There is no question that America has become deeply divided. Some people point to the world of politics as the culprit behind this division occurring with our nation, but our leaders have been talking about the “invisible powers” that control our country from as far back as Thomas Jefferson when he said, “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power.”
These great men were talking about the plutocracy that works in the background using money and power derived from our capitalist economy to tilt the balance of power in their favor by controlling the public sector which is supposed to protect “we the people” from tyrannic rule.
What is a plutocrat?
According to Websters, plutocrats or plutocracy is government by the wealthy; a wealthy class that controls a government; a government or state in which the wealthy rule.
It’s hard to disagree that we are no longer a democracy…our government and public policy is shaped by entrenched interests funded by the 1% and corporate elite. The age of the plutocrats has never been so prevalent – the top .01% own more of our wealth and pay a low tax rate.
Last week, Bill Moyers interviewed Chrystia Freeland and Matt Taibbi on his program and we’ve attached the video below. It’s a very informative discussion.
Due to the assistance of many individual and corporate trusts/foundation support, Bill has been able to break into new territory with investigative journalism and thought provoking interviews. We’ve added a widget on our site highlighting his most recent interviews/articles on money and politics.
Matt Taibbi writes about politics, media and finance for the Rolling Stone magazine. Chrystia Freeland is a Canadian author who is promoting her new book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else. A quote from her book:
We are living in an era of comparably tumultuous economic change. The great challenge of our time is to devise the new social and political institutions we need to make the new economy work for everyone. So far, that is a historic task neither party is taking on with enough energy, honesty or originality.
Ms. Freeland is almost apologetic for the plutocrats perspective while describing it as a sense of entitlement versus a conspiracy against the public sector and 50% of the population they see as lazy and government dependent. However, she points out how their philosophy is hurting the economy and is stifling society:
You don’t do this in a kind of chortling, smoking your cigar, conspiratorial thinking way. You do it by persuading yourself that what is in your own personal self-interest is in the interests of everybody else. So you persuade yourself that, actually, government services, things like spending on education, which is what created that social mobility in the first place, need to be cut so that the deficit will shrink, so that your tax bill doesn’t go up. And what I really worry about is, there is so much money and so much power at the very top, and the gap between those people at the very top and everybody else is so great, that we are going to see social mobility choked off and society transformed.
We think you’ll enjoy the interview and please visit the home page of Muncie Voice for new articles and interviews from Bill Moyers as he explores the world of money and politics.