic and professional life. She is also a survivor of rape and domestic violence, a published author and a master naturalist. She has focused for the last several years on studying Middle East geopolitical impacts, and specializes in Kurdish history, culture and politics.

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