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The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer

Inequality and the World Economic Forum

By Arlo HenningsPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer
Photo by Jordan Opel on Unsplash

During the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, private jets ruled the day.

Protesters carried their angst-filled messages of an equal and cleaner world.

The richest 1 percent of people on Earth made almost two-thirds of the new wealth created since the pandemic began, Oxfam said in a report released Monday, the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps. The group proposed to increase tax on billionaires' income.

The world's richest have absorbed a greater proportion of global wealth during the pandemic and over the past decade, while global poverty has increased for the first time in 25 years, according to the report, titled "Survival of the Richest." It added that the planet is facing a "polycrisis" of climate change, cost-of-living burdens, widespread hunger, and an unprecedented decline in human development.

"As a starting point, the world should aim to halve the wealth and number of billionaires between now and 2030, both by increasing taxes on the top 1% and adopting other billionaire-busting policies," the report said.

"While ordinary people are making daily sacrifices on essentials like food, the super-rich has outdone even their wildest dreams," Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, said in a release. "Just two years in, this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires - a roaring '20s boom for the world's richest."

And so it goes. The same old worn-out groove - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

What looks like the Cannes Film Festival with private jets, frosted fork dinners, and luxury accommodations the WEF doesn't worry about the tab.

The elite comes together to schmooze about the sorry state of the planet.

From the environment to humanitarian all are complex topics that need to be discussed but besides high profile publicity, does anything come of it?

On the board of the World Economic Forum trustees are Kings and Queens, Corporate ring leaders, and other big names on the name-for-sale circuit.

How does Yo Yo Ma get on so many of these swanky boards?

Going through the World Forum's meeting topic list is impressive but I also find it lofty.


I grew up in poverty and live in Indonesia - the sixth country of greatest wealth inequality in the world.

Today, the four richest men in Indonesia have more wealth than the combined total of the poorest 100 million people.

In the past two decades, the gap between the richest and the rest in Indonesia has grown faster than in any other country in South-East Asia.

Growing inequality is undermining the fight against poverty, putting a brake on economic growth, and threatening social cohesion.

Briefly, the vast majority of the land is owned by big corporations and rich people who get all the benefits. Likewise, the education system is underfunded and there are barriers to equal access, which means many Indonesian workers cannot access higher-skilled and higher-paid jobs.

I live among the commoners who struggle to put a bowl of rice on the table, afford petrol for their motorbikes, and to buy their kid's education.

There's a public desire for the government to close the gap, and President Jokowi has made fighting inequality his administration's top priority.

However, little happens. Instead, the Indonesian Government is moving from its sinking home in Jakarta to a new futuristic dream city called Nusantara.

The slums and the millions who inhabit them will be left behind to fend for themselves.

Photo by Author - Jakarta slums

Inequality, although a main gripe with protesters is somewhere less a priority when big money is on the table.

The list of public figures attending the forum for the most part is Government finance people.

The list includes (3) Indonesian Government finance officials. The topic is oil, not inequality.

The World Economic Forum has 193 State members. It is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industrial agendas.

I call the World Economic Forum the Great Banking Transaction.

Other writing by author

new world order

About the Creator

Arlo Hennings

Author 2 non-fiction books, music publisher, expat, father, cultural ambassador, PhD, MFA (Creative Writing), B.A.

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