It has been said, correctly, if only by those who see beyond the false "left-right" paradigm, that those who call the shots in US politics, and thus American socio-economics, are not so much America's lobbying corporations, but the people behind the corporations - i.e., those who have the money... all of it. Obviously, nobody has more money than America's billionaires. So who are the true puppetmasters who determine America's fate?
For one answer we turn to Brookings Institution Governance Studies Director Darrell West in whose upcoming book "Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust" examines the political use of great wealth, including campaign expenditures, activism through nonprofit organizations and foundations, holding public office, media ownership, policy thought leadership, and behind the scenes influence. Most importantly, it ranks the 25 most influential American billionaires.
So from the Koch Brothers, to Bloomberg, to Tom Steyer, all the way to Marc Andreesen, Donald Trump and Alice Walton, here they are, whether readers agree with the ranking or not.
For more on West' perspectives and reasons for his rankings, below is a clip of the author with Bloomberg's Betty Liu: