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The 1% on the Defensive

December 20th, 2011

I read an article at Bloomberg today which at first I mistook for some satire piece from The Onion. But then I realized that it wasn’t funny. It seems the nation’s billionaires are joining forces to gripe about their perceived persecution by the “imbecilic” Occupy movement. I’ve responded to some choice quotes below the fold.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The 1% Create Jobs

The official unemployment rate is still hovering around 9% which is double what is ordinarily considered healthy, and I’m pretty sure the actual unemployment rate is more like 15% or higher.  Even with these facts in the headlines every day, some of the 1% have the audacity to play the “job creation” card.

“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.” — Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Wilmington, Delaware-based Delphi Financial Group Inc.

In other words, “We are responsible for the fate of the economy. Don’t villainize us for the economy’s fate. We are responsible for the fate of the economy!” And thus the ridiculosity of Orwellian newspeak reaches a new zenith.  If the 1% create jobs, and as we all know they are making something like 6 to 6,000 times the national median income, then there really is no excuse for a 15% unemployment rate? Why aren’t they creating more jobs?

Blame the Rich!

Wealth doesn’t make you a bad person. I’m not going to object to that. But still, it is virtually impossible for a good person to make 1% fuck-you-money on merit alone. You’ve got to be willing to lie, cheat and steal to “succeed” in this game because those are the rules.

“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it.” — Jamie Dimon (the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks)

“Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.” —John A. Allison IV, a director of BB&T Corp

As members of the most politically privilged oligopoly in the history of mankind, a private banking cartel which creates nothing but debt, and which profits from indenture, inflation, and seignorage, you are not rich you’re filthy rich from stolen money. It is quite likely that you have never “created” anything in your adult life, and even those products of others’ labor for which you may claim responsibility (as a financier), for each of those ventures you “enabled” or made possible with Monopoly Money, there were dozens more which were excluded from the system of privilege.

Tax the Rich!

But it seems there is some infighting going on, though, as others like that hypocrite Warren Buffet, or Nick Hanauer who’s $6B nest egg was enabled by Microsoft’s patent and intellectual property trolls, argue that,

“Rich businesspeople … don’t create jobs.” Instead, Hanaur says, “Let’s tax the rich like we once did and use that money to spur growth.”

Except that there is not one shred of evidence that backs up this ludicrous claim. The baby-boom era’s “productivity”, about which many wax nostalgic, was made possible only by exploiting the third world in order to make up for 50 years of total warfare that ravaged most of the world. This is the Broken Window Fallacy (link to a summary, but I do encourage you to read the full text) on an existential scale, but the lesson is the same: You know what would be better than re-building a bridge? NOT BLOWING IT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.

And this does not even attempt to account for the value of the ~200 million (or more) human lives expended during last century’s conflicts which can never be replaced.

Skin in the Game

The idea that lower-income households, who pay no Federal income tax, have no “skin in the game” is absurd. The only reason I mention it is because it is so wrong that I can’t ignore it.

“You have to have skin in the game, I’m not saying how much people should [pay in federal income taxes]. But we should all be part of the system.” — Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group LP , when asked about lower-income U.S. households who pay no income taxes.

This is simply blaming the victim for his plight, like the argument that the poor are lazy and un-industrious, not motivated, dumb, or incompetent. In other words, it is not bad enough that the system has utterly failed these people, no, they should have to contribute their “fair share” as well.

There is an entire movement of people who hate you.  Wake the fuck up.

Comments

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  • Mike Gogulski says on: December 21, 2011 at 1:47 am

     

    The “skin in the game” comment is utterly absurd. Poor workers in the US who pay a nominal “zero” on their income tax are still paying plenty of taxes, in every form from the obvious payroll tax, through sales taxes, through the taxes on the merchants they buy life’s essentials from (which are built into consumer price structures), on down to the intellectual property rents and other corporatist privileges built into damn near everything one needs to survive — all of which ends up being highly regressive.

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