Butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. You won’t find any of them in this latest annual list of America’s most avaricious. You will find wheelers and dealers and a candy store heiress.The headlines haven’t been particularly kind to America’s most relentlessly greedy over the past year. In just the last month alone, the world’s two most visible religious leaders — Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama — have once again dramatically denounced our global concentration of income and wealth. And the world’s most powerful political leader, Barack Obama, has chimed in, too.
At Too Much, the Institute for Policy Studies weekly on excess and inequality, we’ve been taking names. Lots of them. The greediest of them all? We think we can make a good case for the ten below. We hope you’ll find some useful insights from our choices — and maybe even some new incentive to help make our world a more equal place.
10/ Angela Spaccia: Pint-Sized PilferingWe start this year’s top ten with garden-variety greed, the sort that inevitably grows in the shadows of escalating grand fortunes. In that shade, people in positions of modest power and authority regularly — and clumsily — try to emulate the avaricious high and mighty they see all around them.
In Bell, a small Los Angeles County working class community, that modest power and authority once belonged to Angela Spaccia. As Bell’s assistant city manager for a seven-year span that ended in 2010, Spaccia helped stuff hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pockets of the city’s top officials, including herself. Spaccia in one year alone took in $564,000.