It amazing what you can learn reading the New York Times. Andrew Ross Sorkin devoted his column today to the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. He goes through a list of top executives of major companies and then tells readers:
"Whatever their reasons for staying away, the leaders of some of the largest and most transformative companies are demonstrating, with their absence, the difficulty of convening a global conversation with all the main stakeholders. Given that one of the themes this year is how to address economic inequality, it would be helpful to have the world’s largest employers participate in that discussion, not to mention a sampling of rank-and-file workers, who never receive an invitation."
It's not clear why Sorkin thinks that the top executives of the world's largest companies would have something special to say about addressing economic inequality. After all, these are the people who are pushing hardest to increase inequality. This is a bit like bemoaning the failure of tobacco company representatives to show up at a meeting devoted to ending smoking.
Most of us think that these executives focus on getting rich themselves and possibly enriching their shareholders. If they place a lot of emphasis on reducing inequality that would be news to many of us. For example, does the head of a major corporation come to a board meeting and tell the directors:
"sales and profits are down, but we've reduced global inequality."
That would be news if it were the case, but somehow I doubt it. It is reasonable to assume that corporations are trying to make money, which is why their directors have little interest in even pretending they care about inequality.
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