Detroit, which remains a major industrial center in the sectors of automotive and other sources of production and services, is a focal point for the economic and social transformations of urban areas in the United States and internationally. Since the 19th century, the city has been a location for various forms of manufacturing, mining and shipping. Initially there was the strategic location linked to the Great Lakes and rivers which flow into them. The mining of copper during the mid-to-late 19th century which fueled migration eventually gave way to steam engine manufacturing for shipping and the timber trade. By the early decades of the 20th century, the first assembly line within auto production was established by Henry Ford. The production of millions of automobiles within a matter of years, created the demand for jobs and the consequent suppression and division of labor.
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced plans to open a “Global Center for Urban Transformation” in Detroit in October 2021. The WEF is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that describes itself as aiming to improve “the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.” It has been in existence since 1971 and is based in Switzerland. This won’t be the first time the capitalist corporate, banking and political power-brokers have focused on the Motor City to promote their plans to strengthen their exploitative system on the backs of poor and working people. The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) and the Moratorium Now Coalition played a pivotal role in all of these earlier actions and are part of a growing coalition to once again confront them.
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has given a great speech to the Davos 2021 online forum organized by the World Economic Forum. As usual it created little echo in the 'western' media. Putin sees a new danger of large international conflicts. Economic imbalances have caused socio-political problems in many countries which, when externalized, can lead to international conflicts. To solve this one has to reject the laissez faire doctrines that caused the economic imbalances. The nation states must intervene more in their economies. The people must be seen as the ends, not the means of such economic policy. There must be more international cooperation through global organizations to enable this everywhere.
A global survey out Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos shows that over half of respondents believe capitalism in its current form does "more harm than good." "Welp, glad that's settled then," mused one Twitter user. The findings are from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, which polled over 34,000 respondents in 28 markets to measure trust in government, business, NGOs, and media. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they agree with statement, "Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world." That belief was expressed by a majority across age group, gender, and income level divides. In fact, there were just six markets were the majority of respondents did not agree—Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan.
The first World Social Forum in 2001 ushered in the new century with a bold affirmation: “Another world is possible.” That gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil, stood as an alternative and a challenge to the World Economic Forum, held at the same time an ocean away in the snowy Alps of Davos, Switzerland. A venue for power elites to set the course of world development, the WEF was then, and remains now, the symbol for global finance, unchecked capitalism, and the control of politics by multinational corporations.
The UN Secretary General and the World Economic Forum signed on June 13 a Strategic Partnership Agreement for the implementation of the 2030 agenda (SDG). More than 240 organisations signed the following letter demanding the end of the agreement and denouncing it for formalising the corporate capture of the UN and moving towards an increasingly privatized and less democratic global governance. We the undersigned call on you to terminate the recently signed United Nations-World Economic Forum strategic partnership agreement. We are very concerned that this WEF-UN partnership agreement will de-legitimize the United Nations and provide transnational corporations preferential and deferential access to the UN System. The UN system is already under a big threat from the US Government and those who question a democratic multilateral world.
“At Davos, Switzerland every year the global capitalist elite gather to party…and to prepare for the year ahead. This year more than 1500 private jets will reportedly fly in. Thousands more of their underling staff will travel via business class to handle their personal, and corporate, logistics. Shielded from the media and the pubic, the big capitalists share views in back rooms and listen to experts on finance, government policy, technology, and the economy. The experts are especially probed to identify and explain the next ‘black swan’ or ‘gray rhino’ event about to erupt.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — As the world’s financial and political elites convene here in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum, their vision of ever-closer commercial and political ties is under attack — and the economic outlook is darkening. Britain’s political system has been thrown into chaos as the country negotiates a messy divorce from the European Union. Under President Donald Trump, the United States is imposing trade sanctions on friend and foe alike, and the government is paralyzed by a partial shutdown over immigration policy that forced Trump and a high-level U.S. delegation to cancel the trip to Davos.
A major cause of such inequality is tax havens – which in the current casino atmosphere stand no risk of being regulated. The so-called globalized elites meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year under the specter of extreme turbulence. The WEF Global Risks Report is hardly reassuring. The top five most likely risks for 2018 all range from extreme weather/climate change disturbances to cyber-attacks. Yet, according to the report, in terms of impact, they are superseded by weapons of mass destruction – a direct consequence of the Korean peninsula standoff. Global elites are somewhat paralyzed by political inaction facing the most pressing questions of our time, just as the global economy is inundated by liquidity. Quantitative easing was actually the only concrete response to political inaction, adhered to by every Central Bank, from the ECB to the Japanese.
For the past five years, I have carried Oxfam's call to tackle global inequality to the rich and powerful people attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. I don't sing alone there any more. I'm worried my message is almost mainstream, that I sound like I'm part of the choir. I bet nearly every politician and industry leader I meet in Davos this week will talk the talk about the evils of inequality and be very eloquent and believable, too. I mean, how could they not? The evidence is overwhelming. Surely, no stable genius attending Davos could possibly try to deny, minimise or justify 2018 levels of global inequality? Now that would be a controversial sideshow! Oxfam's report this year is as much about people's stories as it is about inequality's staggering statistics. These are the people around the world losing their lands and livelihoods as fast as ever.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Zurich to protest against Donald Trump‘s presence at Davos. The US president has planned to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland this week. In response, anti-capitalist activists called for protests under the slogans ‘Trump Not Welcome!’ and ‘Smash WEF!’ Trump is due to speak on Friday at the WEF meeting in the Alpine town of Davos, an annual meeting of global business and political leaders. That march went off peacefully, unlike violent anti-WEF protests in several Swiss cities that were held in the early 2000s. More than 4,000 Swiss soldiers have been deployed to guard DAvos, alongside 1,000 police officers. A no-fly zone was also put in place to protect delegates.
The architects of the crisis-ridden international economic order are starting to see the dangers. It’s not just the maverick hedge-funder George Soros, who likes to describe himself as a class traitor. Paul Polman, Unilever chief executive, frets about the “capitalist threat to capitalism”. Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, fears capitalism might indeed carry Marx’s “seeds of its own destruction” and warns that something needs to be done. The scale of the crisis has been laid out for them by the charity Oxfam. Just 80 individuals now have the same net wealth as 3.5 billion people – half the entire global population. Last year, the best-off 1% owned 48% of the world’s wealth, up from 44% five years ago. On current trends, the richest 1% will have pocketed more than the other 99% put together next year. The 0.1% have been doing even better, quadrupling their share of US income since the 1980s. This is a wealth grab on a grotesque scale.