From Our Future
Our country's privileged few used to exert their control through political surrogates. Now, thanks to Trump, they're taking a more hands-on approach.
If it weren't for his appeals to hate, it would be easy to understand why so many voters were taken in by Trump. It's not just that the middle class is dying, or that wages have flatlined and inequality has soared. It's that there is real fear behind those numbers.
Millions of Americans, of all races, genders, religions, and national origin, are living in economic fear and distress. Two-thirds of us would have trouble meeting a $1,000 emergency.
That kind of economy is a breeding ground for grift. Studies like those conducted by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research confirm what professional con artists have always known: people in financial distress are easier marks. And make no mistake about it: Donald Trump is a con artist. Trump voters have been taken in by a grift so shameless he might as well have pretended to be calling from the IRS.
Trump was always a Trojan horse for the 0.01 percent. And now he's forming a government of, by, and for the very elites he campaigned against.
Rule of the Ultra-Elite
We already live in the most unjust and unequal economy in modern American history. A new report from Deutsche Bank shows that the top 0.1 percent of Americans now holds as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. In other words, if the United States were 1,000 people in a room, just one of them would be as wealthy as 900 of the others.
That particular statistic hasn't been this bad since the 1930s.
Trump's administration is already the wealthiest in history. Its members are heavily drawn from the tiny group of 16,000 people in this country who own as much wealth as 80 percent of the population -- some 256,000,000 Americans. His cabinet picks include two confirmed billionaires (so far -- he's not done yet). They come from an even more elite group: the 536 Americans whose combined wealth exceeds $2.6 trillion.
For context, the median wealth of an American adult is roughly $34,316.
It's not just their wealth that distinguishes Trump's team from the vast majority of Americans. It's their class exclusivity. Trump has largely drawn from people who, like him, were born into wealth and privilege. This insularity, combined with the heartlessness of the policies they espouse, makes it even less likely that they will empathize with -- or even understand -- the problems of ordinary people.
Most of them have never experienced hard times. And judging from their policy positions, they can be counted on to have about as much empathy for working people as Leona Helmsley's dog.
By the way: that dog, who was rich enough to join Trump's cabinet, was named "Trouble."
Goldman Sachs Bait-and-Switch