Alex Pareene in Salon:
Some unknown but alarming number of ultra-rich Americans are now basically totally delusional and completely divorced from reality. This is now an inescapable fact, confirmed by multiple media accounts of billionaire thought and an entire special issue of the New York Times Magazine.
Here’s a brief list of insane things that are apparently common knowledge among the billionaire class:
- That President Obama and the Democratic Party have treated wealthy finance industry titans maliciously and unfairly.
- That the fact that they are perversely wealthy and growing richer during a period of mass unemployment and staggering debt is a sign that the economy is functioning correctly.
- That poor people, and not the finance industry, are responsible for the financial crisis and subsequent recession.
- That the ultra-wealthy are wealthy because they are smarter and work harder than everybody else, and that they are resented for their success.
- That the ultra-wealthy in general, and finance industry executives in particular, are the victims of widespread prejudice akin to that faced by ethnic minorities.
There can be no reasoning with people this irrational. Any attempt to do so will fail, as Barack Obama, whose main goal is to maintain, not upend, the system that made these people so disgustingly wealthy, is learning. It’s growing harder and harder to pretend that the fantastically wealthy have a sophisticated understanding of politics — or math, or economics, or cause-and-effect.