Joe Biden isn't good at very much, but when it comes to blame shifting, he's the world champion. Over the past several months he's argued repeatedly that the primary culprits for out-of-control oil and gas prices are first, Vladimir Putin and, second, nefarious oil executives. Neither claim was convincing, but his latest assertion is the baldest faced falsehood of all. Over Fourth of July weekend, when many Americans were hitting the road and holding cookouts (and, consequently, having to deal with the inflated cost of gas and food), the president did his best to transfer culpability to local gas stations:
My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril.
Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 2, 2022
This tweet is absurd. Biden's reference to "the companies running gas stations" notwithstanding, gas stations are generally owned and operated by individuals. They're Mom-and-Pop businesses, and they don't make much of a profit at all on gasoline. In fact, the gas pumps are essentially a way to draw drivers in to the real money maker, the convenience store. These are the people Biden is addressing with this thinly veiled "do it now" threat.
It is so nuts, in fact, that even liberals felt obliged to respond. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos -- a Biden supporter it should be noted -- was one of them:
Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics. https://t.co/XgKfEICZpk
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) July 3, 2022
This, by the way, isn't the first time that Bezos has felt obligated to call out the president on Twitter. Back in May, Bezos mocked the idea that raising the corporate tax rate (which was cut during the Trump Administration) would solve the inflation problem.
The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead. Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection. https://t.co/ye4XiNNc2v
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 14, 2022
And he further pointed out that Biden and his allies in Congress helped create these problems and then tried to make them worse:
In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country. https://t.co/a8cygcunEG
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 15, 2022
Now, Bezos is a devoted Leftist, and there is very little chance that he supports anyone other than the Democratic nominee in the next presidential contest. But his frustration with Biden's incompetence in these tweets is palpable. And, what's more, they likely reflect an increasingly common position among America's plutocrats. Elon Musk, for instance, has already semi-endorsed Ron DeSantis.
You get what you pay for of course, but it seems as if some of Biden's billionaire backers are beginning to think he's a bum investment.
Continuing today, and for the next 16 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links.
The Great Reset was first concocted at the World Economic Forum in Davos by its founder Klaus Schwab as a way to assemble together global success stories like himself. His idea apparently was that grandees who have done well for themselves could do even better for the rest of us—if these anointed could just be unbound and given enough power and authority to craft rules for nearly eight billion of the planet’s ignorant.
A word of caution is needed about the pretentious and supposedly benign signature title of the Great Reset project. Assume the worst when the adjective “great” appears in connection with envisioned fundamental, government-driven, or global political changes. What was similar between Lyndon Johnson’s massively expensive but failed “Great Society” and Mao’s genocidal “Great Leap Forward” was the idea of a top-down, centrally planned schema, cooked up by elites without any firsthand knowledge, or even worry, how it would affect the middle classes and poor. So often, the adjective “great” is a code word of supposed enlightened planners for radical attempts at reconstruction of a society that must be either misled or forced to accept a complete overhaul.
When “great” is applied to a proposed transnational comprehensive revolution, we should also equate it with near religious zealotry. “The Great Reset,” after all, in all its green and “woke” glory, with all of its credentialed and “expert” devotees, is still a faith-based rather than scientific effort. Its spiritual predecessor was perhaps the eighteenth-century “Great Awakening” of Protestant evangelicalism that swept the eastern seaboard of colonial America in reaction to the secularism of the Enlightenment. But this time around the frenzy is fueled more by agnostics who worship secular progressive totems such as Al Gore or Greta Thunberg.
Given the Davos elite’s cosmic ambitions, “great” also conjures up a messianic reference to God’s “Great Plan” that should from on high reorder earthly life under a few trusted religious authorities. It recalls the notion of Alexander the “Great” of a brotherhood of man, which supposedly was to fuse conquered peoples into one vast and enlightened east-west, Persian-Hellenistic empire—albeit after, rather than before, eastern tribes were conquered, and sometimes slaughtered, in efforts to achieve a common, centrally planned purpose.
To reassure a shared brighter post-Covid-19 path ahead, Schwab drops most of the familiar globalist names that resonate power, money, seriousness, and wisdom. And the Great Resetters are now quite familiar: the world’s third or fourth richest man, Bill Gates, coming off his denials of palling around with the late Jeffrey Epstein; Jack Ma, the Chinese multibillionaire and Alibaba CEO apparently now “forcibly disappeared” by the Chinese communist government for too many candid speeches; the septuagenarian Prince Charles whose long anticipated monumental accomplishments apparently must still await his ascension to the British throne; the polymath Dr. Anthony Fauci who has laced his 2020 “noble lie” assessments of wearing and not wearing masks or achieving and not achieving herd immunity in terms of climate change, race, Chinese cooperation, and global progressive expertise; John Kerry, one of the multilateralist architects of the Paris Climate Accord and Iran Deal; and the usual rotating leaders of the U.N., IMF, World Bank, and the European Central Bank.
In its post-Covid-19 global comprehensiveness, the Great Reset has ambitions to be our greatest “woke” project yet. On examination, it is a kitchen-sink mishmash of agendas that incorporate the U.N.’s long stale “Sustainable Development” plan (“Agenda 21”), the Green New Deal, tidbits of Black Lives Matter sloganeering, critical race theory, “stakeholder” capitalism that often champions ESG, or forced corporate embrace of “environmental and social governance” over shareholder profitability, open-borders rhetoric, and boutique redistributionism dumbed down from Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Reset offers us a global Fabian socialist future, repackaged as a European Union-like top-down diktat. But above all, the agenda incorporates the pop insights of various half-educated corporate billionaires. All now find themselves in a secure enough position to dabble with Trotskyite ideas—to be foisted upon others not so fortunate and lacking their own exemptions from the toxicity of the elite’s theories.
The same linguistic suspicions hold true of the use of the noun “Reset.” It assumes a year-zero arrogance that all that came before was flawed. And all that will follow, we are assured, will not be so defective. Such absolutism is reminiscent of former President Barack Obama’s grandiose promise on the very eve of the 2008 election: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”—a transformation that birthed the Tea Party revolt just two years later, during the 2010 midterm elections, one of the greatest conservative political pushbacks of the past seventy years.
We remember that just four months after Obama’s promises of transformation, the romance of fundamental change went international with the idea of a foreign policy “reset” that focused on a new détente with Vladimir Putin. The idea was inaugurated in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the assumption that Putin’s past territorial aggressions had arisen from an absence of dialogue and ecumenical outreach from the prior “unilateralist” George W. Bush administration. Bush supposedly had wrongly sanctioned Putin for his 2008 miniature war with Georgia that resulted in the Russian absorption of South Ossetia. And the go-it-alone “cowboy” Bush apparently had also unduly polarized Putin and thus wet the ex-KGB operative’s beak for additional irredentist acquisition.
The reactive makeover that followed from the Obama-Clinton “reset” was unfortunately an utter failure. Its pompous declarations and talk of “listening” and “outreach” ended in fresh Russian aggressiveness, most notably in the 2014 Russian invasions of both Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Such appeasement created the original seeds for Putin’s eventual spring 2022 catastrophic Russian invasion of most of Ukraine and attack on Kyiv. In addition, Russia earlier in 2013 had reentered the Middle East, on Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2011 invitation, after a three-decade hiatus. Then followed Russia’s informal partnerships with both Iran and China, and Moscow’s much greater and more comprehensive crackdowns on internal dissidents. In all talks of the Great Reset, we should then recall that Vladimir Putin apparently interpreted “reset” as American laxity to be leveraged rather than as magnanimity to be reciprocated. In cruder terms, Americans speaking loudly while carrying a twig was no way to “reset” Putin.
The telltale noun “Revolution,” of course, also makes its appearance frequently in Great Reset rhetoric, specifically in connection to Klaus Schwab’s 2017 bestselling book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it, Schwab makes the now familiar argument that the internet, computers, electronic communications, artificial intelligence, and the new global interconnectedness of the prior “Third Revolution” have at last synchronized into wonderful harmony.
The supposedly never-before-seen, never-imagined fusion of the paradigms of economic, social, cultural, and political life offers us a once-in-a-lifetime—or, rather, last—chance to exploit them—even if most of us are not sufficiently equipped to appreciate the opportunity. Yet Schwab makes the fundamental error that these new technologies act as independent drivers of the way people behave and think, rather than as accelerants that nonetheless have not changed ancient fixed and predictable human behavior.
In Schwab’s way of thinking, imagine that a modern computerized high-tech pump sends forth two thousand gallons of water a minute, and therefore its essence, “water,” is now likewise “new” and different from what emerged for millennia at a rate of a gallon a minute from preindustrial hand pumps. Again, we fools outside the Davos agenda would apparently mistakenly believe that greater volume had not much altered from antiquity water’s molecular structure, chemical properties, and use in the natural world.
A glimpse of the idea that Davos-like elites can gather to discuss reset planning in an age of paradigm-changing technology is popular at the national level. A good example is the invitation-only conference on entertainment, technology, finance, and communications held each summer in Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort, hosted by the investment bank of Allen & Company. In 2021, the usual corporate and media globalist suspects showed up, among them Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, ViacomCBS (now Paramount) chairwoman Shari Redstone, Disney chairman Robert Iger, New York City’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg, GM CEO Mary Barra, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, and film and television producer Brian Grazer. The premise was Platonic. A meritocracy—chosen by the metrics of either acquired or inherited wealth, influence, celebrity, or a corporation’s ability to influence millions—immune from private bias and guided by reason, should be given latitude to override the dangerous emotions of the masses.
So there are plenty of linguistic reasons alone to be suspicious of the grandiose notion of a top-down, international, and fundamental transformation of the way the world is supposed to work...
Next week: an excerpt from "China, Covid, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset," by Douglas Murray.
Oh sure…“Bag the big client,” they said, “Jenny… think of all the good you can do!” and “Run with the big dogs,” they told me, but no one tells you what goes up must come down!
Whatever I imagined, this has been a colossal flop! Here I was planning how to best spend millions of dollars of goodwill only to find we are guilty of the biggest carbon footprint in the history of ever. I mean, this falls somewhere between the atom bomb and the Hindenburg! And all in pursuit of hedonism.
I for one don’t have a problem with hedonism but my client has put himself out there as some sort of social and eco-justice warrior—the arbiter of all that is good and moral, and well… right about now, the hypocrisy is suffocating. And the press didn’t miss a beat.
First there was “meet the dong rocket” and a lot of dick jokes, which then expanded into “he’s obviously compensating for something.” And yes, in the publicity leading up to the launch we stressed that the rocket’s design, while not original, was safe and less expensive than some sleeker designs.
But late into the evening my phone just would not stop, ding—ding—ding until I just had to shut it off. When I finally turned it on again there were four messages from the space cowboy himself. “Do you see what they are writing about me?” he snarled. But my phone was still blowing up which made a response impossible.
By the time my breakfast arrived 186,000 people had called for him to stay in space and another petition put it a bit more strongly saying “Do not allow him to return to earth.” Can you even imagine? Embarking on a journey and while you’re away the world asks that you not return? This was bad. And I didn’t know how to fix it. Not since I’d been sacked by the self-help author’s husband had I been this short of breath. There was no time for yoga, and no one to pinch a Xanax from either.
I didn’t want to call Daddy because I could hear him snickering from across the Atlantic. "Ego more like it," he said when finally I did call.
"So it’s not as bad as the Hindenburg?"
"Not at all," he assured me. That was accidental. This is more in the vein of… oh I don’t know… the Kuwaiti oil fires. Because Saddam knew the war was over and he squandered the resources just because he could: "Ego."
'Really, Daddy, Can it really be as bad as all that?"
"No, of course not, baby girl. There’s no risk of tarcrete hardening and killing all the livestock. You just have a pious client who lords his virtue over others, while treating the planet like he’s China."
Daddy was right and I knew it. I stared at the lamp by my bedside while blood rushed to my temples. I was defeated. "Cheer up!" he advised. "It seems you're the only one of his employees he pays well." And with that, he rang off.
The morning opinions were an absolute indictment of the man, and he was guilty as charged. The collusion between big tech and big media, de-platforming Parler, censoring books, killing small business, destroying the environment, crony capitalism… and yet his revenues were up 44 percent.
The plain truth was lockdowns had gifted him a cool $108 billion in revenues. Some clever PR was not going to sugarcoat this. It was time to get my game face on and do my job.
In the car on the way over to the launch site, I googled to see if Richard Branson had borne such wrath but who was I kidding? There was no comparison, and Branson could charm the pants off of Marcus Aurelius. Still reading the Twitter feed on my phone, I applied some lip gloss with my finger and wiped the excess on the carpet between the seat and the car door. Darn, we’re already here. I got out—big smile, and greeted my client by saying, "Seems a good day for it." I didn’t know if it was or not but it seemed the thing to say.
I also don’t know what I was expecting from today, but there was a very casual air about the whole thing. Or maybe everyone was just playing at looking cool. I tweeted, I stood where I was told, I tweeted some more, and the moment was upon us. No astronauts' wives in coordinated shoes and bags, just those of us who had a job to do, or some other connection to the launch and then—whoosh! I didn’t breathe. No one did. I think we were half expecting a big explosion, but I’m glad to report that did not happen.
I followed as best as I could on my phone and wondered if there was something else I should be doing. All I could think about was the tremendous amount of energy being expelled and wondered what the carbon offset could possibly be. I needn’t have worried as a congressional representative had just tweeted about implementing a space tax to do just that—thus giving way to exposure of his not paying his fair share of taxes, or wages, or infrastructure. It was the same argument lobbed against every sitting oligarch since the beginning of time. But in this case, I couldn’t help but feel it was deserved.
We had talked about his press conference and landing speech—heck I’d written three versions for him, and a pre-taped segment in the event of his death. But he forgot all of that and his swagger rose to the surface. He was so proud of himself, and yes, he bloody well should have been… but admitting he’d managed this on the backs of those he underpaid and overworked, was not the note to play.
I received a ‘?’ text from Daddy, and Judith followed with: "Was that your idea? Not everyone can deliver jokes you know. I should know, I’m one of those people."
Loads of negative rants came pouring in on my phone and disingenuous claims that they would never want to go to space… that the money could be used for so many better pursuits, like hunger and world peace. Well, yes, but baloney I thought. It’s the moon—or nearly. Of course you would go. It was same class division that had been going on since the beginning of time.
Just then Daddy texted, "Í’m very proud of you."
"For crossing over to the dark side?" I texted back.
"No. For doing your job," he wrote. "It's all progress… the money he amassed, the energy I create, the engineers who spend both… it’s all progress. And only a fool would argue that doing absolutely nothing is the path forward."
He was right. And if the last two months had taught me anything, it was that man did not get to the top of the food chain to eat bugs.