“If you’re rich you can buy immunity/If you’re poor better write your eulogy.”

Some links about wealth, and occasionally the lack of it. The title’s a quote but I’m not sure of the source.

“​​As soon as anyone who’s antiracist or curious about equity hears the word[s] tax breaks, it is so obvious to us that that’s immediately going to be racially inequitable,” — a look at the good and bad of private individuals paying for government operations.

“This sort of crusade is exactly what we often see when powerful business executives champion a passion project. The causes chosen are often capricious — and almost never threaten their benefactor’s elevated position in our economic and societal firmament.” — Helaine Olen, pondering that Carl Icahn has become a moral crusader for the more humane treatment of pigs. Not that she objects to compassion for animals, but are their better causes out there?

Then we have Peter Thiel, a billionaire who does not even pretend to use his great power for good.

“Basically, [Americans] are afraid of strangers,” she says. “It was considered beyond the pale that you would install a public toilet that didn’t practically burn itself down and rise from the ashes every time someone used it.” — on the rise and fall of the public toilet

“Whether you’re British royalty, a bulge-bracket bank or a venture-capital-funded food delivery start-up, there is often some way to make the wheels of justice in civil cases grind to a halt — if you have the resources. Settlements in civil cases are a feature of our legal system available to those who can afford it.” Case in point, the Sacklers and oxycontin.

For some, however, helping arrange those settlements isn’t half as awful as letting innocent people out of jail.

Then there’s the major league baseball owners. When players strike, however reasonable their demands or unreasonable the owners’ position, you can count on people ranting about how greedy and unreasonable the players are — my god, they’re getting paid to play baseball! Don’t they know millions of people would have their jobs for free?

Well, the owners of these teams are multimillionaires who still get big government handouts for building new stadiums. I’m quite sure lots of people would happily take ownership of a baseball teams for free so why do the owners never get the same grief? Do people really think they’re just in it for fun?

And of course, there’s our own government. The Supreme Court just shut down a lawsuit from Abu Zubaydah, who was tortured for information even after the CIA decided he didn’t know anything. The Supreme decision is part of a several-decades-long history of assuming our leaders should not be sued even for crimes.

“The Montessori method routed disproportionately to rich white kids because good things do, but also because she increasingly viewed her project as, in Kramer’s words, “a patentable business.” The method was not only something to be taught; it was something to be sold.”

To ened on an upbeat note, Marvin Skreli, the pharma douchebag millionaire who jacked up the price of one life-saving drug by more than twenty times, has been permanently barred from serving as director or officer of a publicly traded company.

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Filed under economics, Politics

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