❝ How can we create, as Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima puts it in this article, “an economy that works for the 99% “ and not just the fortunate few?
We asked 10 Davos participants for their thoughts; here’s what they had to say.
Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester
❝ I would pay teachers at schools in poor communities such high wages that the very best people would want to take the job. That’s not the only change needed in education. We must also think more seriously about the skills our children will need for the world they’ll graduate into, and how to equip them with those skills. And the needs will differ from place to place, so more local control over education policy would make sense, too. But the top priority should be getting society’s most talented people on the task of preventing whole communities from falling further and further behind.
Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Harvard University
❝ …Trade protectionism will not bring back disappearing manufacturing jobs to the United States or Europe. Instead it will only raise prices of many goods that low-income consumers depend on, and accelerate the pace of mechanization. The best solution to inequality in advanced economies lies in greater redistribution through taxes and transfers, and in improved – and more equal – education at all levels…
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
❝ …Wage share continues to fall further behind both productivity and profits. People are fighting back at the ballot box but tragically the alternatives offered by populist political leaders, with people excluded by race, religion, gender or sexual preference, will not offer inclusive solutions. Governments are caught in the web of corporate capture and fail to regulate or to defend their own people by prosecuting corporations for human and labour rights abuse. Tax fraud and unjust corporate tax concessions threaten essential public services…
RTFA. This is just a taste from a single article. Like the best forums, particularly internationally chartered, a pretty wide range of viewpoints is on display in Davos, this year.
If, like Donald Trump, you think you’re better off ignoring the discussion, then, I’d suggest President Xi’s response to that concept: “Pursuing protectionism is like locking yourself in a dark room, which would seem to escape the wind and rain, but also block out the sunshine and air…”