AlterNet / By Larry Beinhart
How has a tiny fraction of the population arranged for their narrowest economic interests to dominate those of the vast majority
January 21, 2011 |
Who are they
? The richest 1 percent. And maybe the next 9 percent.
Who are we
? All the rest.
Which poses an interesting question.
How has a tiny fraction of the population – which is diverse in many ways – arranged for their narrowest economic interests to dominate the economic interests of the vast majority? And, while they’re at it, endanger the economic well-being of our nation, and bring the financial system of the whole world to the brink of collapse.
They have money.
We have votes.
Theoretically, that means we should have the government.
Theoretically, government should be a countervailing force against the excesses of big money, take the long view for the good of the nation, and watch out for the majority. Let alone for the poor and downtrodden.
What we actually have is one political party that is flat out the party of big money and another party that sells out to big money.
Well, at least we have safety nets.
George Bush’s biggest regret is that he didn’t privatize social security. Why so eager?
One reason is that it
is a big pile of money. Absolutely gigantic. It drives the bankers and brokers crazy that they can’ t ge
t their hands on it.
The other is ideological hatred. Stephen Moore (senior fellow at the Cato Institute, contributing editor of National Review and president of the Free Enterprise Fund) wrote, “Social Security is the soft underbelly of the welfare state. If you can jab your spear through that, you can undermine the whole welfare state.”