Little Rock The Wall Street Journal had a big headline that Mark Zuckerburg and some tech buddies were getting jiggy and going political. He and his pals have created a 501c4 to do political work in Washington and have already anted up millions of the $55 million they hope to raise to step up their game. They are interested in immigration for technies, oh, yes, and a smoother path for others. They want more research and so forth.
Is this good news? Is this news at all?
Sure, but this is just business news, because this is just about business.
Anyone naïve enough to think because he’s 28 and living in California and richer than Croesus that his politics are much different from most of the other gazillionaires, needs to take a closer look. He’s all about business. His business! And, this is just a newer version of a standard trade group. Visas for their software folks, oh, yeah, and some of y’all, too, maybe. Research paid for by the government so we don’t have to carry all of the load.
The team working on this project includes a former executive director of the Republican campaign for the Senate apparatus and some other Republican politicos. The article mentioned a Democrat that had been in Clinton’s press office, but that was another century, wasn’t it? He did a big fundraiser for Republican Governor Chris Christie as well, and, yes, he allowed President Obama to have an open chat with the Facebook staff during the campaign, but frankly, that’s just props for the company, not exactly a bear hug of support.
Zuckerburg dropped a pile on Newark and its Mayor Cory Booker a couple of years ago in order to offset some of the naked avarice and ruthlessness portrayed in the movie, Social Network, which cast him in a somewhat unflattering light. Not surprisingly they claim this techie trade group may also look at education, since privatizing and charterizing the public school system is one of the favor projects of the superrich given their almost total lack of experience with public schools from start to finish.
The blush is off the rose on too many of these guys, and the sourness is the smell of hopes for real change coming from their direction, rather than same ‘ol, same ‘ol, naked self-interest.