Saturday, April 2, 2011

American Oligarchs

I've been writing about Democracy 2.0 / Evolving Democracy for a while now.  I've been treating it as a purely academic exercise, because I've assumed that there would be no chance for anything like it being adopted in my lifetime.  I just wanted to leave a challenging idea behind for future generations to chew on, in the hopes that a revolution would occur someday, and that my ideas would help form the next new best government without resorting to violence.

I'm starting to believe that there will be revolution in America in my lifetime.  These two commentaries mirror my own thoughts on the subject:
Joseph Stiglitz details the extreme income imbalance.
Paul Farrell identifies the delusion of the Super-Rich.

Kareem Adbul-Jabar's recent Op-Ed in Time also mirrors my own thoughts on this.  Mr. Adbul-Jabar's Op-Ed is in response to the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

"It's class warfare. My class is winning, but they shouldn't be."
     -Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is right.  The rich are waging war on the poor.  Government is supposed to be the protector of the people; the mediator of class struggle. But the rich have infiltrated the government and undermined its ability to judge impartially.

Princeton University recently conducted a study of politics in America (summary - full results.)  The researchers concluded that America is no longer a democracy, but has transformed into an oligarchy--rule by the wealthy elite.

I hate the idea of America being an Oligarchy.  But if the shoe fits.....

I've been thinking about the right criteria for determining who the American oligarchs are:

Simply identifying the 1% or the 0.1% would get you a close approximation.  But the real oligarchs probably hide their assets in order to stay off of the Forbes list.

Tracking lobbyist spending will get you closer.  But the real oligarchs will not likely appear on that list--they have people who do that stuff for them.

Such a list has not been disclosed, but I'll bet every penny I have that the NSA has a "Do Not Track" list.  These are people that their government masters have told them are above suspicion.  Their phone calls are not recorded.  Their emails are not read.  Their license plates are not tracked.  All of the American Oligarchs are on that list.  How do we get a copy of that list?

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