It’s that time of year for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which means it’s also time for the usual left-wing, class-envy triathlon event.
Davos is supposed to be a forward-looking event about opportunity and technological breakthroughs, but the media coverage favors activist groups that want to seize the spotlight for various forms of socialist theater.
Reuters gets on a nice roll about “inequality” before veering into the Sunni-Shiite crisis in the Middle East:
Politicians and business leaders gathering in the Swiss Alps this week face an increasingly divided world, with the poor falling further behind the super-rich and political fissures in the United States, Europe and the Middle East running deeper than at any time in decades.
Just 62 people, 53 of them men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population and the richest 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent put together, anti-poverty charity Oxfam said on Monday.
Significantly, the wealth gap is widening faster than anyone anticipated, with the 1 percent overtaking the rest one year earlier than Oxfam had predicted only a year ago.
Rising inequality and a widening trust gap between people and their political leaders are big challenges for the global elite as they converge on Davos for the annual World Economic Forum, which runs from Jan. 20 to 23.
But the divisions go far beyond those that exist between the haves and have-nots. In the Middle East, the divide between Shi’ites and Sunnis has reached crisis point, with Iran and Saudi Arabia jostling openly for influence in a region reeling from war and the barbarism of Islamic extremists.
You know, those Islamic extremists have a solution to the “unequal distribution of wealth” — kill the people who have what you want and take it. A somewhat less-extreme contingent has rediscovered the ancient practice of redistributing wealth by migrating en-masse into someone else’s homeland.
How can anyone on the hard left object to these practices? Once we’ve decided property ownership is up for grabs, and that political power matters more than lawful capitalism, all that remains is to decide what sort of coercive force will be used and whose “entitlements” should take precedence.
“Just 62 people, 53 of them men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population…” Oh, my God, we’re into gender-norming with billionaires now. It’s not fair that only nine of the people who own half the world are women!
Did any of these 62 world-bestriding super-rich people steal their money? We never get any allegations, never anything that lines up with the Western ideal of due process, with clearly defined charges and accusers faced. We just get statistics that supposedly demonstrate some vague offense has been perpetrated against the poor, with demands for the remedial seizure of wealth, skipping all that messy business about a trial and evidence.
The very notion that political power can achieve economic “equality” is the biggest lie ever told. You will find nothing of the sort in any place — in this century or previous ones — where politicians seize power over production and wealth.
Quite the opposite. The more powerful the State becomes, the more disproportionately wealth a tiny, politically-connected elite gets, while everyone else sinks into poverty and despair.
And that government-ruling elite does get its riches by stealing them at gunpoint, rather than producing and selling useful things. They don’t react well to having this non-commercial strategy pointed out. The most important difference between “income inequality” under capitalism vs. socialism is that you get severely punished for complaining about it under the latter system.
Also, Trumpophobia is running wild at Davos this year — something Reuters only alludes to, but Bloomberg News makes the headline with “The Specter of Donald Trump Is Haunting Davos.”
“The prospect of Trump in the White House is ratcheting up anxiety among the 2,500 business and political leaders gathered at the Swiss ski resort for the annual World Economic Forum,” Bloomberg writes.
With less than two weeks before voting in primaries gets under way and Trump in the Republican Party lead, those who fear a rise in protectionism and economic mismanagement are speaking out against the billionaire property developer.
This is followed from quotes by former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declaring that a Trump presidency is “a very serious prospect for the world,” former Clinton Administration Treasury advisor Beth Brooke-Marciniak pronouncing it a “disaster,” and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson announcing that he’s “really looking forward” to the “wonderful catharsis” of “Trump’s humiliation.”
It’s hard to top lefty supervillain George Soros popping up to announce that Trump (and Ted Cruz) are “doing the work of ISIS,” because they “want people to turn against the Muslim community and make the Muslim community think there is no alternative to terrorism,” which “turns the Muslim community into a breeding ground for ISIS.”
Wow, it sounds like Soros doesn’t think much of “moderate Muslims” at all — he thinks they’re all ready to view terrorism as the only alternative to Trump and Cruz! Will any activists demand he apologize for that?
Then again, Soros went on to worry about the refugee flood into Europe reaching a “tipping point where the influx reduces the capacity of receiving countries assimilate or integrate the refugees and we have a panic,” which has turned Europe into the equivalent of “a cinema on fire without exit signs,” which sounds… kind of like what Trump was saying.
Soros should denounce himself for doing the work of ISIS. Maybe then we can get on with the world economic forum, and roll out some cool new technology to moon over.