Davos, that preening congress of the über-elite, is over. What are the takeaways from a conference some suggested--or hoped--had lost some cachet
- Trust in Governments, Corporations, and Banks Is Down, says The New York Times's Alison Smale. That's the "one takeaway."
- Populism Is Up "The value of this alpine kaffeeklatsch," says The Washington Post's David Ignatius,
"is that it can tell you when ideas have reached critical mass." The
idea of "post-bubble" rules of the game, he notices, has reached
- Barney Frank Is a Populist Hero Ezra Klein
latched onto the story of Rep. Frank (D-MA) telling the audience "I
think almost every American here pays much less in taxes than you
ought to ... I'm going to go back and try to
raise the taxes of most of the people who attended here." Klein's
response: "And this is why people love Barney Frank."
- And Everyone Else Is Pretty Full of Malarkey Reuters's Felix Salmon
recalls the moment he "developed a severe aversion" to a "Young Global
Leader" and his plans for saving the world: "at exactly the time that
he used the word 'platform' as a verb." Salmon puts it succinctly: "Hang
out at Davos for long enough, and you become convinced that you're
a special person who can make the world a better place and who indeed
has a moral obligation to act thusly." So what's the problem with that?
[Davos] inculcates a mindset in its delegates where they're convinced that
they're doing good (the oath is a prime example of this), and never
stop to modestly wonder whether they're wrong. And that kind of mindset
can be very destructive: if the road to hell is paved with good
intentions, then Davos is the road crew keeping it smooth and fast.
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