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article imageOp-Ed: 158 U.S. families provide half the 2016 election donations?

By Paul Wallis     Oct 10, 2015 in Politics
Washington - They’re real billionaires, and they want revenge. In what must surely be some sort of classic portrait of American reality, The New York Times has discovered that 138 families are supporting the GOP and 20 the Democrats.
They’ve also put up almost as much money as the rest of the country combined out of the spare change pocket. Forget Illuminati, media maniacs and squeaking insane little Tea Partiers who contradict themselves every five seconds even when they do know what they’re talking about.
When this kind of money talks, everyone has to listen. The question is whether it knows what it’s talking about.
Ironically, most of these people, according to NYT, are self-made. So, naturally, they’re mainly supporting the GOP, who doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of people who aren’t current donors. They stick to the predictable script. They talk about regulation like it was some sort of terrible crime. They weren’t regulated out of becoming billionaires. They talk about tax as though a few cents either way made any difference to them. (Buffett famously pointed out that his secretary paid more taxes than he does; apparently nobody understood that statement.)
It should be pointed out in fairness that most of the new moguls aren’t “Old Money,” barely even third generation. They’re new to the idea of being rich, let alone the fact. It’s fairly normal that they’re specialists in their own fields, but pretty naïve and unfamiliar with basics in others.
For example — they apparently trust and fund politicians, the cause of just about all of the world’s problems. Proof positive of a very ingenuous view of how to get things done. They expect something in return, true, but if you hire clowns, you get clowns. Witness the last decade and a half of Congressional brilliance.
(Old Money does things very differently. It’s almost invisible. The only reason people know the names Rothschild and Rockefeller is historical and the family shopfronts. They generally keep a very low profile, for generations, except for the occasional mention. They also don’t bitch much about the system that made them rich. They know how to handle taxes and regulations, not whine about them, too.)
The learning curve is apparently pretty steep. If they believe that toxic waste and contagious pandemics are good for you and that a no-regulation system that can turn every jerk in America into an instant Bernie Madoff is a good idea, there’s some work to do there.
Ignore the imagery and implied glitz of modern wealth for a few seconds. This isn’t an “elite.” It’s a passing collection of businesspeople. Most rich people stop being rich after a few generations, or even the first generation. Wealth dilution, through death, distribution, divorce, and delirium is the usual itinerary.
This is a snapshot of a collection of aspiring learner drivers trying to fly spaceship America. If they had a clue, they’d do what they do best in business — get their own information, to start with. They know how things work, to a point, but obviously haven’t noticed things aren’t working too well. Either they’re incredibly stupid or incredibly cynical and stupid.
Nobody at this level ever talks about corruption, organized crime, or every other expensive disease affecting basic daily life in America. Just like there's no such thing as corporate fraud in major US companies, etc. It’s all idealism about taxes, not hails of bullets and the enormous death tolls from guns and the health sector’s various psychoses. Presumably, there’s no obesity, no diabetes, no TB, no air pollution or anything else, either, in this wonderful place, wherever it is.
Old Money knows that a healthy economy is good for business. Prosperity makes money for the rich. New money doesn’t know that. How does making a few extra cents in the dollar, even if it’s a lot of dollars, on lower taxes, compare to a major deal or big revenue stream? It doesn’t.
There’s a classic story about Nathan Rothschild. He was working in his office in London, and a duke or something stormed in to see him. “I want to talk to you, Rothschild,” said this collection of honorifics. “Have a seat,” said Rothschild. “Do you know who I am?” said the duke-person. “Have two seats,” said Rothschild.
The moral of the story in this case is this — where you park your backside has to be realistic, even in Fantasyland Washington DC. The chair offered by these plagues of political shills doesn’t exist, and isn’t even necessary.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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