Another Angry Billionaire

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

If I were angrier, would I be richer?

The question occurs as Tom Steyer enters the presidential race, running as some sort of avenging angel against American wealth and corruption. He kept saying the word “outsider” in his announcement.

As an outsider myself to the world of billionaire outsiders, I found myself wondering: What on earth is he talking about?

But Steyer is hardly alone. The president of the United States plays a scarier, less competent and way more racist version of the billionaire outsider. And we just read obituaries for another billionaire outsider, Ross Perot.

What makes American billionaires outsiders? Is that the money takes them beyond realities? Is it that no one actually tells them the truth, and sucks up to them? 

I guess that might make you mad, though one would think that all the money and the success might compensate for that.

But this is a strange state when Tom Steyer is an outsider, and I’m constantly told that I’m one of those sniveling media elitist enemies of the people, and I’m so powerful that the country needs underdogs like the Steyers and Trumps to put us in our place. What a country this is where the trust-fund set can rise up against us titans without trust funds.

But there are more of us, right?  So maybe we can just out-vote these outsiders.

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