A question about politics
It’s largely taken for granted that American politicians tend to cozy up with the rich. My question is why. On a lower level, it makes sense as a strategic move, because wealthy benefactors can help you move up the chain. But at higher levels of government, it doesn’t make sense to me. Politics is supposed to be the pursuit of power, right? (Maybe this is the Chicago influence talking, but bear with me.) Once you reach a certain level of power, however, it seems foolish to squander your resources making other people more powerful, which is what the “make the rich richer” policy effectively does. Would you not rather want to deprive people of power?
For instance, with the big banks: the Obama administration had at its disposal the option not simply of going against the wishes of the powerful “big bankster” interest group, but of effectively destroying it through nationalizing the huge troubled firms. Or with single-payer health care: why worry so much about pleasing the insurance companies when you have the option of depriving them of all power or influence by putting them out of business? This question seems especially pertinent in the case of the president, where you can basically say, “Okay, listen, I have control over a fucking army — what do you have? You have a ton of money, do you? Well, I get to hire and fire the guy who prints the money.”
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