Sunday, February 01, 2015

Something that would have been on

Something that would have been on

As expected, this week's Left Side of the Aisle never got done, what with about 26 inches of snow and the studio where it's done in the midst of moving.

But something that surely would have been on the show had I been able to do it is some comment about the World Economic Forum wrapping up in Davos (which on occasions like this I always want to call Davros), Switzerland.

There is, for example, the image of participants arriving in 1700 private jets for a conference to include discussions on climate change.

More to the point are some numbers indicating just how totally out of touch, how insanely far removed, these people are from the realities of living in the world and I don't even mean as compared to the absolute poverty of the half of the world's population that "lives" on the equivalent of $2.50 a day or the 80% that, again, "lives" on no more than $10 a day or even just as compared to the relative poverty suffered by tens of millions of us here in the US - but even just as compared to those of us who would think that we're doing okay, we'll get by provided no major disaster strikes.

First, each of the Forum’s 120 “strategic partners” pays $577,000 every year just to send five executives to the conference. Each executive attendee
then has to pay about $20,000 for a ticket to the conference. Then there are thousands of dollars per person in plane tickets and car bills and hotel rooms, and tens of thousands more to entertain clients in private dining rooms and big cocktail parties.
All in all, pushing grand total of $120 million a year just to schmooze for three or four days, not even counting the money spent on and by hundreds of other delegates who are there for the same reason. And they pay it and keep paying it year after year because it's worth that much to them.

Never forget amid all the press releases and the breathless updates one important fact: These people are not on your side. They aren't. They talk about climate change but it's all about how that affects them. They talk about income inequality but it's all about how that affects them.

They don't know you. They don't care about you. They don't know who you are.  And by "you" I don't mean you as a particular individual, I mean all of us, I mean "you" as in "the vast majority of the human species." They know you as numbers, as statistics, as spreadsheets and accounting reports and actuarial tables; they know you in the aggregate, as a conglomeration, but they don't know you, they are unaware of you, as actual living, breathing human beings.

We are nothing to them except as raw materials for gain and profit, no different than oil to be drilled for or minerals to be mined. Never, ever, not for a single moment, forget that. They are not on your side - and except for the inevitable existence of a few outlier individuals, they never will be.

Sources cited in links:

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