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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Paul Krugman, "Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted": Which Millionaire Isn't Mentioned by Paul?

Pop quiz: Which name goes missing from Paul Krugman's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/opinion/krugman-plutocrats-feeling-persecuted.html?_r=0)? Three, two, one . . . pencils down.

Ranting against the plutocracy emerging in the US, Krugman writes:

"The thing is, by and large, the wealthy have gotten their wish. Wall Street was bailed out, while workers and homeowners weren’t. Our so-called recovery has done nothing much for ordinary workers, but incomes at the top have soared, with almost all the gains from 2009 to 2012 going to the top 1 percent, and almost a third going to the top 0.01 percent — that is, people with incomes over $10 million.

. . . .

Well, I have a theory. When you have that much money, what is it you’re trying to buy by making even more? You already have the multiple big houses, the servants, the private jet. What you really want now is adulation; you want the world to bow before your success. And so the thought that people in the media, in Congress, and even in the White House are saying critical things about people like you drives you wild."

Indeed, Paul, there has been no recovery since Obama became president. No collapse, but no recovery. Unemployment in the US has ticked down, but it remains at a disastrously high rate. (If you're over 50, go try to find a job.) Almost 50 million Americans are on food stamps. US stock markets are near all-time highs, but raise interest rates by the tiniest notch, and the air will come flooding out of them.

And small cap companies, which are America's wellspring of economic growth, are being imperilled by government indifference to their well-being. Reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and the Uptick Rule (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/08/maureen-dowd-summers-of-our-discontent.html) since Obama took office? Heck no!

But why only point a finger at plutocrats outside of government? President Obama, who tried to give us Larry Summers as the next head of the Federal Reserve, and almost half the members of Congress (see: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/219127451.html) are millionaires.

Summers? "When he returned to serve in the Obama administration, he reported a net worth between $17 million and $39 million" (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-02/summers-after-government-saw-wealth-surge-to-17-million.html).

John Koskinen, Obama’s nominee to head the IRS, "has a net worth between $7.1 million and $27.4 million, according to financial disclosure reports released by the Office of Government Ethics" (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/obama-irs-nominee-john-koskinen-net-worth-96471.html).

However, is Obama, who adores adulation and has a net worth of between $1.8 million and $6.8 million (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/obama-net-worth_n_3281555.html), mentioned in Krugman's opinion piece? Not even once.

Maybe Krugman felt the need to cut Obama some slack. After all, this lame duck president has recently been busy placating Russia's Putin and running after a handshake with Iran's Rouhani at the UN .

Or perhaps, after Obama's recent "off-the-record" consultation with editorial and op-ed staffers from The New York Times (http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/09/michael-calderone-new-york-times.html), any such critical reference is taboo.

Any chance of an end to this marriage between wealth and government? Sorry. In another three and a half years, Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose combined net worth is said to exceed $100 million (see: http://www.celebritynetworth.com/dl/bill-and-hillary-clinton-net-worth/), are not apt to change matters.

Indeed, government has become a very rich person's game.

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