The universal tendency of the rich is to resist all change, no matter how small, that might conceivably result in a diminution of their power. Historically, this tendency has protected the privileges of the rich while preventing whole nations from adopting important advances. It is a profoundly anti-democratic resistance that can easily lead to a nation of wealthy elite surrounded by gross poverty, and frequently by national decline. In the US today, declining fortunes affect everyone but the rich.
The wealthy pay to elect those who
support laws favoring the wealthy.
In democracies, the power elite is always extremely conservative, and in the US, staunchly Republican. They will go to any length to enhance their power, money, and privilege. The mega-rich in the US make constant efforts to chip away at our protective laws. Fortunately, these laws are strong enough to thwart their most egregious plans, unlike in Mexico, for example, where Carlos Slim and others have used remnants of Conquistador monopoly laws to enrich themselves to an immoral degree at the expense of the millions of hopelessly poor.
In the US, the enormous tax gifts to the rich from Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tripled the wealth of the most rich, with virtually nothing for anyone else. While this was going on, various schemes from the right have made the poor pay ever more.
The very rich give a lot of money to elect politicians they expect to control. Banksters spend $1.4-million daily on lobbying. It works. There is a high correlation between highly funded politicians and their support for laws that favor the wealthy. There is no comparable persuasive power to represent the rest of us. Further, a large percentage of Congress are millionaires themselves, many of whom have no understanding at all of the problems of people who are not rich. Their advice to the poor is often based on money they don’t have, and is therefore unrealistic and cruel.
Banksters spend $1.4-million daily on lobbying.
The most egregious example of purchased legislation is the billionaire Koch boys and the ALEC group they basically own. This bunch submits ready-made legislation to their pet politicians, who, in heavily Republican states, often get it enacted without change. Needless to say, these laws promote the ultra-conservative agenda for the rich; they have no relationship to democracy.
Their so-called “stand your ground” statutes that 20 states have enacted give anyone who is not African-American license to shoot anyone who is. The law is designed to protect them from punishment as long as they claim a person was “threatening”. In Arizona, not long after the Trayvon case, armed white vigilantes took it as their duty to murder unarmed Mexican economic refugees. Regardless of the facts of these cases, there is a grave danger that these killings will go unpunished, because self-defense is hard to disprove when the witness is dead, and the motives of people of color are always automatically suspect.
The billionaire Koch boys basically own
the fascistic ALEC group. This bunch submits
ready-made legislation to their pet politicians.
The mega-wealthy effort to continually enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense is not as evil as purely extractive plutocracies based on violence, where there is no hope, but it has great potential for causing many problems in the US. It already has.