Are The Plutocrats Doing Themselves In?


Posted by Bob Lord

In a word: Yes.

Recently, there's been a spike in the number of plutocrats whining about their negative press and/or demonizing the poor. Tops on the list of course is billionaire Tom Perkins. A few weeks back, Perkins made headlines for likening the top one percent to German Jews. He retracted that, sort of, but now is saying that Americans ought to vote in proportion to how much they pay in income tax. 

He's not alone. We had another billionaire say, effectively, that if the 99% would just work harder, they could be in the 1% too. Get that? We can all be in the 1%. Even Thucky wouldn't buy that baloney. 

If you want to read more about these folks, go to and sign up for Sam Pizzigati's weekly newsletter "Too Much," which includes a piece on the "Petulant Plutocrat of the Week." 

So, what's happening here? It seems like we're watching the plutocrats self-destruct. They could maintain a low profile. If they did, they likely could continue to wield the massive power they have in Washington and state capitals for years to come. But they can't help themselves. Their egos won't let them. Egos aren't rational, you see.

A useful analogy is the way nonviolence achieves its desired result. Nonviolent resistance itself doesn't accomplish the intended result. It's when those in power over-react by engaging in violence to put down the resistance that things move in the desired direction. The general public, offended by the brutality of those in power, sides with the resistance. That's the development that dooms those in power. And their own actions are what bring it about. 

So it is with the ultra-rich. As they react in such an ugly fashion to questions about their wealth, the numbers opposed to them increase. When the class war finally erupts in full, the ranks of those willing to defend the rich will be too thin, largely because of the actions of the rich themselves.