A panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos has become the centre of many people’s attention after a Dutch historian laid into an audience of the rich and elite in a powerful speech.
Rutger Bregman criticised billionaires – who had gathered at a Time magazine panel to discuss ways to solve the problem of inequality – for not paying their fair share of taxes. This, he said, could actually help solve the problem.
A video of the scathing indictment has gone viral on social media. Bregman also attacked the wealthy who tried to propagate the idea that philanthropy is the answer to inequality.
The author of the book Utopia for Realists, he pointed out the irony of 1,500 people travelling by private jets to the mountain town in Switzerland to hear broadcaster David Attenborough’s speech on how the planet was being destroyed.
Others on the panel, including Winnie Byanyima, executive director of anti-poverty NGO Oxfam International, also spoke about the worldwide tax system and how it helped the rich accumulate wealth. She also gave a sharp reply to Ken Goldman, former CFO of Yahoo, who called the panel one-sided for only talking about taxes.
Here is an extended version of the panel discussion: