Who is Big Money?

There are countless companies and individuals that we consider rich, but Big Money is not merely the rich. Big Money is comprised of those who live above the rich, with unimaginable, nearly limitless funds and financial resources. They are the largest corporations and holding companies in the world: weapons manufacturers and defense contractors, oil and energy companies, pharmaceutical conglomerates and food distributors. These are the principle actors, joined by, of course, the financial institutions.

Some of these multinationals are familial and dynastic, but most are anonymous, with boards of directors and executives whose names are largely unknown. Unlike the aristocrats of old whose fortunes were tied to their lands, this wealth is mobile. Cash has no roots. They function in so many different countries that it is nearly impossible to pin down where they begin and end. They are beyond the reach of laws, of tax authorities, of socialism, and even of revolutions. If by chance they are temporarily cornered, they reappear elsewhere in due time. They exert an immense influence and can intimidate states, “If you tax us, we will move to another country, and leave in our wake thousands of unemployed.” Generally, they remain untaxed and the state makes up the difference by taking more from those with less. They buy whomever they want. They place whomever they want wherever they need them, playing one side against the other, enjoying the near absolute control their money affords them. They orient the world according to their interests, molding the world according to their financial will.

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Today, politics is reduced to questions of buying and selling, of money of finance. Policy is reduced to a game of contracts; how many planes one country will buy, or how many televisions another will export. Rigged markets orient policy. Nobody dares to be too critical of certain regimes, for fear of losing access to their markets or resources. Our values are betrayed in order to stay in the good graces of these brutal regimes; ignore the abuses and injustices, remain in their favor. Clearly it isn’t the politicians who are in control anymore, but these corporations and multinationals.

Money and morality don’t mix. They combine to make justice a mere farce, and equality a fiction. Respect for others and compassion has all but disappeared. To rule, money must constantly be accumulated. The rich become ever richer at the expense of all other considerations, at the expense of all others. It is then left to these others, to the rest of humanity, to pick up their tab.

Big Money is discrete, occult almost. However, on the individual level, the richest are less so. I see works of art sells for hundreds of millions, truly staggering sums. The same goes for homes and apartments. I see the multiplication of enormous yachts and more and more private planes.

Yet constantly I see my financial means in decline. God knows I don’t complain and I’m aware of being in a privileged position, but like countless others, as my income declines, the possibilities are fewer and fewer. There are millions in the same position. Overburdened with more and more taxes, those who work in the wake of Big Money have lost their purchasing power. Unofficial inflation ravages smaller, more modest fortunes and savings. Millionaires are melting away right beside the middle class.

The state has surrendered its power to intervene. Many states are themselves on the brink of ruin. Of course, a state in bankruptcy can subsists, some happily so, whereas a business or individual is lost. Plainly, the rich and powerful become ever more rich and ever more powerful, while the poor become even more impotent.

by  Prince Michael of Greece