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Why in news? 

  • The latest Oxfam Report presented at Davos points out that 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.
  • The emergence of billionaires and oligarchs in different parts of the world coincides with increased poverty among the already poor people, especially children. 

Excess consumption

  • Egregious consumption of energy by the developed world has been accompanied by the disposal of residual products (‘e-waste’) on the shores of many African and Asian countries.
  • As a result, the poor in the developing world are, unwittingly, drawn and exposed to toxic, hazardous materials like lead, cadmium and arsenic. 

‘Nordic Economic Model’ 

  • Nordic Economic Model pertains to the remarkable achievements of the Scandinavian countries comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and allied territories. 
  • The total population of the Nordic countries is estimated at almost 27 million people. These nations are among the richest in the world when measured in terms of GDP per capita. 
  • They also have large public sector enterprises; extensive and generous universal welfare systems; high levels of taxation, and considerable state involvement in promoting and upholding welfare states.
  • UN reports also indicate that the Nordic countries are the happiest countries in the world.
  • The U.S., in contrast, is in 19th place

Enlightened global order’

  • This should include effective welfare safety nets for all; corruption-free governance; a fundamental right to tuition-free education, including higher education; and a fundamental right to good medical care.
  • This also has to involve shutting of tax havens.
  • In Nordic countries, personal and corporate income tax rates are very high, especially on the very rich.
  • If a just, new world order is to arise, taxes everywhere should go up.
December 2023