Sunday, February 18, 2024

The PEU Cycle

Twelve years ago the public learned about policy making billionaires.  Two years ago we learned that they like operating in secret, behind the scenes:

The main reason Billionaires practice stealth politics, Benjamin Page says, is that taken collectively, their political preferences do not align with what a majority of Americans want.

“What we see basically is a class of people who have more money than God, who are very politically active in relatively unknown ways and who we have reasons to believe have been politically influential and have used their political influence in ways that don’t really serve the interests or preferences of what most Americans want.”

Many of those policy making billionaires are private equity underwriters (PEU).  That leads to the next level of the unvirtuous cycle, elected officials.

And yet Americans whose interests are not being served by those wealthy contributors are being swayed by politicians working toward the billionaires’ ends.

“They’re mobilizing them on the basis of cultural grievances,” Lacombe says. “And I think those two things in conjunction are fairly large contributors to the dysfunction that we’ve observed in American politics.”

Government is not protecting citizens from the dangers of big tech or cryptocurrencies.  Maria Ressa raised concerns long ago about predatory tech companies.

Ressa blames Big Tech for the spread of corruption and dishonesty, saying it “insidiously manipulates at the cellular level of democracy.” She cited an MIT study from 2018 that found that social media is designed to spread lies six times faster than truth to keep users scrolling.
Ironically Ressa's words were delivered in the David M. Rubenstein Lecture at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy.  Rubenstein co-founded The Carlyle Group, a politically connected PEU.  Carlyle's co-founders qualify as policy making billionaires.

The public is not being served by the layers above us, Policy Making PEU Billionaires, Elected Officials/Government Organizations or Big Tech/Crypto.  It's common for manipulators to migrate through these various categories.

Money and greed are driving the system, not public good.  A few rich people are being served.  That's for the most part, not you or me.

Update 3-4-24:  Crypto to revolutionize healthcare?  Maybe, but not the way its being sold:

UnitedHealth sponsored Change Healthcare paid a ransomware attacker $22 million in Bitcoin.  Put that in your retirement account.  

Update 3-6-24:  Patients or healthcare workers, who to harm so rogue criminals can get their Bitcoin?