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Trump’s cabinet: the oligarchy seizes power

From the Editors  |  Issue: March 2017

The U.S. government is being openly, blatently, brutally taken over by big capitalists — the American oligarchy.

Previously — with presidents like the Bushes, Clinton and Obama— the capitalists worked behind the scenes, putting their money behind politicians who did their bidding.

Now the mask is off.

Chief among the capitalists taking political power directly is the president himself, a real-estate baron with hotels on four continents.

Trump was elected by only 20 percent of the American people. He got fewer votes than Clinton. Half of voting-age Americans didn’t vote for either candidate.

In his campaign, Trump attacked Wall Street. But the cabinet members and advisors he is gathering around him include some of the country’s most influential capitalists.

Gary Cohen, second in command at the leading investment bank, Goldman Sachs, is chairing the National Economic Council.

Steven Mnuchin, who got his start at Sachs, is Trump’s choice for secretary of the treasury. During the 2008 bank crisis he bought mortgage company IndyMac and foreclosed on thousands of homeowners.

Trump’s choice for secretary of state is Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon. Exxon’s major oil fields are in Russia. It is trying to buy rights to Mexico’s deepwater oil.

As secretary of labor, Trump picked Andrew Puzder, head of fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Puzder says his workers aren’t worth $15 an hour and he’d like to replace them with robots.

Trump’s choice for secretary of energy is Rick Perry, ex-governor of the great (oil) state of Texas. Perry is a director of the oil-pipeline company trying to bulldoze its way through the Standing Rock Sioux.

Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, is heir to a major shipping company. His edu-cation secretary, billionaire Betsy DeVos, married into the Amway fortune. His secretary of commerce, Wilber Ross, made a fortune buying up coal companies and cutting wages, pensions, and health care.

It is tempting to call Trump’s brutal remake of the U.S. government a revolution, but it is not.

In a movement that gathered strength as the year progressed, the great majority of American voters — including those voting for Trump — demanded that Wall Street be dethroned.

For Trump to turn around and fill his cabinet with the very Wall Street capitalists he denounced is simply an epochal betrayal, a capitalist coup d’etat.

And its purpose is to divide and conquer — and stymie the authentic rising of the dispossessed.

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