Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bread & Circus

First thing I see while sipping my home made 20cent cappuccino this morning? This: "Banks Prepare for Bigger Bonuses, and Public’s Wrath." Well, well. Prepared for wrath, are they? Their car service bundles them to and from the office in Hummers, now, so they can run down any protesting riffraff? They've converted unused bedroom number four in their Park Avenue triplex into a food pantry stocked with beluga caviar, triple-creme brie, english biscuits, and Moet et Chandon.

Nobody earns $600,000 dollars a year (average Goldman-Sachs payout), much less $68 million. They steal it. There's no other explanation. It's just a question of not getting caught. Yet. These folks are a state sanctioned mob, a government sponsored Cosa Nostra, and one day the riffraff will wise up just like they did in France back in 1789.

Picture a very talented carpenter who does quite well -- he earns $60,000. How is it conceivable that the average trader at Goldman works ten times as hard -- much less more than 1000 times as hard like Mr. Blankfein does -- without ever creating anything tangible?

“There is nothing I’ve seen that gives me the slightest feeling that these people have learned anything from the crisis,” Mr. Reed said. “They just don’t get it. They are off in a different world.”
And that's from a from Mr. Reed, a founder of Citigroup.

These folks pick our pockets, leaving our country a battered, impoverished wasteland. One day we'll figure out (remember?) that to create real wealth, you have to create something real, or directly facilitate the creation of something real, and then export it (see industrial revolution, China, India, S. Korea, or -- feeling optimistic -- renewable energy technology). For now, it's bread and circus.

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