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Mon May 18, 2015, 11:15 AM


Follow the Money

With the exception of chattel slavery and the wars of genocide waged against the indigenous population, the creation of a billionaire class may well be the singularly most destructive act American civilization has ever committed against itself. We have spawned a class of de facto bourgeois aristocrats who throw money at our government with the same abandon other people toss bread crumbs at pigeons from park benches. The difference is the billionaire crumb tossers want something in return from the pigeons, and they too often get it.

It probably isn't fair to compare our monied aristocracy with a traditional landed one. For all its faults, traditional aristocracy is at least tied into a system of mutual obligation with the lower orders. Ours is not obliged by history or tradition to recognize any such reciprocal arrangements. Its members are more likely to be simple predators or social engineers who consider the country as their private sandbox with rights to determine what's best for those compelled to dig in it.

Such meddling by unaccountable wealth is bad enough in politics and economics, but when a stunningly arrogant billionaire with no more credentials than a high school diploma sticks his nose into a university research department with the intent of suppressing scientific research and punishing those who create it, things have gone way to far.


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