Sunday, May 5, 2019

Saturday Night Capitalist Hate in Berkeley

Kat Taylor
By Robert Wenzel

Saturday evening I attended a panel discussion, "Enough Is Enough: Fighting Economic Injustice," at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley California.

The two panellists were Robert Reich and Anand Giridharadas. The moderator of the discussion, who did not play an insignificant role, was Kat Taylor.

Reich is the  Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Giridharadas is an editor-at-large for TIME, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016

Taylor is the wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer who has spent millions on a television ad campaign advocating the impeachment of President  Trump. She is co-founder along with her husband and CEO of Beneficial State Bank.

I have never quite experienced an anti-capitalist event such as this one before. It was over the top.

Hands down, with her performance, Taylor is now in competition with Melinda Gates for female Lefty intellectual of the year.

She started off the evening with an explanation of her bank. She said the focus of the bank was on labor, not capital (Forgive me I am still trying to process this comment. Is she financing needleless knitting groups?).

Then she broke into song (without musical back up). Something about different kinds of businessmen focused "on the dough."

C-span recorded the event, so if you want to really experience something different this year, watching the beginning of this program will surely do the trick.

Robert Reich, watching Taylor sing.

When Reich finally got to talk, he was more anti-capitalist than I have ever heard him before. Although toward the end of the evening, he did say he didn't like the label anti-capitalist and labels in general but that democratic socialism was a respectable name.

His most remarkable statement was this:
There are no free markets. Anyone who thinks there is a free market in nature doesn't know what he is talking about. 
He specifically called for changes in government regulations that would force corporations to give equity to laborers.

The crowd was just as entertaining, cheering on most of what was said. At one point, Reich said, "You know there is no law that says corporations have to focus on maximizing profits." The woman sitting next to me, who was hooting and hollering all night, said to the man she was with, "I didn't know that."

He replied, in an all-knowing voice, "Yeah, they just changed the law on that recently."

Reich and Giridharadas though knew their strategy to advance the cause and pretty much admitted that what the Left wants is to grab the control of government power from those who now hold it.  "It's all about shifting power, getting a movement going to change the rules," Reich said.

He also said that in an odd way Trump was helping the Left's cause that "Trump has inspired a lot of [Lefty] grassroots activists." Giridharadas, while wearing black leather pants, what looked to be a $5,000 watch and the largest cuff links I have ever seen, said that "Trump was flamboyantly destroying capitalism."

Anad Giridharadas
Naturally, both Reich and Giridharadas called for healthcare-for-all and higher taxes on the rich. The crowd cheered.

Giridharadas said that tax deductions should be eliminated for large donors to educational institutions, especially if their name goes up on a building, and called for student debt to be wiped out for students who go into "public service" and said that maybe the debt should be doubled for investment bankers.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. These people are not opposed to capitalism, they are opposed to what they think capitalism is.

    1. These people are just power-hungry idiots who think they are good enough to force others to do what they tell. They are idiots because if they stopped blabbering for a day and learned some history instead they'd realize that they and likes of them will be in the first cattle railcars on their way to concentration camps should their beloved socialists come to power.

  2. I think they are opposed to everyone else experiencing capitalism. Most of “them” if not all, have no problem rent seeking or crony capitalism to the maximum profit for themselves.

  3. They need to give up the trappings of capitalism before complaining about how awful capitalism is.

    When they come out on stage wearing a homemade burlap sack for clothing sans anything else, then maybe I'll at least listen to these two-bit liars and charlatans.

    1. Id still be damn leery Michael since they dont have the ability to propose a cogent argument against capitalism no matter what they do.

    2. Oh, I get that. They are just more than willing to use what capitalism provides, but then spend their efforts bitching and moaning about how evil capitalism is.

  4. They never grew up (you have no heart if you're not socialist when young, no brain if you you're socialist as an adult). There are so many of them!

    1. You have no brain if you are a socialist when young, too. And socialists were never about charity and helping others - they are all about forcing others to join their murderous cult or else.

  5. RW, I don't know how you do it---living and working in and around San Francisco. I recently had business at the county circuit court in Ann Arbor, Michigan---the SJW/liberal Mecca of Michigan, and college-town home to University of Michigan---and the entire time I couldn't wait to get in and out as fast as I could; I felt like an undercover Allied operative in Nazi Germany during WWII, in my suit and tie, walking the business district, bumping up against the vegan/SJW/antifa/environmentalist-wacko hipsters at every turn. It didn't help that I have a bumper-sticker on my truck that shows an image of a cornucopia, and reads "Thank a Businessman for his Service."
    But living in, or making sojourns to San Francisco must be a whole other level of courage and bravery, for libertarians, an-caps and conservatives...