Meet the folk hero of Davos: the writer who told the rich to stop dodging taxes

Thursday, January 31, 2019

By Dylan Matthews

One of the biggest stars to come out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week wasn’t a CEO or a head of state or a venture capitalist. It was Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, who used his speaking time at the conference to lambaste the rich attendees for failing to talk about the one thing we know could fight wealth inequality: raising taxes for the kind of people who go to Davos.

A video of his righteous rant went viral.

“It feels like I’m at a firefighters conference and no one’s allowed to speak about water, right?” Bregman said. “Just stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes. … We can invite Bono once more, but we’ve got to be talking about taxes. That’s it. Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”

As if to prove his point, one Davos attendee — Ken Goldman, the former CFO of Yahoo — used the question-and-answer period to denounce Bregman and Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International also on the panel, for a “very one-sided panel,” and demanded that they offer solutions to inequality besides higher taxes.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Source: Vox (link opens in a new window)

philanthropy, public policy