After Brexit and the outcome of the US presidential election it’s essential to deal with the huge problem of inequality. World leaders are voicing their concern at The World Economic Forum. The Economist‘s economics editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes was of that opinion already four years ago. In this short video she explains why rising inequality around the world is a major headache:
To keep on ignoring this enormous problem facing the world will lead to more Brexits and Trumps. Do we really want a world run by populist autocrats where human rights, freedom of speech and other fundamental rights that we take for granted are being diluted? Or worse abolished. A Brave New World like Aldouxs Huxley imagined it. Have personally written about the problem of inequality and what it will lead to since I started this blog in 2009. And now we see the results of politicians ignorning it in order to keep power. Unless the world wants more demagogues in power poiliticians worldwide need to wake up and take action. As far as a capitalist like me is concerned socialism is a better option than fascism. Never thought fascism would be on the rise again after Hitler. But it is.
Will democracy decline?
Inequality has widened for decades in two thirds of the rich countries and many emerging economies, including India and China. The global crisis in 2008 made it even more of a problem, not least because of the austerity measures being implemented. The Davos meeting this year included this article focusing on fixing inequality.
It’s in times like these that democracy declines and autocrats get the opportunity to grab power. Last year notably in the US and the Philippines. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, featured in the main picture. has contributed to increasing the inequality that resulted in Brexit. She is now faced with handling Britain leaving the EU and seems to believe that grovelling to Trump is the way forward. It’s time for her and politicians globally to stop focusing on their own interest and make sure inequality is reduced. If not, we will have more demagogues in power . Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill would be appaled if he was knew a British PM was grovelling to a demagogue. If he had grovelled to Hitler Germany would have won World War II.
Do you want a world run like Russia today where stalinism is alive and people are, again, afraid of knocks on the door in the middle of the night? Uncle Joe has been ten feet under since 1953 but his ideas of how to run a country have been implemented again. If Russia has its way Eastern Europe will again be dependent on them and a new Iron Curtain will be raised. If the new US president scraps NATO and let’s Putin have his way in Europe that will definitely happen. We will, in other words, switch time back to the end of World War II instead of moving ahead and keep on developing liberal democracy. Bertrand Russell wrote already in the 50s that he hoped liberal democracy would survive. But will it? Or will the world, like throughout history, after a time of democracy move into dictatorships with autocrats in charge? Hopefully not, but if inequality is not dealt with we will leave liberal democracy behind.
Do you agree that rising inequality is the main risk facing our world? If so, what do you think should be done to stop income disparity getting completely out of hand? Should austerity be abolished and economies stimulated to make them grow and hence have a positive impact on inequality? What’s your suggestion? How can we make life better for more people so they spend money and hence improve the world economy? Or are you of the opinion that rising inequality is a good thing and that the leaders telling the WEF it’s the main problem facing the world are wrong? What will happen if inequality is not diminished? Will we have more demagogues in power that will increase inequality? Or maybe you believe that it’s better to leave democracy behind and have strong men in charge?
Video: EconomistMagazine Picture: World Economic Forum + Number 10