Four NGO’s have banded together to fight inequality: Action Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam and Civicus. All joined to bring attention to the lopsided concentration of wealth, what we often call the 1%, something they see as undermining efforts to combat global poverty, environmental degradation and social injustice. In their statement, the four said, “We will work together with others to tackle the root causes of inequality. We will press governments to tackle tax dodging, ensure progressive taxes, provide universal free public health and education services, support workers’ bargaining power, and narrow the gap between rich and poor.” The statement also declared that “Decisions are being shaped in the narrow interests of the richest, at the expense of the people as a whole.” Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, a long-time activist in these causes puts it this way, “Corporations writes the rules, pay the politicians, sometimes illegally and sometimes via what is called legal, which is financing their campaigns or massive lobbying. This has got completely out of control and is leading to the breakdown of modern democracy.” Ben Phillips of Action Aid said that “…we need to shift power away from the 1% and towards the rest of society to prevent all decisions being made in the narrow interests of a privileged few.”
Perhaps these organizations and their spokespeople are idealistic, perhaps they are asking for too much, but they are positing an idea, almost a dream, and as thus are charting a course for many to follow.