Trump is putting together what will be the wealthiest administration in modern American history. His announced nominees for top positions include several multimillionaires, an heir to a family mega-fortune and two Forbes-certified billionaires, one of whose family is worth as much as industrial tycoon Andrew Mellon was when he served as treasury secretary nearly a century ago. Rumored candidates for other positions suggest Trump could add more ultra-rich appointees soon.

Many of the Trump appointees were born wealthy, attended elite schools and went on to amass even larger fortunes as adults. As a group, they have much more experience funding political candidates than they do running government agencies.

Their collective wealth in many ways defies Trump’s populist campaign promises. Their business ties, particularly to Wall Street, have drawn rebukes from Democrats. But the group also amplifies Trump’s own campaign pitch: that Washington outsiders who know how to navigate and exploit a “rigged” system are best able to fix that system for the working class.

“It fits into Trump’s message that he’s trying to do business in an unusual way, by bringing in these outsiders,” said Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. But Trump and his team, she added, won’t be able to draw on the same sort of life struggles that President Obama did, in crafting policy to lift poor and middle-class Americans.

“They’re just not going to have any access to that” life experience, she said. “I guess it will be a test — does empathy actually matter? If you’re able to echo back what people are telling you, is that enough?”

Does this situation not scare the rest of us earthlings?  There is something sinister about the 1% having power over us all.   Some Orwellian sc-fi plan that I just can’t put my finger on is lingering in the back of my mind.

What were the American people thinking?  [shaking head!!]

7 Thoughts to “Governed by the fabulously wealthy”

  1. Starryflights

    Their policies are also scary.. That education secretary is especially crazy, wanting to promote charter schools and school vouchers. What does she know of public schools? She never attended one!

    1. Let’s see what draconian program will get put in to torture students and teachers.

      I don’t mind voucher programs within a school jurisdiction. If someone wants to go to a specialty school for math and science or the arts within their own county, fine. I do mind public money going out to private schools. I mind that a lot. I don’t mind being part of a consortium that provides specialty programs for say the gifted, like Thomas Jefferson.

      Somehow I don’t think what’s coming our way is going to be on my OK list.

  2. Guy Morgan

    I blame Ryan Sawyers!

    1. What do you blame him for, given the topic under which you commented?

      1. NorthofNokesville


        Ignore it, Moon. It’s a thing some folks are doing on all the blogs that basically stunts discussion with a stupid meme. I find Sawyers to be a non-functional blowhard who creates collateral damage for his friends, but the meme itself has run its course.

    2. Robin Hood

      Welcome, my buddy!

      I know you don’t really blame Ryan but I like your sense of humor. The Derecho not so much.

      Can anyone confirm reports on another blog that Pete Candland has parted ways with QBE and faces a recall petition?

      This plutocracy issue applies to each level of government and the question is always whether the public will wake up in time to hold those responsible accountable. Some keep falling for the same diversionary tactics. There are people right here in Virginia who want to disprove the fantastic claim that illegal voting took place in this state. The burden of proof is not on us! This is a trick to divert attention from the new creatures creeping into the swamp.

      They’ll keep doing it until people stop falling for it.

      @Guy Morgan

  3. NorthofNokesville

    Personally speaking, I find the concentration, not the mere fact, conspicuous. There have been very wealthy individuals as POTUS or close to it (Romney, Kerry, Edwards) and in the administration before. Clinton’s Treasury Sec Rubin had big Wall Street bucks. So did Paulson. Lots of ambassadorships are pretty much auctioned off. W had several large co CEOs – Cheney, Rumsfeld, and one other I’m forgetting.

    Until recently, the only public official in the US to be a “three-comma” person (ie, billionaire) has been the governor of Tennessee. The Minnesota governor has a lot of Target money. Our own Mark Warner was always third or fourth on the list, he’s worth $250 million, and Kerry in that ballpark, too.

    My concern: can they do the job? Substantively, and temperamentally? I know a few three-comma types – those who made it are generally very capable managers, though keeping them attentive is a challenge; those who inherit are honestly a crap-shoot.

    Bigger concern – who gets into the policy-making positions. The ugly stuff.

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