I was a anti-nuclear arms proliferation activist from a very young age, 10 or 11, and took it seriously, nearly getting kicked out of school and organizing classmates to attend large demonstrations. I felt like I was tackling an existential risk to the human race and most of the living things on the planet Earth (30+ years later, I think I was right), and that the grownups around me were not taking this seriously, and that this was probably the most urgent thing for me to focus on as a result. Read the rest
Anand Giridharadas is the Aspen Institute Fellow and former McKinsey consultant whose book Winners Take All is a must-read indictment of the way that charitable activities are used to launder the reputations of billionaires who have looted and boiled our planet, amassing titanic fortunes while starving the public coffers, and still retaining sterling reputations and massive influence thanks to the trickle of funds they release through "philanthropy." Read the rest
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Michael Dell was asked about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's wildly popular proposal to tax income over $10,000,000 at 70%, but before he could answer ("I’m not supportive...And I do not think it will help the growth of the US economy") the audience erupted into laughter, according to CNN. MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson (previously), a co-panelist, was more bullish: "There’s actually a lot of economics that it's not necessarily going to hurt growth and I think we have to examine it more closely." (Image: AOC) Read the rest
With the World Economic Forum kicking off in Davos, Switzerland -- where the super-rich are already decrying Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's massively popular 70% tax-rate on earning over $10,000,000 -- it's a great time to revisit Anand Giridharadas's must-read 2018 book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, in which the former McKinsey consultant and Aspen Institute fellow catalogs the way that the super-rich have starved their host-nations of the funds needed to operate a functional civilization, and then laundered their reputations by dribbling back some of that looted booty in the form of "philanthropic donations" that always seem to redound to their personal benefit. Read the rest
The planned delegation included Pompeo and Mnuchin.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the Trump administration has canceled a planned trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The announcement was made today, Thursday, the 27th day of Trump's partial government shutdown. Read the rest
With the heaviest snowfall in Davos, Switzerland since the year 2000, this Swiss woman decides to have some fun. "Holy shit," someone says as she stands on the ledge of a fourth floor window. "Shit that's high." Someone else - sounds like her son – asks her to go head first, but to that she says "No." And then she does it with a Swiss "Yahoo!" landing safely in the white fluff. Read the rest
Oxfam's released its annual report on inequality, timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum, and unlike previous reports (which focused on attractive but misleading stats about the relative wealth of poor and rich people), the new one focuses on the growth in the fortunes of the world's richest people, a stat that is a much more reliable indicator of growing inequality. Read the rest