Bernie Sanders started something when he said — out in the open — “Billionaires shouldn’t exist.” Now people are talking, and crying, about bad-rap billionaires. Is the criticism too harsh?
“I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” he said, adding that there would always be rich people and others with less money. “This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”~ Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times
Continuing the theme…
Bad-Rap Billionaires as Takers
Last Monday, while speaking to Ta-Nehisi Coates at a MLK Now event, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) upset the status quo applecart. Again. She made a bold anti-billionaire statement:
Are bad-rap billionaires grabby?
Context is everything. Please listen to AOC’s full statement below.
I, myself, get it. Completely. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t like to be a millionaire (even a multi-millionaire). Especially if that circumstance resulted from my own good efforts. And if I lived in a society where everyone’s basic needs were met, no questions asked. I could really enjoy hard-earned wealth, when I knew everyone else was “OK.”
Billionaires and Philanthropy
Of course, there’s philanthrope. However, author Anand Giridharadas suggests that an urge to “give back” isn’t always altruistic. Its main goal is to keep the status quo from changing. I read his book: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. Giridharadas presents his observations in a moderate manner. There’s no emotion-baiting or preachiness. It’s just, finally, someone talking about the elephant in the room.
Are bad-rap billionaires self-centered?
Billionaires Value Freedom (From Taxes)
To Our Fellow Millionaires and Billionaires Across the Globe — There are two kinds of wealthy people in the world: those who prefer taxes and those who prefer pitchforks. We, the undersigned, prefer taxes. And we believe that, upon reflection, you will as well.~ Patriotic Millionaires
Are bad-rap billionaires actually innocent Libertarians?
Libertarian Republic believes so: “Ocasio-Cortez’s War on Wealth Is a War on All of Us.” Apparently, rampant inequality is like taking a “hit” for Team All-of-Us. You have to admit, that’s pretty altruistic!
How do YOU make sense of it? Are bad-rap billionaires a fiction? Is the capitalist wealth-generating system still working, or has it gone screwy? Will there be pitchforks? Do we need billionaires to build a middle-class? If a wealth tax makes some people cry, where can they find tissues?
Finally, a word about billionaires from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich:
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