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Mike Lofgren served 16 years on the Republican staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees.  He has an article in The American Conservative entitled, "Revolt of the Rich - Our financial elites are the new secessionists."  I largely agree with it.

Wait, what?

For example, I largely agree with Lofgren's observation that:

"Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension — and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?"

In my opinion, Lofgren buries the lede when he states in the twenty-seventh paragraph that:

"The objective of the predatory super-rich and their political handmaidens is to discredit and destroy the traditional nation state and auction its resources to themselves. Those super-rich, in turn, aim to create a “tollbooth” economy, whereby more and more of our highways, bridges, libraries, parks, and beaches are possessed by private oligarchs who will extract a toll from the rest of us."
Who knew that an average member of Daily KOS would agree with a former Republican staff member on education?  To wit:
"To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy’s palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education “reform” is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than $500 billion dollars in annual federal, state, and local education funding into private hands—meaning themselves and their friends. What Halliburton did for U.S. Army logistics, school privatizers will do for public education."
The entire article is well worth reading in full, and (despite the temptation to do so) I obvioiusly won't copy and paste it all here.  Still, I can't help but note another troubling observation, on a matter close to my heart, which... gives me pause:
"In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse."
Finally, little did I know that I would have reason to long for the days of Andrew Carnegie:
"A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie’s is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy."

Originally posted to David Hume on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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