Media Channel’s message to the mountain

Danny Schechter and Rory O’Connor at MediaChannel.org create a wonderful video to join in the Davos Conversation. They talk about being at Davos a few years ago and about learning that the machers there are “not evil.” They say it’s time to get past partisanship in America and around the world. It’s time to look for common ground and solve problems. They applaud the effort to start a conversation out of Davos and say the people on the mountain have a lot to learn from the people in the valley. Amen to it all. Watch their message:

  • Jack M

    I bet these guys wouldn’t tolerate any discussion about, say, lowering tax rates all over the world, or lowering the EUs outlandish tariffs and CAP policies or confronting Islamofascism. I bet they would find lots of “common ground” around censuring Israel, say, or taxing international capital flows or mandating a puntive global warming tax system that requires the US to pay everyone else.

    Ho hum. More of the same transnational “progressivism”.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    The US has 4% of the world’s population and consumes 40% of the resources. Over one billion people live on under $1 per day. The UN’s anti-poverty goal is to bring these people up to $2 per day and even this level of improvement is not being supported by the industrialized countries.

    Where is the common ground? The haves aren’t about to give up their privileged lifestyles as the rise of the SUV culture in the US illustrates. Instead the US becomes more militarized (with the implicit acquiescence of the population) in an attempt to control global markets for raw materials and finished goods.

    The interests of the haves and have-nots don’t have many points in common. That international leaders pretend otherwise is why the developed world is becoming more enraged and turning to alternative economic models like socialism.

  • Jack M

    Richard,

    You sound very smart and very committed. Let’s suppose that you are placed in charge of the agenda: What is the main “problem” you would try to solve? 3rd world poverty? Environment? Islamofascism? And what are your 3 major initiatives or programs you would need to solve the problem you identified?

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Jack:
    If you are referring to me then I have a whole web site devoted to discussing fundamental policy issues.

    However rather than blow my own horn I’ll refer you to the work of the group of ecological economists whose spiritual father is Herman Daly. They have managed to get two ideas across in 35 years of trying:

    1. The resources of the world are finite and thus economic models which are based upon continual growth are impossible.
    Here’s a brief article from Daly that you can use to get the flavor of his work:
    http://dieoff.org/page88.htm

    2. The goals of society need to be transformed so that people no longer think that accumulation of material wealth is the ideal. All current economic models use measures such as GDP to define “success”. There are others (including Daly) who have tried to define success in term of happiness. Here is a recent paper trying to define a new measure, GPI (genuine progress indicator):
    http://www.anielski.com/Documents/Anielski%20Soskolne%20Paper.pdf

    So the first step is redefine the rules of the game at the academic and political level. Then these new ideas have to be discussed and promoted so that they become accepted by the average person. Then new economic and social structures need to be put into place based upon them. Even if this is started now it will take most of this century to accomplish.

    We in the industrialized nations have a vested interest in the status quo. Even those at the bottom of the economic ladder in the west are miles above the billions living on $2 per day elsewhere. So there are few people willing to give up what they have, especially if this will only serve to benefit the unseen in other parts of the world or future generations.

    Those who attend Davos are at the peak of this economic pyramid and the most that can be expected from this is policies to throw a few crumbs out to prevent civil unrest and revolution. Unfortunately this time, this won’t be adequate. The issues of overpopulation and resource depletion cannot be solved by small changes.

  • Jack M

    Thank you for the interesting background material. I read about 1/3 of Page 88 (which appears to be circa 1975?) and went to the main Die Off site and saw the various categories of articles available. Pretty grim stuff all round.

    Reading Page 88 I could not tell whether the main problem to be solved is income inequality or damage to the environment.

    Your response above observes that the DavosMen will not attempt to disturb the system that has placed tham at the top of the tree. True.

    Who, than will lead a discussion that will: “redefine the rules of the game at the academic and political level” (Actually, I would say that the academics are already on board).

    I would imagine any coversation where people are told they must radically change their lives and give up “growth” and all that growth implies would require a pistol at the temple of the listener.

    Back to this Davos: what should they discuss and which policies should they promote. The policies can’t be “change attitudes over time” they should be implementable today. Taxes? Changes to national governments?

    Thank you again for the materials

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Jack:
    If you are interested in this type of discussion why not visit http://eurotrib.com where there is an international discussion on such topics going on quite frequently.

  • penny

    One more time, Robert, wealth isn’t a zero sum game. If I have more money than my neighbor it doesn’t mean I forfeit a dollar if he gains one.

    When you live under stifling corrupt governments, like most Africans, you will be poor. The poverty paradigm in Africa isn’t going to change until most of the thugs that stuff their country’s revenues into Swiss bank accounts are gone. We’ve thrown money down the global poverty rat hole in all of the wrong places for decades with nothing to show for it. Nothing is going to change until there are regime changes in the world’s hell holes.

    Shallow lefty platitudes always accompanied with a transfer of wealth as solution aren’t going to change things for the world’s poor.

    How stupid does it get to keep doing the same failed things over and over and expecting a different outcome. Aid hasn’t worked. Wealth redistribution killed literally millions, then, failed – see Communism.

    Jack M nailed it.

  • Foobarista

    Yup, these guys really get past “partisanship” and go straight for the millennial moonbattery.

  • Tom

    The U.S. GPI has been declining since the late 1970’s so this is not a new story. The U.S. has over 8 million people in prison,on Parole, Probation and house arrest. The number was around 1 million in the beginning of the 1980’s!
    The U.S. has over 50 Trillion in Debts-Government, Consumer, State, Current Account Deficits,etc. The U.S. is currently adding 6 dollars of debt for every new dollar of GDP increase, meaning they are not experiencing economic Growth but just more debt. The debt is increasing by 3 1/2 trillion yearly!
    Europe and Asia are buying U.S. assets because we are borrowing money from them, in turn they will own the most productive assets in the U.S.!
    The U.S. is a debtor nation while Germany and Japan are Creditors!
    The U.S. Gini-index is approaching 50! Most other Western countries are around 30 or so!
    The U.S. is the biggest polluter-we are very wasteful! U.S. PPP GDP is about 18% of world total but we are responsible for over 25% of World Pollution-Translation is we are very inefficient and are not using the best technology available to make ourselves more productive!
    For example we could cut our energy use by 50% just by using the technology that is available!(renewable energy for example)
    U.S. healthcare is ranked 37th in the world! On top of that the Average U.S. citizens life expectancy is 48th in the world!
    The average U.S. citizen works the most hours and receives the least amount of vacation in the Industrial world.
    U.S. Pay and Benefits are below many other modern countries.
    U.S. Higher Education is the world’s most expensive, many people cannot afford a college or technical education.
    U.S. inflation is running higher then most other western countries and have been since the 1970’s!
    These are some of the measurements that indicate how a society is doing.
    The U.S. is in steep decline, will the people rise up and change it’s course or we it decline like so many other past Empires?