The other day, Max Ableson accomplished an excellent feat of "George Gurley-ism." That's the term, named for legendary character assassin/reporter George Gurley, for letting the subjects of a story massacre themselves with their own words. Ableson's targets were wealthy financial elites who whined about feeling victimized by public outrage over their privileged status.
Josh Brown, who blogs as Reformed Broker, explains to Jamie Dimon and all the other fat cats quoted in Ableson's piece that they are wrong about what irks people. It isn't the wealth of the fat cats. It's how they came by the wealth and what it cost the rest of us.
Here in New York, we hated watching real estate and financial services elitists drive up the prices of everything from affordable apartments to martinis in midtown with the reckless speculation that would eventually lead to mass layoffs, rampant joblessness and the wreckage of so many retirement dreams. No one ever asked the rest of us if we minded, it just happened. I’m sure people across the country can tell similar stories.
So please, do us all a favor and come to the realization that the loathing you feel from your fellow Americans has nothing to do with your “success” or your “wealth” and it has everything to do with the fact that your wealth and success have come at a cost to the rest of us. No one wants your money or opportunities, what they want is the same chance that their parents had to attain these things for themselves. You are viewed, and rightfully so, as part of the machine that has removed this chance for many — and that is what they hate.
America hates unjustified privilege, it hates an unfair playing field and crony capitalism without the threat of bankruptcy, it hates privatized gains and socialized losses, it hates rule changes that benefit the few at the expense of the many and it hates people who have been bailed out and don’t display even the slightest bit of remorse or humbleness in the presence of so much suffering in the aftermath.
Nobody hates your right to make money, Jamie. They hate how you and certain others have made it.
Don’t be confused on this score for a moment longer.
Preach on brother.
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