Billionaires and ballots. We need to talk.

America minted its first billionaire 103 years ago when steel magnate John D. Rockefeller’s bank balance clicked over to ten digits. The country is now home to 607 billionaires. Three of them are running for president. 

Media tycoon and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg ($53 billion) sent up a trial balloon this week, joining hedge fund manager Tom Steyer ($1.9 billion) and the incumbent horror Donald J. Trump (morally bankrupt) on the campaign trail. 

Never before has the country seen three billionaires vying openly for the most powerful office in the nation. The standard operating procedure for plutocrats has been to wield power from behind closed doors, and to do so quietly, lest they alert the teeming masses.

Continue reading “Billionaires and ballots. We need to talk.”

Greatest economy in history? Nope. Greatest inequality in history.

“We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”
~ Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Donald Trump launched into his day at 7:30 this morning by brag-tweeting about the state of the economy.

He then promptly returned to attacking Democrats, the impeachment inquiry, and the news media. All in all, a normal kind of morning for the child king.

But his “greatest economy” tweet stands in stark contrast to a study released last month by the Census Bureau that reports something truly historic: income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest level in the 50 years since the Bureau started tracking the data.

Continue reading “Greatest economy in history? Nope. Greatest inequality in history.”

Story time

The history of grassroots activism abounds with classic stories of struggle against all odds, and tales worthy of telling around a campfire. History is the important element.

My own campfire tales were told around a flickering TV monitor last night. Owing to my impending retirement, I felt free to invite myself to be the guest on the monthly TV program that I produce and host.

Elliot Margolies’ interview was a marvel.

My goal for this blog is to tell more of these stories. Old and new.