Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Of, by, and for

And it's not the of, by and for of which you are thinking.

I took this from Chimp Planet a few days ago. It is so spot on that I felt it should be passed around.

It is an article in the Vanity Fair May 2011 issue by Joseph E. Stiglitz, entitled, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

I have included three excepts below, here. To read the entire excellent article click HERE.

"The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes."

"...Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy..."

"...Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important. America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: the chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries of Europe. The cards are stacked against them..."

21 comments:

Chimp said...

Once our country is run and governed by the "OnePerCenters" we turn time back 235 years (to 1776) to the days of Kings and peasants.

I do believe that during most of America's history, most of our presidents have been "selected" by the "OnePerCenters", however, the 99PerCenters still believed it was our choice. Now, we know otherwise.

The only two presidents that the "OnePerCenters"' might not have chosen were Lincoln and Kennedy, and they were both "terminated", probably by the "OnePerCenters".

Mr. Charleston said...

I don't see a way out. The one-percenters are now multi-nationals beyond the control of any one government. We're screwed.

willis said...

Well said...living here in a bastion of conservative lunacy, post like this are indeed welcome. I'll be following the "chimp"!

jadedj said...

Chimp---I don't know about Lincoln, but you can be sure the 1% in Kennedy's case was his father.

Mr. C---Agreed.

willis---The lunacy has to be put down loud and often. Unfortunately, we who lean to the left are preaching to the choir, methinks.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

it's not even about the money any more..its about the power that money bought..and now? we're fucked..too late to do anything about it..either revolt and take the country back, or move.

jadedj said...

YD G---Apparently these "let em eat cake" sons of bitches have never heard of the French Revolution.

Tom Harper said...

I'm glad a mainstream publication like Vanity Fair is covering this. I sometimes wonder if the only places where this even gets mentioned is at "obscure" news sites like Raw Story and Think Progress.

jadedj said...

Tom---The first requisite with an article such as this is, one needs to be able to read. That of course, puts many on the right at a disadvantage, methinks.

Seriously, I do agree.

PENolan said...

That lack of identity and isolation is something I think about whenever I see Home Depots and Walmarts. Big boxes filled with that plastic crap you hate so much, Jaded - how all the Owners have killed the sense of community.

Great piece, and ditto what Tom said.

intelliwench said...

Vanity Fair is an interesting publication; one has to dig through a whole lot of glossy style to get to the substance. VF's advertisers are cereainly wooing those who aspire to be 1%-ers, or at least look and smell like them.

The "Rags-to-Riches" myth has always been just that, something the owners used to fool the masses into believing that if they sweated hard enough, long enough, for little enough pay, they'd get their reward. Despite a century of evidence to the contrary, people still believe it, and want to defend the rights of the wealthy because they still harbor hopes of being in that club one day.

jadedj said...

Tricia---Shoddy products, shoddy service and shoddy thinking have become the American standard. No question about it.

intell---Yeah, I was surprised that an article of this nature was in VF. Go figure.

As to the myth...you are correct, and success on the 1% level involves ruthlessness, political dealing and old boyism and very little sweat, unless it's someone else's.

Kyle said...

JJ, just linked to you and the Vanity fair article. Thanks for pointing it out! It compliments my Financial Farce post very well.

Chimp said...

Both Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone have some great articles - once in a while.

Most onepercenters see themselves as royalty and miss being kings, queens, heralds, etc...

One of their biggest fears is that there are too many peasants in the world and they will eat all the royalty's food.

jadedj said...

Kyle---Thanks and for those of you who haven't seen Kyle's post, cut and paste...well worth a read:

http://kylerklnh.blogspot.com/2011/04/financial-farce-its-great-time-to-be.html

Chimp---Well perhaps the 1% "royals" should bone up on the French Aristocracy, circa late 18th Century. Things didn't quite work out for them, did it?

Chimp said...

Yeah, we can slice them up in the guillotine. fry them and then eat them! All that fat is going to ruin my diet.

Harlequin said...

this calls for not only a strong constitution but also a strong stomach. gives new meaning to obscene excess.

jadedj said...

Harlequin---It does doesn't it. I mean, where is the cut-off point of how much is enough. But of course, the issue isn't as much about money as it is about power.

Demeur said...

Do you think America is finally catching on to this bull shit?

And as you may have realized everything in this country has been corporatized. Food is produced in factory farms. Clothing is made overseas with the blessings of our own government. And most of the materials for our homes comes from Canada. So what is the solution? It appears they have us by the short hairs.

jadedj said...

Demeur---In answer to the first question...no, not even remotely.

I cannot disagree with any thing you have said here. All of these things make this 1% minority even richer through obscene profits...which makes them even more powerful.

Yes indeedy, we have been grabbed by the short hairs and they are not going to let go.

TAO said...

I was exchanging emails with my neice, who is graduating this spring with a 3.95 GPA from a very respectable college. I made a comment about how we have to find a way to protect the little guy rather than continously enrich the big guys...

She informed me that we needed to concern ourselves with the fact that the big guys just might get tired of us and move on....

Sorry....I don't see a very bright future for this country....fuedalism is about as good as it is going to get.

jadedj said...

TAO---I am even less optimistic than you.