Income Disparity Tops the List of Global Risks

In a tumultuous year of social unrest stemming from the lack of economic opportunities, it should come as no surprise that income disparity rose to the top as a major threat to global economic stability.

Severe income disparity and fiscal imbalances are the biggest threats to globalization, according to the 2012 Global Risks report released last week. The content of the report will be on the agenda for the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos on January 25-29.

The findings, which results from a survey of 469 industry experts, indicates a shift towards social and economical risks and away from the environmental risks seen in last year’s report. In the 2012 report, 50 risks are assessed (compared to 37 in previous years) and grouped into five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological.

The gains of globalization are at risk of being reversed by the “seeds of dystopia,” according to the report. The Arab Spring, the Occupy movement and the protests in Europe are the results of the civil discontent emerging from the lack of job opportunities, social entitlements and a stable economy.

“For the first time in generations, many people no longer believe that their children will grow up to enjoy a higher standard of living than theirs,” said Lee Howell, the World Economic Forum Managing Director responsible for the report. “This new malaise is particularly acute in the industrialized countries that historically have been a source of great confidence and bold ideas.”

Other major risks includes the “dark side of connectivity,” where cyber attacks, subversion and espionage make us vulnerable to the pitfalls of online systems.

Check out the report here.


Photo credit: shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less