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December 24, 2011

The oligarchy's feelings are hurt

The oligarchy, so long accustomed to do their looting in peace, has been surprised by the sudden turn in the tide against their rapaciousness and the successful adoption of the Occupy movement's "We are the 99%" slogan now being used against them. You would have thought that they would be smart enough to lay low and hope that the storm passes.

But no, some of them are whining about how their feelings are hurt and contemptuously dismissing their critics as being 'imbeciles' and that those who are so poor that they pay little or no taxes have no right to complain because they have 'no skin in the game'.

Matt Taibbi points out that the reverse is true, that it is the oligarchy that has no skin in the game because are not rooted in any place and thus have no sense of obligation to a geographical community that ordinary people have.

Most of us 99-percenters couldn't even let our dogs leave a dump on the sidewalk without feeling ashamed before our neighbors. It's called having a conscience: even though there are plenty of things most of us could get away with doing, we just don't do them, because, well, we live here. Most of us wouldn't take a million dollars to swindle the local school system, or put our next door neighbors out on the street with a robosigned foreclosure, or steal the life's savings of some old pensioner down the block by selling him a bunch of worthless securities.

But our Too-Big-To-Fail banks unhesitatingly take billions in bailout money and then turn right around and finance the export of jobs to new locations in China and India. They defraud the pension funds of state workers into buying billions of their crap mortgage assets. They take zero-interest loans from the state and then lend that same money back to us at interest. Or, like Chase, they bribe the politicians serving countries and states and cities and even school boards to take on crippling debt deals.

Nobody with real skin in the game, who had any kind of stake in our collective future, would do any of those things. Or, if a person did do those things, you'd at least expect him to have enough shame not to whine to a Bloomberg reporter when the rest of us complained about it.

The oligarchy's open display of the depth of their contempt for those not in their class is quite astonishing. I actually think this is a good thing and should be encouraged. The more this Marie Antoinette attitude is put on full public display, the more likely they are to get their comeuppance. As Taibbi ends his piece, "Unbelievable. Merry Christmas, bankers. And good luck getting that message out."

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Comments

I especially like this tautological statement:

'“It’s simply a fact that pretty much all the private- sector jobs in America are created by the decisions of ‘the 1 percent’ to hire and invest,” Rosenkranz, 69, said in an e- mail.'

Even if we take that as true (which I'm not sure it is), he's essentially saying "We deserve all the money because the decisions we make matter because we have all of the money"

Posted by Jared A on December 24, 2011 03:03 PM

I would say that things happen in ways which may not be altogether correct in Wall Street, the way those happen in any other industry. And the issue is that while other industries can be like islands with limited effects on global economy, any issue with banking has widespread global effects.

The effects of things happening or being done in not so correct or incorrect way may be more wide-spread in Finance industry than others because of the obvious reasons. Banking industry may be representing the top layer of capitalism but taking the middle ground or the overall picture, I would say that the protests like Occupy Wall Street server their own purpose because it is not about winning or losing but keeping a tab or the watch over things. These demonstrations on one side may leave bad tastes in some mouths but their purpose should be taken to keep people be more concerned that things(so called correct or incorrect) are in a positive proportion.

On the other hand if the demonstrations like OWS themselves become too disruptive and negative and only one sided then they can be as harmful as it could be.

Posted by fx on December 24, 2011 07:59 PM