Progressives used to pressure
During the 2012 election,
Yet most of the computers and smartphones sold by
In the case of the cobalt mining that is necessary for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, thousands of child laborers in
In the 1960s, campuses boycotted grapes to support
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
The progressive movement took hold in the late 19th century to "trust-bust," or break up corporations that had cornered the markets in banking, oil, steel and railroads. Such supposedly foul play had inordinately enriched "robber baron" buccaneers such as
Yet today, the riches of multibillionaires dwarf the wealth of their 19th-century predecessors. Most
Google has monopolized internet searches -- and modulates users' search results to accommodate its own business profiteering.
Amazon is America's new octopus. Its growing tentacles incorporate not just online sales but also media and food retailing.
Yet there are no modern-day progressive muckrakers in the spirit of
Conservatives have no problem with anyone doing well, so their silence is understandable. But in the Obama era, the nation received all sorts of progressive lectures on the downsides of being super-rich.
Obama remonstrated about spreading the wealth, knowing when not to profit and realizing when one has made enough money. He declared that entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses without government help.
Yet such sermonizing never seemed to include Facebook, Starbucks or Amazon.
The tech and social media industries pride themselves on their counterculture transparency, their informality and their 1960s-like allegiance to free thought and free speech. Yet Google just fired one of its engineers for simply questioning the company line that sexual discrimination and bias alone account for the dearth of female
What followed were not voices of protest. Instead, Google-instilled fear and silence ensued, in the fashion of George Orwell's "1984."
On matters such as avoiding unionization, driving up housing prices, snagging crony-capitalist subsidies from the government and ignoring the effects of products on public safety (such as texting while driving),
Why, then, do these companies earn a pass from hypercritical progressives?
Answer: Their executives have taken out postmodern insurance policies.
Executives in flip-flops and tie-dyes can get away with building walls around their multiple mansions in a way that a steel executive in a suit and tie might not.
The new elite are overwhelmingly left-wing. They head off criticism by investing mostly in the
In 2012, for example, Obama won
One of the legacies of the Obama era was the triumph of green advocacy and identity politics over class.
No one has grasped that reality better that the new billionaire barons of the
The result was that they outsourced, offshored, monopolized, censored and made billions -- without much fear of media muckraking, trust-busting politicians, unionizing activists or diversity lawsuits.
Hip billionaire corporatism is one of the strangest progressive hypocrisies of our times.