Vintage wine and canapes, oh my

Just catching up on the latest from the brilliant (well at least super rich) folks gathering in Davos to discuss the problems of the world. This New York Times piece notes, in part:

Yet the solutions that have currency seem calculated to spare corporations and the wealthiest people from having to make any sacrifices at all, as if there is a way to be found to tilt the balance of inequality while those at the top hang on to everything they have.

More entrepreneurialism, mindfulness training, education focused on the modern ways of technology: These are the sorts of items that tend to get discussed here as the response to the plight of those left behind by globalization. That perhaps private equity overseers should not be paid 1,000 times as much as teachers while availing themselves of tax breaks is thinking that gets little airing here.

There’s more meat in the coverage but let’s zero in on two points in these paragraphs. Attendees advocate solutions that involve no sacrifices and the talk about entrepreneurialism. Here’s a thought. Invest in entrepreneurs. Not just the ones out to build big companies just like yours but the masses who could make a better life for themselves if they could start or join a small business.

You (at Davos) can do this in a non-profit way through Kiva. Check out Kiva Zip. You could set up small business lending options to make access to capital available. And no, not the kind that sneak in effective APRs in excess of 50%. Do it at a level to match regulated banks.

Put aside the canapes and vintage wine please. Use your good minds. Get your hands dirty. Let’s build a super-strong and resilient base of the economic pyramid.


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