Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Example of How the Ultra-Rich are Out-to-Lunch

Here is a post by Paul Krugman pointing out that the self-pity of the over-paid on Wall Street is shocking because (a) it is so ridiculous given how wildly inflated their remuneration is and (b) it is so out-of-touch with the very real harm that their financial "engineering" has caused to the overall economy:
A wonderful juxtaposition:

Max Abelson reports on the sorrows of the financial elite:
An era of decline and disappointment for bankers may not end for years, according to interviews with more than two dozen executives and investors. Blaming government interference and persecution, they say there isn’t enough global stability, leverage or risk appetite to triumph in the current slump.

Options Group’s Karp said he met last month over tea at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York with a trader who made $500,000 last year at one of the six largest U.S. banks.

The trader, a 27-year-old Ivy League graduate, complained that he has worked harder this year and will be paid less. The headhunter told him to stay put and collect his bonus.

“This is very demoralizing to people,” Karp said. “Especially young guys who have gone to college and wanted to come onto the Street, having dreams of becoming millionaires.”
Meanwhile, Catherine Rampell reports on Bankers’ Salaries vs. Everyone Else’s, telling us that
the average salary in the industry in 2010 was $361,330 — five and a half times the average salary in the rest of the private sector in the city ($66,120). By contrast, 30 years ago such salaries were only twice as high as in the rest of the private sector.
It would all be hilariously funny if these people weren’t destroying the world.
I call the above the "Marie Antoinette" syndrome. The rich socialize with other rich. They always are jealous of somebody richer. They have completely lost contact with ordinary working class and middle class people. They simply don't realize that they live a pampered unreal life and that the policies they push (by bribing politicians!) are unsustainable.

I compare the current economic situation to a game of Monopoly. As one player owns most of the properties and has put houses or hotels on his properties, he soon gathers in all the money and forces the game to an end as he bankrupts everybody around him. The ultra-rich in the US are driving the entire country into bankruptcy because they want more, more, more! They want their taxes lower, lowered more, and lowered even more! They think nothing of tearing up the social contract to keep feathering their own nest. If the poor and middle classes complain and go out on the street like Occupy Wall Street protesters, this 1% elite accuse the bottom 99% of "class warfare"!

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