Oligarchy in the Twenty-First Century

“To see what is in front of one’s nose,” George Orwell famously wrote, “needs a constant struggle.” In front of my nose as I write this is a copy of last Sunday’s New York Times. I have opened it to the business section. Below the fold is one of many Times articles on Thomas Piketty, the French economist and author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which argues that America has entered a second Gilded Age of vast inequality, inherited fortunes, and oligarchic politics, where the shape of public discourse and public policy is determined by a wealthy few.

Ready to Smirk

Barack Obama, David Cohen

The communications giant Comcast announced in February that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, creating the largest cable provider in America, with more than 33 million customers. That is about one third of the U.S. cable and satellite television market. FCC approval is required for the merger to go into effect. Critics of the deal say it would lessen competition and lead to even shoddier customer service. They are probably right, as all of us will soon find out, because there is little chance the merger will be stopped. Comcast, Time Warner, and their political fixers have spent years preparing for this moment—by buying off the Democratic Party.

Carney: Accuses Rosen Of ‘Creating an Exchange for Fox’

When Fox News’ National Security Correspondent James Rosen pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the issue of Benghazi and specifically, the United States’ poor posturing of troops in the Mediterranean, Carney responded by blaming Congressional Republicans for “turning this into a partisan issue”, and accusing Rosen of “creating an exchange here for Fox”. …