The big confab of rich people and their vassals in Davos, Switzerland is just wrapping up.
A reporter there filed this dispatch…
DAVOS, Switzerland – After a brutal four days of world leaders’ speeches, schmoozing and wild parties, exhausted global delegates at the World Economic Forum were warned of the growing dangers of burnout for society.
Economic turmoil, round-the-clock communication and constant social pressure to succeed have led to a costly increase in stress-related illness and burnout, a panel of experts told a packed session in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
“In the future, the greatest challenge to the global health system will be stress-related diseases,” said Heinz Schuepbach, director of the school of applied psychology at the University of Northwestern Switzerland.
The phenomenon is rapidly growing more prevalent, he added. According to a study this week by one of Germany’s top health insurance companies, one in five workers in Europe’s top economy has fallen ill from stress at work.
The reality is that since Davos launched it conference for the super-wealthy in 1971, income inequality has increased substantially in the United States and gains from the prolonged period of economic growth that ended in 2007–08 have gone disproportionately to the upper end of the richest layer of society.
The super wealthy became super duper wealthy while the rest of us were instructed to work harder and tolerate more stress and uncertainty. I sometimes wonder if the relentless attacks on Social Security are not motivated, at least in part, by a desire to stimulate anxiety (and suppress dissent) among the vast majority of Americans who must rely on Social Security to provide the foundation of a dignified retirement.
There has to be another way.