20th January 2013
The very rich in America increasingly work in finance, marry each other and care passionately about politics
I still have yet to see a persuasive argument that the highly-complained-of ‘income inequality’ is necessarily a Bat Thing; in a land where ‘the poor’ are the poster children for the ‘obesity epidemic‘, I don’t see that the fact that person X has a ginormous amount of income more than person Y, unless person Y is starving or person X stole the money, is a Problem — except to those who are somehow offended by the fact that person X has more than person Y regardless.
And most of these Crustians are Democrats in fact, even though they may call themselves Republican:
Bob Perkowitz embodies these contradictions. A rich entrepreneur, he now devotes much of his time to a non-profit environmental outfit. He is a lifelong Republican who objects to George Bush junior’s tax cuts for the wealthy, and backed Barack Obama in 2008. Having restructured companies himself, he has no trouble with Mr Romney’s private-equity work but agrees with Occupy Wall Street that corporations have too much power.
Until recently he split his time between conservative Charlotte, North Carolina, and liberal Washington, DC. His wife, Lisa Renstrom, used to manage hotels inherited from her father, a prosperous Republican businessman. Now she campaigns on climate change and backs Wealth for the Common Good, a group of rich people who back Occupy Wall Street. Her father used to give his occupation as “capitalist”. “I grew up believing that [capitalists] were making the world a better place,” she says. “The capitalism we have has left us with degraded infrastructure, threats to our health, and global warming.”
No one who voted for Obama is, in any legitimate sense, a Republican, however much they may claim to be. The fact the the authors of this Economist article don’t even blink at this absurdity demonstrates the unconcious Crustian bias that permeates the ‘journalism’ profession in the modern world.
But Mr Perkowitz and Ms Renstrom are utterly typical of the 1% in that they are far more politically engaged than the average 99-percenters.
And, obviously, engaged on behalf of notably Democrat causes. Yeah, those are Republicans, all right.