Subscribe

Robert Reich: The Real Source of Authoritarianism Can Be Found at Davos

Robert Reich. (Screen shot / YouTube)

This article first appeared on RobertReich.Org.

The annual confab of the captains of global industry, finance, and wealth is underway in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum.

Meanwhile, Oxfam reports the wealth of the 2,200 billionaires across the globe increased by $900 billion last year–or $2.5 billion a day. Their 12 percent increase in wealth contrasts with a drop of 11 percent in the wealth of the bottom half of the people of the world. In fact, the world’s 26 richest billionaires now own as much as the 3.8 billion who comprise the bottom half of the planet’s population.

If Davos’ attendees ignore all this, and blame the rise of right-wing populism around the globe on racism fueled by immigrants from the Middle East and from Central America, they’re deluding themselves.

The real source of the rise of repressive authoritarianism, nativism and xenophobia in the United States as well as Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Bulgaria, Greece, France and Britain is a pervasive sense that elites are rigging the world economy for themselves. And, guess what? They are.

Message to Davos Man (and Woman): Either commit to pushing for broader prosperity and democracy, or watch as trade wars, capital controls and isolationism erode global prosperity (including yours) and global peace.

Robert Reich
Contributor
Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the…
Robert Reich

Now you can personalize your Truthdig experience. To bookmark your favorite articles, please create a user profile.

Personalize your Truthdig experience. Choose authors to follow, bookmark your favorite articles and more.
Your Truthdig, your way. Access your favorite authors, articles and more.
or
or

A password will be e-mailed to you.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles and comments are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.