I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sobbing For Richie Riches

The complete cluelessness of our elites knows no limits:
"I think (the ultra-wealthy) actually have an insufficient influence," Griffin said in an interview at Citadel's downtown office. "Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet." [emphasis mine]
Hedge-fund billionaires like Griffin have a "duty" to protect the system that made them billionaires off of schemes like credit derivatives - schemes that nearly destroyed our economy. Gosh, too bad no one listens to them...

I guess I'll have to give some away - but not to poor people:
In the 2012 election cycle, Griffin has given $150,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, and more than $560,000 to the Republican Governors Association. In recent years, Griffin and his wife Anne have given $800,000 to AmericanCrossroads, founded by Republican strategists Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove.

The Griffins also have given approximately $1.5 million over time to David and Charles Koch's conservative causes, which operate under the umbrella Americans for Prosperity. Structured as a nonprofit, its donors are not disclosed, making it a lightning rod for advocates of campaign finance reform.
What can anyone say in the face of such greed, arrogance, and sociopathy? George, take it away (not suitable for work - sorry if you're squeamish about the language, but the truth is worth it):

ADDING, My lord, how could I leave this out?!?! Griffin gave $500,000 to Jonah Edleman to screw Illinois teachers. As I wrote at the time:
Ken Griffin, who is... surprise, a hedge fund manager! Just like Derrell Bradford's bosses. Griffin apparently sees a lot of turnover in his firm because he's a real piece of work to deal with.
These are the people who are funding the reformy movement. They have a "duty" to tell you how your schools should be run, and a "duty" to give teachers the shaft.

Everyone OK with this?


Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...


Your work is always top notch, but this post was simply brilliant. Thank you.

calugg said...


Perhaps a "reframing" is in order. I've seen queer bloggers use the term "radical cleric" Pat Robertson, when he's wildly homophobic. Perhaps the term "radical oligarch" should apply to "reformy" billionaires who meddle in public education.

They *ARE* using their "oligarchial" power to destroy public education, much like the Russian oligarchs tried to do in Post-Soviet Russia. And before someone pounces on me for being some commie-loving queer, for Russians living in the 1990s, the collapse of public services meant an overall reduction in Russian life expectancy. There are some areas where markets fail utterly: medical care and mass education.

Unlike the reformy oligarchs, the historical evidence is clear that the destruction of public services does not lead to IMPROVED living conditions.

There are CONSERVATIVE arguments that could be made in defending public education, etc., but the oligarchs have control of one political party (GOP) and almost total control of another (the Dems).

Anyway, that's my 37 cents.

Duke said...

"Radical" has got to be part of it, I think. What these people are proposing is a fundamental shift in American values - far more than marriage equity could ever be.

The correlation between equity and human fulfillment is undeniable at many, many levels:


I agree that the Teddy Roosevelt wing of the GOP - which no longer exists, apparently - would have been appalled at this assault on public education. There used to be a "national greatness" argument that was at the core of American conservatism, but all we hear now from cons is about all the things this nation CAN'T do.

I also agree about the frames, but our side is very, very bad at that. I don't agree that conservative frames are better - it's just that they get hammered over and over and over until they become an assumed truth. When I hear an average citizen intone that lowering taxes on the wealthy leads to economic growth, I see that as proof that propaganda works.

We need to speak up more. We simply can't afford not to.

Thx for stopping by, Catherine. And for the kind words, Robert.

Unknown said...

THIS is the type of information that I want to see the union putting out there. People are CLUELESS to the motives behind this reformy nonsense.