Pity the Poor Billionaire

“Pity the poor billionaire, for today he feels a new and unsettling emotion: fear. The world order he once clung to is crumbling faster than the value of the pound. In its place, he frets, will come chaos. Remember this, as the plutocrats gather this week high above us in the ski resort of Davos: they are terrified.”  Aditya Chakrabortty

At the annual meeting of the World’s Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland the usual global elite, that included representatives from the Vatican and the United Nations, met to solve the world’s problems.  Speakers filled the air with their usual left-wing hysteria of income inequality, global warming, open borders, women’s rights, social justice, the environment, as nauseam.   This year’s event however seemed to have a dark cloud hanging over it in the form of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

It was what Paul Sheard, a senior fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School, described as an “awakening” to the fact that the world’s “losers,” (the peasants), silenced for far too long “are now starting to express themselves through the ballet box and the political process.”

Of course none of the social unrest nor the election of – gasp – Donald Trump could be their fault – there had to be a scape goat – and it turns out there was – Capitalism, at least the form they practice.  Not only is the current system broken,  they claim it is in desperate need of reform, with an infusion of more heart, a lot of love and social justice.   How quickly the tide turns.  Just last year the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report called the U.S.  capitalist economy “the closest economy to the frontier, the ideal state” in their ranking. 

By the end of the week-long annual gathering, the procession of leaders had basically agreed to make dramatic changes to the global system and fundamentally change course to avert social unrest and violence.   The big picture according to Adam Tooze,  professor of history at Columbia, University, likely means “removing liberal politics as a requirement to join the club. 

I wouldn’t hold my breath!   I won’t even insult you with all the condescending remarks made by the majority of the world’s leftist leaders playing to the media.  They have no desire or willingness to alter anything they do.  They just want the “losers” to think they are willing to make life better for us.

There is nothing wrong with capitalism as long as it is practiced as it was meant to be – hellishly competitive, and, in addition to featuring an invisible hand (government), it’s supposed to have a heart.  Unfortunately today, market power isn’t competitive – it’s concentrated across industries.

In the U.S. four airlines control more than 65% of the market; in cellphone service the top four have 80%; and in drug stores it’s about 70% according to “the Myth of Capitalism,” a new book by Jonathan Tepper.  And let’s not forget the market power exerted by Big Tech.

The way capitalism has been practiced has been corrosive to some of the conditions that made it an attractive system, “according to Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton University, and as such, they have “undermined some of the cultural supports that made it successful.”

As a system, capitalism, when compared to other systems in the past,  has provided the greatest gains to the greatest number of people in the last two centuries of human development. To borrow a catchphrase, it’s settled science, and in fact maybe one of the only theories of economics that actually holds water, given that communism, socialism and other market structures have failed time and time again.

The problem with capitalism is when it is wedded to an ideology that has limited or perverted checks and balances.  Some people will always abuse the system and take things too far; some out of the hubris of intellect – some out of the venality of greed.

Herbert Hoover once said that the “only trouble with capitalism is capitalists. They’re too damned greedy.”  And he once wrote: “In every society there will always be at the bottom a noxious sediment and at the top an obnoxious froth.”

Source:  Special Report: A new  unknown  world, Axios; Globalists Are Working Out Our New World Order This Week, Independent Sentinel; Panic is on the agenda at Davos – but it’s too little too late , Aditya Chakrabortty , the Guardian; Capitalism vs. Capitalists by Jonathan Goldberg, Townhall

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *