Sunday, December 18, 2016
The Plutocracy Is Here - Say Goodbye To Democracy
Americans like to think of their government as being a democracy (actually a representative democracy) -- rule by the people. But for a while now, many (including me) have been warning that we are well on the way to abandoning our democracy in favor of a plutocracy -- rule by the wealthy. And with the election of Donald Trump, we may well have crossed the line into a true plutocracy.
The current Congress, for the first time, had a majority of members who were millionaires -- and the incoming Congress did not change that. Add in the fact that we will soon have a self-reported multi-billionaire as president. And then we have the cabinet that billionaire has picked so far -- the people who will direct and set policy for the many government departments.
The 17 people Trump has chosen so far for cabinet-level positions have a combined wealth of $9.5 billion. That's more money than the combined wealth of about a third of the households in the United States -- the 43 million least wealthy households. That is unprecedented.
One has to wonder if any of those people have actually done any real work in their lives. Do they have any conception of how difficult it is for hard-working Americans to buy food, shelter, and clothing for their families? Do they understand that half of all Americans live within 150% of the poverty line, and are just a paycheck or two away from poverty? Do they understand that ordinary working Americans need government to actually help, instead of just breaking promises?
I doubt it. They seem to think that giving more to the rich will help all Americans. It won't, as we have seen. That has been tried for decades now, and it has been a miserable failure.
The truth is that ordinary Americans have little to no voice in their government anymore. We have a government of the rich and for the rich -- a plutocracy. Kiss democracy goodbye, because it's fading fast.