The case for our stunningly unequal status quo has totally collapsed.

By Sam Pizzigati, CounterPunch

We’ve had quite a show up in the Alps this week, the first in-person gathering of the world’s mega rich since Covid hit. The occasion? The annual World Economic Forum at the Swiss resort of Davos, an ever-so-sober gathering that has an assortment of global deep thinkers sharing their wisdom with deep pockets ever eager for policy ideas that don’t involve sharing their wealth.

protest sign that says tax the rich featuring monopoly man face

Also on hand, in person and remotely: a collection of the world’s most stalwart egalitarians, advocates ranging from activists with the Patriotic Millionaires to analysts at the anti-poverty powerhouse Oxfam. These analysts, on the eve of Davos, released gripping new data on how billionaires in food and energy have been swelling their fortunes — at consumer expense.

Summed up the Oxfam analysis: “The pandemic – full of sorrow and disruption for most of humanity – has been one of the best times in recorded history for the billionaire class.”

That billionaire class and those dedicated to its care and feeding have been swarming all over Davos this week. The over 2,000 registered attendees include 612 corporate CEOs, several hundred additional top corporate officers, and packs of luminaries from the worlds of high-finance, media, and academia.

All these power suits are doing their Alpine best to show how much and how sincerely they care about the challenges that face humanity. The World Economic Forum agenda showcases discussions on everything from outfitting Africa with patent-protected medicines to identifying climate “blind spots” and preventing a global food collapse.

But these global movers and shakers, in the process of doing their best, never seem to get around to confronting the continuing concentration of the world’s income and wealth. Hardly anyone on the Davos attendee list appears eager to even acknowledge that challenge, let alone debate how best to meet it.

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