Peak billionaire: a billionaire tries to purchase a party nomination to outflank anti-billionaires so he can run against another billionaire

Vote for me and I’ll set me free!

Apologies to the Temptations.

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Writing in Time, Anand Giridharadas (previously) persuasively argues that capitalism discredited itself , starting with the 2008 crisis.

It makes me happy that in doctors’ waiting rooms across the country and in the living rooms of several older relatives including my parents, the print edition will appear with this as the cover story.

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I do not see this happening here in Tennessee. Quite the opposite.

This wording isn’t strong enough. I would have said, “evident corruption.”

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Though I hope his hearts in the right place, don’t forget that if he wins he’ll be able to sell Bloomberg tax free. Worth the investment of a run.

Saw one speculation that Bloomberg is running so that the $1 billion he is supposedly planning to spend on anti-Trmp ads will be cheaper and can’t be edited by the channels that deliver them because he is now an official candidate.

Perhaps Pollyanna-ish but may be useful to have in the back of your mind.

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Yes, this is much more biting and to-the-point than I’d’ve expected from Time. Gratifying.

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Mike, hit the bricks and take Biden with you.

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Dr. Richard Wolff talks about how this is simply the natural and predictable progression of capitalism: Accumulation of wealth and power to a small number of oligarchs, who then buy the government and use it to accumulate more.

Tweaks around the edges (i.e., regulation) can slow down the rate of collapse, but the changes need to be more systemic. The plutes are not going to fix themselves.

Dr. Wolff’s key proposal is to democratize the enterprise; put the decision making into the hands of the employees (1 person 1 vote; what a radical concept), instead of having a few rich fail-sons call all the shots. Factory workers are not going to vote to outsource their own jobs, or poison their own backyard.

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It would be better to take their money and have the government do these things. That way, the rest of us have some say in how that philanthropy is exercised. If that’s socialism (and it is) then it’s better than what these sociopaths offer.

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Heh… That’s funny!.. Oh wait, you’re serious. Let me laugh even harder.

Seriously tho, if he loses the nomination (especially if Warren or Sanders wins the nomination) he strikes me as the type who will take his big bag of money, go home and pout.

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'k:
O I have a chronic medical problem and the new drug is so expensive that my for-profit insurance company says I hit my lifetime cap so now I have to pay for it out-of-pocket (and the diversity of philanthropic efforts in medical research isn’t going to help me anyway)

O I have a chronic medical problem that can be treated with current medical technology but the cost is so expensive that my for-profit insurance company says I hit my lifetime cap so now I have to pay for it out-of-pocket (and the diversity of philanthropic efforts in medical research isn’t going to help me anyway)

O I have a chronic medical problem that can be treated with current medical technology but my wife’s new insurance company says it’s a previous condition so I’m not covered (and the diversity of philanthropic efforts in medical research isn’t going to help me anyway)

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The way I see it, Democrat => Alien, Republican => Predator, and not the other way around.

Because … never mind, just because.

Well, I guess you don’t know me, and I didn’t /s my comment: but I assure you, it was made with the utmost cynicism.

Oh, btw. 30 million to someone who has 50 billion is like 60 bucks to someone who has $100000. IOW, he is spending what, to him, is chump change, to fuck everything up. I expect nothing less.

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While that explanation is all too plausible, we should hope it’s not just that. Putting the 0.001% in a mass grave might feel good for a day or two but it doesn’t help much in the long term unless there’s also a genuine reset of our ideas about social justice, the role of the state, labor rights and so on.

My concern is that there’s more support for angrily beheading Jeff Bezos than there is for just taxing the fuck out of him. Because while we’re waking up to the horrors of capitalism we’re not necessarily rooting out the decades of capitalist programming that’s still festering in our own brains.

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Here’s the problem with taxing billionaires:

So long as they remain billionaires, they will continue to use the power granted by that wealth in order to undo any attempt at limiting their power.

Taxing oligarchs only works if you tax them to the point that they are no longer oligarchs. You don’t need to remove their heads, but you do need to remove their wealth.

Or, in other words, seize the means of production.

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Reichtum macht frei

You need more than taxes, much more. Anti-monopoly, anti-trust legislation that is actually enforced must be enacted.

And the Federal reserve must not use potential wage inflation as the only metric of inflation. Currently asset inflation caused by cheap money is not considered any sort of inflation at all, but the obvious result of market pricing, but any decline in unemployment that results in wage pressure is unacceptable and interest rates will be raised. That’s the whole concept behind NAIRU, and it is the Fed’s main worry (besides ongoing overnight bailouts).

Probably some sort of national industrial policy would need to be enacted also. Outsourcing and offshoring has a massive wage deflation effect and importing cheap goods while investing out of country only leads to importing unemployment.

Taxing them does have the potential promise to make them much less politically powerful, so three cheers to that.

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I’d track it back a bit further than that:

Nixon. Southern strategy, war on drugs, beginning of modern mass incarceration.

Then the collapse of the USSR leaving the USA as the sole imperial superpower, then 9/11 and the revival of US militarism, then the mass looting of the GFC, then Trump.

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