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Historian's Advice to Davos Elite Worried About Pitchforks: 'Stop Talking About Philanthropy' and Start Paying Higher Taxes

Historian's Advice to Davos Elite Worried About Pitchforks: 'Stop Talking About Philanthropy' and Start Paying Higher Taxes

Jon Queally, staff writer

While the private jets have mostly left the airport outside of Davos, Switzerland following the conclusion of this year's World Economic Forum, a little noticed exchange that took place during the annual gathering has picked up steam in recent days showing what it looks like when some of the world's richest people are confronted by someone willing to call literal "bullshit" on the we-can-save-the-world-with-charity mantra that dominates among the global elite.


Bravo!!! Now we sit and wait for the greedy Corporatists to feel any kind of prick to their conscience. Will they realize what Trump did by increasing tax breaks for the rich! Hm…


They bleed us dry. Time to return the favor.


The pitchforks ARE coming. Its happening. We can see it everywhere. There is no way for the global Ruling Class to avoid their fate. No armies, no police, no spies, no MSM, no money, no tricks. Their fates are sealed. Their yachts, jets, mansions, banks, corporations and their worthless money can’t protect them from a public tired of its abuses and seeking revenge. They can’t buy their way out of this.


we sit and wait for the greedy Corporatists to feel any kind of prick to their conscience

Wait … greedy Corporatists to have a conscience? And I think you may have mistyped “greedy Corporatists to feel any kind of prick” instead of just “greedy pricks”. All of them in Davos - where is a meteor when you need one?


A primary role of philanthropy in the United States is to divert necessary political action from creating at least a social democratic form of capitalism to meet basic human needs. Needless to say, it avoids addressing a fundamental question: given that foundations are the direct beneficiaries of growing wealth inequality in capitalism, will they take some responsibility for their role in maintaining the existing power relations creating this inequality? Not likely. Indeed, after working as a senior foundation officer for almost 12 years, I summarized philanthropy’s central function as helping people stand on their own two knees.


Hahaha…a Freudian slip-ish.

Is it too much to ask historians and commentators here to actually understand money? Countries that can create their own sovereign money do not need to wait for the rich guys. Get the job done and use budgets to balance the economy in favour of the environment and people.

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The taxes on the ultra wealth are a joke. They should be at a marginal rate of least 95% over $10-12 US, million income. Anything less just infuriates average hard working citizens. Why work when they make money on capital? We will work if they pay their fair share. No more rentier freeloading. Pay your fair share now!.


Superfluous amenities matter not if you don’t have clean water or decent food. How much can one extract from dead land counting loads of cash as numbers on fat bank accounts? Food is a real commodity needed by all, numbers on PC screens? Not very nutritious.


So how does the cabal stand?
I see it as a band of rich and powerful elites. They belong to different groups like “Free Masons”, or “Skull and Bones,” or one of many others. They meet periodically at places like the “Bohemian” to reestablish their pecking order and discuss coming options to the cabal as a whole, and about individual enterprises. Will they remain under wing or be cast to the wind?
We can use educated guesses as to who is a member, but that guess would be underwhelming. The pitchforks that they don’t control don’t worry them. they’ve got it covered. They have the money, the military’s, and the politicians to maintain their status. WE are fucked.

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OH thank you Rutger ( historian) for reminding Yahoo guy that 91% was once the rich people’s tax, in AMERICA-- and they were still rich. Thank you to Winnie for reminding people of how so many workers are treated like farm animals. Geez, diapers for workers because there are no bathroom breaks!

Greta , Rutger and Winnie----the 21st century 3 Muskateers, “all for one and one for all” : )


I’d like to ask Berman if he believes “a so-called popular ‘backlash’” is likewise “bullshit”, as it seems he’s advising a way to avoid it, rather than enable it.

It ain’t about paying your taxes

It’s about how you got the fucking money in the first place.

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Classic stupidity of greedy hubris. Classical Greek tragedies are filled with “heroes” who simply cannot see that their hubris will be their downfall. Today’s “elite” fools can’t see the obvious truth staring them in their faces. They only see their looted “wealth.”

But this time, it’s not just pitchforks (or guillotines) that they will conjure with their hubris. The ecology itself is dis-integrating. They will bring the whole house down on top of themselves.


We tried one system that worked in the 1930s to the 1950s: capitalism combined with a strong social safety net. We got rid of that because business interests told us that if we gave capitalism a real try, it would lift all boats. It failed abjectly.

We now have three options:

  1. The rich can pay their workers a living wage - something they have consistently failed to do.
  2. We can tax the super-rich and funnel that money into social programs - something the rich have lobbied against, so we have consistently failed to do it.
  3. And this one is looking like the only viable option: put everyone who has over a hundred million dollars under a guillotine, then redistribute their wealth. If things don’t change, this one will undoubtedly happen, because the poor and middle class outnumber the super rich 99 to 1.

Don’t know about that. T-Rump is getting ready to invade Venezuela and help the oligarchs in that country stick it to the poor…and I hear very little outrage coming from those of us being slowly bled to death in the first world.

Solidarity? Just what exactly is that?


Absolutely…all the narcissism and hype of rich people’s philanthropy is Bull shit…and we should say it loud. The get tax cuts, tax loopholes too numerous to count, and then they bury what’s left over (most of it) in dead money caves off shore.

They have to be the world’s most noxious parasites, many of them…and taxing the gains they made…off common resources quite often, and the backs of the poorly paid folks who do the work…is simple social justice.

Why are so many of us afraid to say so…not tax cuts people…a progressive tax that asks that the most advantaged, give back the most. Not rocket science, and it works quite well in the Scandinavian countries.


"And all your money won’t another minute buy."


That’s absolutely right! These DAVOS people appear to be insisting that the poor, elderly, disabled, or other needy and lower income people in their respective countries can only be helped in such a way that they can take personal credit for their “charity,” and so that other people can see what wonderful, generous, and kind hearted people these extremely wealthy people must be for voluntarily doing this, and so that then they can receive their “earthly reward” by being appreciated by others, which is paradoxically exactly what Christ preached against in the Gospels. Because if they pay for these services to the needy by paying taxes, they will do so where this beneficence will not be seen or appreciated by other people, and taken for granted, where they will get no personal credit for any of their “generous” beneficence. Yet Christ instead admonished us Christians to give to the needy secretly instead, in ways that others would not be aware of, so as to receive a “heavenly reward” from God who sees all. And even if this assistance to the needy is provided secretly by anonymous donation or paid for by taxes that the public has all deemed should be provided as charity through the payment of our taxes, does anyone really believe that just because this charity is paid for through taxes and provided by government rather than through the Church directly, even though the reason for doing this is exactly the same because it is the right thing to do, that God will somehow not notice the charity just because it came from taxes collected involuntarily and due to programs voluntarily voted into law by the majority of any countries’ people? God will still know how much of the wealthy person’s wealth went to provide for other needy folks regardless of how these funds are raised or who administers these funds, whether by the Church or by governments elected by populations of Christian believers. Do these wealthy folks truly think that God will fail to give them their heavenly reward for this charity, just because they paid for this charity, which a majority of taxpayers have voluntarily voted for so as to provide for the common welfare of everyone who needs it in their country by paying these taxes, and that is administered to the needy by the state, rather than by giving their money voluntarily to a nongovernmental charity of their choice? God knows, and therefore no one who gives to charity to assist the needy will ever lose their heavenly reward, whether this charity is paid directly to a Church or nongovernmental charity of their choice, or whether this money is given to the needy as charity that is voted into law to pay for as a group by a majority of a country’s citizens and then paid for by taxes. Everyone who votes to pay for government taxation to assist the needy will not fail to receive their share of the credit for this by God who knows all. We cannot deceive God, and He/She will know about this. Furthermore, the purpose of either giving to charity by doing so personally, or by participating in paying money for this purpose by taxes, is not to get some kind of personal reward out of it anyway! Charity is meant to help others in need, as this is a good thing to do, and makes our society a more virtuous one because for one thing it encourages others to do more of this charity, because helping others helps everyone, and one never knows what may happen in this unpredictable life, so because perhaps someday one might fall into need oneself and be in such a situation as to need someone else to provide some charity for them, so that charity, even if we never do end up needing it, helps us to make a kinder and more humane world overall, and increases everyone’s happiness through sharing our bounty with others.

And at the same time, we here in America have been under a constant and pervasive right wing political and ideological assault from massive amounts of cruel, selfish, bigoted, and hateful propaganda that is broadcast on talk radio, TV, the internet, and on social media, day in and day out, using a very well financed and ever growing right wing media empire that has been deliberatly created for the express purpose of poisoning the minds, hearts, and souls of millions of vulnerable American citizens. This is all being done so as to promote the unholy agenda of an evil, extremely greedy, cruel, and selfish faction of bigoted, right wing billionaires, and other very wealthy people in this country, many of whom probably attend DAVOS every year themselves, and who have been working very hard for over fifty years with more than 89 think tanks and organizations, so as to pervert the entire Christian message with a man made dogma and a very subtly twisted theology that is even more twisted than it had been twisted already for centuries, especially in America’s South with it’s bigoted version of slaveholder KKK Christianity, which is a subtle but vile form of so called Christianity that has unfortunately persisted despite the end of the Civil War over one hundred years ago. This perverted theology is being passed off as being Christianity when it is not real Christianity at all, and this is all being done deliberatly by well financed and well organized groups of false, con man, snake oil salesman preachers, under the guise of righteousness, and so as to poison and remake the entire Christian message into a demonic, worldly and ungodly message. So instead of teaching and preaching the real Gospel of Jesus Christ, the entire Christian message has instead been remade so as to serve a worldly, greedy, bigoted, power hungry political agenda by spreading lies, and heresy, and the idea of Prosperity Gospels and the idea that paying taxes to help anyone else but oneself is somehow robbery and a sin under the Ten Commandments. This is all being done so that they can get millions of unwitting Christians to believe that all health care, Social Security for the elderly and disabled, and all welfare, food assistance, housing assistance, job training or any other beneficial social program should only be paid for by willing donations to charity or from the Church, even when they are all fully aware that none of these religious organizations, churches or private charities could ever hope to raise sufficient funds in order to ever have any hope of even coming close to being able to sufficiently provide for the needs of needy Americans. Therefore, this ideology would leave hundreds of millions of people in America, and many billions of people worldwide, to then be forced into utter starvation, to lack any access to health care, to become homeles, and to drastically increase the amount people who would just suffer and die. The situation of the elderly, disabled, poor and needy in America would then become much worse, even more so than it is today already with the 1.4 million destitute and homeless people that we already have today in America, and that exist even despite all of the massive amounts of government funding for programs that we are now able to provide for by taxation, and by using the resources of our government much of which has already been drastically cut to the bone already due to gradual government cutbacks pushed into law by right wing Republican austerity agendas over the last forty or so years. Therefore, this agenda of promoting an even more drastic level of governmental austerity will only serve to cause even more of the American people to die of starvation, exposure, and a lack of proper medical care than ever before.

And in addition, there would be a complete lack of education available to ordinary Americans, because these greedy billionaires want to defund all public schools and have education only be available for the wealthy who can afford to pay for it. The working poor, disabled and unemployed would never have any access to health care or affordable housing, education, food assistance or any of the many necessary good things that our government does for its people today that are now paid for by taxes. This would be an inhumane and massive human catastrophe, causing death, disease, and massive suffering on an unprecedented scale, and none of these people could ever hope to save themselves from this terrible fate no matter how hard they may work even if they are able to work, and many millions of them are not able to work to provide for themselves at all. Children and babies after birth would suffer, sicken and die, all the while that these right wingers always claim to care about protecting unborn life, with their right to life and anti-abortion, anti-birth control overzealousness, yet once these children were born they would then be on their own to live or sicken and die, if their parents who would then be forced to have a child every year due to a complete lack of access to birth control, which these hard line right wing Christian Pharisees see as being immoral and are pushing to make illegal along with all abortions, and therefore they will insist that no matter the circumstances, or how disabled or damaged the unborn fetus was, the pregnant woman would always be forced to give birth to these unwanted children, even severely disabled children, and that perhaps neither she nor her family may even have the means of feeding, sheltering, or properly caring or providing for. And so along with this government forced, right wing fanatic so called Christian insistence that all of these unwanted children must be born, all at the very same time there would then be no government services of any kind with which to assist these families in any way, and this could happen tomorrow if these right wing perverted Christian zealots are ever allowed to get their own way.

The kind of society that would result from allowing these horrible right wing Republican so called Christians to enact their agenda into law would fulfill every wish that Satan or the devil could ever have, as America would then end up to more resemble Somalia, or some other poor and destitute third world country than it does in some ways even the way things are now, and all of this outrage would then even be done in the name of God, and so as to prevent any wealthy taxpayer from ever having to pay any taxes to help anyone other than themselves, unless they chose to donate some of their money to some Church or other charity that they may only willingly choose to donate to or not. I guess it’s only moral in the eyes of these right wing so called Christians to kill people indirectly after birth by government fiat of their new right wing Christian agenda and it’s massive, and inhumanly cruel neglect for the needs of others. They appear to view caring, compassion, and human decency as if these things are some kind of ungodly immorality or sin, rather than the true virtues they are. These overly pushy, sanctimonious, nit picking, and self righteous right wing Republican voting right to lifers, who appear so overly scrupulous that they want to even make destroying any fertilized human eggs that are leftover by infertile couples when they have finished their childbearing into capital murder, and who demand that all abortions or use of contraception be banned so that every fertile woman who is not in a convent must birth a child every year like a human cow, against her will, also must believe that it is only OK to kill people in war, or by capital punishment, or indirectly by allowing them to starve, die of exposure or die from a lack of medical care once they are born. I guess that they just want to ensure that people are born so that they can then enjoy watching them suffer, and if so then these supposedly moral people must be the worst, most inhumane and cruelest sadists that are so horrible that they could even make the Marquis de Sade cringe!

I’m willing to join the words “stupid” and “philanthropy” into a single phrase. The idea of joining “philanthropy” and “meritorious works” is proving to be one of those desert mirages that you can only see at a distance. The philanthropy system makes the little guy or little organiztion work like crazy just to compete for the grant, then in a shockingly huge percentage of cases it corrupts them/her/him to go off at a more or less 90 degree angle from the true goal, then finally it bankrupts them/him/her.