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article imageOp-Ed: The 1% defend their ignorance — 'Who, us?'

By Paul Wallis     Dec 22, 2011 in Business
Sydney - Just when you think the endless denial can’t do a lot more, America’s geriatric gargoyles go on the attack against criticism. The country now has 100 million people living in poverty, and they don’t think it has much to do with them.
Dimon, 55, (banker Jamie Dimon) whose 2010 compensation was $23 million, joined billionaires including hedge-fund manager John Paulson and Home Depot Inc. (HD) co-founder Bernard Marcus in using speeches, open letters and television appearances to defend themselves and the richest 1 percent of the population targeted by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
Marcus is 82. That means he was born in 1929, the year of the Great Depression. Obviously those 82 years haven’t been wasted.
Marcus on the subject of Occupy:
“Who gives a crap about some imbecile?” Marcus said.“Are you kidding me?”
Like his fellow kids in the sandpit, Marcus, Paulson and the rest of Queen Victoria’s not very well kept or particularly competent secret are apparently quite sure everything’s fine like it was back whenever they were alive, and they’re responsible for it. They don’t even get the economics.
If I was Ayn Rand, I’d have to do a whole book putting easily proven fallacies into the mouths of non-existent people. Fortunately these “people” can do their own talking, and if that talking ever relates to anything that’s actually happening, it can be quite revealing.
The story from Dream Street is:
The last few years of the US meltdown, the commercial ultra-Chernobyl event, and the destruction of enormous amounts of private capital aren’t their fault. Quite the opposite, it’s legitimate business.
In fact, sainthood may be on the cards, from the sound of some of the information coming from Happy Valley:
Paulson, the New York hedge-fund manager who became a billionaire by betting against the U.S. housing market, has also said the rich benefit society.
“The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes,” Paulson & Co. said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 11, the day Occupy Wall Street protesters left a mock tax-refund check at its president’s Upper East Side townhouse.
The circle with the cross is the Greek symbol for Earth. The idea is for humanity to have a future w...
The circle with the cross is the Greek symbol for Earth. The idea is for humanity to have a future which is more than just a myth with delusions of self-importance.
So now paying taxes you’re legally obliged to pay wins Brownie points. Uh-huh.
There’s even a reassuring element of implied threat in the various Bloomberg quotes:
“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, (Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Wilmington, Delaware-based Delphi Financial Group Inc.) 69, said in an e-mail.
The same people who’ve done absolutely nothing to create jobs expect respect for their presumably purely altruistic desire to employ people. They don’t make money out of hiring people on those wonderful US slave labor wages which would actually be laughed to scorn in places like Australia.
To explain the exact financial significance of these self-righteous peanut vendors:
There are 328 million people in the US. If they all collectively spend a dollar an hour, that’s $7.872 billion per day. Wall Street companies crow about making that per year. The fact that 100 million of those people don’t have money to spend reduces that figure to a lot less. A few months of these real dollar losses to real businesses would dwarf anything made on the Street.
Hiring a few million people can’t even make a dent in the real drop in actual cashflow throughout the economy. It takes about 10 jobs to create a new job, on a rough average of demand for services. Even more interestingly, those people are also not paying taxes any more. That means that the revenue for all those government contracts which have basically created the Gods of Free Enterprise is also tanking.
But that, of course, doesn’t cut it with the Fossils R Us brigade now running the daily non-business of the hideously maimed and enfeebled American business sector. Absolutely nothing, however relevant even to themselves, penetrates these thick, out of touch brains. Never has. The 2008 crash was the end of the biggest single cash cow in US history. It took a lot of real capital with it. Those losses weren’t all on paper. This was Madoff in a different form, trashing savings, super, 401ks and everything else which could be called an “investment”. Exit the middle class and their money.
The US went from caviar to wet cement, literally, overnight. The banks and everybody else are still leveraged to hell and back. What’s hilarious, and there’s not much that is about this situation, is that the current crop of nouveau riche are trying to act like they’re Old Money- As if they have that level of respect and authority. They’re not. They’re trash, anyway you cut them. They’re impossible to believe on any subject after an average of about 20 words. They don’t really know what happens outside their commute and their endless meetings, and this becomes pretty obvious after a couple of sentences.
They claim to be conservatives, but real conservatives and real Old Money would be quite unlikely to allow these guys to die in their toilets. They claim to be suffering from a class war, but, really… What class? Can you live in a crayon-coloured, cretinously-decorated mansion and claim to have class? Can you speak and act like you eat through your nostrils and drag your eyebrows along the ground when you walk and aspire to having any kind of class? Can you prove your total lack of comprehension of basic facts and claim respect? Can you hire pathetic, sleazy sycophantic stooges and trolls with macros to promote your politics and your vaguely borrowed, self-serving pseudo-ideology and demand credibility?
The short answer is only if you pay for it. That’s the difference between real class and pseudo class. If you have to pay for respect, do you deserve it? No you damn well don’t. The 1% are claiming to have class credentials. Let’s see them. If you’re talking about doing business for the last decade or so, they don’t have a post-it note between them. Even at idiot-level interest rates since 2001.
I grew up with people like this in a neighbourhood that makes most of the “rich” neighbourhoods of the world look like chicken coops- The cheap kind. I got to know these wannabe elitists very well being stuck with looking at them in grade school and I’ve always despised them. They were buying their friends even at that age. It’s like giving money to cattle. As kids, they were joiners and crawlers, as well as 100% certified idiots. They were disloyal to anyone depending on circumstances, untrustworthy and entirely self-centred on literally any subject. They majored in tantrums and a few sleazy encounters with anything that was unable to avoid them. It’s still a matter of opinion whether even the garbage was safe.
It was a real study to watch. Nauseating, but nobody who understood it would need to see it twice to get the message. Sadly, not much has changed. They’re older, they’re uglier, they’re stupider, and they’re even more insistent on getting applause. The definition of “success” is now running America into the ground for the sake of a few bucks and promoting an anti-democracy.
To quote one of the most unpopular things I’ve ever written, Send in the Morons:
Send in the spiritually constipated, the spreaders of madness
Send in the believers in drivel and drab
Send in the futile, the blind of soul and the disgusting
Send in the animals with watches and sheep with security clearances
Send in the dunghill dwellers, the sleazy and the sickening
Then you’ll be a great man.
Send in those proud of their ignorance
Send in those who’ve never lived or loved
Send in the humorless cretins, the dreary vile
Send in the useless, the cowards and the facile
Send in the trash, the unspeakably boring and the putrid
Then you’ll be a God among men.
But you’ll always be one of them.
I can’t really express how pleased I am so many people voted that down. The fact they voted it down meant they knew what it meant. It got through even that degree of insularity. That was all I wanted.
Just one more thing-
All great countries have historically had a last chance to fend off disaster. All of them have blown that chance. If America really is something different, we’ll see, sooner or later.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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