435: Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World, Peter S. Goodman, Global Economic Correspondent

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Is the World Economic Forum in Davos a serious discussion about climate change and injustice, or just a chance for billionaires to get together and do business? Find out as Jason Hartman interviews Peter S. Goodman, Global Economic Correspondent for The New York Times, as they discuss his new book, Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World.

The World Economic Forum institution was started by German economist Klaus Schwab back in the 70s, on the proposition that if you got businesses and governments together, you could solve a lot of problems. Schwab claims to be interested in public private partnerships and win-win solutions. But somewhere along the way, the WEF has become, under the guise of a nonprofit foundation, a highly lucrative enterprise. Schwab brings in heads of state from around the world to meet with billionaires, public intellectuals, a whole lot of journalists, the odd Hollywood celebrity, musicians etc. But according to Goodman, it’s a charade; they are there to do business.

The WEF 2022 recently took place last May. Peter profiles the “Davos Man” as someone who makes himself the solution where he is the problem: just allow us to do our deals, and have our conversations about how to solve the big problems of the day and we will take care of that and all of the benefits will just magically trickle down throughout society. Let’s not kid ourselves. That is something that has in reality happened zero times…

Watch the video HERE.

Key Takeaways:

0:00 Welcome Peter S. Goodman, Global Economic Correspondent for The New York Times, author of Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World

1:02 World Economic Forum conference in Davos - is this a shadow government?

3:01 Rent-seeking behavior in Davos

3:56 The WEF was started by German economist Klaus Schwab back in the 70s

5:04 A chance for the billionaire class to virtue signal

7:08 Who is the “Davos Man?”

9:27 Marc Benioff, philanthropy, Trump tax cuts and capitalism

11:50 Big companies avoid taxes by using foreign subsidiaries

16:56 Christian Smalls, Amazon warehouse worker

19:38 “Davos Man” makes himself the solution where he is the problem

23:57 Bankers get bailed out, but homeowners don’t

24:52 Healthcare system and surprise billing

29:03 Generating profit opportunities for themselves at social expense

35:08 Is Trump the “Anti-Davos Man?”

37:56 China is a complex challenge for the global trading system

43:06 China's WTO session was driven by the interests of American shareholders

44:38 Our democratic society is under threat from this inequality

45:57 We need three things: progressive taxation, antitrust enforcement and collective bargaining

46:50 Get more info at PeterSGoodman.com. Follow Peter on Twitter @petersgoodman

About Peter S. Goodman

Peter S. Goodman is the global economic correspondent for The New York Times, based in New York. He appears regularly on The Daily podcast, as well as major broadcast outlets like CNN, the BBC, Sky News, MSNBC, and Monocle Radio. ​ He was previously Executive Global News and Business Editor of the Huffington Post, where he oversaw award-winning investigative, international, business, and technology reporting.

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