AP NEWS

Rich and powerful keep getting richer and more powerful

March 18, 2019

Robert Reich put it succinctly on Facebook.

The concentration of wealth in America has created:

• An education system in which you can buy admissions.

• A political system in which you can buy Congress.

• A justice system in which you can buy your way out of jail.

• A health care system in which you can buy care others can’t.

I have always admired the ideas of this former secretary of labor and currently a college professor. He knows whereof he speaks, and I believe that, in this instance, he speaks the truth.

The real victims of the latest college admission scam, brought on by some of the richest folks in America, are the youngsters who worked so hard to get in the “best schools” while parents of predominantly spoiled kids bought their offsprings’ way into those same schools.

Spoiled rich kids win. Bright kids lose.

William Rick Singer, the ringleader behind a $25 million college admission scam that implicated dozens of people, including Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, said he has worked with more than 750 families.

Singer pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Boston federal court to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. He said in a phone conversation recorded by the FBI that he helps “the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school.”

He did it in several complex ways that were all illegal under federal law. And it’s sad because these rich folks could have simply donated a few million dollars to any college or university and not only could they get their kids into the university of their choice, they could get a building named after them. That’s legal.

Someone once said “It’s all about Benjamins.” Well in these sad times, it’s all about Benjamins by the thousands. Never in the history of this country has the phrase “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” been more true.

The rich can buy success. They can buy admiration. The can buy dinners to honor them for - well, um - being rich.

And if they are indicted for anything from jaywalking to murder, they can buy the best defense lawyers to get them off scot-free or a reduced sentence in a prison that’s more like a resort than a jail.

What can we do about this misuse of money to get the edge on us poor fools?

Well, not much.

The history of these United States shows the power of rich folks has grown, sometimes exponentially, year after year.

Face it. Our laws favor the very rich and tend to keep poor folks poor. The same laws are shrinking the middle class. How has that happened? The people have voted rich folks and wanna-be rich folks into office who buy image-makers to make them look they are on our side.

The best we can do is get these jokers to tax the rich the amount they ought to be taxed. It won’t make them any poorer, and God knows it won’t make them humble.

But maybe, just maybe, it will give the rest of us what we need to cope with them and give us a bit of a break.

Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is davepeyton@comcast.net.