From: Lee, Carol
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 8:15 PM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS pool report #3
Vice President Biden delivered the keynote address at the World Economic Forum. It was open press but here are some highlights.
He started speaking around 6pm and spoke for 52 minutes.
Mr. Biden publicly thanked President Johann Schneider-Ammann of Switzerland, who was seated in the audience, "for getting our people out of Iran." "We owe you a debt of gratitude," he said.
He also thanked Klaus Schwab, with whom he had dinner Monday night, and he effusively praised the "fabulous job" Christine Lagarde is doing at the IMF. He said every time he talks to her she says, "I know, Greece. I know, Ukraine." But, he joked, now he's coming to her "for a personal loan." (Your pooler didn't get the joke...).
VPOTUS posed a series of questions about whether the current transitioning global economy (the fourth industrial revolution) will be good or harmful.
To make sure it's the former, he called on corporate executives to shift tactics and put long-term growth and investment in their workers over short-term profits. He gave them a five-point roadmap for doing so: increase access to affordable education and job training; higher wages; upgrade infrastructure; a tax code where everyone pays a proportionate share; more access to capital.
He said if corporate leaders don't safeguard the middle class as the global economy transitions to more technology-drive, ie the fourth industrial revolution, then extremism/terrorism will spread and the economic anxieties of "real people" will further rock the political landscape in the U.S. and Europe.
"We see in the United States this most unusual political campaign I've been engaged in ... I've never quite seen it this way. And you see it here in Europe in the emergence of third parties tha there before had no fertile soil to grow in. You see, and this is the extreme example, of how people become attracted to terrorist groups."
"If we get this wrong ... we'll see more people motivated to do harm, with more potential to do it."
"Political progress in fragile and failing states could be doomed if we don't change."
His basic argument was to invest more in humanity than profits: "The soul of our common humanity that no machine can replace."
He said protecting the middle class is going to be harder this time than during any of the previous industrial revolutions.
"All of us in this room are probably going to be fine. But while we'll be fine, we need an env in the wake of this revolution where everyone has a chance."
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal