Posted by: coloradokiwi | March 26, 2009

Whiny Crybabies of the World, Unite! (Um, with the proletariat, of course)

There’s been a bit of buzz about a NYT piece by Jake DeSantis.  DeSantis is one of the infamous AIG-FP folks who worked under world class supervillain Joseph Cassano—these people are at the eye of the storm.  DeSantis reminds readers that not everyone who worked in his unit is a bad guy, and that he and others toiled away, not doing anything wrong, and therefore it’s unfair not only to bully them, but also to take away their compensation.  My reaction:  what Digby, et al said.

It’s not as if DeSantis is wrong:  what he’s experiencing seems pretty unfair.  But really, cry me a river:  he is still infinitely better off than millions of Americans.  Let’s also face facts:  you can make it in this country if you work hard and do things right, but you also had better be pretty lucky (or at least, avoid really terrible luck), and the most lucky thing you can do is be born white, male, and at least middle class or better.  But you know, beyond that it’s all you (note:  sarcasm).

 The point here is not so much that we should be hunting down rich people and making them feel real pain (economic or otherwise).  The point is that the oligopolistic and kleptocratic tendencies of our government (whose incestuous relationship with big businesses of all stripes makes fascism look positively quaint and charmingly idealistic) has resulted in everyone other than the super elite being shat on, and the people who have been lucky and manage to actually succeed (or at least, get by just fine) despite all of this should at least do the rest of us a courtesy and shut the fuck up.  In the meantime, why don’t you use your position of influence and capital and join us plebes who would prefer to reverse this trend in government-abetted corporatism?

Or,  Jake, how about this for a bit of perspective:  as a result of the head of your unit and a few other mucky-mucks in the know taking your company right down the toilet, being merely the largest firm among many to do so, the entire world economy is now in turmoil.  People will die because of this—many moreso than might have otherwise.  But leaving that aside, let’s be a little less alarmist.  You aren’t getting your compensation, and this is unfair.  You know what is also unfair?  Thousands of people won’t be getting their retirement pensions, on which they were relying as their primary source of income (some of whom now face the prospect of leaping into the tightest job market in decades, amidst an environment of what might be widespread ageism).  And you know what?  At least your company went to bat for you.  As you point out, for several months AIG appeared to have every intention of paying you.  The same can not be said of everyone else:  that money was never considered anything but gone, by everyone—by AIG, by Congress, by the White House, and undoubtedly on more cynical terms by the people themselves.  

So really, just take your righteous indignation somewhere else, Jake.  This isn’t a contest to see who has it worst:  it’s a test to see whether you have the appropriate perspective on how to right future wrongs.  You just failed.

Finally, not to be missed among Digby’s links is this fine quote:  

Meanwhile American teenagers are getting shot at in Iraq because maybe the Army will help pay their college tuition?

“Death threats?” Seriously?


See, THAT is perspective.  It also neatly summarizes just one facet of how we’ve gone awry in this country.


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