As Americans look around at the state of affairs in the country today, they undoubtedly are noticing a widening gap – not one based on racial differences, as the left would like everyone to believe, but one separating the elites and the underclasses, or the haves and the have-nots.
“It’s a club, and you’re not in it,” as the saying goes on social media.
New York Times columnist David Brooks – as wrong on some things as it’s possible to be – correctly termed the people leading the growing divide the “creative class” in a September interview with The Atlantic.
“[A]n elite Brahmin class…driving the rest of the country crazy,” Brooks said.
This class Brooks refers to, and admits to membership in, has “not made the society more equal, we’ve made it more unequal. And not only is there a class division around education, there’s this income division as we concentrate in the really affluent cities. And then there’s a status and social inequality.”
What might surprise many Americans is that the tools used to increase the gulf Brooks details look a great deal in practice – if much more sophisticated in delivery -- like the woke pronouncements of the cancel culture kids. Rather than the cancellations happening on Twitter, however, they’re happening in corporate boardrooms and – criminally underreported so far – by white-shoe law firms that purport to be working on behalf of the consumer but are actually mostly just helping their elite friends stay in power.
“They enjoy the outcomes Democrats bring them,” says O.H. Skinner, Executive Director of the Alliance for Consumers, of what his group calls “The Shady Eight” – a group of eight elite law firms that a recent report from the group notes “generated at least $15 million in combined political donations from 2017-2020 to committees and candidates in the Federal Election Commission (FEC) tracking system.”
“They’re feeding a machine that creates the laws, and they’re really just a tool of the left,” Skinner says. “The left is using consumer protection to bully businesses into being liberal [by] imposing financial pain on businesses to fund their allies.”
In fact, that $15 million far outweighed the combined political donations of Blackrock, Nike, and Twitter. And the partisan lean of these law firm donations is undeniable: “The Shady Eight sent 99% of their combined federal donations from 2017-2020 to Democratic campaigns and allied political committees,” the Alliance for Consumers report notes.
Here’s how it often works, according to Skinner: the eight law firms -- Morgan & Morgan, Lieff Cabraser, Motley Rice, Baron & Budd, Grant & Eisenhofer, Berger Montague, Cohen Milstein, Simmons Hanly – are awarded highly lucrative public contracts that allow them to represent states in litigation.
Businesses trying to survive in a culture forcing them to adopt ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) requirements favored by left-leaning politicians adapt and adopt to leftist culture to avoid litigation brought by one of these elite law firms, who often argue their cases on behalf of consumers of a state who will never see any payout. Meanwhile, the shady law firms turn around and donate massive amounts to left-leaning politicians implementing ESG requirements. And the cycle continues.
Skinner’s group will be releasing future reports in the months leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, each one highlighting another “Shady Trial Lawyer Pipeline Update.”
“The sheer scale of the problem means we’ve reached a point where things have crystalized,” Skinner says. “We’re trying to get this information out there through educational outreach to hopefully direct conservatives in corporate America and voters themselves to support principled changes to the way things have been working. So we can start to protect consumers again.”