No group has been hit harder by the Obama economy than American liberals. From Marin County, where bundlers have had to struggle to scrape together a few ten grand bills to attend Obama fundraisers, to Washington D.C. whose bedroom communities now have seven of the ten highest household incomes in the country, poverty is hitting poor rich little liberals really hard.
In 2006, Alaska had the highest household income. But voters chose Obama over Palin and these days it's Maryland. Because six-figure consultants on sustainable development, diversity and transgender bathrooms also need McMansions to go home to after a long day of team building exercises, celebrating Pride Week and snorting small mountains of cocaine.
Despite numbers like these, liberals are barely making ends meet. Some are "dead broke" like Hillary Clinton. Forget about a dollar not buying what it used to. Not even a hundred million dollars does. And there's poor Joe Biden who claimed not to have a savings account or any stocks and bonds. And he doesn't. He has five savings accounts and eleven investment funds.
But wealth is relative. Despite earning $100 million, Hillary Clinton claims that she isn't "truly well off". And if a woman with a colonial mansion for every occasion is, in the words of her adviser, still just "trying to earn a living", the economy must really be bad.
With income inequality such a hot topic and Washington D.C. hoovering up more of the country's wealth than ever, the Democratic Party's presidential frontrunners are taking a vow of poverty. They aren't actually draping themselves in burlap sacks and begging for spare change, though they do make a point of being seen shopping at Target or Costco before being driven back in their limos to a pricey exclusive neighborhood, but they are working hard at pretending to be poor.
If Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden can't convince Democrats that they're just one step away from begging for spare change on street corners and truly understand the plight of the people who actually work for a living, Elizabeth Warren is always waiting in the wings. After all who better than a Harvard professor who made $429,981 in her last full year of teaching to understand how hard it is to barely get by under income inequality.
Elizabeth Warren has a net worth of around $15 million, making her more working class than Hillary, but less working class than Joe Biden at around a cool million. Like Biden, Elizabeth Warren also isn't big on investing.
"I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios," Warren told an MSNBC host.
Like "Dead Broke" or "Truly Well Off", “Wealthy Individuals” and "A Lot of Stock Portfolios" are relative terms. Warren only had $8 million in investments. It's not a lot if you're a millionaire who, like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, spends a lot of time around billionaires.
When you have twenty bucks in your wallet, a million seems like a lot. But when you have a million and hang around those who have fifty million, it doesn't seem like so much anymore. And when you earn a hundred million and go to cocktail parties with billionaires, you no longer feel that you are “truly well off”. It's hard to convince the working class that you "feel their pain" when what you really feel is your pain at having to borrow private jets from your billionaire grocery mogul friend to fly to Africa, instead of being able to buy your own fleet of jets.
There's nothing wrong with making money, unless you're a liberal or unless your money comes from dubious sources, such as charging the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles $150,000 for a speech (the Clintons), ripping off asbestos victims (Elizabeth Warren) or getting your brother some juicy contracts (Joe Biden). After rich liberals unleashed class warfare against Mitt Romney, they have been reduced to competing against each other in a game of "Who Is the Poorest Democrat?"
(The answer is Harry Truman who had to rely on an Army pension after leaving the White House and moving into a property owned by his wife's family. Now that's dead broke.)
Bill Clinton tried to bail out his wife by rephrasing the question as being which candidate can connect to the plight of ordinary people. The answer is none of them.
When Hillary Clinton talks about "working hard" for her money, she means putting her name on books that someone else wrote and reading speeches that someone else wrote to groups that would pay her even if all she did was bark for five hours straight. Bill Clinton may be a compelling and interesting speaker, but no one has ever accused Hillary of either of these things.
Hillary isn't being paid six figures to appear in front of some trade group to talk about how much she cares about the children of the world because she is a powerful and inspirational speaker. The money is being paid out to buy influence with the likely future president or to help elect her president. Hillary's speaking fees, like her law work, are essentially legal bribes from special interests.
It's no wonder that liberals like Elizabeth Warren seem to have a certain disdain for money. They like the money well enough, but they are aware that they have done little to earn it. Elizabeth Warren is well aware that the words that come out of her mouth aren't worth $429,981. Her paychecks only reinforced her conviction that wealth is unearned.
But Warren was making an invalid generalization. Just because she hadn't earned her paychecks and the money she was receiving had little relation to the actual value being created did not mean that the same was true for everyone. There are people out there who really do build that and who actually earn what they are paid through hard work and the creation of value for others and for themselves.
Contempt for wealth has historically been the attitude of wealthy Socialists. Like many modern leftists, Karl Marx went from being a perpetual student supported by his parents to a radical writing angry screeds about the plight of the workers without ever having actual direct experience of their labor. It was no wonder that Marx, who lived most of his life being supported by others, had no clue about the realities of economics or labor.
Dissolute elites put on working class airs while treating their unearned wealth as a shameful secret. Hillary Clinton's fake poverty act is a bit of 19th century theater that is out of step with American values, but an inevitable outgrowth of the renewed radicalization of the Democratic Party.
The concentration of wealth around Washington D.C. is not the work of the Tea Party. It certainly isn't something that the Koch Brothers did. It's what happens around an imperial capital. It's not that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer, it's that the politically connected get richer while the politically disconnected get poorer.
The significant division is not along lines of class, but of corruption. The working poor may be suffering, but the politically connected welfare poor have plenty of opportunities to game the system. Most of all it's the politically disconnected private sector middle class that invests its time in working instead of voting that is sliding down the hole and taking the economy with it.
The radical technocrats of the Democratic Party champion big government
policies that concentrate wealth in a smaller number of hands while
campaigning against income inequality. They denounce the rich at
fundraisers for the rich. They buy mansions so that they can run for
higher office and then claim to be dead broke. They are not only guilty
of hypocrisy, that is a common enough sin for politicians, but they are
also guilty of creating the conditions of income inequality that they
Faking poverty isn't just an election strategy, it's also protective camouflage as the members of a political movement that is robbing the country blind cry poverty and point at the Koch Brothers. "They're the ones who robbed you. Go get them, boys."
The Clintons want to enjoy the privileges of their ill-gotten wealth, without accepting any of the responsibility. They want to have their mansions and their class warfare. They want to pile up vast fortunes and then talk about the problems of income inequality. Like many liberals, they want to have the radical privileges of poverty and the prosperous luxuries of wealth at the same time. They want to yammer about capitalism while flying a private jet to a vacation resort.
The poor little rich liberals have made themselves wealthier and the country poorer. Now they are exploiting the miserable economy that they are responsible for with more class warfare.
They are poor, but not in money. They are impoverished in industry and suffer from severe poverties of honesty, decency and shame. They hardly have a single truth to their name and their fake poverty is as fake as their concern for the poor.