Bill Gates: one of capitalisms teddy bears? / Red Maxwell
The Baffler,  December 14

Daily Bafflements

Susan Faludi, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates walk into a bar

Bill Gates: one of capitalisms teddy bears? / Red Maxwell
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Baffler contributing editor Susan Faludi’s In the Darkroom has made the New York TimesTop Ten Books of 2016, where it was described as a “rich, arresting and ultimately generous memoir, [in which] Faludi—long known for her feminist journalism— tries to reconcile Steven, the overbearing patriarch her father once was, with Stefánie, the old woman she became.”

• Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has joined Donald Trump’s economic advisory board. For our thoughts on Mr. Musk, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

• Bill Gates and some of the other “good” billionaires are lining up behind alternative energy. In the context of Trump’s dubious environmental positions, they’re looking pretty benign. But as Alex Cuadros pointed out in our latest issue, that’s just part of the American consensus “that net worth is a measure not just of assets minus liabilities but of merit, and of one’s contributions to society.” A billionaire like Gates or Warren Buffett is “the platonic ideal of the good billionaire, something like capitalism’s teddy bear.” And better billionaires will never save us.

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Further Reading

 April 17

Or, put it this way: Paul Ryan went out onto the tightrope. The crowd, so long adoring their golden child, cheered. But a jester got the best of Ryan.