How the middle class beat the world’s billionaires

Felix Salmon in Fusion:

Biden’s message was clear, and has hit home: it’s not enough for the rich and the poor to get richer, everybody needs to get richer. Especially the middle classes in Europe and America. And if that means that the rate of progress for the world’s poor might have to progress at a slightly less breakneck speed, then, well, so be it. Providing a rising level of prosperity for the developed-world middle class isn’t easy, but it also might be the only way to prevent the world’s richest countries from devolving into insularity and xenophobia.

The world’s leaders, then, face an urgent new priority: to concentrate more on the developed-world middle classes, and to boost policies that will revitalize rust-belt towns across Europe and the U.S. That’s the kind of thing Davos has never been good at. The project is fundamentally provincial, in a way that doesn’t jive with the Forum’s internationalism; it’s much less emotionally rewarding than saving millions of lives in sub-Saharan Africa; and it’s not the kind of thing that is going to make vast sums of money for international billionaires.