Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, helped set the tone for this year's World Economic Forum by releasing the comprehensive report that disclosed that the world's richest 1 percent are on track own more than half of the world's wealth by next year. It is fair to say that the report has been a hot topic at many panel sessions and in informal gatherings.
Between the New Deal and the 1970s, Wall Street was tightly controlled. Taxes on the wealthy were high, worker wages were rising, and debt levels on consumers, companies and government were low. After finance wriggled free from these regulations private and public debt exploded, wages stalled, taxes on the rich fell and inequality soared.
It used to be thought that America's greatest strength was not its military power, but an economic system that was the envy of the world. But why would others seek to emulate an economic model by which a large proportion -- even a majority -- of the population has seen their income stagnate while incomes at the top have soared?