Saturday 29 April 2017

Are pampered elites at Davos secretly trying to provoke a peasants' revolt?

It's hard to defend the sight of the richest people in the world living it up in the Swiss Alps

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and George Osborne at the World Economic Forum in Davos Photo:AP
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and George Osborne at the World Economic Forum in Davos Photo:AP

Eilis O'Hanlon

It's that time of year again when Oxfam publishes a report saying that a handful of the world's richest people have more money than half the global population combined, and those who make it their life's work to be outraged at the excesses of capitalism have paroxysms of delicious indignation in response.

Naturally, it never seems to bother any of these doughty warriors against inequality that the figures have repeatedly been debunked by anyone who actually bothers to do the maths, rather than automatically treating partisan press releases as if they were pieces of objective scholarship.

Basically, its critics claim, Oxfam comes to these alarming figures by calculating people's net worth. In other words, their total assets minus any debts.

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