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Photo credit: DonkeyHotey /WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) Please see WhoWhatWhy.

It is truly ironic that the world’s “elite” who gathered in Davos this week claim to be puzzled that people across the globe — frustrated by stagnating standards of living — are falling prey to nationalists and populists.

To find the answer to this riddle, many of them could have saved the trip to Switzerland on their private jets and taken a long, hard look in the mirror instead — because they are the problem. It’s really not so difficult: The greed of corporations and a few individuals has resulted in their amassing huge piles of money while leaving behind just about everybody else.

An increasing number of people seem to be waking up to that fact. But the claim that the Davos crowd is worried about populism and nationalism rings hollow. Many of the companies represented at the summit will gladly do business with anybody if it’s good for their bottom line. Case in point is the appearance of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the recently elected right-wing populist, who promised a tax-cutting, privatization agenda in his remarks. Oh, and the Saudis were also in Davos. 

It seems pretty clear that the politicians and captains of industry rubbing elbows at the summit realize that the rise of populism is fueled by anger at the inequality that is playing out for everybody to see. Headlines like this aren’t helping their cause: “The top 26 billionaires own $1.4 trillion – as much as 3.8 billion other people.” 

Please see WhoWhatWhy.  

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