Taking a swipe at the Billionaire class in Davos:
by Donovan Reynolds, Independent Writer.
A yearly event for the Business, Government, Academia and International organizations is held at the World Economic Forum high in the showy Swiss resort of Davos-Klosters. These organisations aim to shape the global, regional and industry agendas and address pressing global challenges. This year’s theme is ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. However, the meeting has been overshadowed by fears of China’s trending down of growth and plummeting oil prices on the world market. China’s Vice President, Li Yuanchao, countered by remarking that China would address the recent slowdown in its economy. With the global financial market in a cautious mood it is expected that about ten central bank Governors will descend on the upmarket ski resort. It is hoped that the forum will provide them with a platform to lay out their ideas on requirements to help the global economy this year.
France’s Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, started off the European session by remarking that security and terrorism are one of the biggest challenges currently facing the European region. He called for a pooling of resources and also sharing more information, including a common programme of oversight of flights and airports. Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance Minister, called for a new Marshall Plan to tackle Europe’s refugee crisis, saying billions must be spent. Meanwhile, his boss Chancellor Angela Merkel, remains below the radar, smarting from a refugee sex scandal backlash from opposition parties at home in Germany. US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, has hinted in the opening session that markets have over-reacted to the oil price slump and China’s slowdown. While the contribution from HSBC boss warned that it is hard to raise money for green energy right now. Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s current Prime Minister, appeared sombre in his presentation he called for a new co-ordinated growth strategy and for Europe to diminish the inequalities between North and South.
High on the agenda at Davos will be the future of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has told Davos that Europe business and community leaders should campaign in the upcoming referendum for Britain to remain in the European Union; recent polls show that 52% Britons opting for leaving the EU has placed the future of the union in doubt. With a UK referendum expected this year on its political relationship with Europe, whether to remain in or opt out Europe, nerves can hardly be calmed. However, David Cameron is wooing the doubters in Davos by insisting that he is ‘confident’ the UK will remain in a reformed European Union if he achieves the deal he is seeking for a new relationship with Brussels.
It is expected that some of the world’s influential charities such as Oxfam as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust will be there; they will rub shoulders with Hollywood heart-throbs, Political powerhouses and the growing billionaire class. This year the guest list is a little less white than the Oscars; the impressive guests include Rachel Whetstone, Justin Trudeau, Will.i.am, Sheryl Sandberg and Leonardo DiCaprio. Yet, missing from the Davos list are the pied political pipers of the squeezed middle such as Bernie Saunders, Jeremy Corbyn and Russel Brand who will not get a foot in to embarrass the money grabbing capitalist billionaire class present at Davos.
As to the volunteers of Kingston- Mouth, we will be watching the drama unfold on our couches from afar, on television and social media, clutching our Poundland crisps and drinking organic carrot juice. However, our lower middle class voices will not be silenced. Statistics from Oxfam bear testament to the fact that the squeezed middle class numbers and quality of life are evaporating rapidly from the planet.
Since the last economic crisis, the billionaire class has ridiculed the poor, so it’s time to return the favour to the Davos cavorting class.According the Oxfam Charity that examines global poverty, this year the richest 1% in the word will own more than all of us. Yes I, will repeat: the cumulative wealth of us the 99 % will not match the wealth of a handful of mostly tax evading billionaires. Subsequently, the middle class among us are dwindling rapidly. Luckily, Winnie Bynyiami, Oxfam’s CEO, will have a voice at the table at Davos. Although it is likely that her voice will be drowned out by the greedy billionaire class worried about her dwindling oil stocks and shares on the Capital market.
Wealthy moneybags such as George Soros, Warren Buffett and the Kotch Brothers won’t choke on their glasses of champagne when Oxfam breaks the news to them that 62% persons like themselves wealth is equal to half of the world’s population wealth. They will be engrossed in scientific lectures about how robotics can lower the cost of labour and increase their already incredulous bottom-line. I hope that whenever the first sets of robotics are delivered they resemble Bill Gates, Will I Am, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. While I am at it, might I take a swipe at British Billionaire Richard Branson who is busy in the American desert blowing up Space crafts in the American desert? He is fixated on landing millionaires on space stations in the stratosphere while the poor are starving in UN refugee camps as a result of terrorism, civil wars, drought and famines. Neither is he interested in the fact that most of the world’s poor are living on an income less that US 1.25, down from $2 a day before the last economic recession. His focus is solely to grow the Virgin Empire. The trump change that is left on his aircrafts goes to charity and he is very noisy about it.
The Russian property grabbing billionaire class, such as Roman Abramovich and Yuri Milner, have an open yearly invite to sit cosily at the table at Davos and they might have one eye on the table and another on the lucrative property market in London. A word of advice to them, if they are bothered to make it to Davos, stick to property acquisition and refrain from criticising President Putin openly. They really don’t want to get on his wrong side or they might end up sipping a glass of expensive vodka laced with plutonium by the KGB. We strongly advise that you confine your criticisms to your expensive yachts moored on the Chelsea Harbour or the French Riviera. As you swan around Europe laundering billions, remember those Russians living on less than 9,662 roubles ($169) a month. Please also remember that the number of Russians living on the official poverty line surged to nearly 23 million at the end of March 2015.
The Qatari Royal Family and the House of Saud are also in for it. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar and H.M King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia have a combined wealth of 80 billion dollars. Their idea of a good charity is to spread Wahhabism (radical Islamic ideology) across the world. While they are buying expensive F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets at a cost of $94 million each from the US, these oil rich Middle East Royal families invest in high end sky scrapers in Europe, forcing up the price of real estate in London making it almost impossible for the Middle class to own a home . Turning up at Davos is beneath them as it’s too cold and definitely too high up in the hills of Switzerland to moor their luxurious yachts. Their version of human rights is to publically behead its citizens who oppose their exclusive rule by dictatorship and prevent women from driving in public. Despite this, they are the darlings of Europe and the US, the two main pillars of Capitalism and democracy in the word. They defiantly don’t have to turn up in Davos as they have the entire EU and US envoy doing the bidding on their behalf. Even with oil plummeting to an all-time low of $32.26 dollars a barrel, they are so rich that they won’t break into a sweat no matter how hot the desert gets.
You might be wondering why Kingston-Mouth has stooped so low to berate the Billionaire classes who turn up at the Word Economic Forum in Davos. These forums do not improve the lives of the poor and squeezed middle class from Beijing to Bangladesh. We see the gap between the rich and the poor getting wider; there is no trickle-down effect. We emphatically do not believe that there is a tremendous passion to end poverty when billionaires and world leaders meet;based on the legacy of deception that Adam Smith has left us. We do not expect the likes of Christine Lagarde, President of the IMF who receives a tax free salary of US $467,940 to close the gap between rich and the poor; the best she can achieve during her tenure is a face lift and an expensive hair extension. If we had a choice between wiping out poverty or wiping out billionaires which one do you think we would choose?
This article was written by Donovan Reynolds CEO and edited by Ann Smith Managing Editor of Kingston-Mouth .com. Donovan Reynolds is an Independent Blogger and Human Rights Activists who is of a Jamaican descent and a legal academic that has an interest in Human Rights, Culture and International Development Issues.