American Oligarchy: How the Preferences of Elites Shape Policy Outcomes. How does concentrated wealth shape policy? Through the four capitals: wisdom, virtue, public-spiritedness, and prayer. The wealthy hire secular priests to impart wisdom and instill virtue, and promote public-spiritedness in the heirs and to pray night and day for tax reduction, regulatory rollbacks, bailouts, favorable taxation on the carried interest in hedgefunds and other policies that will help the Great Silver Beech of dynastic wealth flourish for one hundred years. God being just, and the dynastic rich remaing wise and virtuous, and public spirited, due to the work of Secular Priests, prayers are answered. Actually, there is a whole syllabus on this viewpoint, and many conferences, and all kinds of warring factions, as in Christianity for that matter, about who is in the Real Secular Priest lineage, and who is an imposter, or apostate. (Mountebanks battling over who is the True Bunko Artist descended Apostolically from The Source of all Sense.) It is getting to the point where the secular priest business has become a revolving door into Wall Street, and the DC lobbying firms. Bringing that level of wisdom and virtue and public spiritedness and secular spirituality to these centers of power is probably good for democracy somehow. Trickle down. That may be it. Virtue will trickle down. The poor will become better and they will rise through honest toil. Just as the rich would have fallen had they been less than Saints. All is as it should be, in this, the best of all possible worlds, as Pangloss explained to Pollyanna.