The poor and the rich: Any solution?
A regular World Policy Forum is to take place in Russia's Yaroslavl in the beginning of September. On June 9, forum section "The Poor and the Rich: Where is Justice?" held a discussion in Madrid., Spain.
The meeting for the section was organized by the administration of the Global Policy Forum (on Russia's side) and by the Business School of the Institute for Entrepreneurship (on Spain's side). Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Russia in Spain Alexander Kuznetsov, Valery Fadeyev, the director of the Institute of Social Projection, Vladislav Inozemtsev, the director of the executive board of the Global Policy Forum, Santiago Iniguez de Ozono, Rector of IE University and the Dean of IE Business School in Madrid (Spain), Manuel Montes, Chief, Policy Analysis and Development Branch at Financing for Development Office of UNDESA and other experts from Russia, Spain and the United States took part in the discussion.
Valery Fadeev, the moderator of "The Poor and the Rich: Where is Justice?", said in the beginning of the discussion that a number of decisions related to the development of social systems had become outdated because they were developed in the middle of the 20th century. The decisions, the official added, need to be revised, reconsidered and modernized today. Other ideas and prognoses do not become materialized either, he said. Contrary to expectations, societies do not become more stable and socially fair, he said.
There is a trend in modern states to erode middle classes, Fadeev said. This has become particularly noticeable in the United States after the world financial crisis. More and more people are being pushed towards lower layers of the society. It is not clear yet, how this process is going to be compensated for and how the world is going to be organized socially in 10-15 years.
It has become obvious that the system of social guarantees needs to be reconsidered and modernized. First and foremost, it goes about the health care and pension system. The pension system can hardly serve as a supportive measure for elderly citizens in modern-day countries.
Santiago Iniguez de Ozono believes that the gap between the poor and the rich can become smaller with the help of education. According to him, education gives people an opportunity to enter the labor market and to develop and grow. Any young person, regardless of their place of residence or level of income, must have a right to receive high quality education. According to Ozono, young people can successfully receive education online nowadays.
Vladislav Inozemtsev does not think that higher education can become a real tool capable of making the world better. Good education is still affordable to financially secure people. Consequently, it is possible for a person to get a high-paid job only if this person can afford such education in the first place. In addition, Mr. Inozemtsev doubts that online education can be helpful for various layers of the society.
"Internet is good to receive information, but not knowledge. Information is available, but the society suffers from the shortage of knowledge. There is a difference in accessing information and accessing knowledge," he said.
Section "The Poor and the Rich: Where is Justice" will gather for a meeting within the scope of the Global Policy Forum in Yaroslavl in September 2011.