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Dear Davos Attendees: Stop Talking about Changing the World

Source | LinkedIn | Dan Price | Founder/CEO, Gravity Payments

Dear Davos Attendees,

The theme of your annual meeting this year is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Another way of putting this might be “For too long we’ve focused on how to make as much money as possible at the expense of society and the planet, and now that harm is coming back to bite us, so we should figure out how to make things right.” 

Based on the coverage I’ve read so far this week, it seems like you’re doing a great job of talking about these issues. But what are you actually going to do about them? 

At a panel discussion on the first day of the conference, Salesforce CEO and billionaire Marc Benioff declared “Capitalism as we have known it is dead. This obsession that we have with maximizing profits for shareholders alone has led to incredible inequality and a planetary emergency.” He’s right. Consider some of the stats:

  • The world’s 2,153 billionaires (that’s you!) own more wealth than roughly 60% of the global population (4.6 billion people).
  • 60 Fortune 500 companies–including Amazon, Netflix, and, yes, Salesforce–paid $0 in federal taxes in 2018.
  • CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978. In the same time frame, typical worker pay has increased just 12%.
  • According to the US Census Bureau, income inequality is the highest it’s been in 50 years (since data has been available).

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