Some billionaires take this very seriously. Others don’t. The result is that, over time, an era’s billionaires become part of a very small, politically powerful global elite. It doesn’t matter whether the billionaire is in an autocracy like China, a proto-democracy like Mexico or an experienced one like America – money becomes power.
This has always been true. The first decade of a new economic generation is always marked by the new class of billionaires stepping, gingerly or not, into political power. It was true for Wall Street speculators in the 1870s, and for industrial bankers like J.P. Morgan in the 1900s. It was true for manufacturers like Henry Ford in the 1930s, and for oilmen like Sid Richardson in the 1970s. Over time a new political class emerges to serve the new wealth, whose only real priority becomes the maintenance of that political power, leading to excess and another political cycle.
The first steps of a new business oligarchy into the political arena generally looks like a breath of fresh air and reform, no matter the controversy it chooses to take on.
So we come to Marc vs. the Volcano.