The goal? A total revamp of the economic system that sidelines the interests of the majority. The time? Now.
And the stakes couldn’t be higher.
At issue is the global inequality crisis that is “spiraling out of control,” an alliance of nine groups including Amnesty International, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Greenpeace, International Trade Union Confederation, and Oxfam says, as they issue a joint call for a “better world than this.”
The groups’ statement comes as over 2,500 members of the global elite gather in Davos, Switzerland for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forrum—an “invitation-only gathering,” as Nick Buxton of the Transnational Institute writes, that “is increasingly where global decisions are being taken and moreover is becoming the default form of global governance.”
Putting an end to historic levels of inequality, or “ending this great divide,” as the groups write, is at its core about the “struggles for a better world,” with the future of the planet, democratic rights, and the value of all sectors of students hanging in the balance.
Right now, though, “[t]he struggle to realize the human rights of the majority are continually undercut in the face of such disparities of wealth and power,” the statement reads.
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The current economic system—deliberately put in place by “our leaders listening to the 1% instead of to the majority”—is a disaster for the global public, they state, as it “helps only a small elite, and is failing the majority, and failing the planet.”
A better system, they say, would “put the interests of the people first,” and the transformation of the economic system must happen “on a scale never seen before.”
The statement, they add, marks “the beginnings of a global alliance to fight inequality,” as they vow to tackle to the roots of the crisis, including land reform, workers’ rights to collective bargaining, the right to health and education, corporate power, and violence against and discriminatory pay for women.
How to bring about such a new system? It can only happen by “a people powered movement [that] can build a breakthrough that unites governments, trade unions, civil society and companies who share a commitment to the common good,” the groups say.
“We choose to imagine a better world than this,” statement concludes, “And we believe the time has come to fight for it together.”
The call comes days after an Oxfam report found that the world’s 62 wealthiest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the global population. “Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rate,” the report states.
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