On one hand, I find virtue signaling CEO’s sitting on a pile of money being attacked by the same social justice warriors they have bowed to and promoted somewhat satisfying. Remember Starbucks deciding baristas should “start a conversation about race“? The Gates Foundation pours money into failing schools in poor communities. And Jeff Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post, arguably a close second only to the The New York Times for it’s ardent opposition to President Trump and his adminstration.
Yet all of a sudden, it seems these folks and others like them are on the outs with the most vocal voices on the Left. Men who are self-made innovators and exemplify the American Dream. Men who give piles of money to philanthropic and political causes in the US and globally. Men who have also employed millions of people through their own innovation and the industries that sprung up as a result of their ingenuity.
What is going on?
You see it in response to Schultz announcing a possible Independent run for President. He was greeted by screeches of “You didn’t build that” when he talks about his impoverished youth. Or my personal favorite wishes for his financial ruin:
Then Bill Gates had to point out the fatal flaws in the rhetoric around marginal tax rates in the plans of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Just as when the marginal tax rate was sky high before, no really wealthy person is going to pay it if it is reinstalled now. Because, duh, the wealthy can manage the income these hoopleheads want to tax.
“In terms of revenue collection, you wouldn’t want to just focus on the ordinary income rate, because people who are wealthy have a rounding error of ordinary income,” he said. “They have income that just is the value of their stock, which if they don’t sell it, it doesn’t show up as income at all, or if it shows up, it shows over in the capital gains side. … We can be more progressive without really threatening income generation.”“Bill Gates Has Some Harsh Words for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax Plan”, Chris Morris, Fortune, February 12, 2019.
Shocker I know, but billionaires don’t get paid their net worth annually. He was also highly critical of Modern Monetary Theory, which is popular with AOC and some other radicals. It suggests if we need more money to pay for their Utopian schemes the government should just print more. Really.
And finally Jeff Bezos. Amazon was going to build a facility in Queens. Yesterday they announced they would not. And the freshman bartender, who purportedly has a degree in economics is celebrating:
Her timeline is full of but unions, corporate greed, and other nonsense. Note according to the bartender, Amazon and Bezos have been defeated. She thinks it is a good thing.
Truth be told, Queens just lost jobs, opportunities for small business to support the new location and the tax base those jobs would have provided. Yes, I hate crony capitalism. But tax breaks are a cost-benefit calculation for the communities that offer them. And if Mr. Bezos would like to locate his new facility North of the Atlanta Perimeter along I-75 in Georgia, I offer to staff it for him at 75% of my usual rate.
The problem for Schultz, Gates, and Bezos is obvious looking at it from the right. They are liberals. In many ways of the classical variety. They believe in private property, free markets, and capitalism. All three of them believe in philanthropy. Bezos and Gates are in the top three and the Schultz Family Foundation has given millions to various causes.
Like liberals historically, they fulfill what Jordan Peterson has referred to as the legitimate role of the political left. They clearly believe in hierarchies of competence. They run or have run wildly successful global organizations. But as liberals have traditionally done, they show concern for the dispossessed and advocate for comapssionate policies and participate in charity. In short, through activism and philanthropy, they attempt to limit the number of individuals left behind in a capitalist economy.
However, it does not appear they believe in fundamentally changing our economic system and political institutions. As such, the socialist and progressive movement that believes they are ascendant within the Democrat party will take them on first. According to Data for Progress, these men belong to the mushy milquetoast (and mythical) moderates. People the Democrat party have no incentive to cater to. Even if you see them as well left of center.
This is why Schultz’s call for Democrats to nominate a more centrist Democrat will likely fall on deaf ears. The socialist take over of the Democrat party articulated by DSA founder Michael Harrington in 1988 is well underway. They are mobilized and were behind booting Amazon from Queens. Do not believe individuals are “rising up” spontaneously in these movements. Much more to come on this soon.
So to those who find themselves on the outs with the well funded and coordinated radical left, come to the dark side. We actually like a lot of the same things. Equal opportunity, individual freedom, and free markets. Oh, and we have cookies. Or at least we don’t want to take over the business and wealth of the cookie baker.