The college admission cheating scandal is “almost a parody” of the ways wealth inequality warps society, according to an author who’s studied its damaging effects.
Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All,” appeared Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the recent indictments of wealthy parents who paid bribes and engaged in other fraudulent schemes to get their children into exclusive universities.
“What’s so extraordinary is the idea that America is rigged in favor of wealthy and powerful people has now become commonplace in many ways,” Giridharadas said. “You had Republicans running on it and Democrats running on it in 2016.”
He said that rigged system allowed the wealthy to benefit in almost every area, but he said they still weren’t satisfied with those advantages — the rich wanted guaranteed success.
“These rich people weren’t satisfied with shared rigging,” Giridharadas said. “They weren’t satisfied with first class on a commercial jet, having better seats, bigger seats a nicer dinner. They wanted private bottle service rigging just for them with a guarantee, over and above the rigging that everybody else benefits from.”
He said scammers like William “Rick” Singer, who set up the admissions fraud ring, had enriched themselves and distorted public life by catering to the desires of wealthy people — who are tired of competing in the game they had rigged for themselves.
“(They) don’t want to write a $2 million check and hope their kid gets a second look, that’s too chancy for them,” Giridharadas said. “(They) want to be done with this thing, they want a guarantee.”
The author said the scandal, which has generated media coverage due to the involvement of celebrities, was just the tip of the iceberg.
“This is, remember, just one little world that we happened to get a glimpse into because some little piece of glass broke somewhere,” Giridharadas said. “You have to remember this sort of thing is happening in so many domains of our public life, while we have the president’s associates day by day pleading guilty to crimes, we have Facebook — which is not a high-school sweetheart nostalgia site anymore but actually one of the principal discursive platforms of our democracy — now under criminal investigation.”
“Corruption, in many ways, is becoming, if it’s not already, the central theme of American life in 2019,” he added.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: ‘Joe Biden shouldn’t be president’
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden is under fire for fondly reminiscing about his “civil” relationship with segregationist senators in the 1970s and 1980s. Speaking at a fundraiser at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City on Tuesday night, Biden expressed nostalgia for his relationship with the late Democratic pro- segregation Senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Biden reportedly said, “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. … He never called me 'boy'; he called me 'son.'” Biden went on to say, “A guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. Well, guess what. At least there was some civility. We got things done.” Biden was widely criticized by other Democratic presidential contenders, including Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio. We speak with acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates about Joe Biden’s long record on the wrong side of civil rights legislation, from opposing busing in the 1970s to helping to fuel mass incarceration in 1990s. Coates says, “Joe Biden shouldn’t be president.”
Canada is taking advantage of Trump’s tariff pratfalls by scooping up new trade partners: report
As American manufacturers reel and U.S. farmers see their economic well-being being destroyed by Donald Trump's trade wars, the Canadian government is stepping into the breach and boosting their own trade relations, reports Politico.
As part of their Global Translations podcast, Politico notes that countries -- and manufacturers -- are not standing by helplessly as Trump threatens and changes directions on trade on almost a daily basis.
Lost version of Delacroix masterpiece discovered in Paris
A newly discovered version of Eugene Delacroix's Orientalist masterpiece, "Women of Algiers" went on display for the first time in Paris on Thursday.
The lost study for the painting by the French Romantic painter which inspired generations of artists including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne was discovered in a Paris apartment 18 months ago.
Since then experts have been retracing its history and carrying out X-ray and infra-red tests on the picture.
Like the much larger version in the Louvre, it shows a reclining wealthy woman and a black servant.
The canvass disappeared after it was sold in 1850 by the French diplomat Charles-Edgar de Mornay, with whom the painter went to North Africa in 1831, shortly after the French conquest of Algeria.