Plu-toc-ra-cy: Government by the wealthy. A wealthy class that controls a government. A government or state in which the wealthy rule.
If a plutocracy is a government ruled by the wealthy, then it makes sense that plutocrats are the wealthy. What makes you wealthy in America? If you're going by Internal Revenue Service standards, an annual income of over $415,050 dollars as a single person or $466,950 dollars as a married couple puts you in the top tax bracket for 2016. To be officially a part of the "1 percent" of income earners, you'll need $428,713 of adjusted gross income in 2016.
The tension between democracy and plutocracy is nothing new in America. It has been apparent for a long time that the United States has become more of a plutocracy than the democratic republic the Founders intended. Our history includes a long and often bloody war between the workers and owners in our industrial economy. Today, the war manifests in the effort by some red states to destroy labor unions and to make it harder for lower-income voters to vote.
The wealth gap is not unique just to the United States. It has been growing worldwide. A study issued by the World Economic Forum confirms that the gap is especially pronounced here in the United States. We have ranked 23rd. out of 30 developed countries on how well economic growth is translating into social inclusion.
While wealthy Americans and corporate giants have been a part of government throughout our nation's history, most of the thrivers' influence on our government and the economy have been exercised indirectly using lobbyists, campaign contributions, and well-financed front organizations. This was an influence that was supercharges by the Supreme Court's ridiculous decision in 2010 that the government cannot restrict political contributions by organizations, because doing so would violate their freedom of speech.
The Cabinet nominated by Donald Trump would be the richest in the nation's history. If Trump's nominees are all confirmed by the Senate, the executive branch will be under the direct control of elites who will have greater authority to undo the federal laws, rules, and programs put in place over the years to protect the American people from corporate greed. Among the most important is the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent companies from polluting our air and water, and to limit the climate changing emissions of power plants.
Author David Rothkop wrote this observation:
"Nothing says more about a president and the likelihood of success or failure of his administration than whom he picks as his closest advisors. More than any power mandated by the Constitution or by statute, it is the chemistry of the people who occupy the most important offices in the White House and the cabinet that determines the character and direction of any administration."
Mr. Trump's appointments hint the direction of his presidency. The first is that Mr. Trump simply likes to surround himself with the rich and famous, especially where he can be among equals.
Second, Mr. Trump plans to install a plutocracy in the guise of creating jobs.
Third and the most optimistic interpretation is that Mr. Trump is bringing Alpha-Americans into the government because they know how to get things done and will help rebuild an opportunity society.
Can the richest Cabinet in the history of the United States government close the wealth gap between their classes and the nation's strugglers... those who are willing to do the hard work of achieving economic security if they have the opportunity? We are watching and waiting for the answer.