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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:06 AM


"It's Inequality, Stupid!"

Last edited Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:43 AM - Edit history (2)

This is a fascinating article concerning the recent "World economic Forum" held in the Swiss resort town of Davos. The author, Pepe Escobar, convincingly explains the idiocy of expecting those attending this fat cats' forum to do anything about the actual problems faced by you, me and billions of other more ordinary human beings:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Billions of people would apply the Groucho Marx rule to Davos - the exclusive club meeting in the Swiss Alps allegedly gathering the great and the good of business; "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that accepts me as a member".

Well, to start with, those billions wouldn't get past the bouncers, because the pompously self-defined World Economic Forum is indeed about exclusion. Yet even if - by divine design - they might, what's the point? The austerity mantra devastates large swathes of Europe. The US remains mired in the fiscal cliff maelstrom. The Japanese are about to unleash an economic tsunami - devaluation of the yen at all costs. Double-dip recession rules.

On the other hand, growth does apply to parts of the BRICS group of emerging nations, and even more to some selected members of the N-11 (the mini-BRICS in the making); certainly Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam. But then, into the fervent Western doom and gloom pit parachutes British Prime Minister David Cameron, solemnly announcing that in 2017 - assuming he's still in power - he will hold a referendum where Britain will decide Yes or No about its European Union (EU) membership. Inevitably, European-wide businesses reacted almost in lockstep; this is bad for business, and not only of the British kind. With uncertainty now coming with a date on the calendar, there's hardly any incentive for companies to invest.

As Mr. Escobar goes on to explain, the great Bankers, Industrialists and "Technocrats" at Davos had their discussions about how to maintain their status quo of "Globalization" and mass exploitation and not on how to improve the lot of the 99% of humanity. To them we are really only another commodity, a needed commodity, like copper or cotton, but of no real concern beyond our useful "marketability."

The theme at Davos this year is Resilient Dynamism; as a definition of the current woes of turbo-capitalism, a five-year-old in a favela in Rio could come up with something more meaningful. Davos is a one-trick pony; "resilience" remains a euphemism for the ever-expanding markets/shitty pay for workers syndrome - or globalisation driven by huge multinational corporations.

Scrap "resilience". The name of the game is inequality. Davos doesn't do inequality. As in Silvio "Bunga Bunga" Berlusconi's paycheck at his Fininvest holding company being 12,000 - that's twelve thousand - times higher than his average worker's.

The author ends with a poignant comment on humanity itself:

Still, the question Davos won't dare to ask remains. Why is it easier to imagine the total destruction of mankind - from nuclear war to a climate catastrophe - than to work on changing the system of relations spawned by capitalism?

To read the full, breif article, click on the link below.


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Reply "It's Inequality, Stupid!" (Original post)
another_liberal Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
another_liberal Jan 2013 #4
pampango Jan 2013 #2
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #3
pampango Jan 2013 #5
another_liberal Jan 2013 #7
cantbeserious Jan 2013 #6
another_liberal Jan 2013 #8

Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:08 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:59 AM

4. Thanks.


I'm glad you liked it.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:30 AM

2. Krauthammer had an oped in our local paper yesterday in which he cried about Obama's desire to

deal with inequality.

Monday’s address also served to disabuse the fantasists of any Obama interest in fiscal reform or debt reduction. This speech was spectacularly devoid of any acknowledgment of the central threat to the postindustrial democracies (as already seen in Europe) — the crisis of an increasingly insolvent entitlement state.

Obama is no Clinton. He doesn’t abolish entitlements; he preserves the old ones and creates new ones in pursuit of a vision of a more just social order where fighting inequality and leveling social differences are the great task of government.

Obama said in 2008 that Reagan “changed the trajectory of America” in a way that Clinton did not. He meant that Reagan had transformed the political zeitgeist, while Clinton accepted and thus validated the new Reaganite norm.

Not Obama. His mission is to redeem and resurrect the 50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy. Accordingly, his second inaugural address, ideologically unapologetic and aggressive, is his historical marker, his self-proclamation as the Reagan of the left. If he succeeds in these next four years, he will have earned the title.


Of course, most of this is just delusional hyperbole typically emanating from right-wing commentators but it is representative of their take on Obama and their own belief that fighting inequality is not a useful task of government.

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Response to pampango (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:36 AM

3. So how exactly will anything liberal or progressive through the Senate


with the continued Harry Reid approved obstruction by the GOP?

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:11 AM

5. Good question. CK may worry about Obama's "vision of a more just social order" but

he has little to worry about in terms of any fundamental changes any time soon.

What CK is apparently not worried about, but perhaps should be, is what continued republican intransigence to any fundamental change in income inequality will do to his own party in future elections. The past election was hardly an endorsement of continued stonewalling of any progress by republicans. They run the risk of creating another "50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy" as emerged under FDR abetted by the intransigence of the republican party in the 1930's who thought they were fighting that 'socialist' FDR.

Republican intransigence is never good for the country (not in the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, etc. and not now) but that is of little concern to CK and most republicans who care not what is good for the country and its 99%. What should perhaps concern them is the prospect of another "50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy".

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Response to pampango (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:56 PM

7. The pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy . . .


What the hell is wrong with the pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy? I hope President Obama does see "resurrecting" it (or strengthening it, more accurately, because it was never dead) as one of his most important priorities.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:30 AM

6. Also At Davos This Year - Is Your Company Ready For The Circular Economy?


Not as pessimistic as this OP.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:31 AM

8. It is a concept worth exploring . . .


It is a concept worth exploring, and I personally like it very much. It does, though, suggest a problem. Won't investors' greed and the need for managers to show huge, quick profits (or lose their positions to someone who can) doom such a system before it has had time to start showing long term, sustainable savings?

If I seem to be finding fault unnecessarily, that was not my intent.

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