Advancing a Free Society

A Populist Campaign of One Percenters

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The problem with President Obama’s us-vs.-them fairness campaign is that the Democratic technocracy that runs the redistributionist state is so deeply embedded within the One Percent that it is impossible to hide the hypocrisies. Today’s BigMoney is not the staid GM and IBM of the ’60s, but the hipper Wall Street and Silicon Valley where millionaires can still wear the same sort of clothes, listen to the same sort of music, and adopt the same sort of platitudes as the left-wing counterculture of Occupy Wall Street. Without that veneer of coolness, someone who milked Freddie, Fannie, or Citigroup would be reduced to an Enron- or Halliburton-style caricature.

This week we heard that consumer populist and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is, by both net worth and salary, part of the One Percent herself — as well as a past consultant to insurance companies seeking to avoid litigant claims. All three of Barack Obama’s chiefs of staff were Wall Streeters; all three made their Wall Street millions in very little time; two had some sort of association with Freddie and Fannie. Peter Orszag of both OMB and Citigroup is emblematic of the technocratic class’s revolving door between “public service” and ever more enhanced billets back on Wall Street. And, fairly or not, even good handlers cannot keep Michelle Obama’s taste for the aristocratic life of high fashion out of the press.

The media that resonates Obama’s “fairness” attacks are One Percenters to the core, from Soros-subsidized blogs and think tanks to mega-salaried corporate news anchors. The epitome of all this is the business model of Arianna Huffington — low or no pay for writers, trendy liberal celebrity spotlight appearances, and tabloid photographic gossip — which turns a “progressive” blog into a corporate-bought-out bonanza that will earn AOL very little and Ms. Huffington quite a lot.

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