“The Bidens, and even the Clintons, are small-time players. The Real corruption is much bigger, much higher, and entirely unpunished”, says Peter Van Buren of The American Conservative. He writes (abridged):
With Joe as vice president, the Bidens made $396,000 in 2016. But in just the four years since leaving the Obama White House, Joe and Jill made more than $15 million. In fact, as his prospects for election improved, Joe and his wife made nearly twice as much in one year as they did in the previous 19 years combined. Joe scored $10 million alone for a book no one read. Jill was paid more than $3 million for her book in 2018. Joe has a tax-dodge S Corporation that donated money back to his own political PAC. Then of course there was Hunter, who scored millions in Chinese and Ukrainian money for doing nothing but being Joe’s son.
Dan Gilbert, chair of Quicken Loans, worth $7 billion in March, is now at $43 billion (thanks for paying on time each month.) Who benefited more from COVID and everyone buying from home then Amazon and Jeff Bezos? It takes a lot of poor people to sustain that amount of wealth at the top.
Corporate pharma, also owned by the same people, held back announcement of COVID vaccines until just after the election. The intel community, tightly bound with Big Tech and its super-wealthy owners, did its part leaking and concealing information as needed.
Biden promptly returned the favor, filling his Cabinet with the same old thinkers corporate America liked from the Obama years. A highlight is Janet Yellen (net worth $13 million) at Treasury, who helped swizzle the corporate bailout that created the .01 percent out of the one percent after the Great Recession. Notice how crises for most of us like the Recession and COVID end up benefiting the wealthy? Biden was wrong when he told donors “nothing would fundamentally change” for the wealthy when he’s in charge—actually, things will get better.
A tiny percentage of Americans own, control, and benefit from most everything; some call them the one percent but a large number of even those people are just slugs and remoras (hedge fund managers, corporate lawyers) who feed off the crumbs left by the really powerful. You know a handful of the names—Bezos, Gates, Buffet—because they own public-facing companies.
Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99 Percent.