Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tyranny of the Fortunate

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." -- John Maynard Keynes

Is it any wonder that we've lost our way (not that we ever really knew "our way") when tragedy happens and the things we are worried about are our stock portfolios? Capitalism is broken. Our media is broken. People are broken.

Larry Kudlow Devalues Human Life With Japan Earthquake Freudian Slip

In these tough economic times, isn’t it nice to know that calamitous natural disasters needn't have an adverse affect on your investment portfolio? After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan failed to induce a market nosedive, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow expressed his relief in terms that seemed to appall even his fellow cheerleaders for capitalism: “The human toll here,” he declared, “looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”

I detest the trolls that populate these channels and I detest the sheep that hang on their every word. Go and get real job. Build something. Make something. Help someone. Don't profit from the suffering of others. We need to stop rewarding people for just moving money around. Insurance agents, mortgage lenders, bankers, stock brokers, venture capitalists, CEO's ... my garbage man contributes more to society than you do.

"Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate." -- Bertrand Russell


wunelle said...

"my garbage man contributes more to society than you do."

I agree with this completely. We have become a culture that values money and the making of money over everything else. This seems like us at our most wrong: placing the highest value on the money earned by other money.

We used to be a culture that made things of value for the world. Now we're a culture of super-rich "executives" and a huge underclass of grunts.

CyberKitten said...

I do so hate it when a 'dollar valuation' is put on things like human life. When people are represented by money how far are we from buying and selling people like they are mere comodities?

When someone can see the devestation in Japan and be thankful that more people died than property was destroyed or the the stock market didn't react as baddly as it could have they need their humanity to be revoked - or at least seriously looked at!

dbackdad said...

When I first read what Kudlow said, it was sickening enough. And the video does nothing to make it any less appalling. The thing is ... he is merely saying out loud what many on Wall Street (and those that hang on their every word) were probably thinking. It reminds me of what Bush said after 9/11 ... that it was important for Americans to keep spending like normal. That was the message he got out of thousands of people dying - that we couldn't let tragedy upset our markets and our "way of life".

Wunelle said, "We used to be a culture that made things of value for the world." - Exactly. Scientists and engineers and astronauts used to be our rock stars. Jonas Salk, Chuck Yeager, Einstein, etc. Now, it's Glenn Beck and the Jersey Shore cast.

CK said, " ... they need their humanity to be revoked" - No doubt. And the two other people on the broadcast did not protest at all. If I would have been sitting next to him, I would have backhanded him. But they didn't. Because like too much of our market-driven society, they have had their souls sucked out and replaced by some vague abstraction called "freedom". Not real freedom, mind you. But what has come to pass for freedom. A society where the spending of money is considered "free speech". A society where a corporation is a person and is given all of the benefits of that and none of the responsibilities. A society where freedom of religion is the freedom to be a Christian and to shove it down everyone else's throats. A society where the right to bear arms to defend one's self is the right to have semi-automatic weapons.

Something has gotten lost in translation.