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Thu Dec 29, 2016, 08:17 PM

A rationalisation of Trump's corruption we're gonna hear more of:

courtesy Larry Kudlow, from Jonathan Chait's ‘The Wealthy Would Never Steal’ — A Credo for Trump’s Party

"Kudlow makes the case not only that Trump and his administration are not corrupt, but also that they cannot be corrupt, by virtue of their wealth. “Why shouldn’t the president surround himself with successful people?” reasons Kudlow, “Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”"

And on conservative hypocrisy:

"What has been exposed is not only the lie at the heart of Trump’s campaign, but a delusion embedded in conservatism itself. Conservatives like to imagine that their policy represents a challenge to the power structure, which they see as “crony capitalism,” a form of corruption threatened by their free-market ideas. The failures of the Bush administration (which, in fact, followed the tax-cutting, deregulatory agenda that conservatives had promised would usher in prosperity) were dismissed as the byproduct of the administration’s departures from market purism. Bush and the Washington Republicans allowed power and wealth to corrupt them, the argument went. As Bush’s popularity plunged, conservatives lacerated their party with polemics like Matthew Continetti’s “The K Street Gang,” which depicted the GOP as a self-enriching elite.

The conceptual distinction between the good kind of wealth, earned through the free market, and the bad kind, earned through political favoritism, is an absolutely vital one for right-wing intellectuals. And yet Trump is showing how easily it collapses in practice. Conservatives have treated a first family using the powers of office to enrich itself — not theoretically or in the future but right now, on an ongoing basis — as, at worst, a distraction or a problem of optics. In practice, conservatives share Kudlow’s belief that a government of and by the rich is necessarily virtuous.

Kudlow touts another pro-Trump column, this one written by Wall Street titan Ray Dalio. In the course of touting Trump’s agenda, Dalio makes the key point that Trump is driven by veneration of the rich and contempt for the poor:

If you haven’t read Ayn Rand lately, I suggest that you do as her books pretty well capture the mindset. This new administration hates weak, unproductive, socialist people and policies, and it admires strong, can-do, profit makers. It wants to, and probably will, shift the environment from one that makes profit makers villains with limited power to one that makes them heroes with significant power.

Again, a strict Randian would draw a distinction between rich people who succeeded through pure capitalism and those who succeeded through political favoritism. But Dalio glides over the distinction, as one must when venerating a government led by the ultimate crony capitalist. Likewise, Continetti has a new column reframing Trump’s differences with (or ignorance of) conservative doctrine as a virtue. “Trump’s relation to the intellectual community of both parties is fraught because his visceral, dispositional conservatism leads him to judgments based on specific details, depending on changing circumstances, relative to who is gaining and who is losing in a given moment,” he writes.

We can be pretty sure that Trump, his family, and his friends will be among the people who gain from his policies. Conservatives appear distinctly unalarmed by the prospect."

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Reply A rationalisation of Trump's corruption we're gonna hear more of: (Original post)
JHan Dec 2016 OP
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #1
JHan Dec 2016 #2
uponit7771 Dec 2016 #4
McCamy Taylor Dec 2016 #3
JHan Dec 2016 #5
annabanana Dec 2016 #6
eppur_se_muova Dec 2016 #7

Response to JHan (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 09:03 PM

1. Trump himself is the obvious refutation of Kudlow's theory.

Trump has cheated on his wives, his partners, his suppliers, and his default position is to lie and cheat.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 11:39 PM

2. Larry is such a hot mess, why he's still taken seriously I'll never know.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 07:04 AM

4. KingCon paid 25 mil for defrauding college students

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 04:03 AM

3. Puritan ethic---God grants wealth to the favored. Good if you wanna steal someone else's stuff

and say God gave you permission.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 09:58 AM

5. +100000

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 10:05 AM

6. Since when has too much been "enough" for these people?

It is no longer money to be used.

It is just a marker for their "I'm richer than you, so I'm BETTER than you" scorecards. They have never felt resource-less. They have never understood the basic necessity of funds, or the UTILITY of funds as a life sustaining thing. It is a total and complete disconnect from the way most people live.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 12:16 PM

7. That's how they got wealthy in the first place, and it's what keeps them wealthy.

"Need" has ****NOTHING**** to do with it.

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