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Plutocracy (from Ancient Greek ploutos, meaning "wealth", and kratos, meaning "power, rule") is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.
In modern times, the term is often used to refer to societies rooted in state-corporate capitalism and the prioritization of endless accumulation of wealth over other interests, like public health, education, or the environment. According to Kevin Phillips, author and political strategist to U.S. President Richard Nixon, the United States is a plutocracy in which there is a "fusion of money and government."
"I like to fire people" ~ Mitt Romney 2012
► Reich: Economy is drifting toward plutocracy
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and UC Berkeley Professor Robert Reich join Hardball to discuss the JP Morgan trading blunder and the need for regulation in order to prevent future messes.
► Very Last Word: The Staples model
Mitt Romney often touts Staples as an example of a successful company he helped during his time at Bain. Democratic strategist Krystall Ball weighs the pros and cons of that business model.
►GOP picks big business over poor Americans
Last year, Fortune 500 companies made record profits, while the national poverty rate in 2010 hit its highest rate since 1993, but Congressman Paul Ryan won’t give up tax breaks for big business and Senate Republicans are filibustering the student loan interest rate bill. Former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean joins Ed Schultz to discuss the latest.