Captains of Industry

Screw you, you petulant bitches:

“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.



13 thoughts on “Captains of Industry

  1. What I wrote in response to Krugman’s article on The Angry Rich:
    Their money? How much do the various subsidies and governmental protections for business allow them to gouge to “earn” their money? Have they “earned” their money when they slough off pollution costs on the rest of us, be it for clean up or for the cost of health issues that result from polluted environments?
    And in their private lives, what roads do they drive on? What airports do they fly in and out of? Even if they seclude themselves in private jets, who pays the traffic controllers? Who funds the radar? Who inspects the safety of food, the quality of medicine and medical procedures?
    What kind of education have they had that they think that they can live totally isolated lives, insulated from the consequences of a society with less and less in the way of the common good?
    I suppose it is the same sort of moral education that allows them to divorce the consequences of pollution from their profits, the devastation of wars from the profits in the defense industry, and to label the poor as undeserving of basic health care.
    No, I don’t envy the rich; I’m appalled by the moral poverty of those who moan that what they have is theirs, that they “earned” it. They are willfully blind. And ignorant of the way in which the fate of all of us is intertwined.

  2. Somehow I suspect that a pay cut that took them down to the same as the delivery guy actually took them down to a wage which the delivery guy can only dream of.
    And, to use their question, how come when stocks were rolling along like gangbusters in the 90s, why did you deserve to make exhorbitant salaries? it isn’t like your talent made the market move.
    And early this decade, you made massive amounts of money off a system using highly risky investments in vehicles you didn’t understand (Credit Default Swaps and SubPrime Mortgages). As you were making money for being reckless, aren’t you going to give that money back?
    Some folks would say collectivizing the risk while personalizing the gain. I would like to know how you rationalize claiming the govt should bail you out and not have any strings attached.

  3. Hah!I blogged about that post today too. I loved the guy who whined, “no one complains about Julia Roberts getting $20 million a film or A-Rod’s $300 million contract!” To which I replied:
    Well, actually, peopledo complain about movie star and athletes’ salaries, all the time. And there are also salary caps in pro sports, and yada yada. But the big answer, as author Gabriel Sherman points out, is if Julia Roberts makes a dud movie, the entire economy doesn’t come crashing down. And let me add: Julia Roberts doesnot make $25 million a picture, not even close, in fact after after “Duplicity” failed, she was reportedly forced to accept $10 million to make “Eat Pray Love,” also a dud, and one can imagine her asking price will continue to fall until she hits box office gold again. And let’s remember all of the endorsement deals Tiger Woods lost when he turned out to have a little problem with his zipper. Yet this is the very “free hand of the market” salary deal the banksters think they are too good to accept. Think about it, Tea People:even free market capitalists don’t believe in the free hand of the market! How hilarious is that?
    In other news, Ben Stein is complaining about paying taxes, Berkshire Hathaway bazillionaire Charles Munger tells the little people to “suck it in and cope” and Michael Bloomberg tells the Democrats to lay off his rich friends. Seriously, something is going on here. I have never seen so many whiny rich folks all at once crying that no one appreciates them. What happened?

  4. The rich are just petulant because the paid good dollars for this government, so they feel they have the right to demand what they paid for. Just like customers of real prostitutes who paid for services and expect to receive them. I suppose Jesus said “Blessed are the very wealthy for they shall ride first class on a Concorde to Heaven.”

  5. Fuck them. But really, fuck them. Did I mention fuck them? I think I did. But just to be sure, fuck them. And fuck them too. Also.

  6. And people have the balls to ask me why I’m socialist. Part of me actually wants the global economy to completely collapse, for the Dow Jones to drop 10,000 points just to put these fuckers into the poor house or huddle in their precious gated communities so they’re easy to find when we come to give them the Marie Antoinette treatment they so richly deserve. Short of that, let’s give them an entire fucking state, say Wyoming, and they can all live there in an Ayn Rand paradise with no government or social services whatsover; whatever they need, they have to pay for out of pocket. I can call them goddamned motherfucking cocksuckers, but that’s just insulting the damned, the incestuous and the fellatio aficianados. I’m with Joe Max: fuck them, fuck them, fuck them.

  7. Please do some research before trotting out the whole Marie Antoinette reference. She was not the money-grubbing despot of common-usage. Sure, many of the Ancien Regime were a-holes of the first order and deserved their calabazas being snicked off. But when one is born into being a political pawn and married off for peace to another country’s heir, and stuck in a culture alien to one’s own, left to fend for themself among some serious political (or in this case, Royal Court) game players who take advantage of the system (think French Corporate Welfare of the time) and the lack of courtier savvy… When she (and Louis XVI) tried to change things, they met with the 18th Gallic equiv of Rethugs saying “HELL NO YOU WON’T!” by the King’s own brothers and affiliated rich bitches (of male & female ilk).

  8. I will say this again – invest in Acme Guillotine! This is the stock of the future, soon to treble in value almost overnight. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

  9. @Sandman,
    I agree, “cocks*cker” is the wrong word to be used as an insult. Ever met a man who didn’t value a partner with strong command of that skill?
    I’m with everyone here on the stink of the entitlement of the very wealthy. Funny how they take for granted all of the infrastructure, laws, tax breaks and other benefits paid for bypublic dollars that enable them to be The Chosen Few.

  10. Well, I don’t know if you heard Will Arnett, the guy who played the rich asshole on “Arrested Developement,” on NPR this morning. He pointed out that the superrich really are out of touch with the rest of the world. That’s what we’re dealing with here. And they really do think it’s all about them.
    And judging by the comments quoted above, they’re also real assholes…

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