What's wrong with Davos

An armed police officer stands on the snow-covered rooftop of the Hotel Davos and looks out over the Congress Center, the venue for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

It is very easy not to like Davos.

This week a couple thousand of the world's Very Important People convened once again at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The invite-event, protected by razor wire barricades and rooftop snipers, is the premiere gathering for elite businessmen and women, political leaders, journalists, well-known academics and international bureaucrats.

It takes place in a resort town in Switzerland. Think Aspen, Colo., but with far less charm. The meeting is rigidly hierarchical, with different-colored badges for different types of attendees permitting access to different types of events, like an exclusive nightclub with VIP areas inside of VIP areas inside of VIP areas.

And, actually, that's literally true of the parties that take place at night after the official meetings. It's like an onion that stinks more and more of wealth, power, envy and status-climbing with each layer you peel back.

So you can see why anyone with populist, libertarian or leftist blood coursing through one's arteries would bristle when hearing about Davos. It's obviously elitist, annoying the pitchfork types. It puts heads of state at the top of the pecking order, as Reuters' Felix Salmon recently explained, raising alarms for free marketeers.

The agenda is focused around the hobbyhorses of people who manage the greatest concentrations of wealth the world has ever seen, unsettling the socialists. If it doesn't make you want to throw up the black flag of anarchy, well, you were probably invited to Davos.

Well, I write not to assuage your urge to rise up against Davos. After you're done reading this, I hope you will have no better of an opinion of Davos than you already do. But if we are going to hate Davos, let's hate it for the right reasons.

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