The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is starting today in Davos, Switzerland, attended by the leaders of the the wealthiest economies and the biggest corporations. And, in what has become something of an annual ritual, Oxfam has expressed its objection to the gross inequalities between rich and poor in the world.
Eight billionaires have riches equivalent to the same wealth as half the world, campaigners have warned world leaders gathering for talks in Switzerland…
Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “This year’s snapshot of inequality is clearer, more accurate and more shocking than ever before. “It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity. While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it. The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become.”
Goldring is here articulating the obvious and instinctive response that most of us feel in hearing these alarming statistics. But the response to the data has another interpretation, and whilst Oxfam’s statement appeals to the emotions, those on the other side seek to appeal to statistical reason.