Corporate influence over policy-making damages human rights. Nick Buxton considers the impact of Davos
by Nick Buxton, Transnational Institute
Two years after Occupy gave voice to popular anger at inequality, the issue of the 1% continues to top the political agenda. At times, though, this takes a very incongruous form, and no more so than last week, when multi-millionaires on their annual $100,000 pilgrimage to Davos declared income disparity as their ‘number one’ concern.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) even seemed to welcome admonishment from the Pope and Oxfam; Klaus Schwab, the executive Chair, agreed that ‘we have too large a disparity in the world’ and ‘need more inclusiveness’.
But there was one admonishment that those at WEF were not willing to listen to: the challenge to their assumption that they should decide on global issues. The concentration of wealth, highlighted by Oxfam’s report that 85 of the richest people own the same wealth as half the world’s population, is only part of the picture.
The bigger issue is the concentration of power that arises from and generates further wealth concentration. Addressing this will mean questioning the very existence of Davos and the way it has fostered and encouraged policies that have entrenched corporate rule and élite power in recent decades. [MORE]