inherited wealthIn the Arthur Schenck mode of finding blog posts started but never completed, I came across an interesting article. Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Rule of Pampered Princelings by Naomi Klein appeared in the October 10, 2018 issue of something called The Intercept, reporting on a New York Times story.

It goes into how DJT was not a self-made businessman, as he markets himself. “According to the Times… ‘Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.’ Moreover, ‘much of it was never repaid.'”

I would think that this is information that has been widely disseminated. Yet I still find people almost every week who buy into the lie, who tell me we need him because he was a successful businessman. “Not only was he spending his father’s money, he blew much of it on disastrous deal after disastrous deal, only to be bailed out by his father’s millions time and time again.

“What makes the Times’ revelations more important is that they are a rare window into an even larger story about the growing political and economic role of inherited money in the United States — the culmination of decades in which a handful of sons and daughters of bequeathed wealth waged a fierce and relentless battle of ideas against the very concept of equality and majority rule, all based on the same corrupting belief in their own inherent superiority.”

And THAT was why I recommend you read the whole article. “He never would have gotten where he is without the ideological scaffolding carefully put in place by other scions of dynastic families…

“These are the key figures who bankrolled the think tanks, financed the extreme free-market university programs, and funded the tea party shock troops that moved the Republican Party so far to the right that Trump could stomp in and grab it.”

Yes, this includes the Koch brothers, but also Betsy DeVos, “who has devoted her life to dismantling public education”; Rupert Murdoch, “who inherited a chain of newspapers from his father”; and Rebekah Mercer, who has bankrolled Breitbart News.

2 Responses to “Inherited money, entitled scions”

  • Lex says:

    Thanks, Roger!

    There’s a great chapter in Anand Giridharadas’s new book, Winners Take All, about how globalization has disconnected mulitnational corporations and wealthy elites from civic commitment to their own cities or regions. I borrowed the book so can’t find the chapter.. Searching for which chapter, I found this radio show — where Giridharadas talks about the pursuit of wealth and “civic spirituality” as ” rival faiths… faith in what we do alone versus a faith in what we do together.” You might like it?

  • Roger, I read that article.

    I lived in Manhattan in the early to late 80s. All of us in my various circles were amazed that no one stood up to that charlatan. I remember the front page of The New York Post (or The Daily News, can’t remember which) to see Trump out on the town with Marla Maples. We all knew his wife, Ivana, was at home with their three kids. He was so brazen, even then. When he started to become a national figure on TV, that was bad enough, but politics? None of us ever, ever thought he would become a political figure, much less president, because of his numerous corporate bankruptcies and other stuff.

    Every day, there is something on the news that makes Lex and I look at one another slack-jawed. And man, when AMY runs out of words, that is something. Love you! Amy

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