It was recently announced that 62 people own as much wealth as half of the world’s poorest. And that’s bad for everyone.
The research, conducted by the charity Oxfam, found that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – 3.6 billion people – has fallen by 41 per cent, or a trillion US dollars, since 2010.
While this group has become poorer, the wealth of the richest 62 people on the planet has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.
I’ll say clearly here that my views are centre-right. I tip towards Conservatism, from a moderate perspective. That means I don’t believe in stealing from the rich to feed the poor, through high taxation, centralist policy-making, and the growth of the State. I have worked within industries effected by such policies and seen nothing that proved this was a good way of doing things.
What I do believe, however, is that it is more than possible for the entire world to benefit from econonomic development.
How is this possible? Through the moral judgement of those running businesses. It is possible to pay living wages to all of your staff, to value the skills and experience of your staff, and to pay into and to support the communities around where your businesses operate.
But, this is a major step in the wrong direction. Amassing a major wealth of money, with the kind of numbers that is difficult to fathom, deprives the majority from any ability to grow within their own means.
It’s important for businesses to realise that people begin from a starting point of knowing nothing. That’s why apprenticeships, or on the job training are important. There are great, intelligent, and talented people all around us. But, recruitment has been reduced to a pseudo-scientific process that looks for people who either know the rules of the game, can complete mind-bending tests that tell little about real on-the-job performance, or who have already done the job before. The entry-level does not truly exist.
Invest in the future of your business by looking for natural talent, energy, and a willingness to learn. This should be key for the entry-level of a business. It’s then up to you to invest in and nurture your people. It’s at that point that your people will invest back into you — and you will then get the most value from your talent.
And, as a member of the senior management team of a business, it’s important to realise at what level your own earnings should be enough. And that it’s time to reinvest that surplus into your staff salaries.
But, this is a difficult problem to solve. The issue transcends multiple cultures, economies, and societies. And that means, to unlock that wealth, we need consensus. And we know that’s not going to happen.
If it’s going to be resolved, it’s going to happen in a trickle manner. One business at a time needs to adapt to investing back into those that need the wealth more.
This the key element, though. It needs to be organic. You need to allow the market and the society to accomplish this. If you try and prescribe this through taxation and regulation, there will be nothing but push-back and loop-hole seeking.
And that means it will be slow.
KG Heath is a healthcare technology professional, horror author, podcaster, and self-improvement blogger. You can get his debut novel free here.