Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The Obamas kite-surf with billionaires and sign record-breaking book deals. It's good to be the Neoliberal King!
Above: President Franklin Roosevelt examining his stamp collection, 1936. Though FDR was born into great wealth, he did amazing things for the common man & woman. He surrounded himself with the most progressive policymakers ever to serve in the U.S. government and, with them, created work programs for the unemployed, electricity for rural Americans, Social Security for senior citizens, the G.I. Bill for veterans, and the list goes on and on. Heck, he even gave his beloved home and land to the people. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Remember the line, "It's good to be the king," from Mel Brook's History of the World, Part I? Well, since leaving office, President Obama is showing just how incredibly good it is to be the Neoliberal King. A few weeks ago he was kite-surfing with a billionaire in the Virgin Islands, and just today we learned that he and Michelle have signed record-breaking, 60 million dollar book deals. Perhaps we can start calling them "The Sixty-Million Dollar Family." Eat your heart out, Lee Majors.
Of course, we read the obligatory "some proceeds will be going to charity" (for example, their presidential center foundation, run by capitalists, investment managers, and financiers of course), but you can be sure of one thing: You'll never see a dime of benefit from those "charitable" contributions. Just like you'll never see a dime of benefit from the Clinton Foundation, the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, or whatever millionaire & billionaire-backed foundations pop-up next. Isn't it funny (and purely a coincidence I'm sure) how some of the biggest foundations in the world never seem to benefit you in any way, shape, or form, no matter how desperate and devastated your life may be? Facing bankruptcy? Where are the foundations? Unemployed? Where are the foundations? Need health insurance? Where are the foundations? Suffocating under student loan debt? Where are the foundations? Your car broke down and you don't have the money for a new one? Where are the foundations? But I digress...
Yes, President Obama is making out very well since leaving office. While the rest of us will have to deal with the negative aspects of a neoliberal-caused Trump presidency, e.g., racial tension, more war, cuts to the social safety net, environmental pollution, the Obamas will be safely tucked away in a gated community--perhaps at the exclusive community, Rancho "Poor People Need Not Apply" Mirage--sipping Martinis by the pool and patiently waiting for their multi-million dollar tax breaks - tax breaks that Trump and the Republicans are sure to deliver to them just as soon as possible.
Yes, never mind that tens of millions of Americans are living in poverty; that millions of children are drinking lead and incurring permanent brain damage; that the suicide rate continues to soar; that the infant mortality rate is a "national embarrassment"; that perpetual war will continue chew up more money and lives; that student loan debt is at $1.4 trillion and growing. No, no, no, never mind all that because...
... it's good to be the Neoliberal King!