Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote and Note: The Democratic Party and The Elites


“But, broadly speaking, the Democratic Party is the party to which elites belong. It is the party of Harvard (and most of the Ivy League), of Microsoft and Apple (and most of Silicon Valley), of Hollywood and Manhattan (and most of the media) and, although there is some evidence that numbers are evening out in this election cycle, of Goldman Sachs (and most of the investment banking profession). But the Democrats have the support of more, and more active, billionaires. Of the 20 richest ZIP codes in America, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 gave the bulk of their money to Democrats in the last election, in most cases the vast bulk — 86 percent in 10024 on the Upper West Side. Meanwhile, only 22 percent of non-high-school educated white males are happy with the direction the country is going in.”

Charles Caldwell, “The State of Convervatism,” New York Times, October 24, 2010


I found this quote fascinating for three reasons,

One, I think it is largely true that more billionaires and bi-coastal elites support Democrats than Republicans. I do not know whether this stems from guilt , from Democrats holding the reins of government , or Democrats having more money, or a combination of these factors.

Two, I believe it is largely true that elites in government think they have superior expertise, knowledge, and specialization required to run the government while Republicans do not possess these skills. This may be one reason a disproportionate number of those advocating, engineering, and administering health reform in Obama’s administration hail from Harvard.

Three, I am not surprised that most billionaires from Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Silicon Valley support Democrats. In its stimulus and reform plans, the Obama administration devotes some $27 billion to information technologies designed to transform, monitor, and control the health system. This is smart. The Internet will be a major driver of health reform.

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