I’m tired of this crap.
Why do these right wing idiots and so many economic "experts" bitch so much about how those poor put-upon rich people are suffering far more than the rest of us due to the collapse of the markets? Do they even realize how stupid that sounds?
Here’s the deal, folks; The stock market was in a BUBBLE. The mortgage securities market caused housing values to BUBBLE. What that means is, most of the “gains” in those markets were only gains on paper, so few actual monetary losses actually occurred. The people I feel bad for are not the rich CEOs, who took a few million dollars worth of stock in their companies, and now those shares – which they got for free, by the way – are now worth half as much.I feel bad for the working people who were screwed by these creeps, and who put so much of their hard earned money “retirement accounts,” which gave these people seed money for their nefarious activities.
See, the fact that the market was in a BUBBLE means most of the market valuation of the last few years was bullshit. I don’t feel bad for Warren Buffet because he used to be worth $62 billion, and now he’s “only” worth $30 billion or something like that. But I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher the other night, and Erin Burnett of CNBC actually suggested that increasing taxes on the rich might be “unfair,” because they’ve lost the bulk of the $30 trillion in market value that’s been lost. Is she kidding with that shit?(I checked my podcast later, and sure enough; she said it. And you wonder why we have such little regard for economic "experts" these days.)
Oh, sure. Tell that to the working stiff with an upside-down mortgage and a 401(k) that he was hoping to retire on comfortably at 65, who now has to hope there’s enough left to retire on by the time he’s 75 or 80. Yeah, tell him that increasing the top rate from 36% to 39% on every dollar over $250,000 by some guy who’s already worth billions is just too great a burden to bear. Warren Buffet could lose 99% of his previous paper fortune, and he would still make out okay. On the other hand, the GM worker who might lose everything because of these crooks, may not make out so well.
And let’s talk about this $30 trillion in “value” the markets have supposedly “lost” over the last 18 months. I know “financial experts” like Ms. Burnett, Jim Cramer and their other compadres at CNBC hate it when people say this, but the money wasn’t really there. Securities markets aren’t supposed to rise as fast as they have over the last 25 years, and these “experts” are a bunch of chumps, if they think everything was just fine. They should have seen something was wrong – how many times should securities markets rise and fall before someone notices that something unnatural is going on? It took nearly 30 years for the Dow to rise in value from 200 to 1000 points, and it actually dropped significantly during the worst inflationary cycle in our history. It took nearly ten years after that to get back to 1000 and stay, and another 10 to rise from 1000 to 3000. Yet, in the last 15 years, it’s risen and fallen so much, it’s no longer an indicator of how well the overall economy's doing. Did the “experts” learn nothing from the bursting of the tech bubble? Why didn't they learn from the Enron bubble? These people were actually thinking the markets could continue to go up forever and ever, with no end in sight.And the reality is, such markets are not sustainable, because the money in them isn't real.
The reality is, that money was never actually there, and the only people who really got screwed were the honest IRA and 401(k) investors, who could have simply invested in a CD or maybe some treasuries, and would have ended up better off. No; they were convinced by Republicans and scam artists, that as long as there was a steady flow of investment money into the markets, they would go up and up forever and ever, with only the occasional “correction” acting as a bump in the road. This, of course, is ridiculous, as we all now know.
The reality is, scam artists were allowed to operate legally under Republican/neocon rule. And to be quite honest, that would pretty much include Bill Clinton. Essentially, the entire economy became based on "stock performance," and there was no consideration of anything beyond the current fiscal quarter, nor was there any concern for any of the people the economy rolled over in its wake. Speculators” were allowed to run rampant, and caused prices to go unnaturally high in various markets, and then took the spoils when those markets crashed.
They screwed up to the commodities markets several times (seriously; there was no other reason for oil to get to $150 a barrel last year), the stock markets during the tech bubble (seriously, what logical reason was there to pay $100 a share for stock in a browser company that gave its main product away?), the Enron bubble (did anyone notice that Enron wasn’t actually producing anything but cash?), and finally, the last real estate bubble, in which no “expert” seemed to figure out that subprime adjustable rate mortgages were a ticking time bomb. Hell; I'm no "expert," but I was writing about this in 2004 and 2005.
Since the 1980s, our economy has largely been built upon investments themselves, and we have gotten away from the nuts and bolts of what made our country great in the first place. We are falling behind economically, because our investment has been in investment itself, and we’ve allowed crooks and scam artists to rob us blind. We’ve allowed CEOs to make outrageous salaries, based almost solely on their ability to scam the market. Think about this; for years, these guys have been screwing the working man, in a vain attempt to enhance their stock performance. They shipped our jobs overseas, to make their stock look more valuable. They broke unions, to make their stock look good. They located their offices offshore, in order to enhance the value of their stock.
Everything has been about enriching themselves, and making their stock look good, and they don’t give a damn about this country, or our economy. Therefore, forgive me if I point and laugh at the rich. Their phony-ass stock market came crashing down on their heads, and I say good for them.
Here’s an idea; let’s go back to an economy in which people sell things and perform services and make money. Reward actual entrepreneurs, who actually build things or provide services, and break up these huge conglomerates, whose only purpose is to boost their fortunes in the stock market. Remember when we used to laugh at Ralph Kramden and his silly get rich quick schemes? Now, we have an entire economy based on trying to discover ways to make a lot of money while making nothing and producing no real services. We need a utilitarian economy that makes wealth for everyone, not a scam economy that builds wealth
But don’t feel sorry for the rich. Are you kidding me? They haven’t lost shit.