Can the Great Reset Succeed—and Does It Matter?

The super-rich will reap the benefits of the Great Reset even if it’s a massive failure.

By Al Kircher

Over the past year much has been made of the so-called Great Reset agenda put forth by Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many worry the GR is a push to implement a dystopian technocratic global state. Simply reading from the WEF website, there are those among its ranks who seem to wish for that.

However, the members of the WEF are likely as pragmatic as they are greedy. Such an ambitious vision is long-term, costly, and complex. It leaves out the prospect for the kind of short-term gains the members are accustomed to when corporate greed is married to state power, or what the World Economic Forum refers to as, “public private partnership”.

Until the events of 2020, the WEF has probably been best known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, an event that is thoroughly covered each year in the mainstream press. In June of 2020 however, remarkably soon after the public became aware that that the COVID lockdowns would be a catastrophic global phenomenon, Klaus and a co-author published a book entitled COVID-19 THE GREAT RESET expounding on all the reasons why the economic devastation brought by the lockdowns necessitated a complete re-invention of capitalism from the bottom up.

Since that time alternative media has been in panic mode about the dystopian implications of a Great Reset, while mainstream media on the other hand has not done the same, even going as far as to report that it doesn’t exist and somehow is entirely the product of conspiracy theorists. This article will explain the Great Reset agenda according to its originators, as well as show that it is not anything very new at all.

The economic fallout of lockdowns and the ‘New Normal’

The lockdowns of 2020, imposed by governments all over the world, were in most cases a temporary phenomenon, but the economic effects brought on by them has been anything but. The lifting of lockdowns has brought recovery to some affected by them but by no means all.

Since its peak in March of 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped substantially and creates a rosy picture at first glance, but this is due to the way the Bureau of Labor and Statistics measures unemployment. At any point in time, a person is only considered “unemployed” if they have actively looked for employment within the past six weeks. The number of individuals reporting that they are not employed and furthermore not seeking employment has not recovered to pre-lockdown levels and has in some cases trended upward as official unemployment has gone down.

The effects of this reduced labor force participation have yet to be seen. In addition, employment has actually increased for higher salaried positions ($60k or more) whereas employment low wage in low wage ($27k or less) since remains down by more than 23% measured from January 2020 to April of 2021.

The number of small businesses (500 employees or less) that are open for business dropped by 43% from January to April 2020. As of May 2021, the total number is still down nearly 37% from the January 2020 zero point. In the meantime, companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Tesla (companies who figure prominently within the WEF) increased their market caps in 2020 by the hundreds of billions. Specifically, WEF board member Mark Benioff’s Salesforce increased its market capitalization by a not too shabby $19 billion.

M2 Money Stock

Governments and central banks have responded to the imposed economic downturn with unprecedented amounts of spending and monetary quantitative easing. Though these programs may have had short-term benefit for some people and have certainly benefited companies mentioned above, the increase in US, M2 money supply is totally unprecedented, and the consumer price index has steepened its trajectory in a way that hasn’t been seen since 2008.

In other words, more dollars in people’s hands are purchasing less than they did a year ago. Some experts have asserted that the current inflationary trend is “transitory”, but this prediction is controversial at best and by no means consensus.

What is the solution to all of these economic problems that are deep enough to become severe social problems?

According to Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum, it is time for a Great Reset.

In his own words:

This is our best chance to instigate stakeholder capitalism—and here’s how it can be achieved….

…the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed.

This “revamping” is what he means by “The Great Reset”. According to Schwab:

The Great Reset agenda would have three main components.

[1] …steer the market toward fairer outcomes. To this end, governments should improve coordination (for example, in tax, regulatory, and fiscal policy), upgrade trade arrangements and create the conditions for a “stakeholder economy”.

“Stakeholder” is a term we hear a lot from the WEF. The so-called “Davos Manifesto 2020” provides the following:

The purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation. In creating such value, a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large. …

A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfills human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives. …

Klaus’s own message doesn’t include how to enforce the rules of “stakeholder capitalism” other than through government. However prominently displayed on the WEF home page is the following declaration: “The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.”  An example of the “private” end of creating “the conditions of a “stakeholder economy” would be the diligent work of investment houses like the close WEF associate, Black Rock, ensuring compliance with that objective as they “engage” with the boards of directors of the companies in their massive portfolios.

Continuing with the three components of the Great Reset:

[2] …ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability. Here, the large-scale spending programs that many governments are implementing represent a major opportunity for progress.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion COVID relief package would be specific examples of such “investments”. One might be tempted to say mission accomplished to that, but is enough ever enough?

[3] …harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support the public good…

The idea of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is essentially Klaus Schwab’s personal invention but routinely spoken about at the WEF and in parroting media as objective truth. Like everything else in the Great Reset, with the exception of COVID, it is not new to 2020.

Again Kaus:

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

His message to us is that the 4th IR is a brand-new kind of industrial revolution that is totally incomprehensible within the context of any previous technological advancement. It is to be characterized by constant upheaval in the capabilities of businesses and individuals to adapt to its demand for change and presumably only the most visionary of experts will be qualified to understand and “harness” its immense power on our behalf.

Workers will be replaced by machines and the job market will be “increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments”. This will lead to “an increase in social tensions” and explains why “so many workers are disillusioned and fearful that their own real incomes and those of their children will continue to stagnate.”

The technologies of the 4th IR include, “artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.”

Once again, an integral aspect of the Great Reset is to “harness” all these innovations for “the public good”, and therefore:

…the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

And finally:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution…will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships. It is already changing our health and leading to a “quantified” self…

It is probably this 4thIR aspect of the Great Reset more than any other that many find so alarming. When combining this kind of vision of the future with the 2020 government-imposed lockdowns, mask mandates, and the prospect of vaccine passports, many have justifiably seen flashing red warning signs and made serious efforts at pushing back.

2020 was a shock to almost everyone. For most, it may have been the fear of catching the virus; for others, it has been the fear of impending dystopia. However, 2020 has also been an opportunity to look behind the curtain at the World Economic Forum, whose power is immense in ways most people don’t understand, but probably not as all-powerful as some fear.

Klaus as Dr. Evil

From the initial Great Reset video published by the WEF, many compared Klaus Schwab’s appearance to a Bond villain threatening world destruction if his demands were not met. I certainly applaud anyone who makes Klaus look like a clown, but a Bond villain he is not. He represents an elite class of people whose motive has always been and remains profit: not profit that comes from providing value to those individuals willing to pay for it, but the kind of profit that comes from manipulating government policy and thus the flow of taxpayer and newly printed money in one’s own favor.

In other words, world totalitarianism might be fine with them if they don’t have to play by the rules; but is winning a sudden and near complete game for all the marbles really the best way to line their pockets this quarter, and next? Probably not. I would argue that goal is best accomplished in the manner WEF members have always done it: by making politically palatable (or politically invisible) appeals to high-level politicians to spend their taxpayers’ money with them in ways that help the politicians stay in power or enrich politicians in ways that don’t jeopardize their position.

Klaus’s description of his Fourth Industrial Revolution is certainly designed to dazzle. The 4thIR is either something for us to be scared or enthused by. Either reaction is okay with Klaus. If you’re excited by the 4thIR, maybe you’ll be an early adopter. That’s good for business. If you are scared of the new technology, you’ll support government regulations that will create barriers to entry making it impossible for upstarts to compete with WEF member big tech companies. That’s even better.

We know what they say but how do we know what they mean?

The WEF has numerous hot button topics in its PR toolbelt. On its website, it posts articles and videos expounding on climate change, inequality, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and so on. Examining any of them slightly below the surface will reveal that the heart of all WEF activity is graft; but one directly related to the GR/4thIR, and that WEF members are very fond of, is the so-called “digital divide”. It is not just a WEF-generated notion but probably a fact that that “many rural and low-income communities around the world, including those in large urban areas, lack reliable, affordable [Internet] access.” This is an opportunity for the WEF to be a good global citizen, highlight the problem and showcase how it’s members on both sides of the public-private partnership are working hard to address the problem for the benefit of all.

One of many such showcases occurred in October of 2020 with a WEF livestream entitled, The Great Reset: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The public side of the partnership was represented by Iván Duque, President of Colombia; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. Present were several high-powered representatives of the private sector, as well; but to illustrate the coziness of the “partnership”, I’ll focus of the public end of the livestream and particularly on Netanyahu. This particular WEF virtual meeting was ostensibly an interruption of his efforts to deal directly with COVID-19 in his own country, which was at a peak at that time. Part of his on-pause deliberations was apparently on the “digital divide” within Israel. Internet access becomes very important when the government prohibits people from meeting each other in person, and Netanyahu was showing everyone what he was doing to fill this gap his government essentially had created:

…one of the things we’ve decided to do, just now, five minutes ago is to allocate money to buy computers for these kids so we can cross the digital divide…to give everyone the opportunity.

He then addresses infrastructure by saying:

it’s fibers…that go to some of these remote places…even though we have a tiny country, we have central places where the 5G companies will go and other remote areas where they won’t go because it’s not profitable for them. …[so] what we’re going to do is create a special fund…so we can have fiber reach everyone.

One of the moderators was WEF President, Børge Brende who added the following:

…Israel is one of the most innovative countries in the world but how will you…secure that you’ll stay that way…how will you also, in the years to come, be cutting edge? Is there part of that success you can tell the rest of us?

Netanyahu’s reply:

Invest, invest, invest. Just invest. Invest a lot. Invest in R&D. Invest at the bottom and invest at the top…

A simple Google search for “Israeli 5G companies” yielded the following first page hit: 10 Israeli Companies Banking on 5G Success. The article names ten companies and the major investors are listed for most but not all of the companies. Five out of the ten have investors with some association to the World Economic Forum.

In a technological environment where many believe data is the new oil, is it any wonder that a WEF mouthpiece would say something like “invest, invest, invest”? What if that mouthpiece happens to be a head of state? He has power to direct the money of his taxpayers precisely where these WEF members want it.

In another example, we find that the only thing worth more than data or oil is money itself. Representing the interests of those who create money from thin air and those who are there to catch it when it poofs into existence is central to the WEF mission.

Out of 31 members of the WEF board of trustees, 13 represent high level banking interests from the US, UK, EU, Canada, Japan, Russia and China. Ten of the 13 hold or have held high level government and central banking positions in and out of their respective countries. In addition, eight WEF board members are high level investment firm executives.

Out of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress allocated $454 billion to be used for Federal Reserve emergency lending programs.

Investment giant BlackRock (same as above) was appointed the sole manager for the two of the lending programs: the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF). These two were intended to provide access to credit so that companies could maintain business operations during the economic shock of the COVID lockdowns.

BlackRock made its fortune after the 2008 financial crisis in “exchange traded funds” (ETFs). By 2020, it owned over 800 funds with $1.9 trillion in assets under management and was number one of a “big-three” that by 2017 had become the largest shareholder “in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Coca-Cola.” In addition “BlackRock owns major interests in nearly every mega-bank and in major media.”

The SMCCF began operating on May 12, 2020. As of May 30, the only purchases made under the BlackRock administered facility “were ETFs, mainly owned by BlackRock itself. Between May 14 and May 20, about $1.58 billion in ETFs were bought through the…SMCCF, of which $746 million or about 47% came from BlackRock ETFs.” BlackRock was using its position as sole manager of the SMCCF to buy ETFs in the name of the Fed owned by BlackRock itself. This gave BlackRock a golden opportunity to self-deal.

Larry Fink is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock and also sits on the board of trustees at the World Economic Forum. Could the above speak for itself more loudly? Moreover, could this connection as well as many others like it be what Klaus really means when he says: large-scale spending programs that many governments are implementing represent a major opportunity for progress”?

Conclusion

Despite all the hype and machinations, one could even say that there is no Great Reset at all, or as Naomi Klein called it, the “Great Website”, but just a big PR campaign designed to take advantage of the COVID disruptions to pump and push what the WEF has already been doing for decades.

Nothing the WEF is expounding on will bring back the small businesses shuttered due to the lockdowns, and they have no proposals for increasing the labor force participation rate reduced by lockdowns either.

There are some eye-popping advances in technology occurring today to be sure but, the so called Fourth Industrial Revolution is a proprietary invention designed to make people believe they won’t be able to cope with technological change in the future without benevolent interference from government appointed WEF experts. 

Graft at the highest level is what the Great Reset is all about and will remain so long after the Great Reset is as forgotten as Y2K.

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