Welcome Our New Oligarch!

He may be a completely awesome fellow, but this ‘announcement’ makes me worry. It looks too much like another “America throws itself at an oligarch, because rich people are super-knowledgeable and talented therefore we should let them lead us.”

I am also suspicious of the “advisers” of rich people. If we’re looking at a new potential oligarch, don’t we want an incisive person who is action personified? A leader? Not someone who listens to advisers.

Uh-oh. [wapo]

“He’s a billionaire, therefore he’d make a good president.” It’s a song I’ve heard before and it has become the muzak in America’s political hell.

To be fair, Starbucks was a massively successful business, and it did more to ruin covfefe than McDonald’s did to ruin hamburgers. Schultz realized that if you bought low quality coffee beans and over-roasted them to get the flavor out – never mind that the resulting covfefe tasted like it was brewed from gym socks – you could market it as “that’s how it’s supposed to taste” and Americans wouldn’t figure it out. Starbucks also introduced the “marketing genius” idea of calling different sizes of cup creative names like “venti” instead of “large” and invented composable fat/sugar menus that allow the coffee-drinker to put so much auxiliary crap in their venti-freedom-frappacchino with skim soy milk and pure hand-squeezed corn syrup chocolate substitute that they probably don’t notice the underlying gym sock flavor.

All of this qualifies him to run for President of the United States.

I have a suggestion for his campaign slogan:
“Why not? Any rich asshole seems good enough for you guys.”

Schultz, who has a net worth of about $3.3 billion and describes himself as a “lifelong Democrat,” has not said publicly whether he will mount a presidential campaign and has kept open the option of running as a Democrat. He will begin a national book tour Jan. 28 for a memoir that describes his personal journey “to reimagine the promise of America.”

He recently plunked down $22 million for a house on one of those exclusive golf-estate communities in Hawaii [forbes] – oh, look, another great sign: looks like he’s a golfer.

I’m sure he’s going to appeal to the Typical American Voter because he’s totally connected to their concerns; a golf-playing latte-swilling motherfucker’d play great in coal country. I bet he’ll also be a big proponent of progressive taxation on the 1%.

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I blame this kind of bullshit on America’s “gospel of wealth” hidden, panting love for aristocracy. The founding fathers damn near set the US up as an aristocracy, they just couldn’t bear to be that honest. We’ve been treated to endless ideology about how hard work (and ruthless labor relations) can raise any American to wealth and power (as long as they’re white) – it sets us up for endless wanna-be oligarchs who make the simple realization, “I’m rich. Maybe these suckers will kiss my ass.”

The “advisers” bit sounds suspiciously like: “my golf buddies told me that with a swing like that, I would make a better president than Trump.” Never mind that a 3 week old moccachino frappe would make a better president than Trump.

America, here’s an idea: create an aristocrat from birth. Take some promising young billionaire’s kid and train them to ride a horse, use a sword, debate a jesuit, explain and understand science, philosophy, and economics. Raise them like Frederick the Great or Louis XIV or Alexander of Macedonia was raised: to understand power, and the hearts of people, and to manipulate them with the dexterity of a psychopath. Let’s stop with this amateur hour nonsense and let’s have a true American Kwisatz Haderach. [Maybe that’s why we don’t see much of Barron Trump]


  1. larpar says

    The Forbes article says it’s his “vacation” home.
    I’m trying to come up with something snarky about his primary residence, but I got nothing.

  2. says

    A lot of these estate homes on private golf courses are weekend hangouts – you can go and enjoy exclusive access to the golf by just walking out your back door. One of my former investors owned a place like that on a golf course in New Jersey: you could only golf there if you owned a house in the estates – a very clever way to keep riffraff out.

    For someone with $3bn a $22m home is nothing; in fact it’s probably an investment that will go up in value. So, other than having staff to keep the place up, it’s going to pay for itself.

  3. larpar says

    Yea, I know. I worked for a guy like this. Had a 25 acre estate ( I was the grounds keeper ), penthouse in Chicago, condo in a gated country club in Florida, private jet.
    He’s now doing 50 years in a federal prison for bank fraud.

  4. lanir says

    My next thought after looking at that was he’s looking to invest in politics. I’m not a strategic genius and politics isn’t my field but I kind of wonder if meaningless stunts like this exist solely to inflate the value of money they spend on politics later. Then the politician gets to hear the same rubbish the rest of us do: randomly dropped hints that the moneyed jackass in charge thinks our job is easy and he can do it at the drop of a hat.

  5. komarov says

    Well, so many people claim they can’t live without coffe / coffee-substitute* so it seems only logical to try if they can live with the coffee guy. And if the same people really believe a country should be run like a business – making coffee guy eminently qualified – then bloody hell, haven’t they been paying attention to anything?! … pardon me, good for them?

    Regardings the advisors I’m reminded of Terry Pratchett’s take on Grand Viziers as the true power behind the throne to rule while the royal seatwarmer can enjoy the finer things in life. All things considered it might actually be an improviement if Trump appointed a Grand Vizier to run things but it would never work with someone like him.

    Re: larpar (#6):

    Fifty years seems unusually harsh, especially to a cynic pessimist. I assume bank fraud man’s mistake was to steal from the actual bank rather than merely robbing the customers on behalf of it?

    *I don’t drink the stuff so I simply assume that in comparison it’s as bad as any other fast food that could easily have been prepared at home.

  6. lumipuna says

    To be fair, Starbucks was a massively successful business, and it did more to ruin covfefe than McDonald’s did to ruin hamburgers.

    Don’t you mean “hamberders”?

    It’s true that American cuisine was first introduced to most countries by the likes of McDonald’s. The genre has gotten more sophisticated since, at least where I live.

    (Also, you’d think Trump is at least teaching American voters to not trust “businessmen” just because all “politicians” are assumed to be crooks.)

  7. jrkrideau says

    I am always amazed that people can be fooled into believing that because one is a successful business person that one will be a successful politician without any experience in basic politics. It is conceivable that it can happen but the skill sets, and the mind sets are dramatically different.

    Despite many people saying that “the government” should be run like a business, a government is not even slightly like a business.

  8. brucegee1962 says

    Yeah, I haven’t decided yet which Democrat to back for 2020, except that it absolutely must be someone with government experience — so probably drawn from the traditional pool of Senators, Governors, and Reps. We’ve seen the catastrophe that comes from on-the-job training.

    After that, I’ll probably just back whichever one sounds the best on Climate Change. All the other issues are important, but not survival-of-the-ecosystem important.

  9. brucegee1962 says

    As for coffee, I seriously can’t tell the difference between expensive hand-ground stuff and Folger’s crystals. The same is true for wine.

  10. polishsalami says

    Politics as a game for billionaires and centi-millionaires. Yuck.

    Bernie & AOC have shown that small donations from a large number of contributors can cut this model down to size.