National Review: Hillary Clinton disingenuously asserts 'trillionaires should not exist'

 February 2, 2024

Never one to miss an opportunity for a good virtue signal, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared with her various fans and followers a recent CNBC article juxtaposing the rapid timeframe in which the first trillionaire will be created with the far slower potential eradication of poverty and hunger, but according to one National Review commentator, the conclusions drawn by the former first lady are irritatingly disingenuous.

Luther Ray Abel begins his critique of Clinton's take with a jab at Oxfam, the source of the research cited by Clinton, which he describes as the “part-time prostitution ring and part-time poverty NGO that has a vested interest in the elevation of poverty awareness and wealth envy.”

In the Clinton-favored study, Oxfam offers data to support the assertion that in recent years, the globe has seen a “supercharged surge in extreme wealth,” but also a continued scourge of crushing poverty.

The report quotes Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar, who said, “We're witnessing the beginnings of a decade of division, with billions of people shouldering the economic shockwaves of pandemic, inflation and war, while billionaires' fortunes boom.”

In response to that conclusion and to other claims in the referenced piece, Clinton took to social media to declare, “I believe in rewarding hard work. But trillionaires shouldn't exist -- especially in a country where kids still go hungry.”

Abel wasted no time in dissecting what he views as the misguided -- and indeed hypocritical -- nature of Clinton's proclamation, starting with the semi-jocular observation that “give this inflation enough time, and we'll all be trillionaires.”

The National Review editor went on to argue that the very idea of “X group shouldn't exist” is never an appropriate starting point for a political discussion.

Abel points out that the “rich men are getting richer” theme is a time-worn notion frequently trotted out in elite circles by those eager to demonstrate their liberal bona fides, and he notes that just about everyone who hears such commentary also realizes that such protestations are less than sincere, given the financial status of those who tend to utter them.

He writes, “the grousing is envy and intra-social circle virtue signaling for those a tier below the self-made billionaires” and observes that “no one hates the ultra-wealthy as much as the almost-as-wealthy trust-fund class.”

As evidence for this phenomenon, Abel explains, one only need look to a recent letter from over 250 billionaires and other ultra-wealthy individuals sent to political leaders who convened in Davos. Switzerland last month in which its wealthy signatories asked to be taxed at higher rates.

“Our request is simple: we ask you to tax us, the very richest in society. This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nation's economic growth,” the signers said.

They continued, “But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future.”

As Abel explained, anyone of privilege – including Clinton – is perfectly entitled to voluntarily devote their fortunes to any cause they see fit, but he would simply ask them to “stop pretending [they're] good people for saying those slightly better off than [themselves] are villains for owning stakes in companies that improve the quality of life for billions” and to realize that some people will assuredly go hungry regardless of any form of pompous largesse to which they give lip service.