Socialist Worker

Politicians and billionaires strike dodgy deals at Davos

by Gabby Thorpe
Issue No. 2688

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Delegates are ready to cook up deals (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)


Billionaire bosses, politicians and celebrities descended on Davos in Switzerland this week for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF was set up to “improve the state of the world”. But in reality, it’s just a chance for politicians and billionaires to make deals.

Among guests will be climate activist Greta Thunberg and US president Donald Trump. Trump is set to give a speech on Tuesday, as his impeachment trial begins in the senate.

Oxfam has published its annual report on inequality ahead of the conference. The report showed that the 2,153 billionaires in the world have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.

And the 22 richest men have more wealth than the 326 million women over 20 years old living in Africa.

Oxfam says that the number of billionaires has doubled over the last year, at the cost of ordinary people.

The report focusses on how wealth inequality disproportionately affects women. Women and girls carry out more than 75 percent of unpaid care work globally.

Some 42 per cent of women across the world can’t go into paid employment because they are responsible for taking care of someone else. Those who have paid jobs in care have to put up with irregular hours and poor pay.

Contributes

Calculations carried out by Oxfam revealed that the care work carried out by women contributes over £8.3 trillion to the global economy.

According to the report, a rise of just 0.5 percent in taxes on the richest one percent over ten years would equal enough investment to create 117 million jobs in care sectors.

This job creation would help to ease the immense burden put on women around the world.

Amitabh Behar, the CEO of Oxfam India, is attending WEF to represent the charity. He said, “Governments created the inequality crisis—they must act now to end it.

“They must ensure corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax and increase investment in public services and infrastructure.”

Climate change is also set to be on the agenda in Davos. The International Monetary Fund has warned that the economy is vulnerable to the climate emergency. But it’s the ruling classes that are causing the crisis.

Hundreds of climate protesters embarked on a three day march to Davos on Sunday. Rosalina Mueller from co-organisers Young Socialists said, “They say they want to make the world better, but for 50 years they haven’t done anything.”

Those attending WEF won’t make plans to end inequality or deal with climate change. The only way to put a stop to these issues is by ending the capitalist system that profits from them.


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