The Big Takeover

Scathing. Excerpts:

It’s over – we’re officially, royally f**ked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline – a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country’s heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire…In other words, it’s AIG’s rip-roaringly shitty business model writ almost inconceivably massive – to echo Geithner, a huge, complex global company attached to a very complicated investment bank/hedge fund that’s been allowed to build up without adult supervision. How much of what kinds of crap is actually on our balance sheet, and what did we pay for it? When exactly will the rent come due, when will the money run out? Does anyone know what the hell is going on? And on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now? Is there a dictionary word that even describes what we are now? It would be funny, if it weren’t such a nightmare…As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren’t hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system – transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below…The most galling thing about this financial crisis is that so many Wall Street types think they actually deserve not only their huge bonuses and lavish lifestyles but the awesome political power their own mistakes have left them in possession of. When challenged, they talk about how hard they work, the 90-hour weeks, the stress, the failed marriages, the hemorrhoids and gallstones they all get before they hit 40…”But wait a minute,” you say to them. “No one ever asked you to stay up all night eight days a week trying to get filthy rich shorting what’s left of the American auto industry or selling $600 billion in toxic, irredeemable mortgages to ex-strippers on work release and Taco Bell clerks. Actually, come to think of it, why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jail instead?”…But before you even finish saying that, they’re rolling their eyes, because You Don’t Get It. These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they’re on par with crack addicts, or obsessive sexual deviants who burgle homes to steal panties. Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests. Good luck with that, America. And enjoy tax season.

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7 thoughts on “The Big Takeover

  1. And now that the government is seeking more power to take over more and different businesses/firms, we will be further down that road to nationalism and socialism which surely will continue the downfall of a once great country. Once they get that power and I am sure they will even if they have to use the excuse of national security, this country’s citizens will be more helpless to turn back the tide. I am afraid that once things get bad enough, there may be a revolution, the likes of which we have not seen before, as citizens try to take back their country. This is only 2 months into a four year term. At this rate, imagine what things will be like 4 years from now!!

  2. So Big Government buys a controlling interest in Big Business. T Rex eats Brontosaurus.
    There is often an advantage in size, but the greater efficiency of scale, and the increased clout in the marketplace is usually more than made up for by a very high and expensive management pyramid, with the people at the top isolated and clueless about what is going on at the bottom, like the brontosaurus who does not even know his tail is being bitten until it is way too late.
    I have worked in enough big business and government operations to see how this hurts total efficiency, and I have worked in small business which are usually much better managed. It is tempting to say that it’s time for the dinosaurs to be allowed to fall, to make room for all those quick furry creatures who really own the future, but I would really like to see it done in a way that the falling dinosaurs don’t crush the little ones to death. This probably means that small, well run business should get the lion’s share of the grants, not behemoths like AIG. In a small business, the owners and executives have a lot more incentive to keep it alive, because they can’t just pick up a huge golden parachute and walk away. If the ship goes down, so do they. They are also more likely to be in new, cutting edge industries which can offer technological solutions to problems such as transportation, telecommunication, and energy. Government can ease the transition and make it less painful for the innovators and workers who really make the wheels turn, or they can really screw things up and make it even worse, by wasting all their remaining resources trying to prop up the dying sauropods. It’s their choice.
    Today, I heard one of the eunuchs in Congress actually grow a pair and say something like “AIG must stand for Arrogance, Incompetence, and Greed.” Of course, they don’t have a monopoly on these things, but it was amazing to hear a congressman who probably got a lot of money from them stand up and say that. Maybe some people in charge are finally getting it. Maybe.

  3. The excerpt above was from a Rolling Stone article written by Matt Taibbi. Today, I had some negative feedback about posting his work verbatim..specifically his 6th word in the excerpt. How do others feel about my slight edit? I feel like if I link to a well known author, who uses some dicey language, and while it might not be my choice, that I should leave up unedited. Thoughts?

  4. I agree with you. There will always be some negative feedback no matter what you write or who you quote. If it were my blog, I might not even have put in your edit. Your blog tends to be somewhat edgy sometimes and people should realize that. If we were to always be PC, life would be pretty dull. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that word. It is in how it is used, who is using it, and the inflections given when using it that make it sometimes disturbing. It fits perfectly in the article you quoted.

  5. We are all adults here. Kids can go to the other “censored” sites, where they choose to receive the outcome of other people’s judgement on what is “correct” or “proper”.

  6. Most people who are truly and deeply offended by such language are conservative, or very religious, or both. No doubt you have many readers who are like this, because of the subjects you write about. Perhaps the best answer is to let people know the article has rough language, and then provide links to filtered or unfiltered versions. Giving them a choice, like most of the search engines do now, may be the best way.

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