Another Powerful White Male Asks Us to Sacrifice for His Principles

The Washington Post today published an op-ed by its former owner and publisher, Donald Graham:

Do it, Congress. Build the wall — and save the dreamers.

(Mr Graham is currently chairman of Graham Holdings and co-founder of the scholarship fund TheDream.us.)

Donald Graham has placed himself in the Pantheon of the class of humans whose numbers and prominence rise daily: the rich, middle-aged, powerful, white male whose solution to every problem leaves him unscathed and shifts the burden to others to pay for.

Graham’s share of the tax money to raise the mega-billions to build a wall will be a pittance. And I’m sure he already has an army of lawyers and consultants working overtime to keep his taxes at a minimum. The poor and the middle class will pay a greater proportion of the cost than Graham, but the worst travesty is that those billions will not be available to pay for improving their schools, medical care, infrastructure, and unemployment insurance, or providing school lunches for their children.

Prime example: we know that many—most?—teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for their students’ school supplies. Do a quick calculation: look at how many students school supplies could be bought with the billions spent to build a wall that will be obsolete the day it’s finished. Just divide Trump’s request for $25 billion by $669.28.

And the other pay-off for Graham? Keeping those DACA children will allow—all? many? most?—of them to enter the same social and economic class as Graham, and to pay taxes. There will be less of a necessity for Graham to reach into his own pockets to subsidize those left behind when the robots take over.

We commend Graham, of course, for being one of the founders of TheDream.us that does magnificent work on behalf of the DACA children.

But on the issue of the wall, Graham has also proven: the wealthy not only benefit the most materially from our increasing disparity in wealth. They have greater access to the instruments of opinion-making that allow them to defend their views.

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