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The researchers at Pew Social & Demographic Trends aren’t holding back in their new report on the middle class. It calls the last 11 years, “the lost decade” for the country’s middle class. The highlight from the report issued today is that the middle class is poorer, earning less and shrinking.

via Pew: Middle Class Poorer, Earning Less And Shrinking : The Two-Way

(via wilwheaton)

Bill Moyers interview- they talk about Sallie Mae and private loans for college students at sky-high interest rates, about the decimation of the middle class. Ever cheerful stuff.


I’m ridiculously rich by most standards (including mine, for most of my life), and pay taxes on my income without begrudging it, and I considers myself mostly lucky that the stuff I like to write is the stuff that other people like to read… So this struck a chord…


Leon Cooperman the Omega Advisors Inc. chairman and former CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s money-management unit….  [wrote that] Capitalists “are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be….’

“[Now] Cooperman, 68, said in an interview that he can’t walk through the dining room of St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, without being thanked for speaking up. At least four people expressed their gratitude on Dec. 5 while he was eating an egg-white omelet, he said.”


Max Abelson wrote a story today for Bloomberg about the hurt feelings of many bankers and CEOs who feel they are for some weird reason being cast as the villains in “A Christmas Carol” the bleak economy.

Allow me to tell you a story.

At one point on my book tour, I was approached in the airport by a former banker.

He told me he was a life long Democrat and a huge fan of The Daily Show, but he also felt that Jon and the show had it all wrong.

(Because he was a multi millionaire, he has the right to just start critizing anyone in the airport he wants.)

He said that the bankers were not the bad guys in the subprime mortgage scandal and near financial collapse that they had everything to do with. They were just doing what the government allowed them to do.*

And so: he felt it was unfair and hurtful to make the bankers out to be the bad guys.

I was very happy to finally have the chance to say this to someone’s face:

I told him that as a freelance person, I had no idea how much money I would make this year. I never do.

But during the previous few years, due to hard work and exceedingly strange circumstance, I had made more money than I had ever conceived of making in my life. I had also paid a huge bucket of local, state, and city taxes, and that was JUST FINE WITH ME.

Because I knew that I had very little to worry about when it came to providing for my family and me this holiday season. And I suspected he didn’t as well.

But there are many, many people who are VERY worried about this. And out of consideration to them, it seemed to me a little unseemly for wealthy to care so much about the names they might be called.

“From my point of view,” I said, “I think you and me and other wealthy people should just suck it in and take it.”

I have never said anything like this out loud to a stranger before in my life, never mind a stranger who has money; but as I am now a Deranged Millionaire, I now have that right to speak my mind.

Naturally, he just ignored what I said and offered to consult on the Daily Show if we wanted.



LOOK: I do not mean to suggest that anyone in this piece is a monster. I am sure they are smart, innovative, and good to their families and employees. I respect success IMMENSELY and I am a capitalist.

However, I know better now than ever that wealth deranges.

It disconnects you from the world. It inflates your self-regard. It allows you to believe that four people congratulating you at your country club makes you a GODDAMN HERO OF AMERICA.

And it leads you to say things like former banker John A. Allison said in the article linked:

Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.”

Because of course, you non-millionaires are not productive, and not worthy.

I know this from experience: when wealth takes hold, the brain creates a new reality in order to explain your new fortune over the poor fortunes of others.

It is not enough to say, as some of these men do, “I am wealthy, and I got some lucky advantages, but I also worked really hard and found some opportunities, and I am proud of it.”

You must instead say: “my extreme wealth proves that I DESERVE to be wealthy, because I am better.”

This logical fallacy is the core of Social Darwinism, but you’d think after a while that Homo Robber Baronensis would have bred some thicker skin.

But it’s like no one around these rich and powerful men have ever called them a name or even disagreed with them!

Oh! That’s right: no one has. At least, not for a long time.

Well, some of these guys are childish, and some of them are creeps. 

That is all.


*This was his actual argument. It is not an argument an adult makes. It’s the actual argument that TEENAGERS make at prestigious high schools where cheating is rampant: everyone was doing it, and no teacher was stopping them. So they WERE FORCED to cheat in order to be competitive. TEENAGERS ARE NOT JOB CREATORS.