Friday, October 3, 2008

Against The Rich

I am so tired of rich people. I'm tired of people who admire rich people. I'm tired of people who aspire to be rich people. I'm tired of Paris Hilton and MTV Cribs. I'm tired of televised yacht tours. I'm tired of walking by empty beach-side mansions that are only occupied one month per year while thousands of homeless don't have shit. I'm tired of hummers and beemers, of six hundred dollar purses and thousand dollar shoes. I'm tired of the shallow, materialistic, empty, selfish, and greedy culture that underpins it all.

Most of all, I'm tired of the people whose desire for money goes beyond what they can get for it. The worst are those who just want money to have it. They want as much of it as possible. And they don't give a damn who they step on in the process of getting and keeping it. And don't kid yourself into thinking that it is possible to acquire that much wealth without being ruthless. Acquiring that much wealth is in itself ruthless.

What is wealth really? It is a representation of natural and human resources. It is the value of commodities plus the value of labor. What gives anyone the right to hoard that much of the natural resources and labor in the world? And why do we accept it? We are all getting raped in every orifice and yet, instead of raising hell, we just go to the corner store to buy a lotto ticket in the hope that we can be one of those rich people. It isn't going to happen.

Goldman Sachs is one of the firms whose speculation and greed has caused this supposed meltdown of our financial system. Of course, it is former Goldman Sachs CEO and current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who is telling us the sky is falling, but lets pretend it is for a moment. Not only are the Goldman Sachs of the world costing each of us more than $2,000 with this ridiculous bailout, they are also one of the major oil speculators that has been driving the price of gasoline sky high. Goldman Sachs executives have been pulling in $50 million a year. Why are they coming to us for $2,000 a piece? Why aren't they taking the $54.3 million Lloyd Blankfein made in 2006?

No one needs to make 50 million dollars a year. And making 50 million dollars a year isn't good for anyone. It means hoarding resources that could be better used by others, at best. At worst it involves crushing other human beings. It creates extremes of wealth and poverty that aren't good for the people at either end of the spectrum. The poor are dehumanized by their desperation and the rich are dehumanized by their inability to empathise or relate to real life.

This country is full of addicts. The bastards we are bailing out with our tax money are addicted to cash. They don't need us to provide another fix for them. They need a twelve step program. They need some tough love. Cut them off. Let them hit rock bottom. Let them lose their mansions and yachts and trophy wives. Put them to work tarring driveways or cleaning airport bathrooms for minimum wage.

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