‘Davos geniuses ill-equipped to recognize economic structural problems, address inequality’

Gary Cohn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, speaks at the Ending the Experiment event in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 22, 2015 (Reuters / Ruben Sprich)
It’s doubtful the Davos forum will address unemployment as the participants are more concerned with what model of car they should buy than care about people who work for living, says Curtis Ellis Executive Director of the American Jobs Alliance.

RT:CEOs are less optimistic about the world economy this year than last, why is that do you think?

Curtis Ellis: Because the world economy is in a bad shape. There are structural problems with the global economy that the geniuses of Davos are ill-equipped to address or even recognize. We have this neo-liberal agenda of austerity what used to be called “structural adjustment,” but really ought to be called cronyism for those at the top that just decimates the income of people who work for a living. And those are the people who essentially drive the world economy by buying things and consuming things. So if they don’t have any money, the economy stalls.

RT:Your organization is about creating more jobs. Will unemployment get much attention at the forum?

CE: I seriously doubt it. These people are more concerned with what is the latest model of Ferrari they should buy and what is the best bikini wax for their trophy wife. They are not going to be worried about unemployment. They look to slash their payrolls because that would give a short-term boost to the stock price which is how they are compensated. They are compensated with stock shares. When the share price rises then they get more money. They don’t care about people who work for a living.

RT:What about tackling inequality, because it is something in the spotlight right now? Can Davos attendees bring anything new to the table here considering that they are the one percent?

CE: Considering they are the ones who caused the inequality. You look at study after study and you see that all of the gains in GDP whether it’s in the US or other countries – it’s particularly in the US, which what I’m familiar with - the gains in growth in GDP accrue the point 0 to one percent. The extraordinarily rich get extraordinarily richer. We now see 85 people have as much money as 50 percent of the people living on Earth - this is outrageous. So I don’t expect to see any inequality addressed. They’ll talk about it but they are intellectually and emotionally ill-equipped to do anything about it.

RT:The leading theme this year is "The new global context" which sounds rather vague. Could you share some light on that?

CE: In our lifetime we’ve seen national economies and the idea of nations be replaced by the global economy. When I was a kid in school I used to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Now people swear their fealty to the global economy. I guess that is just getting a little passé or maybe just seems a little too familiar. Now we’ve got a global context. Whatever that means… We now put the globe in context with the solar system and the galaxy and the universe. Maybe that is what they are referring to here. But basically they don’t have a clue so they cover that up with fancy jargon. We all scratch our heads and we think: “They must be smart because they are talking about something I don’t understand. “ The truth is they don’t understand it either.

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