Why are those OWS protesters so upset?

Wall Streeter Joshua Brown (a “Reformed Broker“) offers one answer in a post candidly titled “This Is Why They Hate You and Want You to Die“:

You want to know why everyone in this country hates you and wants you dead, you big stupid [frakking] bank?

Here’s why, pay attention:

Bank of America Corp will pay $11 million to ousted executives Joe Price and Sallie Krawcheck …

Let me clarify that “Hates You and Wants You to Die” refers to the bank itself and not to the flesh-and-blood humans who work for that bank. They’re bad people, but they’re still people and I don’t want them to die — I want them to become good people, or at least better people. I want them to repent, restore and be redeemed.

But Brown’s larger point — that the anger being directed at Wall Street is legitimate and reasonable, that it has reason and merit — is true.

Here are some more reasons, starting with this graph from Jared Bernstein, “a simple plot of real median income for families with kids, 1989-2010.”

Or consider this graph, from Mother Jones’ essential bookmark-for-reference piece, “It’s the Inequality, Stupid: Eleven charts that explain what’s wrong with America.”

Some more reasons? OK, how about these?

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion from Fed

Bank of America to charge debit card use fee

Bank of America CEO Defends $5 Fee Hike: We Have ‘Right to Make a Profit’

Citi Jacks Up Monthly Fees and Minimum Balance Requirements for Checking Accounts

NYPD Arrests Woman for Closing Her Citibank Account

Wells Fargo accused of forging loan documents

Wells Fargo Forecloses on Home Because the Title Was Never Transferred

With Only $37,000 Left on Mortgage, House Gets Foreclosed

And faced with all this, and with 14 millions of unemployed Americans in the fallout of a financial crisis created by the greed, corruption and incompetency of these same socialized millionaires, we also have been asked to put up with a Republican Party telling us that “we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed” that we must “accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed.”

We have presidential candidate Herman Cain quoting Depression-Era strike-breaker William Boetcker as his inspiration, falsely claiming that it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “You don’t help the poor by hurting the rich.” And doing so while campaigning on a tax plan designed to help the rich by hurting everyone else.

We have Republican default-frontrunner Mitt Romney describing “middle-class” families as earning $200,000 a year — four times the median income — and suggesting that the best way to help them is cutting “any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains.”

We’ve listened to multi-millionaire lawmakers whine about scraping by on half-a-million dollars a year. We’ve had to put up with wealthy pastors and politicians lying about the poor. And with wealthy politicians and pundits lying about marginal tax rates.

We’ve watched politicians from both parties squander 18 months ignoring the jobs crisis while obsessing over its side-effect of budget deficits. We’ve heard politicians from both parties bloviating about fiscal austerity as some kind of moral virtue, as though there were anything virtuous about perversely denying a century’s worth of hard-learned economic truths. As though denying the truth were ever virtuous. And in the name of this vicious “virtue,” they’ve promoted budget austerity — pretending that austerity could ever beget anything other than more austerity.

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt confronted the self-righteous cruelty of austerity proponents head on:

To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade. What may be necessary for those countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return.

Economist Martin Wolf also denounces the waste of human capacity of our jobs crisis and our refusal to address it more vigorously:

The waste is more than unnecessary; it is cruel. Sadists seem to revel in that cruelty. Sane people should reject it. It is wrong, intellectually and morally.

Wrong intellectually. Wrong morally. This is why those protesters are so upset. Me too.

OK, that was a bit heated, so let’s end with a joke passed along by Steve Benen:

A public union employee, a Tea Party guy, and a bank CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the Tea Partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy; he wants your cookie.”

 

 

 

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    I would explain that your smug stereotyping is inaccurate and offensive but it’s pretty obvious you’re a sack of shit. You know you’re lying. Engaging whatever ‘point’ you think you’re making is therefore completely pointless.

  • Anonymous

    And a lot of these protesters strike me as more the victims of unscrupulous higher education honchoes than of evil, wicked Wall Street.  A degree in fine arts, unless you have major, major talent, is not going to get you a good job, particularly in these hard times.

    I like how you picked fine arts, in particular. It’s a lie, but at least slightly less of one than this argument normally results in. Fashion design is a fine art, and it is a better degree, that pays more, than a business degree. So are literature, and philosophy degrees. As do Political Science, American studies, global studies and linguistics degrees. History only earns you ever so slightly less.

    Oh, and a business major only starts out making $5,100 more than a generic fine arts major. So, are you willing to claim that anyone who got a business degree is the victim of unscrupulous higher education honchos?

  • Tonio

    And there’s no reason to assume that most of the protesters have fine arts degrees. Again, that’s the Vietnam era stereotype. I still remember how angry I was on the 20th anniversary of the Kent State massacre, when some alderman from Kent peddled the ongoing lie that the college’s protesters were being manipulated by “outside agitators.”

  • Zackp

    Also, let’s drop the straw-man about “envy.” I’m so tired of hearing the “they’re just jealous they’re not rich” argument. Absolutely NO ONE is arguing “If they’re going to be rich, I should be too!” They ARE arguing that corporations have an unfair advantage over human beings with respect to governmental influence and society, and that top %1 are not treating workers fairly, not pulling their fair share for society, and are actively making things worse for people who are struggling to make a decent living.

  • Lori

     This graph at least notes that while the top 20% of incomes have gone up 95% in 27 years, if you back out the top 1%, it has only gone up 31%.

     

    If anyone in the Top 2-20% wants to argue that a 31% increase constitutes “flat” income I’m all ears. Such an argument has serious comedy potential. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh. Jesus Christ on a bicycle, not this envy thing again. It’s a favorite buzzword used by right-wingers who seem to think that their straw-figure version of a leftist is the real deal.

    I sometimes wonder if the “envy”-ists aren’t doing a lot of projection, because of the ones I’ve known quite a few are, while by their own lights living pretty comfortable lives, somewhat taken with the idea that someone else wants their stuff.

  • Lori

     Also, let’s drop the straw-man about “envy.” I’m so tired of hearing the “they’re just jealous they’re not rich” argument. 

     

    This. I’ve gotten to the point where every time some boot-licker brings up this envy business I have a hard time controlling my slap reflex. I am not jealous of the rich. I do not envy the rich. I have no expectation that I ever will or ever should be rich. That’s because unlike a high percentage of the wealthy I did not have the good fortune to inherit money and money doesn’t matter enough to me to drive me to do what is required to amass large amounts of it on my own initiative. 

    Envy is not the root of the disgust and anger that people are feeling over the greed-driven fraud and malfeasance that is rampant in the FIRE sector of the economy. When the rich talk about the envious poor they’re simply trying to deflect attention from their own sins. When the not-rich talk about the envious poor they might as well have the word SUCKER tattooed on their foreheads.  To quote a comment that I saw on another blog, “I am so sick of the house slaves acting like they’re better than the field slaves just because the master occasionally allows them to eat the scraps leftover from a fancy dinner party.”

  • http://danel4d.livejournal.com/ Danel

    It is slightly less of an increase than the fourth 20%. It pretty much leaves everyone except the top 1% at about the same level (with the exception of the very bottom, who are still somewhat worse off). 

  • Anonymous

    To quote a comment that I saw on another blog, “I am so sick of the house slaves acting like they’re better than the field slaves just because the master occasionally allows them to eat the scraps leftover from a fancy dinner party.”

    That is an appalling comparison.

    And part of the reason it’s appalling is it rings true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    That is a brilliant quote at the end there, Lori. I might shamelessly steal it the next time I need to blaze away at a piece of crap such as Eric Oppen above.

    (Not to imply all of your comment isn’t good. Your posts often express, far more eloquently than I know I could, what many others may be feeling about a topic.)

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    …the greed-driven fraud and malfeasance that is rampant in the FIRE sector of the economy.

    Question: What is the “FIRE sector”?  I’m guessing an acronym starting with Finance, Insurance, but I’m drawing a blank past that.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Googling tells me Finance, Insurance, Real Estate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    The Wikipedia article looks like a disaster, but you’re right about the first two. It’s Fire, Insurance, and Real Estate, apparently. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIRE_economy)

  • Anonymous

    According to the latest labor statistics, there are currently 4.6 job seekers for every job opening.

    Even a fine arts major can do that math.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I think corporations are more like a feudal lord, with the various governing officers being like the lord’s retainers, carrying on the lord’s business in the their absence. The corporation isn’t assumed to be incompetent or in a coma, it’s just off fighting in the Crusades or something and the retainers have to buy, sell, hire, borrow money, pay off debt, etc. until the lord gets back. Only the lord is never actually coming back.

    In this case, the “Lord” is the corporation’s shareholders, and the corporation is legally required to maximize the return on the investment the shareholders have placed in them.  However, while the shareholders reign, they do not actually rule.  While they can, in theory, vote to dismiss any of their retainers, it rarely happens.  Those retainers who ascend to high enough positions to be in the shareholders’ attention tend to be good at deflecting responsibility for failures and claiming responsibility for successes, as such skills are required to climb the ladder to such influencial positions.  Add to that the fact that many of those retainers often own quite a few of the company shares themselves, and that they tend to word their contracts in such a way that it would be more costly to dismiss them rather than keep them, and the issue of ensuring accountability is muddied even further.

  • Don Gisselbeck

    I’m sure someone has done the analysis, but I haven’t seen it: if wages had kept up with productivity gains (tax brackets staying the same) we surely would have a massive government surplus by now.

  • Dannysmythe

    Your unsubstantiated claims against Herman Cain discredit all you say here. it seems to serve the poor the rich must be penalized. I wonder what you would say to Jesus if here were to say something lie, “The poor you will always have with you.”

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    Oddly enough, I also typoed my comment with “Fire, Insurance” at first. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    Just curious. What makes up the staff and administration of a bsnk? People. Forgive me while I point out that a bank, like any other corporation, is people. People who invested. People who work there. People who save money and have checking accounts. That is what a bank is. You cannot hate the bank without hating people.
    I think about all the stories people have told me over the years of the ways they escaped taxes or hid income or pulled the wool over somebody’s eyes in a private transaction, and I think it is just exactly what everyone seems to want to be able to do. However, when someone gets the bad consequences instead of the good ones, they get mad and cry “Foul!” How come it is foul when someone else gets the benefit and fine when you get the benefit? Let’s be real. Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversations. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

  • Emcee, cubed

    Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

    Right. Because the “greed” of being able to provide for yourself and your family by working a full-time job is SO comparable to the greed of getting everything you can even if you destroy the world economy in the process.

    So are you being disingenuous, or are you really that much of an idiot?

  • Emcee, cubed

    Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

    Right. Because the “greed” of being able to provide for yourself and your family by working a full-time job is SO comparable to the greed of getting everything you can even if you destroy the world economy in the process.

    So are you being disingenuous, or are you really that much of an idiot?

  • Anonymous

    Your unsubstantiated claims against Herman Cain discredit all you say here.

    Do you understand what “substantiated” means? Because either you are ignorant of the definition of the word, or you are openly lying. Fred substantiated his claims about Herman Cain three times over. You see where the black lettering turns to blue lettering? That’s called a “link.” If you click on it with your mouse, it will take you to a different website (in this case three different websites), which is where Fred got his information from.

     it seems to serve the poor the rich must be penalized.

    Again, I must ask you if you understand what the word “penalized” actually means? Because there is no intellectually honest way to look at our current economic situation and think anything close to punishment is happening to the rich. You can say that the poor are being penalized for being poor. Frankly many members of the rich should be penalized for their rampant crimes, but that’s not going to happen.

    But let’s take a reality-based look at this, shall we? America isn’t a nation, a people, land, instead it is a structure, an organization. As a structure it allows a degree of economic, political, and social movement. This structure allows certain people to accumulate assets. In exchange those people have to provide for the maintenance of the structure, because its existence is what allowed them to accumulate those assets in the first place, and protect those assets in the second place. Right now, those people whom the structure has heavily favored are shirking their duty to maintain it, and pushing it off onto those whom the structure has not worked out so well for. In fact, they have asked for those people who have been exploited by the structure known as America to pay them large amounts of money with zero accountability.

    Adjusting this structure is not punishment, in fact, it is in the wealthy’s best interests.

    I wonder what you would say to Jesus if here were to say something lie, “The poor you will always have with you.”

    Wow, just wow. I think I will link to Fred on this subject. Needless to say, when Jesus said that, it was a bitter, angry rebuke and a condemnation of the people of Israel for their failures.

  • Lori

     I think about all the stories people have told me over the years of the ways they escaped taxes or hid income or pulled the wool over somebody’s eyes in a private transaction, and I think it is just exactly what everyone seems to want to be able to do. However, when someone gets the bad consequences instead of the good ones, that person gets mad and cries “Foul!” How come it is foul when someone else gets the benefit and fine when you get the benefit? Let’s be real. Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY! 

    Speak for yourself. You may very well be greedy, selfish and envious. If your post is accurate you definitely know people who are. That seems to have given you quite a warped view of what “everyone” does. You’re certainly completely clueless about the bank issue. Don’t try to put your issues and your ignorance off on the rest of us.

  • Hawker40

    “(Currently, the US doesn’t have a draft. And I’m SURE drafted corporation could get a deferment. :-P )”

    Probably for having a pimple (excuse me, “cyst”) on thier butt.
    Or get into a National Guard unit that will never, ever deploy.

  • Anonymous

    Just curious.

    No, you’re not. In the future, please don’t say things you do not mean.

    What makes up the staff and administration of a bank? People. Forgive me while I point out that a bank, like any other corporation, is people.

    No, they aren’t. Any sociologist and any psychologist will tell you that an organization is most certainly not people. And people within an organization are more than willing to perform actions that they would consider morally abhorrent otherwise. An organization is an authoritarian thing, it encourages obedience and rewards submission. It cheers on treachery and betrayal. People have to actively work in order to prevent organizations from becoming sociopathic things, which is particularly difficult in business organizations, as their entire point of being is profit. Making sure that “at any cost” is not added onto that point is a lot of hard work, and often fails.

    People who invested.

    Who are often being robbed blind by their CEOs and Board of Directors. Shareholders don’t exactly have a lot of rights, you know.

    People who work there.

    Who are being horribly screwed over. Note the regressing wages, the non-existent benefits, the lack of opportunities.

    People who save money and have checking accounts.

    Who are also being horribly screwed over. Their currently trying to roll back the legislation that prevented banks from stealing their money with ridiculous fees.

    That is what a bank is.

    But that’s not what a bank has to be. It can be something better.

    You cannot hate the bank without hating people.

    Why yes, you can. You can absolutely hate a system that privileges and rewards atrociously immoral behavior without hating the people stuck in it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=804043045 Abdul Jah

    Katherine –

    Think of it this way. If I make a bad investment, I’ll probably lose all of the money I put in. If things get really bad — I get sick, or I become disabled, or I get hit by a bus, or the company I work for shuts down — I’m pretty much screwed.

    If I’m a bank and I make a bad investment, the government gives me billions of dollars. If I’m the CEO and something gets screwed up — regardless of if it’s my fault or not — I’m guaranteed a golden parachute and there are almost no consequences to my actions; I’ll have no trouble finding another job and even if I don’t I’ll be rich for the rest of my life.

    I think that’s the issue. You’re trying to compare the consequences and results of a bad decision made by one person with a bad decision made by a large corporation. One of them can devastate a dozen people — the other can ruin the lives of thousands.

  • Anonymous

    And a lot of these protesters strike me as more the victims of
    unscrupulous higher education honchoes than of evil, wicked Wall
    Street.  A degree in fine arts, unless you have major, major talent, is not going to get you a good job, particularly in these hard times.

    Lemme tell you something, kid.  Before the recession, an educational degree was pretty much a guaranteed job.  Not the best pay in the world, but because there will always be public schools (we hope), there will always be a need for teachers.

    The recession has caused A LOT of school districts to cut back, so that instead of having enough teachers to keep class size down to say, 20-30, you have classes of 40 or more, and a lot of unemployed teachers.

    I tried to get a job teaching in either a public or private school in 3 counties, and nobody would hire the new college grad with no experience.  If I hadn’t been qualified for a 2-year-college job, I would be unemployed.

    Not everyone in the 99% has a liberal-arts degree.  A lot of us have degrees in things that are supposed to be useful, but in this broken economy aren’t.

  • Anonymous

    I think about all the stories people have told me over the years of the ways they escaped taxes or hid income or pulled the wool over somebody’s eyes in a private transaction, and I think it is just exactly what everyone seems to want to be able to do.

    You can think that, but it doesn’t mean it is true. In fact, it says more about you personally than it does about anyone else.

    Some of us don’t actually spend all our times thinking “how can I screw the system to get more?”

    However, when someone gets the bad consequences instead of the good ones, that person gets mad and cries “Foul!”

    Generally when people are caught doing something illegal that is their first response. We don’t like feeling guilty about crimes, so we construct elaborate justifications for why we never committed a crime in the first place.

    How come it is foul when someone else gets the benefit and fine when you get the benefit?

    It isn’t. You know what, allow me to make a book recommendation. Dr. Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”. You can read the entire thing online for free. Needless to say, he goes into great detail about how there are two segments of people in the population, one of which has a destructive “screw everyone else” view in almost every situation, the other of which wouldn’t even have that idea occur to them.

    Let’s be real.

    Oh, good.

    Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation.

    No, they’re not. And if you think that way, well, again, that says more about you than it does about “everybody.”

    It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

    Nope, it’s the rich and those they’ve deluded.

  • Emcee, cubed

    What makes up the staff and administration of a bank? People. Forgive me
    while I point out that a bank, like any other corporation, is people.
    People who invested. People who work there. People who save money and
    have checking accounts. That is what a bank is. You cannot hate the bank
    without hating people.

    What makes up the staff and administration of a government? People. Forgive me while I point out that a government, like any other organization, is people. People who are elected. People who work there. People who vote and who are governed. That is what a government is. You cannot hate the government without hating people.

    Same logic. Why do I think you won’t agree with my version?

  • P J Evans

    A lot of the ‘occupy’ people aren’t kids in or just out of college. A lot of tem are people whose jobs disappeared to Asia, and no one is hiring. If you’re over 50, most companies won’t even bother with your resume. If you’ve been out of the market for any length of time, they won’t look at you. Yes, there are laws about that – but the government has to enforce them before companies will take them seriously again.

  • Lori

     Your unsubstantiated claims against Herman Cain discredit all you say here. it seems to serve the poor the rich must be penalized.  

     

    Herman Cain’s economic plan (and I use that term very loosely) is a regressive tax (look it up). That means that it benefits the rich by punishing the poor. Apparently that’s fine with you. That indicates a problem with you, not with the rest of us. 

    I guess I can’t really be surprised that a Cain apologist doesn’t understand the actual implications of the 999 plan since Cain himself doesn’t seem to understand what a regressive tax is and why it’s bad. Either that or he is simultaneously the most heartless and the most clueless serious presidential candidate the US has had in my lifetime. His plan would seriously screw the poor in order to give gifts to the rich and he isn’t doing even a remotely credible job covering that up. 

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/09/339783/herman-cain-tax-food/

    Note: If Cain gets elected I’ll be looking for partners to help me start a food resale business. 

  • Anonymous

    Your unsubstantiated claims against Herman Cain discredit all you say here.

    Where did Fred say anything about Herman Cain?

    it seems to serve the poor the rich must be penalized.

    Not ‘penalized’. ‘Made to pay their fair share’. Yes, their fair share is bigger than ours; that’s because they’ve got more of the pie than we do.

    I wonder what you would say to Jesus if here were to say something lie, “The poor you will always have with you.”
    That’s an IS statement, not an OUGHT statement. Even if everybody were subsistence farmers, there would always be people getting too little rain and people getting too much and people getting the right amount, so there would always be people growing too little and people growing just enough and people growing enough and to spare, so there would always be poor and rich, by the standards of that society. The poor you will always have with you because it is not humanly possible to create a society where no one is poorer than anyone else. Not, the poor you will always have with you because that’s the way things are supposed to be and no one should try to change that.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s be real. Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

    I’m greedy for wanting my full-time job to pay me enough that I don’t have to live with my parents? I’m selfish for wanting to be able to afford health insurance? I’m envious because I look at the one percent of the country who have all the money and I think maybe I’d be better off and so would they if they had a smaller share of the country’s money?

    I think those words do not mean what you think they mean.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Herman Cain has to know what a regressive tax is. He was a businessman and used to be on the board of directors for the US Federal Reserve bank. I think he’s just hoping that no one will care enough about poor people to hold his tax plan against him. I also think the only reason his plan is popular is that it’s really simple — it can fit on a poster or a sign really well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    No, you’re not. In the future, please don’t say things you do not mean.

    Oh my God, I hate when people do that. The cutesy little, “Just curious” or “I’m just asking, is all”. OWN YOUR OPINIONS. If you want to say something, just say it — don’t add a little phrase that makes it look like you’re just asking a question or pointing out something weird that you noticed.

    Thanks for calling it out for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    No, you’re not. In the future, please don’t say things you do not mean.

    Oh my God, I hate when people do that. The cutesy little, “Just curious”
    or “I’m just asking, is all”. OWN YOUR OPINIONS. If
    you want to say something, just say it — don’t add a little phrase that
    makes it look like you’re just asking a question or pointing out
    something weird that you noticed.

    Thanks for calling it out for me.

  • Matri

    Do you understand what “substantiated” means? Because either you are
    ignorant of the definition of the word, or you are openly lying.

    Maybe he thinks using big words that sound important will make him sound smarter than he really is. It’s either that, or he’s got the right-wing blinders on, which keep him from acknowledging that everyone has actually backed up their statements just so he can focus on taking parts of statements out-of-context so he can continue attacking reality for not conforming to his fantasy.

  • ako

    I think about all the stories people have told me over the years of
    the ways they escaped taxes or hid income or pulled the wool over
    somebody’s eyes in a private transaction, and I think it is just exactly
    what everyone seems to want to be able to do.

    Possibly if you associated with a wider variety of people, you would have a less cynical view of human nature?  It sounds like something is biasing you towards seeing the worst in people, and it might be associating with people who consider cheating others something to brag about.

    I can assure you, being so proud of how you scam a person that you actually brag it is not a universal human trait.

    Everybody is greedy, selfish and envious in this conversation. It isn’t the rich; it is EVERYBODY!

    On what basis are you categorizing people as greedy, selfish, and envious?  Because if you’re categorizing a person as greedy, selfish, and envious for having any feelings of greed, selfishness, and envy, that might be universally true.  It’s also irrelevant, because no one’s criticizing corporations for being run by people who have bad thoughts.

    If you’re talking about people being primarily motivated by greed, selfishness, and envy, that’s not true.  I know I make an effort to restrain my urges in that direction, and I’d want other people to stop me if I let my greed and selfishness run to harmful extremes.  When corporations become engines of uncontrolled selfishness and greed, it is a good thing for people to speak out against their actions and seek to stop them.  (I think envy is a red herring – it keeps being brought up in order to suggest bad faith on the part of the protesters, but they seem to be directing their complaints primarily against people who they believe are doing concrete harm, not merely people who have a lot.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The fact that this person seems to know like a zillion people who cheated on their taxes sounds to me like they’re just jelly they didn’t muster the chutzpah to try and slide a questionable tax deduction past the IRS, and are now taking it out on all the “ENVIERS” of the rich.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I think that’s the issue. You’re trying to compare the consequences and results of a bad decision made by one person with a bad decision made by a large corporation. One of them can devastate a dozen people — the other can ruin the lives of thousands.

    “Can ruin the lives of thousands”, NONE OF WHOM will be the person making the bad decision.

    Republicans seem to be perfectly OK with this.  “Party of Personal Responsibility”, my butt.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    If you’ve been out of the market for any length of time, they won’t look at you. 

    Yep.  “There’s a Gap”, as Barbara Ehreinreich heard a few thousand times when she tried to get a white-collar job in her book Bait and Switch

    That infamous hippie muckraking rag Forbes, on the “No unemployed need apply” problem.

    And here’s Time magazine on the subject.

  • Anonymous

    Luckily the free market has a solution to the Catch-22 of being unemployable while unemployed: work for free.  Per the linked article:

    With nearly 14 million unemployed workers in America, many have gotten so desperate that they’re willing to work for free. While some businesses are wary of the legal risks and supervision such an arrangement might require, companies that have used free workers say it can pay off when done right.
    “People who work for free are far hungrier than anybody who has a salary, so they’re going to outperform, they’re going to try to please, they’re going to be creative,” says Kelly Fallis, chief executive of Remote Stylist, a Toronto and New York-based startup that provides Web-based interior design services. “From a cost savings perspective, to get something off the ground, it’s huge. Especially if you’re a small business.”

    You heard it here first.  Unpaid labor: good for companies, good for workers!

  • Madhabmatics

    Holy moly!!

  • Madhabmatics

    Holy moly!!

  • Anonymous
    “People who work for free are far hungrier than anybody who has a salary

    You know, I bet that’s very often true!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Yeah, it really sucks. As PJ Evans and Consumer Unit 5012 said, if you have a large period of unemployment on your resume — or if you’ve been working in a job unrelated to your technical skills — it makes it much harder to get a job (employers will assume that if you’re a computer programmer or something like that your skills will be rusty and out-of-date compared to someone who has been working / interning / volunteering in the field for the same amount of time.

    Speaking of interning, this isn’t a new thing. a lot of companies have been illegally using interns as free labor. They would use unpaid interns desperate to break into an industry by making them work basically the same as a regular employee, generally without educational training and sometimes with fake promises that they might be hired even though the company knew full well that they weren’t planning to hire anyone. President Obama has been cracking down on them lately.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?pagewanted=all

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    In what sane world does this article show up anywhere but on The Onion??

  • Anonymous

    You heard it here first.  Unpaid labor: good for companies, good for workers!

    Wow, we are literally going back to slavery…

  • P J Evans

     I believe that the company I work at pays its interns. (Otherwise there wouldn’t be anyone wanting to be one.)

  • P J Evans

    His plan seems to rely on most people buying clothes and furniture at yard sales or second-hand stores.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X