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Billionaires ... First They Came for the Economy

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Billionaires -- First they came for the economy ...
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First the oligarchs came for our economy, and we said nothing.

Then they came for our government, and again, we said nothing.

Now, they've come for science, and we're not saying a word.

Thanks to Republican-backed austerity measures, our nation's scientific infrastructure has been hit with devastating budget cuts.

All across America, research labs are shutting their doors, scientists are joining unemployment lines, and potentially life-saving drug trials and research projects are being put on hiatus.

But have no fear, because the billionaire oligarchs are here.

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As William Broad points out in The New York Times, "Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research."

Broad goes on to write that, "The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation."

And as Steven Edwards, a policy analyst with the American Association for the Advancement of Science said, "For better or worse, the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money."

From disease research and underwater exploration, to space travel and climate change denial, billionaires are funding just about all aspects of science -- or pseudoscience -- in America today.

As a result, basic science research, which is most often responsible for huge scientific breakthroughs, is suffering, because it's not in the personal interests of the billionaires.

They're only funding areas that they personally care about, and they're privatizing science in the process.

But this billionaire takeover of science in America shouldn't come as a surprise, because it's just the latest piece of the puzzle.

Before they had their sights aimed on science, the billionaires came for our economy, and turned it into an oligonomy.

With the help of Ronald Reagan, they unleashed Reaganomics on America, taking our nation back to the Gilded Age era of oligonomy, an economy dominated by oligarchs.

In 1981, soon after he took office, Reagan signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in history.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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The article reminded me of the Nazis' rise to po... by Hugh Campbell on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:09:57 AM
Interesting article by Mr. Hartmann __ Corporation... by urb musak on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 6:07:08 PM
The rolling nature of the off-shoring of jobs, nam... by Hugh Campbell on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 12:28:45 PM
This is the fascism we voted in mostly beginning w... by Hosea McAdoo on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 1:03:28 PM
In 1980 there were only 13 Billionaires in America... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 1:21:45 PM
If the economy was suffering from accumulated ch... by Lance Brofman on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 4:28:32 PM
First they came for the schools, Mr. Hartmann (lon... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 4:48:16 PM
And what is the path to rolling back the tax cuts,... by John Rachel on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 6:22:15 PM
Very good goas for Congress to enact; the same Co... by Hosea McAdoo on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 7:41:18 PM
A good article, Mr. Hartmann..., but it doesn't g... by Gary Corseri on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 7:12:27 PM
Ferdinand Lundberg "Cracks in the Constitution" L... by Harry Lord on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 7:31:30 PM
They got our houses, our prisons and many of our s... by Emily Brandt on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 8:20:10 PM
Purging of Chosen Targets: Nazis' Versus Billiona... by Hugh Campbell on Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 3:32:21 PM