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Davos Elite Fret About Inequality Over Vintage Wine and Canapés

Swiss President Doris Leuthard (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping raise their glasses for a toast at a gala dinner in Switzerland on Sunday. PHOTO: Japan Times/AP

By Peter S. Goodman | 18 January 2016

THE NEW YORK TIMES — (DAVOS, Switzerland) You have perhaps noticed that in many countries, history-altering numbers of people have grown enraged at the economic elite and their tendency to hog the spoils of globalization. This wave of anger has delivered Donald J. Trump to the White House, sent Britain toward the exit of the European Union, and threatened the future of global trade.

The people gathered here this week in the Swiss Alps for the annual World Economic Forum have noticed this, too. They are the elite — heads of state, billionaire hedge fund managers, technology executives.

They are eager to talk about how to set things right, soothing the populist fury by making globalization a more lucrative proposition for the masses. Myriad panel discussions are focused on finding the best way to “reform capitalism,” make globalization work and revive the middle class.

What is striking is what generally is not discussed: bolstering the power of workers to bargain for better wages and redistributing wealth from the top to the bottom. […]

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