12 November 2002

Election will make life better -- for the rich

Wow, this business column by Dan Gillmor sums up my sentiments on Election 2002. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the prediction that "things are going to get ugly" is on the mark.
Americans have just voted for a cartel economy, whether they realize it or not. They've reinforced the power of a corporate and political elite that serves itself first, and cares little for average people.

Get ready for some dizzying times as the members of the crony-capitalism crowd -- and the politicians they lead by the nose or who themselves are members of the club -- run even more roughshod than usual over tradition and liberty.

Hard words? You bet. But these are hard people we've put in charge. Despite some strategically moderate language during the campaign, they're preparing to shake up just about everything.

They learned how from President Bush, who also pretended to moderation in 2000. Then he showed how a bold, if deceptive, politician can take a non-mandate and pull off radical changes. Whether you like the result or not, this is leadership.

Two years ago, I said Bush's past was likely to predict his future. That column drew fury from his supporters. I was harsh, but not wrong.

``Bush considers himself a Texas-sized businessman, and he will recite fervent capitalist psalms from his new bully pulpit,'' I wrote. ``It's hardly pure capitalism that he's practiced, though. Bush amassed his personal wealth principally through inheritance and cronyism.''

Watch, I said: ``Bush will try to sell himself as a unifying force. But that would mean standing up in meaningful ways to the wealthy men and right-wing ideologues who created, financed and powered his candidacy.''

He has not disappointed his friends and patrons.


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