Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Clooneys’ Fundraisers for Hillary Clinton: A Tale of Two Economies

The contrast between the upcoming George Clooney-Hillary Clinton $353,000 fundraiser and the fast-growing California homeless population illustrates an overlooked and nasty aspect of the presidential campaign and of current politics.

The staggering ticket prices are “nasty” and “obscene” because they illustrate the huge gap between the extremely rich Democrats and the very poor—a gap that will be on display for the rest of the nation if Clinton and Sanders, as expected, fight it out in the June 7 California presidential primary.
The donors will not only get status for their money. They also will get access to political leaders that the poor will never have.
I know this is a simplistic, unsophisticated question to ask, but it’s one that occurs to me almost every day: With all the wealth in California, along with plenty of smart people and liberal Democrats in control of every level of government, why is extreme poverty, as represented by the homeless, increasing so quickly?

Despite the promises of liberal Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and a liberal city council and county board of supervisors—government entities that share power—homeless encampments continue to multiply on sidewalks, under freeway overpasses and in parks.
In San Francisco it’s the same, but even more frustrating. There and in nearby Silicon Valley, America’s most technically adept are transforming the economy and eliminating many thousands of jobs—and enriching themselves while they do, driving rent and housing prices to levels unaffordable by most.
The luxury of the Clooney-Clinton fundraisers illustrates the gap between the growing number of poor and the indifferent rich, who prosper in this unequal economy. They are obscene symbols of what’s wrong with our politics.