Experts ID Top Threat to Global Stability: ‘Staggering’ Inequality

Photo (cc) by ItamaratyGovBr

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. It is cliche, but unfortunately true, and it describes the biggest threat to the global economy, according to experts gathered in Switzerland this week.

In their newly published Global Risks 2014 report by the World Economic Forum, the group identified the world’s ever-increasing wealth gap as the risk “most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade.”

The report, which incorporates contributions from 700 global experts, analyzes 31 global risks, measuring each risk in terms of its likelihood and potential impact. The report is the centerpiece of the WEF’s annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

“Each risk considered in this report holds the potential for failure on a global scale; however, it is their interconnected nature that makes their negative implications so pronounced as together they can have an augmented effect,” Jennifer Blanke, chief economist at the WEF, said in a statement.

The report also identifies extreme weather events, unemployment and underemployment, climate change and cyber attacks as other events that have the most likelihood to wreak havoc on a global scale, the WEF release said.

Philip Jennings, general secretary of the UNI Global Union, which represents service workers around the world, told The Guardian that the report should serve as a wake-up call to world leaders.

These are global issues we can do something about: We can twist the global economy back into shape – this includes a new commitment to create jobs, address income inequality and falling living standards. Since the global financial crisis, it’s been a race to the bottom in jobs, wages and living standards.

The richest 1 percent of the world’s population will have more than half of the world’s wealth by next year. That mind-boggling statistic is from the development nonprofit Oxfam America Inc., Bloomberg reports.

“The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering,” Winnie Byanyima, a co-chairwoman of the events in Davos and Oxfam’s executive director, said in a statement. “Despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.”

The WEF meeting is attended by business leaders, bankers and politicians from across the globe.

Do you agree with the WEF’s identification of the global wealth gap as the biggest threat facing the world? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

These free apps and websites can help you get cash back on groceries, shop more efficiently or squeeze the most from the ingredients you have on hand.

Replace These 8 Things — for Your Health and Your Budget
Replace These 8 Things — for Your Health and Your Budget

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these things. Waiting too long can cost money or even endanger your health.

3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing
3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing

Not using any of these methods for saving on laundry detergent? Then, you are washing money down the drain.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.