- Item: Vladimir Putin has arguably become the richest man in the world. This, despite having an official salary that would only barely place him in the upper middle class in the United States.
- Item: Evidence has emerged that the Russian government may have meddled in the U.S.election.
- Item: Donald Trump gets elected president. He proceeds by stonewalling the country on the question of whether he may be violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. He also pursues policies encouraging the privatization of public resources through such policies as promoting vouchers in public education.
- Item: Elements of the Republican Party have long been advocating the privatization of Social Security. This has obvious implications in regards the potential for kleptocrats to move in on the Social Security fund and for unscrupulous investment managers to exploit naive investors.
- Item: According to a Forbes article I have also just linked in the Post-Brexit New and Discussion thread:
Brexit has meant a change in the terms of trade for the UK economy. As is normal with flexible exchange rates a change in said terms of trade leads to a change in the foreign exchange rate. The pound has fallen. And now for the little not so secret about British share prices. Some 75% of the revenues of the FTSE100 (and about 50% of the next set of companies down in size, the FTSE250) are from overseas. That is, they are not earned in sterling. A fall in the pound means that those profits are now worth more in sterling. And the stock market has been largely shadowing, in the inverse, the pound exchange rate since the Brexit vote. That's just the way it works. The pound falls a bit, the stock market goes up a bit. The pound rises a bit, the stock market falls a bit.
Add in that most of these billionaires have most of their fortunes outside the UK. That is, most of their assets are denominated not in sterling but in those other currencies which have risen against sterling and there we go.
Which raises the question: could the Conservative Party support for Brexit be in part tied to this result, or is this all just an unexpected side effect of Brexit?
If it helps explain Brexit support, then that is another example of public policy being manipulated for private gain. An essential ingredient to what I am calling kleptocracy.
If there is a rise in such kleptocratic practices, what implications doe that have for democracy?
In Russia, we see the kleptocrats supporting Putin. The Russian government has in turn been implicated in some decidedly undemocratic measures of repression.
In the United States, we see not only a possible alliance with the kleptocrats of the Russian government, but also tactics aimed at suppressing the vote of minorities that tend to provide electoral opposition to the Republican kleptocrats.
How long will it be before Great Britain is affected?
We already have seen recent hacking of Parliament and its members by persons and entities unknown. One wonders: to what end?
Capitalism run wild combined with the benefits of control over public policy has erected an elite that seems to care little about democracy. Not exactly a new development, but one in which voters in the United States seem to be increasingly complacent about abetting. The rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders style populists has also raised the stakes. One wonders, to what extremes will this capitalist elite go to stop such populists?
Any articles you know that are relevant to the theme of this thread?
Edit: Changes to format per BasilBerylium comment.