Ah yes, Christmas. The season of giving and getting.
And a select few of us are getting a lot.
According to Pope Francis I, "Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression, and assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequities."
Tell that to Sheldon Adelson. Shel is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands. He owns a bunch of casinos both here and abroad. Every four years he also tries to buy someone the white house. In 2012 he backed the wrong horse when he kicked millions into political super pacs which were funneling money to Newt Gingrich. He reportedly told friends he was willing to spend up to a billion dollars to make sure Barack Obama didn't get re-elected.
The investment didn't work out, but who can blame him for worrying about the health of the wealth. Lets face it, Lord only knows what the socialist sonofabitch will do to the economy. All that raise the taxes on the rich stuff will not only eat into the bottom line, but destroy the largesse so many employees of Las Vegas Sands depend on. Obviously Obama is the intractable enemy of capitalism.
Or not. MSN Money reported yesterday that in spite of the black dude in the oval office, Shel Aldelson increased his net worth in the year of our Lord 2012 by $15 billion. For those of you like myself who aren't so astute in math, MSN points out his jackpot grew by $41 million a day, every day. His wealth jumped by 68%. He is now worth $37 billion. If this is socialism one has to believe Brother Adelson gets up every day thanking God for Karl Marx.
There were other names on the MSN list of top money makers. It was a lineup of the usual suspects. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame basically doubled his net worth. Amazon's Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in August. He can afford it. His nest egg grew 53 times more than the amount he paid for the paper. Warren Buffett upped his bottom line by $12 billion, Bill Gates by $9.3, and Larry Page of Google by $9.4 billion.
Then came the Walton gang. Christy, Robson, Jim, and Alice. They are the inheritors of the Walmart empire. Separately each one's net worth now hovers a little above the $35 billion mark. All four increased their bankrolls by around $10 billion in 2012. Not bad for some kids from Arkansas whose old man initially made his fortune by running small town mom and pop stores out of business and reducing vibrant little downtowns into empty shells.
To make sure the chain remains solvent the average Walmart employee is living without company health insurance because management makes sure they work under forty hours a week, rendering them technically part time. At least one of the stores held a food drive this holiday season, not for the needy members of the community it is located in, but for fellow employees who are so broke they can't afford to adequately feed themselves or their families.
Well no one ever claimed free enterprise is fun for everybody.
Pope Francis also said, "Not paying a fair wage, not giving a job because you are looking at balance sheets only to make a profit, that goes against God."
Obviously the man has never owned a business.
Yes, Obama might be president and Francis is the Pope, but the people who are really in charge are the Adelsons, Waltons, Gates, Buffetts, and the rest.
A long time ago a wealthy character in one of the late Mike McQuay's novels looked another in the eye and said, "Son, the meek shall inherit the earth, but not until we're done with it."
Ho, ho, ho.