Book Review: Pity the Billionaire


Pity the Billionaire

By Thomas Frank

METROPOLITAN BOOKS

Depression-era populists invoked the Boston Tea Party as a rallying cry against corporate greed. Here, Thomas Frank (What’s the Matter With Kansas?) lays out with biting wit how today’s conservatives co-opted that symbol and forged a pseudopopulist front to defend the enablers of market failure. The enemy of the 99 percent, he contends, is more the intellectual than the robber baron. “Erasing class distinctions,” Frank writes, “is one of the conservative revival’s great recurring techniques.” Perhaps the Occupy movement is his unmentioned antidote, and his timely book a guide to help real populists elude their saboteurs.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest