We’ve come to believe that extremely wealthy people know what they are talking about. We assume—or they assume—that just because someone figured out how to make a lot of money, then, he or she is an expert on the economy—rather than an individual whose brain is wired to think in a very narrow-minded way. And, then, they get to use their money to spoil and destroy what is good about America. Example: Pete Peterson
I do not think, or at least, I have no evidence, that Pete Peterson is a liar. I think it’s something worse—he believes in the kind of world where Social Security is a crutch for the weak, that debt is a bad thing and that the religion of the “free market” is something to worship more than God.
I’m using Peterson here as an example because he has anointed himself as the savior of the country. Using his huge wealth—he ranked 360th on the 2012 Forbes wealthiest individuals list, with a cool $1.2 billion—he is the number one funder of the movement to put the deficit “crisis” on the national agenda.
He put $1 billion into the Peter G. Peterson Foundation (notice how rich people have to have their name on things?). The foundation underwrites virtually the entire industry of the phony debt and deficit crisis.
Peterson is, in fact, fabulously wealthy—and he made his fortune by climbing over the backs of others and inflicting misery on countless human beings. That is essentially the history of Blackstone, the private equity firm which, when it went public in 2007, made Peterson a very rich man.
Blackstone is a wrecking machine: buying up companies and immediately trying to wring every penny out of the place, mainly by tossing workers on to the unemployment line.
And how do they do it? By piling up massive amounts of debt!
It’s almost impossible to ignore the irony and hypocrisy rolled into one. Pete Peterson robbed companies of their wealth by saddling those
companies with crushing levels of DEBT—but he sees debt as the evil.
Stephen Colbert, are you out there? Pete Peterson is your patron saint of hypocrisy.
Pete Peterson apparently had a gripe with me: I was misrepresenting him. I don’t understand him, either his agenda or his cause. Or so he, via
his press secretary, whined.
I wrote a short article for Playboy magazine in March 2012 in which Pete Peterson made a short appearance (not clothed or unclothed, just in
words). A letter, then, arrived via email:
Want to read about Peterson’s beef with me and the way he avoids taxes? Find out how to buy the book here (hint: you can also download it for free…what can I say, I’m a soft touch).