The Biden Cabinet Will Be an Oligarch’s Wet Dream

The surest sign of a president’s true intentions once in office are the cadre of cabinet appointees happily cashing in on all the favors they bought by betting on the right horse.

The surest sign of a president’s true intentions once in office are the cadre of cabinet appointees happily cashing in on all the favors they bought by betting on the right horse. Folks like Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, who dutifully bowed out of the race to make way for Biden, will likely be rewarded alongside the biggest donors and their representatives. The New York Times reported that “one of Mr. Biden’s closest aides joined the campaign from Apple.” He is also advised by a number of other individuals who hold “senior roles at firms that consulted for major tech companies.”

While Joe may have made passing remarks critiquing fake news on Facebook while stumping for the presidency, it’s abundantly clear he will not be doing any trust busting if he assumes office in January. After all, he has constantly assured his bankrollers that “nothing would fundamentally change.” One might scratch their head and wonder how a presidential candidate can both refer to the incumbent as “the worst president in American history” and also announce their intention to change absolutely nothing without getting questioned about it.

After an exhaustively public and performative vetting process, news finally broke that Joe Biden had indeed selected the sitting Senator and former top cop of California to be his running mate. The decision punctuated an end to any meaningful speculation that Biden had any intention of reigning in big tech. The decision garnered swooning praise from PMCs nationwide and defeated groans from the progressive left, Kamala Harris would be his successor to the party’s throne.

It was under the eight years of the Obama administration in the wake of The Great Recession that Silicon Valley was able to replace Wall Street as the nation’s preeminent capitalist hub, and with it, a whole new way of structuring the economy: gigs, which were designed largely as a way to save money after the Affordable Care Act mandated that all full-time workers be provided with health insurance. Silicon Valley innovators responded by creating a loophole where employers could treat essential staff as contractors and not provide them any health care or benefits at all, and were not subject to minimum wage regulation. A win for everyone but the worker. 

After all, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes famously left the burgeoning startup to join the Obama campaign as a strategic adviser in 2007. Airbnb launched to service the influx of travelers to Denver for the 2008 DNC, after the rabid success of their political themed cereal boxes: Captain McCains and Obama-o’s. When we look at the vast state of economic despair and the hollowed-out job market that paved the way for the rise of the gig economy, which offers workers absolutely no benefits or employee protections, we must remember it was under the wandering eye of Obama.

Many of these trendy Silicon Valley startups are perfectly on board with paying lip service to workplace equality and celebrating diversity, so long as it never threatens their bottom line. One massive difference between Wall Street and Silicon Valley is the value they hold on the public’s opinion of them. Because hedge funds in Manhattan don’t market themselves to the average Joe, they could give two fucks what they think about their company’s ethics. However, with a company like Facebook or Google, they need their users to want to be on their platform, so the public opinion of their companies matter. Which is why, with the exception of a few noteworthy outsiders, the bulk of the Silicon Valley ownership class is perfectly happy with a Biden presidency.

Because of the absolute lack of individual ideology presented by Joe Biden, we can only imagine he will be an even more neoliberal purveyor of corporate class. In many ways, Biden could become the wet dream of Silicon Valley in the way Bill Clinton was a wet dream to Wall Street (then again, Wall Street has never had many dry nights when it’s come to American politics). When Joe Biden becomes the president, it moves the goalposts back another decade at least. The massive unpopularity of all of his ideas have led to a campaign strategy of not campaigning at all, allowing him to essentially tune out the demands of the public, whose votes he already feels entitled to.

It is well noted that while Trump’s electoral strategy is saying everything and nothing all at once, Biden has taken a different approach, by just flat saying nothing at all. This allows the former Vice President to keep his feet on the ground and out of his mouth, but it also keeps his actual governing priorities shrouded in mystery. While this lack of ideology has been interpreted by some to mean that Biden will be easier to push toward the left, history would indicate the contrary. Presidents without much of their own ideology, like Donald Trump or George W. Bush, and really every other modern president, more often than not just defer to the advice of their cabinet. 

Joe Biden spent almost 50 years as the Senator of Delaware, a state known for little more as a haven for credit card companies than its extremely lax state policy that allows companies to incorporate there without paying the state any corporate income tax. Coupled with Biden’s very earned moniker as the Senator from MBNA, a major credit card company that was bought by Bank of America in 2006, and his tireless work to pass the The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, it’s perfectly clear he will let the corporate machine rage on without so much as an inch of pushback. 

Presidents always campaign in the direction of the people and legislate in the direction of the opulent. Just like Obama and Trump campaigned against the war and corruption only to fan the flames when they arrived in Washington. Obama selected corporate vultures like Rahm Emmanuel and hawks like Robert Gates and Susan Rice, whereas Trump’s Wall Street loyalty trumped his “populist” campaign rhetoric with appointees like Larry Summers and Betsy Devos. Joe Biden will continue to pay lip service to lefty imperatives like climate change, healthcare, and housing, all while letting the sick and evicted go unaided as the planet around us goes up in flames.   

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