Big corporations were ready to pounce on free money—and had the experts to do it.
By Mark Anderson
The most pitched, sustained societal battle of all has always been between populism and monopoly capitalism, at best a degenerative form of free enterprise, if it’s free enterprise at all. The money-grubbing mountebanks who conceived and backdoor-legislated this sordid species of capitalism are ruthlessly innovative in robbing our Treasury while crippling the “common man.”
That makes it all the more galling that several billionaires and billionaire-backed companies, hedge funds, organizations etc. have been gorging themselves at the public trough, consuming millions of dollars in the form of federal “coronavirus relief” loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.
For example, Joe Farrell, a billionaire property developer and “prominent Republican fundraiser, received up to $1 million in taxpayer coronavirus relief funds, according to federal data,” reports NBC News. Other high-rollers who took advantage of such loans, which are designed to help small businesses that were slowed down or shut down by the coronavirus policies carried out by governments at all levels, “included Kanye West’s $3 billion clothing and sneaker company, multimillionaire pop artist Jeff Koons, and the Church of Scientology, which is reported to be worth at least $1 billion,” says NBC News Senior Business Reporter Ben Popken. This shows that even the internationalist-capitalism cheerleaders at NBC are rather rankled by these developments.
Here are just some of the gory details:
West’s apparel brand, “Yeezy LLC, took a loan for up to $5 million,” supposedly to support the retention of just 106 jobs. “West holds a 100% stake in his company, recently estimated to be worth $3 billion, according to Bloomberg.”
Koons’s art studio, known for sculpting garish metal balloon animals often purchased at auction for tens of millions of dollars, received a loan for up to $2 million, allegedly supporting 53 jobs.
And the spooky, scandal-ridden Church of Scientology, whose founder, L. Ron Hubbard, always recruited ultra-wealthy celebrity backers, had several of its entities take out PPP loans. According to Small Business Administration data, the Church of Scientology New York; the mission of Belleair in Largo, Fla; and the founding Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C., each took loans for up to $350,000, all to support a grand total of 137 jobs. “Nearly 100 of those were in New York, while almost 40 were in the Belleair facility. The D.C. organization self-reported zero jobs retained,” Popken noted.
To add further insult to injury, the “nonprofit” Media Matters for America, funded by billionaire seditionist-subversive George Soros and overseen by leftist-extremist David Brock received between $1 million and $2 million in PPP loans, according to Treasury Department data released July 6. Media Matters’ divisive, fact-starved “news” offerings heighten distrust among the populace and heap praise on rioters who’ve looted and burned small businesses, including minority-owned stores, not to mention the fact that Media Matters has on multiple occasions tried to destroy AMERICAN FREE PRESS by pressuring advertisers with “shaming” letters and working behind the scenes to have this newspaper’s credit card processing cancelled, amongst other dirty tricks.
Bank of America approved the money for Media Matters April 29, which came after the progressive outlet bit the hand that fed it by criticizing the Trump administration for its handling of the rescue funds that were distributed as loans, grants etc. via the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). That legislation was signed into law earlier in the spring when the government response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic began to take an especially heavy toll on small businesses, the consequences of which are qualitative not just quantitative, since such businesses not only create most of the jobs but also give consumers high-quality alternatives (food, beverages, goods, services etc.) to the corporate chains that tend to starve traditional downtown businesses while creating clusters of generic big-box stores along our highways and byways.
“PPP was sold to the American people as a program to help Mom-and-Pop shops keep their lights on during the pandemic,” Kyle Herrig, president of the government watchdog outfit Accountable US, stated. “The reality is that the Trump administration created a program that helped the well-connected cut to the front of the line to get these loans.” Joe Farrell, a developer in New York’s super-exclusive Hamptons beachfront community, “fundraises for President Trump. . . . He reported his loan went toward saving 41 jobs.”
So, in what has become an American tradition of the wrong sort—putting the people into economic bondage via a highly defective, usurious, winner-takes-all species of capitalism—the American people are “sold” one thing after another amid an ongoing financial pogrom that already had most people on the thinnest of ice even before Covid-19 landed more businesses than ever before on the ropes or put them out of business altogether. It’s high time that Americans of all backgrounds compare notes and identify who the real “welfare cheats” are—before the Super Rich listen to financial insiders such as Peter G. Peterson of Council on Foreign Relations fame and fully gut Social Security and Medicare, based on the ideology that the actual deferred wages of the working class that have been used to fund those crucial programs are mere “entitlements” that everyday people somehow no longer “deserve.”
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Email him at [email protected].