Thursday, December 12, 2013

When The Mega-Rich Turn

By, Chris Rossini

Yesterday, news came out that Ukrainian billionaires were turning on their President for refusing to sign an agreement with the EU.

I thought to myself (and I wish I would have tweeted it) that this was it for Ukraine's President Yanukovych. Once the government loses the rich guys, they're toast.

Well, lo and behold, just one day later we read that Ukraine and the EU have agreed to workout a roadmap for an association deal.

That was quick. Always watch the rich guys.

You know who lost the rich guys way back when?

King George III

The names of the American Revolution: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Robert Morris, etc.....These were not poor fellows. They were the wealthy folks in America. When they turned on the King, that was it.

Where are the wealthy guys today in America? They're as silent as little lambs. TSA genital grabbing and NSA spying on every movement is not enough to stick their necks out. It's understandable. They still live very comfortable lives.

Why rock the boat? Even if a billionaire knows that what the government is doing is terrible, no one likes to be the only one...the first domino. Let someone else be the first domino, and jump on board later.

In addition, lining your pockets as a professional crony is still hip. Even Warren Buffett celebrates it. He once said: "This has been a tremendous economic system. It’s a system that showers rewards on my particular skill set."

However, someday it may not be so comfortable for the mega-rich. Leviathan shows mercy to no man. It spreads like a cancer and eventually swallows up everyone, including the rulers themselves. Even the Soviet ruling elites knew that the time was up. There was nothing left for them to expropriate.

Sadly, in the U.S., we'll most likely have to wait for it to be "bad enough" and for the dollar to be "worthless enough" for the rich to get off their behinds. Government can do a lot of damage between now and then. The latest idea floating around is a "guaranteed universal income". If that doesn't show you how far along we are, nothing will.

So the rest of us will have to bear the brunt as Leviathan marches on and the mega-rich (with very few exception) keep their mouths shut. At the same time, we libertarians can't keep our mouths shut. We have the hard work of creating a favorable intellectual environment. There is a ton of educational work to do, with not a moment to spare.

If someday, enough minds are changed, and enough mega-rich Americans decide to finally open their mouths, the ideas of liberty could flourish once again.

Follow @ChrisRossini on Twitter


  1. Excellent post...this was a new perspective for met (and I religiously read your posts atleast once every 2 days Robert!).

    Keep up the fantastic work.

  2. This is not at all Rothbardian. Rothbard held that libertarianism should be a mass movement, not waiting around for some elite group to waiver. And while he was all for creating the right intellectual environment, you can be sure that was not the case in Ukraine today, that the rich were responding to the intellectual environment. Neither will the intellectual environment have any effect on the super rich here. Three and half decades ago Charles Koch found libertarianism and it didn't last a decade before the organization he created kicked out Rothbard and all principled thinkers. Never forget this case study in depending on the rich.

  3. It does not mean a happy ending for them. It does not mean going with the EU is the right thing. It may be the wrong move. The Ukrainians might be better off hanging out with the east for now. They may not be able to compete with the west and will suffer because of it. We shall see

  4. How are libertarians creating a favorable intellectual environment? If you don't accept the action axiom, then you are a communist who supports theft. How many in the "liberty movement" reject evolution and climate science? Seems like it's about 100%. Why is it necessary for a libertarian to reject climate science? Makes sense to reject govt policy to undo the damage caused by corporate America but rejecting science tells you what this "liberty movement" is really about (protecting the Koch Bros financial interests). It's very clever how the Koch Bros have essentially created this populist movement which is critical of the Koch Bros on the surface but never on substance.

    1. How many straw men and non sequiturs can you cram into a single paragraph? Most libertarians welcome intelligent debate. We thrive on it. Which is what's unfortunate about your comments: there's no debate with you, just bizarre broadsides and rambling ad hominems, interlaced with weak attempts at humor (and an unhealthy fixation with Gary North).

      Dig deep and see if you can find a little gumption. Engage us in debate.

    2. You no doubt referring to the "climate science" that needed to be faked in order to support the theory.


    3. The more you respond to The Wolf, the more you're his dog.

    4. One can reject evolution and climate science for scientific reasons.

    5. I disagree, Richie. It's important for the casual reader to understand that JW is an intellectual coward who refuses to explain or defend his opinions. This is especially important for the young readers of this site, who are continously bombarded at school and in the media with the same sort of nonsense he espouses.

      My opinion used to be similar to yours, but I've realized that Jerry actually presents us with many teachable moments. Yes he's a troll, but unless and until Bob decides to block him, we should take full advantage of the opportunities he gives us.

    6. Poof, da Wolf stands out as a real floater......pull that Climate Flusher!