(This is a commentary that I first posted in early 2012. A reader recently commented that she liked it and so I am re-posting it here.)
Why are so many rich people liberals? This is a good question considering that socialism is geared toward attacking “the rich” and maligning the accumulation of private wealth.
Yet today in America, the majority of rich people statistically are not Republicans but are liberal Democrats, many of them on the far left. They live in places like New York and Hollywood and San Francisco and Chicago and Silicon Valley, hardly the home turf of conservatism. Most of the richest congressional districts are represented by Democrats. Many of the richest people in the US congress are liberals.
And the three richest men in America – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Larry Ellison – all are liberals.
This runs contrary to the media fiction that the rich people in America are Republicans. This fiction is repeated over and over in the media in order to win over ignorant people to the Democrat party. And there are plenty of them, mostly among the angry, envious poor; in the agitated and shrinking middle class; and in the perpetually enraged labor union movement.
Nancy Pelosi, the former Democrat speaker of the US House of Representatives, one of the most far-left politicians in America and one of the richest people in Washington (estimated fortune is $30 million, earned by her husband), represents one of the richest districts in America, near San Francisco.
So why are so many rich people liberal Democrats?
To understand this phenomenon, it is important to understand there are two types of rich people – the capitalist rich and the socialist rich.
The capitalist rich are generally Republicans. They “make things” and “build things” and “manufacture things” and provide basic resources like coal or timber in the ‘hard’ side of the economy. Henry Ford was an example of old-school capitalist rich. Andrew Carnegie too. Or Cornelius Vanderbilt, who constructed the famous New York Central railroad.
Ford manufactured cars. Carnegie manufactured steel. They produced basic goods that society needed, and that people needed. Carnegie's company developed many of the essential steelmaking processes that launched the industrial boom of the late 19th and 20th century. And he created jobs and wealth not only in making steel and developing those technologies, but in making good steel widely available, which created more and more wealth and jobs because steel is one of the most basic resources for a modern economy.
But today as manufacturing moves abroad, we have fewer and fewer of the old-school capitalist rich, and the middle class is shrinking as the wealth to support it is eroding away.
And why is this happening?
Because of Democrat party attacks on wealth-creating, capitalist private business through excessive taxes, regulation, lawsuits, enviro restrictions and labor union agitation.
(It is important to remember, however, that the capitalist rich generally are not ‘conservatives’ by any stretch of the imagination. In fact most capitalist rich Republicans are so-called ‘Rockefeller Republicans’ who are fairly liberal because they are concerned only with the economic agenda of the Republican party like lower taxes and less regulation.
These Rockefeller Republicans often are referred to as ‘country club rich’ who are not much concerned with issues that fuel conservatism like the founding principles of America, the Constitution, or the conservative approach to social issues like abortion, traditional marriage or Christianity. They generally do not care much about the 2nd Amendment.)
Replacing the shrinking class of capitalist rich are the socialist rich who do not actually “make things” or “provide resources” that the society needs. In fact, the socialist rich largely shun production altogether. They are mostly urban elites (New York, San Francisco, Follywood) who don’t get their hands dirty building power plants or constructing homes or cutting trees or mining coal or building railroads.
In fact many of today's socialist rich are environmentalists who do not even believe in the extraction of resources. This happens even though they use more resources than anyone, like Oprah Winfrey flying around in her private jet while showcasing Al Gore on her TV show and supporting bans on oil production across the US.
These socialists do not get rich through wealth creation like Henry Ford did but by taking for themselves larger and larger chunks of America’s existing wealth through wealth appropriation. And they indeed are getting richer as America gets poorer.
And if you look at the places in which wealth has been created through hard work, you always will see the easy-living socialists moving in and seeking to get as much of that wealth as possible. That is why places like California and New York state, once two of the wealthiest and most productive places in the world, today are ruled by hard-left liberal Democrat policies – because a socialist can smell a dollar bill a mile away, and is attracted to money and leisure like a child to candy. That is why California today is full of rich liberals; because hard-working people made it a comfortable place to live over many decades, and made it wealthy.
But you never will see a liberal on the frontier with his sleeves rolled up. Or surveying a railroad line through the wilderness. Or exploring for an oil deposit in the bug-infested jungle.
Indeed, after wealth is created through hard work the socialists at every level set up shop. So, for instance, the moment that a capitalist company becomes economically successful, you will see the unions moving in to get as much of that wealth as possible. But those unions never take any of the risk involved or put in the long hours to build that company up.
Or once a company is successful you will find the government taxing it relentlessly; or the Democrat trial lawyers seeking any grounds for a lawsuit. Because liberals are in love with money more than any capitalist ever was.
Easy money, that is… Money that they can “take”, not “earn”.
How do rich liberals ‘appropriate’ the existing wealth of America?
In many ways in the ‘soft’ side of the economy, like through 'paper wealth' transactions in the financial industry in cities like New York. The biggest investment bank of all, Goldman Sachs, is full of liberals. Its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, is a huge lib and Obama supporter. Many, many ‘paper billionaires’ like Warren Buffett are big libs.
Today’s socialist rich appropriate for themselves the existing wealth of the nation through media, television, newspapers, advertising, fashion or the arts. They are movie producers, TV producers, movie idols and TV stars. They are involved in publishing, communications and information like Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire liberal mayor of New York City, whose Bloomberg News service carries financial stories and data.
But no oil drilling, or coal mining or tractor manufacturing…
Or they get rich through computers or the internet, which is information and data as well. Google is super liberal, and its employees gave 98% of their campaign contributions to Obama in 2008.
Notice that there is not much gritty manufacturing going on with these people. They are not really getting their hands dirty, are they?
And of course who could forget about all those politicians, especially Democrats like Al Gore, who build huge fortunes based simply on their own political power. No, they are not creating jobs or products for others. They are just getting money for themselves.
So again, the socialist rich are not wealth creators, but wealth appropriators. They work in the 'soft' side of the economy, not in the 'hard' manufacturing side. This is why the middle class is shrinking as Democrats become the dominant rich – because the capitalist rich are becoming fewer in number and are creating less wealth, while the socialist rich are appropriating more of the nation’s existing wealth for themselves.
In other words, fewer and fewer capitalists are baking the economic pie, while more and more socialists are eating it.
So indeed ‘the rich are getting richer’ today in America. The socialist rich, that is. While America becomes poorer. Then the rich lefties tell us how wonderful everything will be when the government gives us little peons health insurance, while we lose our jobs and the socialist wealth appropriators themselves roll in their bigger and bigger fortunes.
Rich liberals also become wealthy by inheriting money, like the Kennedys. Or they marry into money, as US senator John Kerry did. Twice. And when you inherit wealth or marry it, you are going to be under huge pressure to be a liberal for two reasons – because the media have built up the mythology for decades that wealth is something to be ashamed of; and if you did nothing to earn it, you also are shamed by the media for being rich.
Then there even is fraud. Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff was a huge liberal. So is Jon Corzine, former Democrat governor or New Jersey, whose MF Global just collapsed under suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile most of the Kennedy family fortune came from Wall Street fraud in the 1920s, in which thousands of other people lost their shirts while Kennedy made a fortune.
Look at far-left George Soros. He is another classic example of a wealth appropriator. He makes his money as a speculator in currency exchanges. He sits in front of a computer screen and bets on the shift of money around the globe and has a $20 billion fortune as a result.
Soros does not manufacture cars or generate power or drill oil wells. He does not employ thousands of people or build railroads that aid and abet economic growth. In fact, he is not interested in creating wealth and products for other people like the capitalist rich do, but only in appropriating wealth for himself, which is classic liberal narcissism.
Look at ultra-lib Oprah Winfrey. What does she produce?
Entertainment. That is all. Period. And if you ask people if they want to have either gasoline for their car or Oprah on the TV, they would choose the former. Because Winfrey is just another liberal entertainer who is dispensable to everyday life in contrast to the things that people really need like cars and gasoline and electricity – the things produced by the capitalist rich.
Winfrey is a classic socialist. She made her fortune sitting comfortably in front of a TV camera not out planning and building a railroad. In fact the entire entertainment industry is made up of weakling actors and dopey entertainers like Robert de Niro or Bruce Springsteen. They are far removed from the tough job of building the nation through hard work, and so their view of the world is skewed.
They follow whatever the left-wing movie producers or record producers say. So they spout socialism in exchange for their careers. And they are convinced that socialism is a good idea because they think it “helps the poor” and “saves the environment”. Which is nonsense. Because socialism actually harms the poor (by making them dependent on the government and destroying their incentive to improve themselves) and ruins the natural environment (by putting up giant windmills on beautiful mountaintops).
What about those rich, liberal sue-everybody trial lawyers?
They are classic wealth appropriators who are empowered by the Democrats and give 100% of their campaign contributions to the Democrat party. Liberal legislation gives them license to go after any profit-making enterprise in America and to make themselves rich. Republicans have sought for decades to restrain these lawyers – particularly in health care – while Democrats fight legal reform every step of the way to keep their lawyer friends rich.
So these lawyers harass private profit-making enterprises, often killing jobs and driving the companies out of business, or creating a climate where businesses do not want to set up shop here in the US, but instead move to countries without aggressive lawyers hounding them every day. So in several different ways, these trial lawyers are damaging the ability of the American economy to create more wealth for its citizens, while getting richer and richer themselves.
And remember that these trial lawyers never pursue liberal companies. Ever.
The whole idea of even having wealth today is widely disparaged in the media. This started back when many more of the rich people were capitalists, and the media still was liberal, during the heyday of industrial expansion over the last 150 years.
Because media liberals needed to tear down the capitalist rich to make themselves look better. Even though many media moguls are wealthy themselves, they consider themselves “different” from the capitalist rich. People in the media think that they are "better" than everyone else, with “ideas” about making society equitable, who don’t dare get their hands dirty manufacturing things like cars or steel. No, that is for lesser people, not for the intellectual elites at the New York Times or at the dinner parties of Manhattan, Follywood or San Francisco.
No, as a liberal, you think you have the most important thing of all – "ideas" – for making society perfect through taking wealth from one group and giving it to another – including shifting it first and foremost to yourself and your cronies. Because the more wealth you have, the more power you have to manipulate society according to the socialist ideas of you and your intellectual friends. That is the main reason that liberals excuse themselves for being rich – because after all, they claim they are helping 'the little guy' and the minorities.
So if you are rich today, you have a choice. You can become a liberal and be treated well by the New York Times and the media in general. You will be invited to all of their artsy cocktail parties and fundraisers at which you trash Bush and the Republican party. You will be flattered in the newspapers and magazines of America. This is the way that somebody like Bill Gates has become more and more liberal – because he had so much money that the media have shamed him into being a give-it-away liberal.
And peer pressure is enormous. You just don't utter anything outside the party line at the fundraisers of Manhattan or Aspen, or you are out of the club. Permanently.
On the other hand, if you choose to adhere to conservative or Republican values, you are either ignored by the leftist elites and the media, or even trashed.
Take your pick. For many, the choice is clear.
So what is the crux of all this?
It is this: Certain types of people are liberals at heart. They have liberal biases. They are weak, idealistic and emotional people to start. They don't understand what really makes the world go 'round – hard work and factories and risk and grit. And when those liberals become rich, they remain liberals, even though their Democrat ideology maligns the accumulation of private wealth.
They see themselves as saviors of the environment, and of the poor, simply by dint of the way they vote on election day and the nonsense they spout every day. So they continue living lives of extravagance without feeling any liberal guilt because they vote Democrat.
And even if you are capitalist rich, the media can actually shame you and intimidate you into becoming a liberal.
Second, it is crucial to recall that the 1960s indoctrinated millions of young people into socialism. So no matter how they turned out – rich or poor – they are going to be left-wing socialists.
Third, liberalism is an ideology of extreme materialism, even more than capitalism. Because there is no spiritual basis for socialism or raison d'etre besides becoming personally rich. Just go to the hotbed of American liberalism – New York City – and you will find the most money-obsessed, thing-obsessed people in the whole world.
They love expensive clothes and fancy cars and private jets and ritzy apartments and sprawling vacation homes, and all the rest. And the head cheerleader for all this materialism, the New York Times, loves all this wealth too, advertises it shamelessly, and allows rich liberals to wallow in it while assuring them in its blowhard editorials that voting Democrat every election day compensates for their obsession with money.
But more significant is that liberals love power just slightly less than they love money. It is always money first with libs. And money begets power. And then a rich liberal needs to use his power to extend his ideas over the rest of society. And through his wealth, he can do that.
What ultimately happens to rich liberals?
Well, they love money and continue to revel in it. They demand socialism because socialism makes them richer through wealth appropriation, but also gives them intellectual cover for their love of money.
They know that America in general will defend their wealth accumulation because America still has vestiges of capitalism. But if the nation goes all the way to the left, they too will be destroyed, slowly, as many have lost much in the recession. And many rich liberals are going to see their bank accounts shrink under Obama. They think they will not be affected, and many will not at first.
They will not be audited by the IRS, for instance, if they are good Democrats. But ultimately, socialism always consumes itself including liberal rich people. It will happen slowly. And then those people are going to start thinking twice about what liberalism really means, and that perhaps they really are more conservative at heart than they ever were willing to admit in public. But it will be too late.
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