During his presidency, President Obama often lectured the nation on the follies of being too rich. Corporate execs, he scolded, should realize when they had made enough money. Entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses. The government did. President Obama also hammered Mitt Romney for investing in companies that went overseas in search of cheap labor, calling Mitt “the outsourcer-in-chief.”
“Yet such sermonizing,” writes Victor Davis Hanson in NRO, “never seemed to include Facebook, Starbucks, or Amazon.”
Where are the progressive watchdog groups that would speak against the Silicon Valley companies that sell computers and smartphones being built abroad? Or how about the thousands of child laborers in southern Africa who work the cobalt mines necessary for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars?
According to Amnesty International, “Children as young as seven are working in perilous conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to mine cobalt that ends up in smartphones, cars and computers by household brands including Apple, Microsoft and Vodafone.”
Where are the progressives who boycotted grapes in the 60s to support Cesar Chavez’s unionization of farm workers? No progressive watchdogs seem to be making an effort to boycott tech companies that use lithium-ion batteries produced from African-mined cobalt, Mr. Hanson reminds readers.
Progressives demand higher taxes on the wealthy. They traditionally argue that tax gimmicks and loopholes are threats to the republic.
Yet few seem to care that West Coast conglomerates such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Starbucks filtered hundreds of billions in global profits through tax havens such as Bermuda, shorting the United States billions of dollars in income taxes.
The new elite(s) are overwhelmingly left-wing. They head off criticism by investing mostly in the Democratic party, the traditional font of social and political criticism of corporate wealth.
In 2012, for example, Obama won Silicon Valley by more than 40 percentage points. Of the political donations to presidential candidates that year from employees at Google and Apple, over 90 percent went to Obama.
Silicon Valley has “outsourced, offshored, monopolized, censored, and made billions — without much fear of media muckraking, trust-busting politicians, unionizing activists, or diversity lawsuits.”
Read more from VDH here.