Reshaping the World

The elite of the planet met in Davos, this week, for the World Economic Forum, as they have for over forty years. The theme of this year’s get together was, “Reshaping the World”, with global inequality one of the “hot” topics.

This same week, Oxfam International released a report, “Working for the Few” that showed, among other things, the world’s 85 richest individuals owned as much wealth as the bottom three and one-half billion people.

I find this fact so obscene, in light of the meeting that went on in Davos, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.  Most of us, here in America, barely feel the inequality; we certainly don’t feel it in the  life-numbing way the world’s poorest  do.  If we did, we’d be rioting in the streets as so many of them now are.   It won’t stand, of course; there is so little ecological wealth left for them to plunder.  About all I can say on the matter is, the world has had about all the “reshaping” by these elite, it can handle.

So, I leave you  with an open letter to the 85 richest people on the planet, in response to remarks made by Kevin O’Leary, of Shark Tank fame, on Acronym TV:

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13 Responses to Reshaping the World

  1. Aubrey Enoch says:

    I usually make a cup of boiled coffee in the morning. I put a cup of water in a small pan and put a tablespoon of coffee on top of the water and turn the stove to high. The pot sets there with the nice brown coffee floating on top of the water and it heats and it heats and it heats and finally there is a little bubble and then in a second it will boil all over really fast. Seems like there might be some message there.

  2. CaityJ says:

    While many of us are barfing at this news and fearing for our livelihoods, Kevin O’Leary hasn’t a clue why we are so disturbed by this inequality. He thinks it’s a virtue to gain money through treachery and selfishness without regard for others. I wonder how this sociopath is allowed to be a member of the “Shark Tank” show on television, which I have found rather interesting up until now. He’s called “Mr. Wonderful” (in jest) on that show. I guess they do have his number; I just didn’t realize just how large that number is! This little clip shows just how shallow the top 85 folks can be. I guess it helps me appreciate those wealthy who can maintain some sense of responsibility for those who work for them and who do pay fair wages. There aren’t very many of those, are there?

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Caity, no, there aren’t too many of them who have that sense of responsibility. I never watch Shark Tank, so I didn’t know who O’Leary was. Just thought he was terribly arrogant considering all the tax breaks, subsidies, etc. people like him lobby for and use to climb that ladder. Scarier, though, is their thinking that “reshaping” the world is their prerogative. We can live without a lot of money, but we can’t live without food, clean water and air, or an environment conducive to those things.
      Did go back and edit the last paragraph to make it clear that the letter was a response to O’Leary’s interview as well as the 85 individuals, not that he was the author of the letter.

      • CaityJ says:

        Isn’t it frightening that people like O’Leary are the ones who get to influence our lawmakers and the globe’s leaders to be as selfish as he is. Destroying the planet apparently means nothing to him and his cohorts. I certainly agree with your take on the matter. Thanks for speaking for a growing number of us.

  3. I’ve been having some thoughts about how we solve this income inequality problem – feel free to let me know what you think. It’s on Politicoid

    • Nadia says:

      Jim Morrison, of Door’s fame, once said – “No one gets out of here alive”.
      And, in the end, We can’t drag a U-Haul of our stuff behind us – so in the span of a short lifetime of the years we have – why bother building up a massive hoard?
      Our founding fathers, in some of their actions, were inspiration of many not so many years ago. Now we are growing into a world bully telling the rest of the world how to live.
      400 years ago, this man may have been dragged through the streets before getting his head cut off. Now, we put his kind on TV to “inspire”
      I am grateful everyday for our own “fall” and appreciate what I’m, in fact, learning about my new “poverty”.. it has made my husband and myself grateful.
      Back to the first sentence…….

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Politicoid, I read your essay (and several more on the blog). As I see it, the ideas embodied in Economic Democracy aren’t “wrong”, but I don’t see how, without a revolution, (which I agree is destructive and useless – since crony capitalism pretty much owns the government and, therefore, the military and it will crush any revolution before it begins,) one would get from here to there (ED). And with the costs of climate change and increasingly expensive and hard to recover fossil fuels weighing on the world economy, we don’t seem to have a lot of time left before the global economy takes another doozie of a step down. Right now, the shadow banking system, worldwide, controls between 700-1500 TRILLION in speculative “wealth” – ten to twenty times the GDP of the entire world. I’m not sure we’ll make it through all that, as a species. If we do, I suspect some of that inequality will take care of itself. I do think any chance to build a different economy will be best done at the local or regional levels. Just my best guess, but there you are.
      Thanks for posting and welcome to the blog.

      • HI, thanks for taking the time to read the post – many people don’t and it can get frustrating discussing with them! I agree, it is a difficult proposition, my main point really was to combat the criticism that there is no alternative to the current system.

        I understand that you are American, and my firt suggestion to you would be the constitutional amendment to keep money out of politics and repeal citizens United, so that you can reclaim your democracy from the corporate donors who own your politicians.

        Of course, that doesn’t get you closer to ED, but it does remove the main obstruction to an honest social democracy. You may well be right in that it may take another almighty crisis (which is inevitable if we keep going like this, as you point out) before the real change happens.

        However, I don’t find it useful to think in those terms, because I cannot know if it actually is inevitable or not, and so up until the point where everything goes horribly wrong, I have to work on the assumption that things can change.

        If I know anything, I know that history comes together as a confluence of chaotic unpredictable events (think the wobbly chair that prevented FDR’s assassination), so who knows how things will turn out.

        Finally, I think you make a good argument for a place to start – worker owned enterprise ought to be able to win out on it’s own merits!

        And with that, Adieu!

  4. You can’t eat money.

  5. theozarker says:

    Hi Herc and Nadia. I think it’s good to have enough to have your basic needs met, but I’ve always felt that having enough to have all your wants met, (are they ever really met?) is downright dangerous for human beings. 😀

  6. graveday says:

    Nice to know I’m out of danger on that score, heh.

  7. Nadia says:

    I had to feel a bit of a gasp when Bill Gates said that he is confident that the world’s poor are rising out of poverty and that there have been huge changes in the wealth of the world. Can’t relate to his perspective based on his own positioning but there may be no doubt about that!!!…. Especially at both ends of the spectrum. Honestly.

    Also, vis a vis to needs met….. I agree.

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