Will American Monetocracy Ever Come to an End?

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It used to be that the United States prided itself on being a meritocracy. No more. It is increasingly a country with a cult of money and rule by moneyed elites. Not so much an oligarchy as a monetocracy.
It is a country of public poverty and obscene private wealth. According to Bloomberg, the ten richest Americans are collectively worth over $1.6 trillion.
Coincidentally, that amount is higher than the annual GDP of all but the top 12 largest economies in the world — more than Spain and Saudi Arabia and twice as high as Switzerland.
Increasing privatization
As the U.S. federal government is vilified ideologically and deprived of revenues, private money increasingly assumes an ever-larger role in healthcare, science, education and the arts.
Space exploration has also been privatized, and rich private individuals increasingly dabble in space tourism.
The media as a source of information is controlled by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They do so to an extent that was never dreamed of even by someone like William Randolph Hearst.
Democracy for sale
Not surprisingly, U.S. politics have also become the playground of the wealthy. They are massive contributors to the bloated U.S. election campaign process. Total spending during the 2020 presidential election year amounted to $16.4 billion. It is a prime example of democracy for sale.
In between elections, the rich fund numerous lobbying firms and policy think tanks and, by showering gifts and favors on justices, are even sending signals that they have effectively bought out the Supreme Court.
In turn, with its Citizens United and other rulings, the Supreme Court has dutifully opened the spigot for money to flow into politics.
The high priests of the religion of money
Money being a religion, in the United States you can never have enough. You always want more. George Soros and Warren Buffett, both 93 years of age and with one foot in the grave, still think of earning even more.
Rupert Murdoch, also 93, is milking his Fox News cable television station which makes billions by powdering the brains of the poor with an ideology that serves the interests of the rich.
The rich don’t want to pay
All the American rich want from their government is lower taxes. States with lower tax rates routinely top population growth charts. On New York’s posh Park Avenue, you encounter cars with Florida license plates.
The owners of multimillion dollar apartments in the city constantly calculate the number of days a year they spend there (where they still use all kinds of municipal services), in order to remain Florida residents and thus pay no state tax.
It is harder to avoid U.S. federal income taxes, even with all the loopholes the best accounting firms invent, but there is always a way to lobby the government in Washington.
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, since 2001, tax changes have reduced federal revenues by $5.1 trillion, with some 60% of savings accruing to the richest one-fifth of Americans.
And that does not even take into account the interest payments on that extra debt which will continue in perpetuity.
They do not care about the future of a nation which carries $35 trillion in federal debt and runs a monstrous annual budget deficit. All America’s wealthy want is yet another tax cut.
Trump: The wealthy’s knight in shining armor
And so Trump is promising tax cuts galore. Little wonder that billionaires are flocking to give him millions for his election campaign.
Without any question, Trump himself is a high priest of the money cult. He is a billionaire, and his wealth and opulent lifestyle are a major part of his appeal for his cultist followers.
The MAGA crowd claim that they are real Americans. In as much as they worship Trump the Billionaire, they subscribe wholeheartedly to the United States’ national money worship.
It is also telling that they attack middle-of-the-road conservative Democrats like Joe Biden as “communists” and “the radical left” — simply because they do not entirely subscribe to the United States’ money religion.
Conclusion
Trump is sure that he can control his supporters. However, the wave of radical right-wing populism he is riding, like so many revolutionary movements in history, may easily go rogue.
It may end up sweeping away him and his billionaire backers.
Takeaways
The U.S. is increasingly becoming a nation devoted to the religion of money – run by an ever-smaller group of elites who control it.

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The U.S. is a country of public poverty and obscene private wealth. The ten richest Americans are collectively worth over $1.6 trillion — an amount higher than the annual GDP of all but the top 12 largest economies in the world.

As the U.S. federal government is vilified ideologically and deprived of revenues, private money increasingly assumes an ever-larger role in healthcare, science, education and the arts.

In between elections, the rich in the U.S. fund numerous lobbying firms and policy think tanks and, by showering gifts and favors on justices, are even sending signals that they have effectively bought out the Supreme Court.

U.S. elites do not care about the future of a nation which carries $35 trillion in federal debt and runs a monstrous annual budget deficit. All America’s wealthy want is yet another tax cut.

Trump is promising tax cuts galore. Little wonder that billionaires are flocking to give him millions for his election campaign.

Alexei Bayer is a Senior Editor at The Globalist, based in New York. [United States]

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