from the Wall Street Journal- Rate that Oligarch

This latest Saul Alinsky tactic got us thinking about who really qualifies as an American oligarch. If the definition is someone who becomes rich by association with government power and policies, and then assists those in power, the Kochs would barely make the list. Their companies are usually harassed by government.

With that standard in mind, we thought we’d offer liberals a list of some other American billionaires and where they rate as oligarchs. We’ve also created a ranking method we’ll call the Timchenko Scale after Gennady Timchenko, the Russian billionaire pal of Mr. Putin who was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury.

George Soros. The hedge-fund billionaire made his biggest score and his financial reputation shorting the British pound in 1992, but that was a free-market bet. He now funds a myriad of left-wing causes, but then it’s his money. His support for statism in the U.S. is also offset to some degree by his support for transparency in dictatorships abroad. Oligarch rating: Half a Timchenko.

Tom Steyer. Another liberal who made his riches in the capital markets, the San Francisco activist now opposes the kind of fossil-fuel investments he once profited from as he was building his fortune. After criticism last year, he promised to divest from the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline company, and there’s no doubting his sincere belief in climate change and in using government power to stop fossil fuels. Rating: One Timchenko.

Al Gore. The former vice president has become rich investing in green energy firms that benefit from the policies he has long advocated. He’s a principal in Kleiner Perkins, the venture firm that once created high-tech wealth free of government but took a detour into politicized green energy and enlisted Mr. Gore in the effort. Mr. Gore also founded a cable TV venture that he sold to Al Jazeera, the anti-American network that was built with Qatar oil money. Rating: Three Timchenkos.


recently posted here:  The Koch Derangement Syndrome: