Donald Trump is the billionaire President-elect who shocked the world with his victory against Hilary Clinton. During his campaign, he had made many populist promises and branded himself as a man of the people.
Now, President-elect Trump is putting together a cabinet consisting of fellow billionaires and millionaires. Donald Trump’s cabinet may turn out to be the richest in modern American history. Trump’s cabinet greatly rivals the 2001 cabinet of George W. Bush who were dubbed a team of millionaires.
At the time, the group had an inflation-adjusted net worth of about $250 million, a figure which is about one-tenth the wealth of Donald Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary.
Most government watchdogs had questioned if they would be in touch with the problems of normal income Americans.
A bulk of Trump’s cabinet nominees were born wealthy, attended elite schools and are even richer now that they are adults. Democrats have been quick to chastise them for their ties to Wall Street.
Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said;
“It fits into Trump’s message that he’s trying to do business in an unusual way, by bringing in these outsiders.”
She, however, adds that Trump and his team won’t be able to draw on the same sort of life struggles that President Obama did, in crafting policy to lift poor and middle-class Americans. According to her;
“They’re just not going to have any access to that.
“I guess it will be a test — does empathy actually matter? If you’re able to echo back what people are telling you, is that enough?”
Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, ranked No. 232 on the Forbes 400 of richest people in the world. Wilbur Ross’ intended deputy, Todd Ricketts, is the son of a billionaire and the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.
Steven Mnuchin, named by President-elect Trump to head the Treasury Department, is a former Goldman Sachs executive, hedge fund executive, and Hollywood financier. Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a billionaire whose family has a net worth of $5.1 billion according to Forbes and Elaine Chao, the choice for transportation secretary, is the daughter of a shipping magnate.
The question that is on the minds of most people is; will public officials who come from such privileged backgrounds, favor policies that benefit the rich?
America will have the next 4 years to find out.