By Suhaib Riaz.
At the recently concluded gathering of world elites, also known as the World Economic Forum at Davos, one issue seemed to come up more than it has in the recent past: societal inequality. Oxfam released a well-timed report on economic inequality and directly asked for world elites at Davos to turn their attention to it.
The report highlighted how the 85 richest people in the world (who could hypothetically fit into a double-decker bus) now own wealth equal to the lower 3.5 billion people (half the world’s population). Interestingly, the Oxfam site’s link to the report had the picture of a boat, or more precisely, that of a luxury yacht – presumably the kind that those elites may own or have access to. The water all around it seems stable and beautiful as ever. It is hard to resist a metaphor here, which I will expand on through this article.
On the face of it, the call by Oxfam can be puzzling. The fact that societal elites are being asked to give attention to inequality raises a fundamental question: Why should they care?