Published on Voices

Inequality Isn’t Hopeless. But You Need a Plan

ImageDAVOS, Switzerland – When we talk about particularly difficult issues at the World Bank Group, I always ask my team a simple question: What’s the plan?

If they have a plan, the next question I ask is whether the plan is serious enough to match the scale of the problem. Here at the World Economic Forum at Davos, one of the main issues before us is an extraordinarily tough one – how do we reduce the growing income inequality around the world? Income inequality has grown to enormous proportions but my question to World Bank staff and folks here in Davos is the same: What’s the plan to lessen income inequality across the world?

Income inequality can appear to be an intractable problem. But the fact is we already know a lot about how economies can grow in a way that includes even the poorest. We need a plan to tackle inequality and we think there are at least five things that we can do right now that could help.

First, we need to measure inequality in some meaningful way. One year ago, for the first time in history, the World Bank Group committed to measuring every year how the bottom 40 percent of the population is faring; two, we need to provide access to financial services for the 2.5 billion people today who don’t have them; three, we should invest in the right kinds of infrastructure, such as energy in sub-Saharan Africa, which would have a major impact on the creation of jobs; four, we need to take the long view and invest in people through more focused and effective investments in health, education and social production.

Watch the video to learn more, and please write your ideas on the best (and worst) ways to close the gap between the rich and the poor.

This post first appeared in LinkedIn Influencers
(Photo Credit: worldeconomicforum / Flickr)


Jim Yong Kim

Former President, World Bank Group

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