Every year, I keep looking at bits an pieces of news regarding the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters Switzerland and, as a private citizen in the States, am perplexed. The World Economic Forum’s website states that the mission for their annual meeting is to bring world leaders from government to academia “for strategic dialogues which map the key transformations reshaping the world.” (http://www.weforum.org). This sounds wonderful, and along the lines of what many an international non-profit homepage would have. However, I’m more in line with what Jon Stewart said last week on his take of the opening day as “Where the elite meet to eat” http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/r4vd91/wealthstock—insurance-vice .
What really gets my goat, I should say, is what I watched on Fahreed Zacharia’s GPS program this morning. In one of his later pieces for the hour, Mr. Zacharia mentioned to his audience about a ‘virtual ghetto’ that was set up at the ski resort where, I guess, Forum members and guests can walk through and try to see how they can manage on $2 a day to live. He went on to explain that, with this simulated ghetto, people have to make hard choices in order to survive. including to effect ‘virtual prostitution’. I’m not making this up and I forgot the name of the man he mentioned who did this ‘game’. The very fact they must have an exhibit like this at Davos, on top of what billionaire Jeff Green said about “American lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted.” (http://nyti.ms/1E4BkvQ) means to me that there is a serious disconnect between our leaders and the people who put them there..or didn’t.
Of course, unless you are a fan of the Daily Show, most Americans don’t even know what’s going on in Switzerland.