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Mike Bloomberg’s Campaign Staff Doesn’t Work Like Slaves, They Are Slaves – OpEd

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Michael Bloomberg, America’s 8th richest billionaire according to the latest annual survey by Forbes Magazine, owns one of this country’s biggest media empires, and is personally currently worth $56.1 billion. That makes him an oligarch, exactly like those oligarchs that the US media and US politicians love to accuse of polluting Russia’s political system.

Yet American oligarch Bloomberg is seeking to be the Democratic candidate for president. He wants to be president so bad that before even making a single campaign appearance, he has already spent an astonishing $120 million of his own money on a nationwide TV ad campaign. That’s more than any other candidate for the nomination has spent in the first ten months of the campaign season and half the total spent by all the rest of the candidates who have been competing for the nomination. According to a Newsweek report, if Bloomberg continues at this burn rate he could end up blowing an astonishing $6.5 billion on his campaign before he’s through! Of course that’s peanuts to a guy for whom such a figure represents just 11.9% of his total wealth (which is always growing, sometimes by that much in a year).

This report on RT-TV (in which yours truly offers my own comments toward the end), torches Bloomberg’s scandalous and hypocritical use of forced convict labor by women incarcerated in two prisons in Oklahoma.

The story of the Bloomberg campaign’s unconscionabld use of prison labor in which prisoners earn less than $1.75/hour and possibly as little as $20/month for making campaign calls to potential California voters was initially exposed by the Intercept.

Bloomberg’s ad campaign for the nomination is all about how he wants people to be able to earn a living wage on their jobs. His sorry excuse after being caught, is that he simply “didn’t know” his campaign had hired a call center firm that was employing forced prison labor doubly pathetic. This from a guy who hasn’t gotten his hands or fingernails dirty with the details of running a business for most of his adult life, preferring to pay other people to do everything for him. It’s the same way he approached “reforming” the New York City school system, and why he failed so abysmally at that, dumping his first schools chancellor after three months under intense criticism that she (like Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) had no experience in education, and replacing her with a chancellor who then joined him in promoting charter schools.

No wonder Bloomberg’s polling is so poor: Despite his record ad buy his support level in the primary just ticked up from 3% to 6%. At least that allowed him to move aheard of Sen. Kamala Harris (the lock-em-up former prosecutor who already had had the sense to drop out of the race).

Bloomberg apparently entered the Democratic Party’s nomination race because of concern that the rest of the candidates running, like Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, etc., were too weak to prevent anti-billionaire “socialist” candidate Bernie Sanders from grabbing the nomination. Likely too Bloomberg fears that if Sanders were to become the Democratic presidential candidate, the senator from Vermont might well then go on to defeat Trump and become an anti-corporate president of the United States, slapping extortionate taxes on billionaires like Bloomberg himself and his cohorts.

I suspect most Democratic voters, and probably most independent voters too, don’t relish the idea of electing a president whose idea of job creation involves hiring slave labor, even if his glossy and well-produced ads portray a guy who wants people to be able to earn decent wages.

Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. He is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective. Lindorff is a contributor to "Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion" (AK Press) and the author the author of “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press). He can be reached at [email protected]

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