THE FIGHT FOR FAIRNESS
Extreme wealth and extreme poverty have sharply increased simultaneously for the first time in 25 years. Now, in 2023 there is a feeling that some in power (governing bodies, financial institutions and elites) have prioritised their own gains and have misled the public. Oxfam’s recent report ‘Survival of the Richest’ illustrates a mindset shift among more people around the world that the unfair division of wealth needs to change.
“Inequality is one of the most important issues today and, left unabated, has the potential to exacerbate many of the social cleavages that exist within our society. Addressing it, therefore, should be at the forefront of our policy agendas, and this report presents an important but insufficiently explored way of doing just that: taxing the rich.” Chenai C. Mukumba, Executive Director of Tax Justice Network Africa, Oxfam’s Survival of the Richest Report 2023
The report also reveals that since 2020, the richest 1% have bagged nearly two-thirds of all new wealth over the past two years, nearly twice as much money as the bottom 99% of the world’s population. Naturally, young people are questioning these inequalities, shining a light on them as proof of a ‘failing economic system’. Youth leaders speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2023 expressed a similar sentiment. Action needs to be taken to give young people the agency to impact their future, and facilitate intergenerational collaboration (especially with those vulnerable to these inequalities increasing worldwide):
"We must invest in young people’s livelihoods, rights and opportunities to live dignified lives. The onus must be on companies to address stagnant wages and governments to ensure that the debt burden and the upholding of social systems do not fall on youth and future generations.” Noura Berrouba, Global Shaper, Stockholm speaking at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.