Inherited money, entitled scions

“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.”

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.

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Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing’ – she said Continue reading “August rambling #2: how ridiculous xenophobia is”

The poor tellers

I ended up five cents under, and spent nearly a half hour not finding the error.

Of all the recent stories about economic inequality in America I’ve read lately, this one jumped out at me: 1 out of 3 Bank Tellers in New York on Public Assistance. I’ve never worked in food service in any capacity, or in a large retail store, but I was a bank teller, for a month.

It was the winter of 1977-1978, at the end of a not great year, in which I lived in Charlotte, NC; Binghamton, NY briefly; Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC, NY; and New Paltz, NY, before drifting up the Hudson River to crash with friend Uthaclena and his first wife, and their two dogs (his I loved, hers, not so much).

After a year of being underemployed Continue reading “The poor tellers”

I IMAGINE we’ve gotten it wrong, John, so far

It was 33 years ago, as the now bitterly ironic “Just Like Starting Over” was climbing the charts, when John Lennon was gunned down.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace,” some guy who died in 1980 said. And this is supposed to be this period where we talk about “peace on earth.” Of course, I’m also reminded of Jeremiah 6, which reads: “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush.”

I think we humans will always disagree, but must we, as the saying goes, be disagreeable? This post by Dustbury reminded me of this; a simple a fast food encounter where the patron’s job, it seems, was to be be a schmuck.
Continue reading “I IMAGINE we’ve gotten it wrong, John, so far”

Church and state: Francis I

If a Catholic priest were to echo Francis’ complaint about the rich-poor divide, that might be safe territory.

I found this graphic really interesting. The Socialist US Senator is embracing the Pope’s condemnation of “doctrinaire capitalism, ‘deified markets,” trickle-down economics, and the finance industry. He decried the growing gap between the rich and the poor, tax evasion by the wealthy, and characterized ruthless free-market economics as a killer that was inherently sinful.” I assume this will mean that the Pope will be painted as a socialist.

Francis, moreover Continue reading “Church and state: Francis I”