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The only qualification for president that really matters

C’mon now, what do you think it is? 35 years old? Yup. Natural born citizen (whatever that is)? Check. Born in the U.S.? Nope, not required. There is, however, one thing you must be to become President of the United States: Wealthy.

For the last century, non-millionaire presidents have been exceedingly rare; we haven’t had one since Harry Truman. And politics have changed so much since his time that it’s inconceivable a non-wealthy person can rise to the White House in the present age. You must be a millionaire — preferably a multi-millionaire — to have any hope of ever becoming president.

Of 26 potential 2016 candidates rated by Crowdpac, only 4 have net worths below $1 million, and of these only 1 — Vice President Joe Biden — is a contender, and only if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run. But even his poverty is relative; Biden, who ranks among the poorest of the presidential aspirants, is 14 times richer than the average American.

It isn’t just the presidency; it’s politics at all levels. Ordinary working-class Americans can’t even conceive of running for public office. It costs too much. (In any case, they’re too busy working, just trying to make ends meet.) And political culture is alien to them. Anyone who has spent any time near politics knows how clubby it is. A connected, well-heeled, corporate crowd dominates this universe. Pile of MoneyIf you’re there at all it’s to do the unpaid, unsung, and unrewarding grunt work of politics — phone banking, etc. — or to clear the dishes off the tables after the poobahs eat the rubber chicken. It’s not utterly hopeless, though. As we saw in 2012, a lowly waiter with a cheap cellphone camera can determine which rich guy gets to be president. So, America is still a leveling country after all. (Source)

Photo: What it takes to be a politician

 


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