Recently, the super-rich and super powerful gathered for the annual economic summit in Davos, Switzerland. There, they received a report from Oxfam. It said the 26 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half the human race. (“Davos: Skiing past a world in crisis,” The Week, Feb. 2, 2019, pg. 34.) Its conclusion screamed of a global economic imbalance and explained why capitalism is losing its luster in many societies, including ours.
But how are we to address economic inequality? As writer Michael Hirsch points out, it’s difficult to rectify an imbalance when the people with power and money are the problem.
“Tax the rich,” has a pleasing, moral ring. We hear it often from left leaning politicians, their fingers pointed toward the sky as if to evoke some higher power — men and women reeking a righteous intent more suited for the pulpit than a political podium. Nonetheless, there is truth to what they say. But, not the whole truth, as Venezuelans — once citizens of a rich nation, and now among the poorest — have come to learn.
Howard Schultz, former Starbuck’s chief, distrusts both extremes of the political spectrum and is considering a run for the presidency as an independent centrist. His announcement has stunned the Democratic party. Believing their time has come, they fear Schultz will split off enough voters to allow Republican Donald Trump a second term as U. S. President. As a result, the liberal establishment has come out swinging with a vitriol against Schultz that is usually reserved for our President.
What is his crime? Are we to shun Schultz for having created a prosperous, global company, for being a leader generous to his employees, a person generous to charitable causes and sensitive to the environment?
Frankly, my plan is to give the man a fair hearing. The Democrats, I hope, will respond with a cogent platform of their own. Using Donald Trump as a boogie man shouldn’t work. We’re grownups here.
Howard Schultz may be a rich white man but his notion of inclusion appeals to me. What’s more, he seems to have lived by his principles. Those who point fingers and foment anger should know by now few minds are changed with insults.