WHAT'S THE DEAL ON DAVOS?

You'd think that having wealth and privilege would be enough for the power elites,but noooo. They also want prestige – and that comes at a pretty price.

You’d think that having wealth and privilege would be enough for the power elites,but noooo. They also want prestige – and that comes at a pretty price.

Welcome to Davos, the annual power gathering of the world’s governmental, banking, and corporate leaders – along with a sprinkling of celebrities to give the week long schmoozefest a schmear of glitz. They convene each January in the Swiss Alps to peacock around and at least pretend to ponder grand solutions for all the world’s problems.

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Perhaps you think you might fit in. Not likely. First, just to score an invitation, you must be a member of the World Economic Forum. That’ll cost you $52,000 a year. Then you have to buy a ticket to the event, which runs $19,000… plus tax.

But that only gets you into the general sessions, where the merely-rich are massed together. To enter the private sessions, where the massively-rich hide away, you’ll need to pony up $156,000 a year. Of course, prestige means not only being rich and powerful, but also appearing to be so, which requires coming to Davos with an entourage of at least five associates. That’ll set you back about $620,000 to get in the door.

Naturally, these entry prices do not cover extras, such as getting there. One first-class New York-to-Zurich ticket costs roughly $11,000 – or you can take a private jet for some $70,000. Then there’s the helicopter service from Zurich to Davos – about $3,400 per person each way, though you can this cut cost by taking the free bus service. But, come on, how tacky!

After all, this is the annual Preen & Strut Ball of the über-elite. If you have to ask the price you don’t belong. Plus, it’s all tax deductible, so you get the bonus rush of knowing that the little people are subsidizing your extravagance!

“A Hefty Price For Entry To Davos,” The New York Times, January 25, 2011.

“Expanded List of Problems Awaits Leaders at Davos,” The New York Times, January 24, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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