World and business leaders speaking at last week’s Davos World Economic Forum hit attendees with some hard truths about the global and political tumult they face, led by Argentina’s firebrand President Javier Milei claiming that “the Western world is in danger.”
Milei said the West “is in danger because those who are supposed to have defended the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inevitably leads to socialism and thereby to poverty.”
“Unfortunately, in recent decades, motivated by some well-meaning individuals willing to help others, and others motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism,” he continued.
“We’re here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world, rather they are the root cause,” Milei insisted. “Do believe me, no one [is] in a better place than us Argentines to testify to these two points.”
“Do not be intimidated by parasites who live off the state, do not surrender to the political class that only wants to stay in power and retain its privileges,” Milei concluded. “You are social benefactors, you are heroes, you are the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we’ve ever seen.”
The conference, held in Davos, Switzerland, from Jan. 15 to 19, included leaders from various industries and nations, celebrities and billionaires. Davos famously draws criticism for promoting a green agenda, as reports claimed up to 1,000 private jets carried conference goers to the meeting.
In addition to the annually highlighted hypocrisy of the attendees, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts spoke on the sidelines after his panel at the forum about his shock at receiving an invitation, but said he cherished the opportunity to give voice to “forgotten people.”
“There’s a lot of these forgotten people, as I’ve come to learn over the last few years [who are] small business owners, people who scraped and saved,” he said, adding that many aren’t often inherently political. “They all believe the same thing, which is that the American Dream is slipping away from them.”
“It’s laughable that you or anyone would describe Davos as ‘protecting liberal democracy,'” Roberts added. “It’s equally laughable to use the word ‘dictatorship’ at Davos and aim that at President Trump. In fact, I think that’s absurd.”
During his panel, Roberts stressed that “the very reason that I’m here at Davos, is to explain to many people in this room and who are watching, with all due respect, nothing personal, but that you’re part of the problem.”
“I’ll be candid here, because I think I’ve been invited here to be candid: The kind of person who will come into the next conservative administration is going to be governed by one principle, and that is destroying the grasp that political elites and unelected technocrats have over the average person,” he said.
Former President Trump found some surprising support from unlikely sources, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who praised Trump’s handling of some issues, including the economy and China.
“I think we should stop insulting the other side, including ‘MAGA,'” Dimon told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview that aired on “Mornings with Maria” ahead of the Davos conference.
“I’ve mentioned publicly many times that a lot of people have voted for President Trump, not because they believe in his family values, but they look at some of the things he did,” Dimon continued. “He grew the economy. He was right about NATO, they spend more money. He was right… about China. He was right that… some regulations do not cause positive output.”
“So, that’s why they’re voting for him, and I think the Democrats should be a little more thoughtful when they talk about ‘MAGA,'” he added. “I don’t like how he said things about Mexico […] but he wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues, and that’s why they’re voting for him.”
Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman argued that the Biden administration’s approach to a range of issues, including the border and economy, has proven too much for the U.S. and he doubts it can handle a second Biden term.
“We’ve now got $2 trillion deficits with no end in sight, we’ve got our debt to GDP going up, we’ve got open borders with 8 million people coming over,” Schwarzman said during an interview with Bloomberg. “I don’t know that the country, frankly, is prepared for four more years of that, because those things all poll very negatively, so I can’t really project what would happen.”
He also lamented the significant drop in commercial real estate value – of which Blackstone stands as the largest holder – and that “no one wants to buy,” which in turn is creating a lot of “interesting” investments. He would not be drawn on speculation about the U.S. election more broadly, saying only that he wants to see “how the game plays.”
Greece’s conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned that “one needs to be very careful in this environment where everyone is pointing the finger at populists, not to alienate the people who actually vote for them, because some of these grievances are actually very real. People feel that they are left behind by globalization. The fact that wages have not really increased, inflation is really hitting lower-income households – these are real grievances.”
Open Society Foundations Chairman Alex Soros, son of the controversial Democrat mega-donor George Soros, surprised some with his comments that “the Davos consensus is always wrong.” Soros was discussing whether Donald Trump would once again be president.
Fox News Digital’s Gabriel Hays, Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten and FOX Business’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report.