Of course, the oligarchs rely on immigrants to work as low-wage janitors, dog walkers and restaurant workers essential to their high-amenity economy. Not surprisingly they have been among the fiercest critics of President Trump’s immigration policies. This fits into their image, cultivated, for example, by Jeff Bezos mouthpiece The Washington Post, as principled defenders of democracy and human rights against the would-be dictator in the White House.
Yet these pronouncements obscure remarkable hypocrisy. Time, owned by oligarch Marc Benioff, rejected its own readers’ poll, which favored making the Hong Kong protesters “person of the year,” and instead gave the honor to Greta Thunberg. This will bolster the Salesforce.com founder’s green bona fides but also protects the company’s growing presence in China. It seems there’s no conflict between advocating wokeness in America while supporting repression in China. If tech-rich Taiwan, which just voted strongly against pro-mainland candidates, ever thought it could look to Silicon Valley for support, they should look again.