While some of the most famous ultra-rich Americans—such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and the Koch Brothers—have very public profiles and readily disclose where they stand ideologically or on key issues, new research reveals that a cabal of the U.S. billionaires largely operates in the shadows as they use their vast wealth and influence to maintain their status and undermine democracy.
Let us not forget Wall St and their financing of Clinton. I recall during the Sanders-Clinton debates, she was asked to reveal the text of her secret speeches yet they remain unpublished.
It was the Communist Manifesto which said, “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”
Really, and we all thought that they were using their wealth for the betterment of humanity.
Boy, were we fooled.
Hahaha. Reminds me of another famous line…which I paraphrase…
Rick, I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find greed operating here!"
Sadly, I think few Americans are ready to believe they aren’t “middle class” anymore let alone ready to lose some blood.
The technology and weaponry and propaganda are so good now, revolutions are quaint morality plays from the ancient past. In short, we’re fucked.
We know billionaires exert a lot of influence on American politics. But what do they want?
They want MORE.
At some point, and if by democracy we mean that everyone is equally valuable, then we must begin to 1. question capitalism and it’s accolades from conservative to liberal; 2. question the notion of greed and wealth that is predicated on separateness as if effect has been severed from cause. Critical thinking and imagination are not compatible with laziness.
As usual, the analysis is valid, but the proposed solutions fall abysmally short. Wealth is power. There’s simply no way you can have that much wealth concentration and not have these folks become our lords and masters.
Justice Louis Brandeis said it 100 years ago: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
There is plenty to go around if the filthy greedy rich weren’t hogging the tyrannosaurus’ share.
It’s one more reason, along with saving a viable planet for our grandchildren, we need to overthrow capitalism.
America enforced apartheid until the late 1960’s when Realtors were legally forced to sell property to all people regardless of race, religion etcetera. It stopped “color lines” of neighborhoods in cities like Atlanta but religious, race and ethnic neighborhoods persist excluding diversity because humans are not overtly intelligent and always revert to base primal emotions. Fear. We tend to congeal with other people as stupid as we are. Intolerance. Exclusion. Never believe America could not return to segregation because Republicans are losing to Progressives and they know this as society evolves so one might assess this as imploding into barbaric self preservation but Republicans have always been terrified self preservationist who would sell their sister for a buffet coupon. They taught us “equal but separate facilities” for black people was not racist; we just don’t want to live with them. Not one syllable of this has changed because there is nowhere for their brains to go. They can’t fathom equality because somehow it takes something from a white moron with a gun and drinking problem. Vote. We can win. We can bring back some sanity but when we are in, again, Schumer, Pelosi, Clinton, Steny, Rockefeller, the good ole redneck from West Virginia have to be removed from power, subjugated to polishing the Wall Street bull on Easter morning. They should start with the bulls’ balls, something corporate Democrats and Republicans are bred to polish. And where do the Lemmings line up? Well, this would be adjacent the cliff. Vote. We can’t make it better but we can save America from child bombing, oil thieves burning it down.
I’m not fucked. But I am fucking mad.
I spent 5 years of my life helping to bring about the end of the war in Vietnam. From 17 to 22 years of age I made numerous trips to Washington DC to protest the war in Southeast Asia. I enlisted many in the fight to stop the killing of men, women, and children whose only crime was defending their country from invaders.
The youth of today have their entire lives ahead of them, and this move towards Facsism must alarm them.
This, is their fight, and I will help them as long as I am able.
I hope they recognize their responsibility to future generations.
Does everyone know that Disney owns FOX as well as billions in propaganda machine, known as the entertainment industry, with tentacles in every local neighborhood and community. This isn’t benign. George Orwell just became reality in spades. FCC where are you?
Silence is gilded
ABC News is owned by Disney. All the corporate media are owned primarily to control the masses but to make money; whereas private media and real journalists reported objectively, accurately and in a timely fashion covering local city and county councils earning them the profit it needed to dispense truth to the masses. Hence, since WWII the CIA and Project Mockingbird have bribed and killed publishers and editors to ensure the public is controlled. They created MKUltra, MURDER INC., AND LITERALLY went about murdering folks. Ask RFK and John Lennon. Dead. We have to fathom what we are dealing with and it is evil, psychopathic, tortures and lives on the demise of other humans. Buckle UP!!
In a democracy we could cap personal wealth by referendum and distribute all cap excesses among all citizens equally. Poverty would end and the rich would be rich enough.
Sounds Great. Let’s Do That!
(Ed, was that line from Casablanca?)
PB, most of those youth whom I know don’t have a clue about fascism and are not alarmed about that juggernaut here. They are, however, worried about climate change and gun control.
In the Kocks’ (sic),Comcast’s, Sinclair’s (et al.) pockets.
Democracy in the US has been seriously damaged by Elites/wealthy who have been
able to act in secrecy for decades –
Same for the CIA/Council on Foreign Relations – and there is no one in Congress any
longer you can consider liberal or moderate who would be the likely ones to try to hold
the CIA to accountability. That hasn’t happened since the Frank Church Committee.
As of now, it looks more like the CIA is running our government and MIC.
Capitalism at the expense of Democracy.
If the average/median household income in the U.S. is below $60,000/year, how many would think spreading everything out so money was equally divided at $60k per home? I’ll bet not many.
While I agree with your point in principle…,
A whole new way of living is required;
A whole new way of thinking.
For starters, the issue goes way beyond billionaires, or “partisan” politics.
The WTID wealth inequality index has been rising rapidly, over the past 30 years (or so). The WTID is now at it’s highest level in U.S. history.
It has transcended beyond mere political labels, like “Dem” or “GOP”.
It has risen under “leadership” of both parties.
Next, billionaires are largely a product of larger investment firms. Despite their billions, the largest money-management firms control tens of TRILLIONS of dollars.
The “Big Three” alone, Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street control over $16 TRILLION of a total U.S. markets capitalization of some $90 trillion.
That’s over 16 percent of all U.S. markets controlled by just three firms.
Then, add the other largest institutional investment firms, like Fidelity, Invesco, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Capital Research, Capital World, Northern Trust, and others, and they control upwards of 40-50 percent of all the markets.
(source = morningstar dot com).
That is tremendous power.
Billionaires, by way of the public companies they got ultra-wealthy off, owe much of their wealth to these largest institutional investors.
Facebook, and Zuckerberg, as one example, owe their success & wealth to their IPO, and subsequent investments by these largest firms.
Without that large infusion of cash, they be worse-off than MySpace.
In fact, these largest institutional shareholders, via their large share holdings, have created virtual monopolies, among the largest “competing” corporations, in most every single industry.
They are the largest institutional owners of the largest “competing” tech firms (incl. Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, etc.); the largest “competing” telecoms (incl. AT&T and Verizon); the largest “competing” defense contractors; the largest “competing” insurance companies; the largest “competing” pharmaceutical co’s; the largest “competing” airlines, media (of both the “left” and “right”, banks, auto mfg’s, utility & energy co’s, and so on, and so on…
They own not just Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo, but also the “uncola” 7-Up (via Keurig Dr Pepper).
They’ve done the same to partisan politics.
They own all the major parties, even the supposed “uncola” fringe parties.
They have gained control of the markets, and American politics in the process.
• Corporations owned by these firms are among the largest political campaign donors, to politicians from both the “left” and “right” (even “Progressives” rely on these corporations as their largest donors).
• Corporations owned by these firms are among the largest spenders on lobbying activities, to politicians & bureaucrats of both the “left” and “right”.
• Not coincidentally, corporations owned by these firms are also among the largest recipients of the over $110 BILLION given away ANNUALLY by the government in the form of corporate subsidies.
They’re not only getting massive tax breaks for themselves and their corporations, but they’re also getting increasing amounts of taxpayer monies, to operate their FOR-PROFIT corps.
These largest money-management firms are not mere passive shareholders. They use their tremendous share holdings and thus influence to hand select corp Executives and Boards that’ll comply with their directives.
William McNabb, chairman and CEO of Vanguard, has stated such.
Regardless whether “Dem” or “GOP”, the same groups of ultra-wealthy are gaining ever-more wealth, the same ultra-powerful gaining ever more power.
Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to lose pace to highly under-reported inflation, as we continue to lose ever-more rights, freedoms, liberties, and justice.
These are some of the constructs of the new American Planned Market Economy - that is, “capitalism” for only the wealthy elite.
This is the neo-feudalism in America.
There are the .001 percent, the “Lords”, with everyone else relegated merely as their serfs.