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Self-help is the answer

Where is the World Heading?

January 25, 2017
Plain English Version
Attendee arrive in the Congress Hall during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Photo credit: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Attendees arrive at the Congress Hall during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Photo credit: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Every year wealthy business people meet in Davos, Switzerland. They are people who help plan the future. The choices they make can touch the lives of everyone on the planet.

The meeting has a theme. It is “Committed to Improving the State of the World.” They have a big interest in the issue of “inequality.” That is the difference between the income and wealth of the richest people and the rest of the world.

How to make progress in improving fairness is a big topic at the Davos Conference. They know that all parts of the world are now connected. What happens in one part of the world affects the rest.

It is no longer true that one country can decide for the others. And that includes the United States. This country is the world’s biggest economy.

The world is becoming wealthier. Incomes are rising. Health care and education are easier to come by.

But the future is still unclear. An expert said that history shows there is a risk if people do not feel good about their lives. Things could fall apart. There are important choices ahead.

The meeting spends a lot of time on the disparities in income and wealth. Changes in tax laws are a good way to raise incomes. For years, big companies have made it harder to fight for higher wages.Workers need more bargaining power. Giving more benefits to families, such as childcare, will make lives better. Even the idea of redistributing income is an issue for discussion at the Conference.

In principle, most of the leaders at Davos support these ideas.

What they do not support is the idea that new programs should cost them money. That is because they believe it is up to each to make his or her life better. They believe education and training will help everyone succeed. You just have to be willing to put in the effort.

One wealthy executive said, “People have to take more ownership of upgrading themselves. They have to do this on a continuous basis.”

And so it goes at Davos every year.

Source: The New York Times January 18, 2017

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