Wealthcare, again – Reprint from Dec 31/10

Frank Rich wrote an interesting op-ed in the New York Times a few months ago. I thought of it again after reading another story in the news recently. I think the dots connect. Rich’s NYT piece examined organizers of America’s leaderless populist uprising, the tea-partiers. Of course, like most spontaneous movements, this requires considerable organizing effort and ample supplies of cash.

Rich says three heavy hitters rule. Rupert Murdoch, emperor of Faux News and brothers David and Richard Koch, two of the world’s wealthiest industrialists, are:

murdoch31…the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled ‘Invisible Hands’ in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R.

You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.

David Koch was the Libertarian Party’s VP candidate in the 1980 presidential election. He and running mate Ed Clark promised to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve Board, welfare, minimum-wage laws, corporate taxes, all price supports and subsidies for agriculture and all U.S. Federal regulatory agencies.

Koch’s views have not moderated but his methods of political operation have shifted dramatically. The Koch brothers do not aspire to hold elected office, they merely aim to control those who do. They believe, not in democracy, but survival of the fittest, literally. Can’t afford medical care? Go ahead and die. Can’t afford to feed your children? Sell them. Pay too much income tax? Take it off-shore and cheat.

Uber-wealthy libertarians, since they don’t believe in government or social programs, feel no shame over shameless corporate outlaws. Like banks. Do you remember when bankers were respected members of the community interested in serving ordinary citizens, living in ordinary communities? No longer.

In the second news item, Richard Eskow looked at six of America’s largest banks, asking which was “the most shameless corporate outlaw.” This competition between six is a pick’em, likely to end in a six-way tie. Read through that article, check out the validity of allegations and then I invite you to consider if you want Invisible Hands of the rich and super-rich shaping the world we live in. Are you ready to enable the rule of mega-corporations through ‘self regulation’? Many BC Liberals are ready.

People similar to the Koch Brothers are funders of the widespread network of right wing, libertarian, corporatist groups in Canada that aim to enable this country’s Invisible Hands. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, even after they were caught spreading tax misinformation this week, unashamedly continued the campaign. As Spartikus said:

They’re merchants of doubt, not of intellectual integrity.

5 replies »

  1. Thanks Norman for pointing us to that NY Times article. Bears repeating, repeating, repeating…

    BC has been hollowed out like some spider prey, the populace just doesn't know it yet. Guys like these Tea Party blood-suckers are the reason why.

    Guys like you though are a beacon of hope.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year, and a great year ahead. Keep on doing what you're doing.



  2. Thanks, I appreciate the comment and support. I will do this as long as people demonstrate regular interest. I'm lucky to have a group of readers that has grown steadily. Page views have risen from zero to tens of thousands each month. That trend is gratifying, indicating a desire for opinions outside the bounds of the commercial press.

    There are many bloggers in BC contributing fine work. Each of us owes something to the others but we all rely on dedicated readers to spread the word. You help online journalism grow and, as it matures, content will get better and better.

    Thanks to all and see you next year. May 2011 be a time when more ordinary citizens awaken an interest in local politics and halt the hidden hands seeking to exercise control.

    DECEMBER 31, 2010 11:00 PM


  3. Thanks Anonymous. I had not realized that David Berner was returning to regular blogging but I've added him again to the blog roll on the left side of Northern Insights. I look forward to reading his material; he provides independent but reasoned opinions from a broad range of life experiences. He's an actor, artist, performer, newsman, broadcaster, commentator, writer, addiction specialist and I've probably missed some specialities.

    Readers are welcome to suggest more sites worth visiting regularly.

    JANUARY 1, 2011 3:56 PM


  4. Good stuff, Norm. Since I became a Dad of three small kids, my previous views of hard right conservatism have been dumped for more moderate centre/right of centre policies that encourage and support families. It's better than blame and fingerpointing of those that struggle in hard economic times.
    Your research and presentation of material is first rate, thoroughly researched, and, most importantly, it's coherent. Thanks for avoiding wack-job conspiracy sensationlism that so often accompanies distribution of this kind of information about elite coporate special interest groups.
    Always a pleasure to visit your site. Happy New Year.


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