“No offense to Middle America, but if someone went to Columbia or Wharton, [even if] their company is a fumbling, mismanaged bank, why should they all of a sudden be paid the same as the guy down the block who delivers restaurant supplies for Sysco out of a huge, shiny truck?” e-mails an irate Citigroup executive to a colleague.
“I’m not giving to charity this year!” one hedge-fund analyst shouts into the phone, when I ask about Obama’s planned tax increases. “When people ask me for money, I tell them, ‘If you want me to give you money, send a letter to my senator asking for my taxes to be lowered.’ I feel so much less generous right now. If I have to adopt twenty poor families, I want a thank-you note and an update on their lives. At least Sally Struthers gives you an update.”
In the first place, in the first paragraph, justbecause, you stupid whore. Because you couldn’t clean the boots of the guys I knew who did exactly that. Because the law isn’t made for the richest or luckiest, it’s made for everybody. Because by your logic, you should have worked somewhere better than a fumbling, mismanaged bank. Because you’re not better than them, just different and luckier, just a winner of the genetic lottery and you ought to be thanking God every day for giving you parents who could afford to send you to Columbia or Wharton. Unless you earned your way through there your own self, and maybe even then, shut up and be grateful you were born white in America, and give back on the principle that maybe then the jealous gods won’t smite you down. Was I the only one paying attention reading the Greek playwrights? Jesus, I hate smuggery and this guy’s going for a gold medal in it.
In the second place, in the second paragraph, really. You’re really going to tell starving children to go blow because you’re mad about your taxes. That’s a thing you’re going to do. The starving children, natch, having all kinds of influence in Congress, given how everybody’s falling all over themselves to help THEM. Those are the people who can do exactly dick about your tax sitch, so I’m sure your brave moral stand will SO TOTALLY get noticed by our decision makers. Shit, stop giving money to politicians if you don’t like how they behave, but Toys for Tots did nothing to you to deserve your contempt, and you’re doing plenty to earn mine.
The people I could tell you stories of, if they were mine to tell. People who have so much less than our noble hedge fund manager has. People who are trying hard to pay their own bills, who forgo Christmas presents to each other to give to the local food pantry and homeless shelter. People who work 12 hours a day and then show up somewhere to volunteer. People who, hearing about somebody having a problem, will do anything to solve it. People whose generous impulses and gut instincts not to be such failures all the time are mocked daily by a nonstop chorus of don’t bother, it’s all a game, I got mine so fuck you and yours, this is the way of the world and whatchagonnado? It really is a wonder, given what a nation of assholes we are, that we’re not WORSE, if these titans of capitalism are our finest and best examples.