A MSNBC contributor called the existence of billionaires “a policy choice” that was “antithetical” to allowing democracy to thrive Monday morning, taking aim at Elon Musk and Donald Trump, among others.
“I think something we often forget as Americans is that billionaires exist as a class of people who have that much money at our collective pleasure, right?” Anand Giridharadas, an author and political analyst, said on “Morning Joe.” “It is a policy choice to allow some people to accumulate that much money, hundreds of billions of dollars, in the case of people in the United States before everybody has the chance to live with dignity, right?” (RELATED: ‘Bring Back Fireside Chats’: MSNBC Guest Claims Biden’s Low Ratings Were Caused By ‘Under-Communication’)
Giridharadas, who also wrote a Saturday op-ed in the New York Times claiming the previous week demonstrated why billionaires should be “abolished,” blasted Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO who closed a $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter in October, as an example of why billionaires were “inconsistent with democracy,” citing decisions he made to reinstate rapper/fashion designer Kanye West and former President Donald Trump.
“Elon Musk is — is you know, is a sort of adolescent in his 50s. Everybody can see that. I don’t think anybody would say Elon Musk is a normal 51-year-old man, who has bought this platform that he himself calls a global Town Square, certainly functions has that kind of social importance,” Giriharadas said. “And because of what is so evidently his own feeble limitations, he’s just not — he’s a limited man. His limitations become all our problem.”
Giridhardas also criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who announced he would be giving away most of his fortune, over planned layoffs at the online retail giant, and CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, who was a donor to Democratic causes and officials. He also took note of former President Trump’s announcement that he would seek the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
“Trump, who I always have appreciated — he’s not even necessarily an actual billionaire — but I’ve always appreciated the nakedness. Unlike some of these other guys he doesn’t do a very good job of pretending that he’s for the public benefit,” Giridharadas said. “He certainly ran on a campaign of smashing the system in 2016, but — but he is very nakedly revealing what I think is true of this group in general, which is that their existence as — as billionaires is sort of antithetical to our flourishing as a democracy.”
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