One of the mild surprises during the Occupy Wall Street month-long protest has been the tone deafness exhibited by...well...rich guys from Wall Street. If you haven't seen the video of the champagne drinking money shufflers looking down upon the scruffy protesters.....now's the time...
Then there were the signs in the windows of Wall Street buildings. A few clever financial district gamblers placed handmade signs in a series of four windows which read "We....are....the....1%". One percenters.....and as Bob Serpintini says...and proud of it.
Pardon me....but I'm not seeing the wisdom in Wall Street Ponzi scheme experts rubbing the 99%'s face in the mess they created. I guess they just can't help themselves. Even though these smug, coddled, non-producers were primarily responsible for the national economic collapse with their unregulated money schemes of mass destruction, and so forth....it seems that they just can't find any empathy to offer up to the tens of millions of Americans whom they royally screwed.
Instead, these worst-of-all-capitalists, flaunt their status. Instead, they mock the protesters with their childish Marie Antoinette sign-making stunts. Instead, they rush to their balconies with their champagne glasses, hoping that cameras will capture their brazenness.
Honestly, I can't quite comprehend why a rich Wall Street person would conduct themselves this way. I realize that Wall Street "experts" see themselves as the perennial smartest-guys-in-the-room...in the same way that Enron's Jeff Skilling did. But truly, how smart is it to taunt tens of thousands of protesters who are protesting your role in destroying the national economy? How intelligent are you if you think your bank account and job status is going to protect you from your enemies, both foreign and domestic?
The NY Times had a piece this weekend entitled "In Private, Wall St. Bankers Dismiss Protesters as Unsophisticated"...
“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”
Let me ask readers....how well is your financial services industry doing when in just two short years, their efforts have resulted in a standard of living rollback of 10% for almost all Americans? Is the financial industry really "doing it well" when their brilliant ideas, arrived at and conducted without any checks and balances, resulted in millions upon millions of foreclosures and millions more unemployed?
Why in the hell would anyone want to "embrace" a record like that?
Yes, some wealthy Americans pay the most taxes....but they ain't hedge fund managers from Wall Street. You see, hedge fund managers make money from the Big Casino game....stock trading. And because stock trading produces nothing of value for the country, elected officials have decided to tax hedge funders at a lower rate than middle class workers. Last year, 25 of these very same hedge fund managers made over $1 Billion each. Yes, they paid taxes on all of their non-productive, gambling winnings....they just paid at a lower rate than, say, a policeman or teacher.
The, "if you want to keep jobs outsourced", comment was a veiled threat to the 99% of us that if we require these coddled, non-productive members of our troubled-gamblers society to pay more in taxes, they'll see to it that none of us have jobs...ever. Nice. So thoughtful.
However, having said all that.....it is THIS straw of smug, arrogance which crushes the camel's back.....
He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.
Clear, isn't it? How things are, you know, supposed to work in America. New York politicians "need to understand who their constituency is". Who are Senator Schumer and Gillibrand's constituents? Those who "donate heavily" to those senators campaigns. That's Wall Street's viewpoint.
All across this nation, the 1% has been trying to remind elected officials who their constituency really is. From the Koch Brothers to Dick Armey. From TEA Party, union-busting governors to full time corporate pimps like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Eric Cantor.....the message has been the same as the 1 percenter on Wall Street. "They need to understand who their constituency is." And that constituency consists only of the very rich 1% who fill political campaign chests with all that money.
Our road to oligarchy started about 30 years ago. Over time, a mainly Republican oligarchy gave way to the bipartisan oligarchy of triangulator Bill. Over this same time period average American workers have not seen a raise or an increase in buying power or wealth accumulation. Now, we're at a point where the 1 percenters unashamedly claim that they, alone, make up an elected official's constituency. They own the country because they have paid political campaign bribes to enable them to own the country.
Now they're rubbing our faces in it and mocking the rest of us.
So, how smart are these guys, really? Review the French Revolution to find out.
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