Overhaul at Davos challenges tenets of capitalism

Viewing the world from a lofty town in the Alps, from the wheelhouse of a yacht or a corporate jet is not the same as down on the street

Editor, The Times:

Klaus Schwab, the founder of the annual world economic forum in Davos, has called for a great transformation challenging the basic tenets of capitalism itself.

In the past Davos has been the place for the rich and powerful to gather annually, clapping each other on the backs on the marvels of free market capitalism triumphant – just pave it, privatize it, remove all restrictions to financial dealing and a new era of economic prosperity would engulf us.

No longer. Viewing the world from a lofty town in the Alps, from the wheelhouse of a 250-foot yacht or a corporate jet is not the same as down on the street where the natives are indeed restless.

Barack Obama in his state of the union address appears to recognize the fact. Giving the best speech of his presidency, Obama has laid it out – the days of huge tax cuts for the needy rich are over, disastrous deregulation is a thing of the past (or should be). Hopefully, with all that is against him (including some of his fellow Democrats), this first Afro-American president can accomplish something here.

Not so with the U.K.’s David Cameron or his sawdust twin, Canada’s own prime minister. For them it’s the same old worn out gobbledygook, “Get more competitive! Sign more free trade agreements.” Where have we heard all of this before?

Then there’s Stephen Harper’s speech to those assembled in Davos dealing with the proposed reforms to Canada’s pension system. What does this have to do with a great transformation of capitalism?

In other words, rob the poor to award the rich. This, along with Flaherty’s corporate tax breaks, is the same old same old.

Guess who’s going to pay?

Dennis Peacock

Clearwater, B.C.