WEF Davos 2013 – Inequality destroys everything

World Eco­no­mic Forum Annu­al Mee­ting 2013 from Janu­ary 23rd to 27th

(Jakob Jor­da­ens – „Feast of the Bean King“ – Wiki­pe­dia)

If this week in Davos, like every year, the power­ful busi­ness lea­ders and poli­ti­ci­ans meet to ren­dez­vous, they will once more be sum­ming up and loo­king for­ward.

It can be admi­ra­b­ly spe­cu­la­ted, just like during the „Bean­fe­ast of pomp and pla­ti­tu­de“ (The Sunday Times Online 2006), how a key issue, such as the gro­wing soci­al ine­qua­li­ty, could come to last.

The sup­po­si­ti­on that it was like a form of „soci­al washing“ can not be dis­mis­sed out of hand. A glo­bal citi­zens unsett­ling the­me is posi­tio­ned, sug­gesting that they are at least worried about it. But how important is this dra­ma­tic deve­lop­ment for orga­ni­zers and guests real­ly? This could be eva­lua­ted, for examp­le, by the amount of doubt that the eli­te in Davos actual­ly has in the exis­ting finan­ci­al sys­tem. But this topic will not at all be dis­cus­sed.

The stu­dy to eva­lua­te glo­bal risks, com­mis­sio­ned in pre­pa­ra­ti­on for this year’s „World Eco­no­mic Forum“ (WEF), comes to con­clu­si­ons which have alre­ady been iden­ti­fied as future risks and sub­mit­ted for dis­cus­sion by other experts for years.

OXFAM, a glo­bal ope­ra­ting aid and deve­lop­ment orga­ni­za­ti­on, points out on the occa­si­on of this years World Eco­no­mic Forum that the 100 richest peop­le of the world (of which many will cer­tain­ly attend in Davos – editor’s note) ear­ned four times the sum that would be nee­ded to over­co­me glo­bal pover­ty in the last year only. A glo­bal „New Deal“ is nee­ded to rever­se the ine­qua­li­ty gro­wing for deca­des.

Joseph E. Stieg­litz recent­ly denoun­ced in the New York Times that, after four deca­des of enlar­ging ine­qua­li­ty, still no action against this deve­lop­ment was taken. He draws par­ti­cu­lar atten­ti­on to the dra­ma­tic disap­pearan­ce of the midd­le class in favor of a gro­wing distan­ce to the abso­lu­te wealt­hiest who get richer with increa­sing speed and bre­ath­ta­king growth figu­res.

Also in the NYT Paul Krug­man replies Sti­glitz with an argu­ment that makes you think:

„So am I say­ing that you can have full employ­ment based on purcha­ses of yachts, luxu­ry cars, and the ser­vices of per­so­nal trai­ners and cele­bri­ty chefs? Well, yes. You don’t have to like it, but eco­no­mics is not a mora­li­ty play, and I’ve yet to see a macro­eco­no­mic argu­ment about why it isn’t pos­si­ble.“

The­se high­ly deco­ra­ted experts sug­gest basi­cal­ly why the eli­tes still not (want to?) reco­gni­ze what the actu­al cau­ses of ine­qua­li­ty are. If the accu­mu­la­ted finan­ci­al assets con­stant­ly would be spent for yachts and luxu­ry cars, we pos­si­b­ly would have a smal­ler ine­qua­li­ty pro­blem. But the immen­se­ly gro­wing finan­ci­al wealth of the „1%“ are not gro­wing by con­suming, but by inves­ting. Growth in invest­ments is only pos­si­ble through growth of debt on the other side. And the other side, tho­se are the 99%, direct­ly and indi­rect­ly feed the wealth of the „1%“.

They still act like the inco­me of the richest has any kind of rela­ti­on to a spe­ci­fic ser­vice pro­vi­ded by the wealt­hy. But gro­wing inco­me through wealth is the result of an allo­wan­ce of all – real­ly all, inclu­ding the poo­rest peop­le – for which the hol­ders of capi­tal pro­vi­de abso­lute­ly no ser­vice. The exis­ting finan­ci­al sys­tem, more pre­cise­ly, the mone­ta­ry sys­tem, pro­tects the fee­ding of the wealth of the „1%“, and in this respect is non-reform­a­ble. The mone­ta­ry sys­tem should be repla­ced by a com­ple­te­ly new one, gea­red to the needs of man and natu­re.

It is the­re­fo­re only logi­cal that in Davos the finan­ci­al sys­tem will not be up for dis­cus­sion. Becau­se this would inde­ed ques­ti­on the „busi­ness basis“ of near­ly ever­yo­ne pre­sent.

Important is the signal to the frigh­te­ned peop­le in the world that the eli­tes are awa­re of the gro­wing ine­qua­li­ty and that they take people’s con­cerns of fur­t­her soci­al decli­ne serious­ly. That has to be enough.

One would hope that the­re would be some „rich and power­ful“ in Davos, who for once had the cou­ra­ge to ques­ti­on this sys­tem that feeds them. But the­se kind of spee­ches pro­bab­ly only exist in Hol­ly­wood movies. It could mean the sal­va­ti­on of at least part of their cur­r­ent­ly exis­ting wealth, becau­se one thing is clear: The gro­wing ine­qua­li­ty will lead to total dest­ruc­tion in the end. Inclu­ding the wealth of the „1%“.

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1 Antwort

  1. Javed sagt:

    World Eco­no­mic Forum and the 2012 Venus tran­sit. http://bit.ly/SvDxJH

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