The elites are always first in line to get government handouts

This one single graphic about the representation of wealth in government tells us a lot about how decisions about public money is disbursed get made as to who gets what.

Meanwhile Jon Schwarz explains how being so well connected enabled why an elite private school with a large endowment to get $5.2 million from the PPP rescue program that was meant to help small businesses.

SIDWELL FRIENDS, an elite Washington, D.C. private school that has educated the children of four presidents, made news recently when it informed students and alumni that it had accepted a $5.2 million loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. (The loan will shortly be converted into a grant as long as Sidwell follows the law’s guidelines.)

Among the alumni of Sidwell are Malia and Sasha Obama, Chelsea Clinton, and Julie and Tricia Nixon. Tuition there is now almost $40,000 per year. It reportedly has an endowment of $52 million.

The school’s main administration building was sold to the school by the widow of Cary Grayson, who served as president Woodrow Wilson’s personal physician. Schwarz describes the deep racism and elitism of Wilson, something that is little talked about now while his intellectualism is praised.

Wilson served in office from 1913 to 1921 and was super-duper racist even by the standards of the time. In his five-volume work “A History of the American People,” Wilson explained that after the Civil War, “The white men of the South were aroused by the mere instinct of self-preservation to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes.” This led to the founding of Ku Klux Klan, the night rides of which, Wilson said, “threw the negroes into a very ecstasy of panic … their comic fear stimulated the lads who excited it to many an extravagant prank and mummery.” Meanwhile, teachers from the north who’d founded new schools in the former Confederacy were encouraging “self-assertion against the whites.”

Grayson’s diary shows that Wilson was exactly the same in private as he was in public. As Grayson describes it, Wilson was concerned that day in March 1919 because the German government had promised to take the perspective of striking workers into account: “The President said … that if the present government of Germany is recognizing the soldiers and workers councils, it is delivering itself into the hands of the bolshevists.”

This brings us back to Sidwell Friends and its $5.2 million bailout. There was nothing illegal about it. There would never need to be, since the graduates of Sidwell and similar schools write the laws and know exactly how to get in line first.

When analyzing political decision making, you are rarely led astray when you follow the money.


  1. publicola says

    I wonder if Americans have the stomach for real revolution anymore. Maybe we’ve been held underwater so long we think gasping for air is the way things are supposed to be.

  2. mnb0 says

    The question whether the USA is still a democracy is interesting. My favourite definition is Karl Popper’s: a political system that allows its citizens to get rid of their rulers without bloodshed, without violence. Nominally this applies to the USA. However I’m reminded of the lyrics of We won’t get fooled again by The Who:

    Meet the new boss (Joe Biden, MNb)
    Same as the old boss (Donald the Clown, MNb)

    Is the American electorate still capable of getting rid of its presidents, if all candidates belong to such a small pool and hence hardly differ from each other anymore?

  3. Marja Erwin says

    There’re also the questions of who faces violence, and who gets to decide on new rulers. The united states has never been democratic. Even the formal procedures, an advantage to the existing power structures. For example, there’s no pretense that the president and the senate represent the people, and *they* get to pack the courts. And that’s before we get into the history of disenfranchisement.

    Because left-wing protesters routinely face violence. And the news tends to blame victims, reference “violent protests,” or “scuffles,” and not mention deaths. For example, Stephani Banerian reports that one anonymous protester died in the Seattle WTO protests, and others report that Key Martin died afterwards. And not on the same level, but a lot of protesters are facing ptsd and/or chronic illness due to police violence.

  4. Marja Erwin says

    Okay, that was a bit out of order.

    Should read:

    The united states has never been democratic…

    There’s also… Because…

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