It must be hard being a part of the 1% these days. After you’ve literally robbed this country into a massive recession, you still get
a handout assistance from the U.S. government to keep yourselves afloat. Although in their case their heads are way above water, up in the atmosphere. Still, it must be stressful, especially if the entire world wants your head on a platter.
We’re hearing members of the richest people in this nation express their fears and anxieties. In fact, last year, the CEO of insurance company AIG Robert Benmosche compared the bitterness directed at his class to that of a Southern-style lynch mob. Then, there’s Tom Perkins, a billionaire that compared the plight of the super elite to that of Jews in Nazi Germany. His comrade Sam Zell jumped in to agree with that sentiment. And next, you have William Ross who’s bitching that the 1% is picked on for political reasons.
Yes, it’s hard being a billionaire. Being hated by the people you screwed over must be the worse thing to happen to you since (insert any horrific human atrocity here). But all is not bad. Like us poor folks, you all get to party (privately) and joke about the financial crisis you’ve created. And that’s what happened in 2012.
Kevin Roose recently published a book entitled Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, a book that details how billionaires and CEOs recruit the younger generation to take the position of the super elite. As a reporter for New York Magazine, he wrote about crashing an event sponsored by a fraternity for Wall Street warlords. Here’s a snippet of what he observed:
I’d heard whisperings about the existence of Kappa Beta Phi, whose members included both incredibly successful financiers (New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones) and incredibly unsuccessful ones (Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld, Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne, former New Jersey governor and MF Global flameout Jon Corzine). It was a secret fraternity, founded at the beginning of the Great Depression, that functioned as a sort of one-percenter’s Friars Club. Each year, the group’s dinner features comedy skits, musical acts in drag, and off-color jokes, and its group’s privacy mantra is “What happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” For eight decades, it worked. No outsider in living memory had witnessed the entire proceedings firsthand. …
I wasn’t going to be bribed off my story, but I understood their panic. Here, after all, was a group that included many of the executives whose firms had collectively wrecked the global economy in 2008 and 2009. And they were laughing off the entire disaster in private, as if it were a long-forgotten lark. (Or worse, sing about it — one of the last skits of the night was a self-congratulatory parody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” called “Bailout King.”) These were activities that amounted to a gigantic middle finger to Main Street and that, if made public, could end careers and damage very public reputations. …
The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.
Still, it’s hard being a member of the 1%. (Ends sarcasm)
All the super elite truly fear is losing the power and privileges they don’t deserve. Their paranoia shows when they compare being criticized with being lynched or oppressed. Yet, their world excludes them from the reality that they’ve caused the very economical devastation they think will happen to them. Of course. When you’re super wealthy, you don’t have to worry about a lot of things the 99% has to. But karma ain’t one them, apparently.
As long as this nation continues to fool itself that those on Wall Street not only earned their ever-expanding fortunes but also deserve more and more wealth and privileges and politicians continue to sell themselves to the highest bidder, the gap between the haves and have-nots will continue to widen. We still have people, many of them rich, believe that the poor should only blame themselves for being poor. Hell, they still blame the poor for…being poor.
Until this country gets its head straight, the downfall of the United States will come closer and closer. And if there’s anyone at fault, it should turn to the ones who have the power to prevent this, if they truly love America as much as many of them say they do. Otherwise, we are witnessing a national suicide of economic proportions that may not or can not be stopped.