Thursday, December 9, 2010

Who Benefits?

This brilliant exposition of the interconnected nature of politics and money and public policy comes to us from the pages of ADVRider, a forum dedicated to motorcycling and operated by an English expatriate in Canada who, as a result runs the place with a sense of irony and a sense of humor I rarely see. It includes a basement forum where riders get to discuss whatever they feel like. This week there is a thread posted as follows. I thought every sentient American should read it. Too bad they won't.

Cui Bono? The $32 million question


So who benefits?

Who benefits from Senator Mitch McConnell having a net worth of @ $32,000,000 (Est)???

And why am I asking? Well, not to pick on Mitch, but he has one hell of a record as a blind supporter of everything plutocratic. Oh, and he has never had a real job. Spent his entire life in politics.

So how does a Government Paycheck equal 32 and 12 zeros? Especially when he seems to have rather spectacular returns in a period where returns are not that good?

Well, he does have a rich wife. He is married to Elaine Chao. You remember Elaine, the most anti-labor Labor Secretary in history under George W?

Well, she is not exactly a titan of Wall Street either. That's right...another one whose almost entire career (certainly the last 27 years of it) has been spent feeding on the Government Teat

1983: White House Fellow, Office of Policy Development, the White House

1986: Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, US Department of Transportation

1988–89: Chairwoman, Federal Maritime Commission

1989: Deputy Secretary of Transportation

1991–92: Director, Peace Corps

1992–96: President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of America

1996-2001: Distinguished Fellow, Heritage Foundation

2001–09: U.S. Secretary of Labor

2009–Present: Distinguished Fellow, Heritage Foundation

So unless that Federal Maritime Commission gig pays one fuck of a lot better than I have been led to believe...she ain't the source of all those zeros either

Now, far be it for me to cast aspersions on Mr & Mrs McConnell's great good fortune. There is a perfectly logical explanation: Elaine Chao's father, the well respected Dr. James S.C. Chao.

Mr Chao does have money, bags of it. And good for him. He is evidently a very hardworking man who built his successful company from scratch through hard work, brains, and a few fortuitous acquaintances (He was a college classmate and friend of Jiang Zemin, who of course became the head of the Chinese government). So when China opened up, and particularly when Hong Kong reverted back to mainland jurisdiction, the smart, hard working, and fortuitously connected Mr Chao made an absolute killing. And fair play to him for doing so.

Doing what? Well, that would be importing Chinese goods into the United States.

So we have Mitch McConnell, Senator, whose financial fortune rests on the beneficence of a man who got rich importing Chinese goods into the United States.

And we have a (so called) Labor Secretary under George Bush, whose financial jackpot, and any chance at a pleasant Thanksgiving meal, is also directly tied to how well her Father's business is looked upon by his Chinese friends.

And we have the Chinese, who have a great friend and business partner in Jimmy Chao, and know that all of his success will be shared (because he is a generous and good father) with the Leading Republican in the Senate, and his daughter the Senator's wife who until 2008 was the United States Labor Secretary responsible for the well being of American workers, and since then as an employee of the Heritage Foundation, where she is able to continue her heroic and principled fight defending the virtues of Free Trade with China (and explaining that American workers are generally fat, lazy, and worth considerably less than $15/hour) and all of them can harmoniously work together for the benefit of...well...all of them.

So the Chinese get the World's Fastest Growing Economy at the expense of the wholesale destruction of millions of American Manufacturing Jobs.

Jimmy Chao gets happily rich helping them accomplish both.

Elaine Chao trumpets free trade and provides fuck-all in support for American Manufacturing Workers for eight years, and happily shares in her father's millions.

And Senator McConnell, who never saw a pro-business/anti-labor position he didn't like, well he also happily shares in his wife's father's Chinese millions.

And nobody has to be so vulgar as to say...out loud...that if Mitch or Elaine actually favor American Workers over Chinese Business Interests that the Chinese Government might be inclined to show their disfavor at the senior Mr Chao's expense, and that would directly take millions out of John and Elaine's pockets...but then, these are all smart people. And smart people can figure out by themselves which side of the bread has the butter on it without being told out loud.

And so everybody got rich, even the ones that just take home a Government Paycheck, and there were probably no laws broken.

And the plutocrats are laughing so hard at the rest of us they are pissing themselves

PS - This is not to pick on Mr & Mrs Mitch particularly, they are just such a damn fine example of How the System Works. We can look at some others, including Democrats, in the upcoming weeks. Because I am amazed at just how fucking rewarding Public Service appears to be. I wonder if the Maritime Commission is hiring?
- Jinx

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