Why Biden is wrong about the rich

On June 18, Bloomberg News headlined “Biden Tells Elite Donors He Doesn’t Want to ‘Demonize’ the Rich” and reported Biden’s speech that day to “affluent donors … about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites.”

Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money. …

Nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change. …

I need you very badly.

The reporter, Jennifer Epstein, wrote: “Invoking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s goal of political ‘revolution,’ Biden suggested that he would be the antidote.”

Maybe this is like when King Louis XV of France, prior to the French Revolution, reportedly said “Après moi le déluge” (and some ‘historian’ then alleged that the phrase had been said instead by his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and some other ‘historian’ then changed that phrase to “Après nous le déluge,”—changing “me” to “we”—in order to make this altered version seem credible as having been from her, and the king not seem so self-obsessed). Nobody actually knows whether the French king actually was that prophetic about the revolution to come. But he could have been.

Biden needs the super-rich, because, in today’s American politics, ‘elections’ are instead s‘elections’, by those very few super-rich people, and he therefore needs them, to select him, so that his campaign will then have enough money to fool enough of the party’s voters to vote for him. The bogeyman he normally cites is Sanders, because Sanders publicly insists upon representing the public, instead of the super-rich, and because Sanders says that there is a hot and heavy class-war raging now in this country—not between Karl Marx’s “bourgeoisie” versus “proletariat,” but instead between the aristocracy versus the public, which is to say, between America’s 585 billionaires versus everyone else. Biden’s answer to that (his answer to Sanders’s analysis), as paraphrased by Bloomberg’s Epstein, was that as president, Biden would be “making marginal changes that would improve the lives of working and middle class Americans without slapping onerous taxes on the rich.” (Oh, and how would that be possible, given that taxes on the rich are already near record-low? Perhaps by increasing the federal debt above its current $23T? So, it would need to be paid by future generations? Biden doesn’t care about them, at all?) In other words: he’d keep the public’s wool pulled over their eyes, at least enough so as to avoid any “revolution” to “fundamentally change” America’s status-quo (of declining public services and soaring government debt). This is certainly what the billionaires want, but does it really represent the interests of the American public? Does he really think it does?

Earlier, on 8 May 2018, Biden had given a speech at the billionaires’ neoconservative, neoliberal Brookings Institution, in which he said, “We have to deal with income inequity. I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble. … The folks at the top aren’t bad guys. I get in trouble in my party when I say wealthy Americans are just as patriotic as poor folks. I found no distinction. I really haven’t.”

As usual, he lies, because the nation’s 585 billionaires control its international corporations, and the public does not, and those corporations have enormous lobbies and they control and/or outright own all of the major media and so represent their interests exclusively, just like America’s government does. He knows this, but he lies, in order to win.

Furthermore, he has enough experience with America’s super-rich so that he knows what they are really like. He doesn’t need to be told about this by the social scientists who have actually studied the matter. Here is what they have reported (but Biden would never tell you this):

Empirical studies find that successful people tend to be bad: it’s natural for the scum and not the cream to rise to the top in organizations or in any society. The richer they are, the more hostile toward the poor they become. So, the wealthier a person is, the worse the person tends to be. The scientific studies show this. And it’s not just this, but success itself tends to make a person worse than the person was before the success. Even if a person became rich purely by luck, that lucky event itself makes the person more inclined to blame the poor, instead of to blame the rich, for society’s problems. This isn’t only among Trump and other Republicans; it is also among most Democrats (which is why Biden scores now above Sanders in the Democratic candidate polls). In any aristocracy, praise goes only upward, and blame goes only downward. Look at the prisons—how many billionaires are found there? The percentage of them who are in prison, as compared to the total number of American billionaires, is far smaller than is the percentage of billionaires, as compared to the total American population (585/330 million=1.8 per million). The richest American in prison is Bill Cosby, but his net worth was only $400M or 0.4B, so, he’s not one. Therefore, the percentage of the 585 billionaires who are in prison is not 1.8 per million (as in the general US population); it is actually zero. None of the 585 is or ever was in prison. Are they really more honest than is the average American? This is another example indicating that it’s natural that, at the very top, the people tend to be the very worst, the least compassionate ones of all, the most psychopathic—and the most unaccountable of all. Their crimes (dangerous products, deceptive advertising, toxic air, global warming, etc.) normally affect millions (and nobody now in a US prison has done nearly so much harm), but they get off scot-free (and maybe their stockholders get fined, at most).

In fact, globally, the richest 10%, 770 million people, produce 50% of the global-warming gases, and the poorest 50%, 3.9 billion people, produce 10% of the global-warming gases; so, those 770 million produce, per person, 25 times as much as does a person in that 3.9 billion. (And, yet, by far the people who will suffer the most horrifically from global warming—and who might try to escape it by heading north and getting slammed by rulers such as Trump—are the poorest. Nature isn’t just, at all. Justice is unnatural, and government is supposed to be that type of unnatural, but it almost never is. Trump is, in this sense, simply normal for his class. And Biden finds this anti-poor attitude (which Obama likewise had, though he pontificated to the contrary) to be acceptable. How often is Biden publicly even asked about such facts as these? Never. Our political contests are laughable, a farce and a fraud. And scientific study after scientific study shows that the US government is controlled not by the voters—not by the public—but by the dollars—by the wealth (the few richest). The US government is s‘elected’, by the few extremely rich, and is not actually elected, by the electorate (the public—the many voters). Usually, these s‘elections’ are done during the primaries, when the mass of voters aren’t even paying attention to political (i.e., governmental) matters, and this is precisely such a moment, when the electorate who don’t care about the issues are paying attention only to the personalities. Moreover, in America, the wealthiest 1% are, on average, extreme conservatives, and they are, on average, constantly and obsessively concerned with politics—vastly more obsessed with it than persons in the general public (the poorer 99%) are. The rich tend to be psychopaths, and the billionaires are extremely so.

Good government is not natural; bad government is natural. Good government is unnatural. Biden, both in his voting record in the US Senate, and in his actions as the US V.P., has already proven that he is entirely satisfied with America’s having a natural government, a government by the richest, the greediest, the most psychopathic, the mega-donors. These are the people who are unfortunately also the most obsessed with government—not that it should be better than it is, but that it must be made even worse than it is, and maybe even privatized so that they can control it more directly. Biden tells them “I need you very badly,” because they know that, without their buying him, he won’t stand even a chance of becoming the next president—he won’t be s‘elected’. And he’s telling them that he knows, that it’s a farce. He wants them to know that he knows.

But they also know that Pete Buttigieg is like Obama was, a much slicker version of Biden, and so they are also pouring millions into Buttigieg’s campaign. The New York Times recently headlined “Wall Street Donors Are Swooning for Mayor Pete. (They Like Biden and Harris, Too.)”, and reported that “Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, ‘the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.’”

Apparently, America will continue to have a natural government, and only the face of it is at stake in the 2020 presidential campaigns.

This article originally appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910–2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

One Response to Why Biden is wrong about the rich

  1. JoaoAlfaiate

    Trump needs to be replaced in 2020. But the Dems are taking such crazy positions on immigration and single payer health insurance that they might get Trump reelected. Way to go guys!