When I first read news headlines that a yacht belonging to secretary of education Betsy DeVos had been deliberately unmoored by someone and had drifted away causing thousands of dollars in damage, I did not bother to go into the story because I simply do not care about the lifestyles of the wealthy, though the idea that this was a small act of vigilante retaliation against rapacious elites was noteworthy.
But this article in Buzzfeed caught my eye, because it revealed that her family actually owns ten yachts.
The yacht, called the SeaQuest, is one of 10 yachts owned by the DeVos family. It sustained between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of damage in scrapes and scratches, police said, from hitting the dock at Huron Boat Basin.
DeVos, who was born into the wealthy Prince family, which runs the Prince Corporation, is married to Richard DeVos Jr., whose family founded multi-level marketing company Amway Corporation. Her brother is private military contractor owner Eric Prince.
These people are fully committed to the belief that resources should be taken away from those who need it and given to those who already have it.
DeVos has been harshly criticized by public education advocates for her work as secretary of education. In this role, she’s slashed student debt relief, rolled back rules designed to help students defrauded by colleges, rescinded protections for transgender students, and stated her support for policies to direct federal funds away from traditional public schools and into charter schools, private schools, religious schools, and online charter education.
DeVos is a truly awful person from a truly awful family. Her brother Erik Prince is a notorious mercenary and the founder of the security company formerly known as Blackwater that was charged with all manner of abuses as a government contractor in Iraq and elsewhere.
However wealthy one may be, why would you want to own 10 yachts? The only reason I can think of is to simply show off their wealth to their fellow wealthy people. These are not items purchased for actual use. They are ostentatious markers of wealth.