Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ideas to spread wealth are being considered in Davos at the World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland

One good trend that I see today is that more and more people are talking about how to eliminate poverty. (Poverty exists when people are not able to make enough money to live at acceptable life standards.)

Unfortunately, a stronger trend seems to be that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  In New York City, for example, there is a huge gap (distance, disparity) between those who are very rich and those who are very poor.

Here is an article about an international forum (meeting) where they are considering how to spread the world's wealth around so that everyone can live more meaningfully.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to ponder something - to think about something, pondering implies that you think a little more deeply and for a longer time than ordinary thinking

how to level the field - how to make things equal; an unlevel field means that one part of the field is higher than the other part

getting back on its feet - recovering, getting better

delegates - representatives of big business groups and governments.  The World Economic Forum is happening in Davos, Switzerland these days.  A forum is  agathering of people to discuss some matter.

vexing - annoying, troubling, irritating

to tax world leaders - in this case, ' to tax' means 'to challenge.'  If you are faced with a taxing problem, you are faced with a challenging problem.  To tax can mean, to challenge, to cause problems for etc.

to stem the liquidity drain - to stem something means to stop it at its source; liquidity refers to money, a drain is when something is being lost (in the middle of your sink there is a drain where water goes down into pipes)

reeling - if someone hits you hard in the head, you will 'reel'; to reel is to stagger.  So the writer is being figurative with language here - the economic crisis really hurt the world's economies so that they were shocked or stunned and could not function as well any more

to soar - to increase rapidly

debt-laden - carrying a lot of debt, burdened with debt, having a lot of debt

predecessors - those who came before

dangers are not lost on - these people are not unaware of the dangers of income inequality; these people in Davos are aware of the dangers

the squeezing effect - it added stress and pressure to the middle class, it made life more difficult for the middle class

polarization - the earth has a North Pole and a South Pole, so if an issue causes polarization, there are some people on one extreme side and others on another extreme side.  So in developing economies, you get very very very rich people and very very very poor people.

emerging - starting

advocates (of globalization) - people who believe in globalization and who recommend it or speak in favor of it

a platform tenet - when a candidate is running for the presidency in the USA, he creates a 'platform.' This is, basically, a list of things he/she believes in and wants to do.  A tenet is a principle or item in the platform.  In general a tenet is something you believe in. i.e.  I tend to guide my life according to the tenet that I should be kind to everyone.

a pledge - a promise

shrinking - their numbers are dropping

disparity - difference, if there is a disparity between two things, there is a noticeable difference

a wake up call - it should make people aware that something is very wrong and that immediate change is required

much to come it - much to come from it (the writer made a mistake); he doesn't expect to see any progress coming from Davos

more balanced growth - not a lot of growth in one or a few areas, but meaningful growth all over the place

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