FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Glenn Greenwald and the Myth of Income Inequality

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE

Quite righteously, Glenn Greenwald and his sidekick Jeremy Scahill see nothing wrong with Pierre Omidyar having $8 billion, and not using it to house, feed, clothe and heal the poor.  No harm, no foul.

Omidyar’s “political views and donations are of no special interest to me,” Greenwald explained.

Those views and “donations” (apart from those that pay his salary) have “no affect whatsoever on my journalism or the journalism of The Intercept,” he added humbly, from the heart.

Noting that Omidyar worked hard for every cent in his piggy bank, Greenwald recently assured his nervous followers that the Omidyar Network’s political views and activities “have no effect whatsoever (italics added) on what he and his recycled mainstream media cohorts at The Intercept report, how they report it, or what they say.

But do Greenwald and Scahill really have editorial freedom?  Could they, for example, investigate and write a story on something as farfetched as income inequality in America?

I hear you laughing, and wondering why a winner of the Polk Award and a guy who’d been on the Bill Maher Show would risk their reputations by treading into such a dubious arena.

For those few who are unaware of it, “income inequality” is a favorite subject of conspiracy theorists like Noam Chomsky, the aging radical who recently tested the patience of respected journalists everywhere by hinting at the existence of a mystical “plutonomy,” composed of rich people like Pierre Omidyar, that secretly imprisons millions of human beings worldwide in a low wage “precariat” hell.

Referring to a sophisticated system of psychological destabilization established and maintained by this so-called plutonomy, Chomsky theorized that “if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively.”

Greenwald acknowledged that he and Scahill feel the same insecurities of the working classes, and that they gladly and passively serve Omidyar only because “it’s virtually (italics added) impossible to do sustained, broad-scale investigative journalism aimed at large and powerful entities without such funding.”

(It’s that kind of empathy for the average man and woman that attracts so many followers to them.)

But unlike flake-o Chomsky, Greenwald and Scahill find no evidence that some secret cabal of wealthy people has any evil intentions to rule society or oppress the poor.  They utterly reject Chomsky’s X-files belief that “by keeping people hanging on a limb than can be sawed off at any time,” the plutonomy forces people to “shut up, take tiny salaries, and do their work; and if they get the gift of being allowed to serve under miserable conditions for another year, they should welcome it and not ask for any more.”

Greenwald, quire properly, portrays his big time benefactor as “altruistic,” while Scahill characterizes Omidyar as a “visionary.”

The theory that only the charitable superrich can sustain the poor is substantiated by Milton Friedman’s success in Chile in 1973, and the IMF’s successes in a hundred indebted nations around the world.  The eminent capitalist economist Ralph Nader has also appealed to “moderately enlightened” billionaires like Omidyar to save the American political system itself.

As an example of Omidyar’s concern for the humanity, Greenwald pointed out that the billionaire philanthropist recently parceled out portions of his fortune to help poor people overthrow the oppressive government of Ukraine, where democracy had utterly failed.

Greenwald is aware of the whisper campaign designed to smear him by suggesting that some of Omidyar’s donations were used by the CIA to arm neo-Nazis.  But if CIA mercenaries were slithering around Kiev, Jeremy Scahill certainly would have heard about it and reported it.  The mere fact that Scahill didn’t report on it puts those libels to rest.

And even if Omidyar’s donations fell into the hands of neo-Nazis and helped create the current international crisis that portends the kind of military conflict Greenwald and Scahill abhor, it certainly isn’t their fault.  Mistakes happen.  Anyway, what happens in the Ukraine has nothing to do with America.

As Greenwald and Scahill are fully aware, if Americans felt they were being denied the bare essentials of life by some “plutonomy,” they have the inalienable right to vote to eliminate tax right-offs and other systematic inequalities in the system.  The unwillingness of Americans to exercise these freedoms is proof that no income inequality exists.  So why go looking for the Bermuda Triangle?

I, for one, am always glad to give Greenwald and Scahill a free pass, simply because they risk their lives daily while exposing the assassination tactics of the NSA.  To me, they are like a real life Batman and Robin, helping all the poor slobs who wallow beneath them in noble anonymity, in low paying jobs, on assembly lines and in warehouses, in construction jobs and sweatshops.  Their empathy for such little people is profoundly evident in everything they do.

Batman and Robin give us hope that we are not being victimized by unprincipled conmen running a scam as part of the greatest covert psywar operation ever mounted, a scam that perpetually separates the National Security State from the racist classist “plutonomy” it serves, at the expense of the working classes.

By their example, Greenwald and Scahill let the poor of the world know that hoarding $8 billion is not a crime.  And for that we thank them.

Douglas Valentine is the author of five books, including The Phoenix Program.  See www.douglasvalentine.com or write to him at dougvalentine77@gmail.com

More articles by:
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail