Anand Giridharadas @AnandWrites @TIME editor at large. Author of @WinnersTakeAll, THE TRUE AMERICAN, & INDIA CALLING. MSNBC political analyst. @PriyaParker's man. Father. Rhymes with "almond." Feb. 04, 2019 1 min read

"The Democratic party has been put on notice. If it picks a pro-tax candidate to take on Donald Trump next year, a billionaire will probably enter the US presidential race as a spoiler."

@EdwardGLuce distills it. 

This is, as a commenter says below, a "Billionaire Veto."

Running for president is a billionaire veto. Doing charity that lets you reshape the conversation around inequality is a billionaire veto. Putting forth impact investing so we don't talk about taxes is a billionaire veto.

This is the thing our culture had failed to grasp in the years of the billionaire hijacking, and now increasingly does:

That rich people pledging to make change -- whether through running for office, giving back, or business itself -- is often a way of boxing out real reform.

What the salvatory act does is give them a platform from which they can gun at policies that threaten them, but now with a moral aura they lacked when they were just rich guys being rich.

The billionaire veto only works if you seem to be helping, giving, saving.

Howard Schultz trying to conserve his winnings in his sunset years? Who cares?

Howard Schultz running for president? Now his "idea," which is really just a need, must be covered and processed as an idea.

This is why it's so important for the media to get smart about covering plutocracy.

There is often a lazy assumption that, well, at least they're trying to help. Which misses how help gives you a way to rule.

There's also often an assumption that, as a plutocrat, doing something beats nothing.

But when your act of service, like Schultz's, becomes a way to fend off taxes, or when an act of charity, like the Sackers', becomes a way to hide injustice, that assumption needs questioning.

I have learned one thing about billionaires. Their principal skill is reading the age, reading the tides of consumer demand and public opinion.

All this pushback is happening because they know the culture is turning right now. They are right. Keep turning it toward justice.

You can follow @AnandWrites.


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