The first resolution to come out of the United Nations for the new year is somewhat startling. Poverty has been declared ‘illegal’.
“A minimum living standard should be regarded as a basic human right,” said the secretary general. “In this day and age, governments must ensure that for all their citizens, or step aside and let more competent people govern!”
Another item on the agenda is to reduce global inequality, not only within nation states, an increasingly archaic concept, but also between top earners and the bottom of the pyramid, world-wide.
“But I am not very optimistic when I see that the growth is mostly captured by a political and connected elite working closely with multinational companies, that the wealth created is not being ploughed back into the lives of ordinary people,” added the secretary general. “We need to do more to bring the resources to everyone.”
That was the sentiment at the 2015 World Economic Forum, almost word-for-word, which is why the UN has decided to take strong action. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe have been lifted out of poverty in the past decade, but it’s not enough. It’s time to eradicate poverty completely, and also tackle inequality.
Inequality fosters unrest and foments rebellion. When people are disadvantaged by reason of circumstances controlled by the rich elite, the relative chasm between them stirs resentment, and sometimes violence. No-one wants to bring everyone down to the lowest level; but everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from growth and abundance.