Most Interesting Thing I read this morning.

From The Economist (my italics):

If Mrs Clinton wins the White House in 2008, members of the Bush and Clinton families will have been president for 24 years on the trot. Over 100m Americans have never known anybody but a Bush or a Clinton in the White House…It suggests that American political life is in the hands of a small group of insiders who are organised around semi-royal families.

Prediction markets have Hillary at 44% likely to win the Presidential election. Let’s assume she wins twice, and we go 28 years with the Presidency in two families – population projections tell us that 130m Americans will never have known anyone but a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. This is around 40% of the population. I honestly don’t think I can bring myself to vote for Hillary in ’08 for this very reason, regardless of who may run against her.

I’m curious what historians and political scientists will think about this in this future. Is it a matter of an insider class of elites using convenient families to consolidate power (as the article suggests)? Is it a matter of the families themselves consolidating power through elite school/business connections? Do the masses cry out for a monarch? I have no idea.

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One Response to Most Interesting Thing I read this morning.

  1. Mike says:

    I picked up a copy of it from a used book store (I too was impressed by the charts) right before I started grad school and never got to it. I remember there’s a tidbit that it takes 5 generations for any real wealth to consolidate inside a family that I had read somewhere that was referenced to that book. It currently sits in a storage box.

    Does that line of argument add to / survive the critique of Mills “Power Elite”? Does it trace back to the Founding instead of cocoon itself in Mills’ Eisenhower post-war military industry moment? I’ll have to check it out.

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