The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time record high, so it’s time to celebrate! We the people have regained the wealth we lost five and a half years ago! It’s time to throw a $16 billion par-tay!
I can’t wait to roll around in those kinds of bills, can you? That $16 billion recovery works out to $50.79 per American. But before you run out and get yourself a new toaster oven for this evening’s celebratory Hors d’oeuvres, here’s the caveat: “The rebound in wealth has benefited mostly wealthier Americans. The Dow Jones industrial average has just set a record high, and roughly 80 percent of stocks are held by the wealthiest 10 percent of households.”
Forbes just added 17 Americans to its Billionaires List. There are a total of 442 Americans on the list, more than any other country. This is all part of a growing economy, right? Not so much for the 800,000 people facing furlough and a 20 percent pay cut. And while Americans just can’t hear “too big to fail” too much, they sure as hell can get too much of small businesses, which are now deemed too small to give a rat’s ass about.
This “recovery” doesn’t look at all like the picture painted by the rich. It’s way more like your car stealing, toilet hugging, piggybank stealing alcoholic relatives getting out of the rehabilitation center you paid for who are driving your car past you as you walk to work. Never mind you’ve yet to figure out how to get rid of the putrid smell they left in your bathroom; those jack-offs hit the lottery and are now making headlines that are calling you out as “unsupportive” and “enabling.” And the rest of your family is eating it up.
Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse, said the $16 billion worth of good news, “Should boost consumption, because as people feel wealthier they tend to spend more. It doesn’t necessarily mean that households will go on a spending spree.” Well, that’s not entirely true.
Sequestration will halt rental assistance to 109,617 U.S. families at an average of $116 per month per family. Meanwhile, Lamborghini has sold all three of their 2013 Lamborghini Venenos, two of them to Americans, for $3.9 million each (before tax). The taxes alone ($780,000 each) that these two Americans paid to Italy on the purchase of this car could keep 13,448 American families from losing their rental assistance.
Literally laboring under the delusion that talking shit about rich people will somehow jinx their own chances of becoming rich, I have heard many times from a lot of hard-working, non-loophole-tax-paying friends, relatives and acquaintances that I should not hold a rich person’s wealth against them. Their most common mantra: “You can’t hate them for their success.”
Like hell I can’t, but that’s not the point. I don’t hate rich people, their wealth or their success. I hate anyone’s indifference to others; whether it’s refusing to call 911 when you know someone needs an ambulance or claiming “U.S. Recovery Remains On Track With Modest Growth” when in reality the ‘U.S.’ has very little to do with it. The U.S. is not just its financial sector, but damned if the financial sector hasn’t convinced too many farmers, teachers, firefighters and grocery store clerks of just that.
No matter how much debt we go into just to maintain our health or try to better ourselves with college, we seem determined to support a swarm of psychopaths who made up for their own self-inflicted losses on our dime without giving anything back to those they’d ripped off; and now they’re saying their good fortune is good news for everyone. Does this dynamic sound familiar to some of you? It does if you’re the parent of an irresponsible teenager, have a substance-abusing relative, or are the person who is fingerprinting a criminal you’ve fingerprinted many times before.
The taxpayers bailed out and then supplemented the already inflated incomes of a lot of very rich people to the tune of $700 billion, which was paid out to 100 percent rich people and zero percent anyone else. The rich are barely taxpayers, enjoying the fruit of lobbying labor that is now so many layers of loopholes that they pay little and sometimes no tax. So where do you suppose all the tax revenue is coming from? And I’m supposed to be cheer them on? It’s as if everyone in America who makes less than $100,000 a year is some kind of dazzled, dreamy-eyed teenage girl who got pubic lice and pregnant from her one date with the captain of the football team who then threw her a wad of $20 bills to “take care of it.” And she still pines after him.
Meanwhile, as part of sequestration’s $85 billion spending cuts, zero percent of the rich are in danger of losing housing, utilities or food while a whole lot of working poor will lose one or all of these things. That’s not hating success or the successful. That’s hating blatant disregard for one’s fellow man that manifests as bullshit headlines and vulgar displays of wealth, a significant part of which was not built with good old hard work, but rather with loopholes and taxpayer-paid corporate welfare that costs so much, small businesses are now being forced down and/or out with no chance of ever becoming too big to fail.
The greatest trick a rich person ever pulled was convincing a poor person that the rich deserve to be defended by the poor. Meanwhile, the financial nightmare many are living is the dream that was sold by the financial sector.