Job Creation at Work

Well, it seems that Goldman Sachs, whose stock has lost 43% of its value since 2010 and has reported its first-ever quarterly loss, still has its priorities; mainly, stealing from everybody so a few guys can stuff their pockets with millions.  Granted, they did pay a $500 million fine for defrauding investors, lost money in a game so fixed a goldfish could have won it, all the while alternately whining incessantly about being “demonized” or bragging about doing “God’s work,” but they did manage to step up to the plate for currently faddish “austerity” by courageously deciding to fire a thousand or so people lower on the food chain, and thus destroyed jobs, so their executives, who would have been fired for incompetence by any normal business, could continue to wipe their asses with $100 bills.

Not to be outdone, Bank of America is attempting to unload its toxic assets onto the taxpayer-backed arm of its corporate octopus, a shameless scam supported, naturally, by Ben Bernanke’s Fed but bitterly opposed by the FDIC, which smells the inevitable Brooks Brothers train robbery in the offing. Naturally, the overconfident children that pass for its management are grabbing huge bonuses as well, based at least in part on the “savings” it will realize by dumping 30,000 employees into the red-hot American job market.  That, and adding a new $5 fee to its already fleeced and long-suffering customers in the middle of Occupy Wall Street, even having some of them arrested for the crime of trying to close their accounts.  Citibank did the same thing. Smart.

Are these demonstrably worthless nincompoops really what their goddess Ayn Rand called “producers?”  If so, I’d hate to see the parasites.  All I see in these examples, which are just the most recent of dozens, is poor judgement, short-sightedness, and mind-boggling avarice.  But there’s a method to the madness; a ruined economy does offer a lot of opportunities to its architects (and beneficiaries, who are generally the same).  Job insecurity, a specific goal of lifelong Rand devotee Alan Greenspan, does allow corporate looters to squeeze out “profits” over the short term, but lingering job insecurity is even better, as it enables deeply unpopular and upwardly redistributing economic schemes to gain undeserved currency, thus enabling long term goals of plutocrats the world over to be implemented, at great detriment to all concerned, except them.  They ruined the economy for a reason.

That reason, of course, is the unacceptable “affluence” of those below them.  They lament the injustice that the poor have refrigerators, that firefighters have pensions, that poorer children receive “free” education, and that the elderly have Social Security and Medicare.   In a perfect world, nobody but they would have a thin dime, much less a voice, to complain when they are being shafted.  Not satisfied after having thoroughly looted the private sector,  they’re going after what little money there is left lying around: public pension funds and “entitlements.”  What a waste it is for any money, anywhere, not to be solely devoted to trophy wives, jets, and fancy cars and thus be squandered on such enfeebling “welfare” as, say, public schools and decent retirements for the elderly.

#OWS couldn’t have come at a better moment; when America’s increasingly unaffordable overclass is acting like a bunch of drunks at last call, hippies, of all people, have stepped in, like sober bouncers, to ask them to leave.  They don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here.  Most Americans agree.


  1. dirigo says:

    Being dense myself, I like to read dense stuff, even occasionally dense essays on the State of the Market.

    I won’t burden you with a link to the specific dense piece on money and markets I’m thinking about here.

    It’s written by a Brit, and you know how they can be, with their fancy pants prose.

    Anyway, mindful of the instant, feverish attacks on OWS activists, launched over the weekend by eminences such as Charlie Gasparino, the Fox News quick take market guru, who called the crowd in New York “Marxists” and kinda scary – I wondered, as before, who has really read all of Marx?

    I know I haven’t, though I have read a lot of big fat books in my time.

    This dense piece I’m referring to attributes to Marx (” … and I don’t mean Groucho,” Gasparino said to the anchor babe on set in the Fox newsroom) a sweet coinage about “fictitious capital” – which is money sallying forth in pursuit of a return, even before a contract may be agreed to, before wages have been set, and certainly well before a good or service is finished for sale.

    I guess he’s talking about speculation, or futures trading, like in milo or pork bellies; and it seems he’s concerned about what happens when there’s nowhere for the “fictitious capital” to go, except back into the column for “unused credit.”

    Regardless, in that dynamic, new “markets” have emerged over many decades, albeit in a herky jerky way, and at the same time luxury or discretionary spending habits have … er … evolved.

    Some smart alecks have said new markets which lead to new spending habits, especially discretionary spending habits, is just the the process of “demand creation” – and the consumer rub is when you get home and wonder why you bought the this or that kinda useless damn thing at the convenience store. Or a bag of stale peanuts.

    That ever happen?

    There’s a footnote in this dense piece, referring to Marx:

    “In his 1865 lecture on ‘Value, Price and Profit’, Marx illustrated luxury consumption as money ‘wasted on flunkeys, horses, cats and so forth’. It is some measure of progress that the general population can now afford to feed their cats.”

    And now, we have whole communities of cat savers, among other animal interest groups, and markets emerging to meet the burgeoning demand.

    Plus a federal cat food commission! They need ten large pizzas with the works for their meeting tonight!

    It’s simple. Goldman’s flunkeys are on top of this. They’ll bounce back.

    The dead cat bounce.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    No, just a piano, and I can’t even play the damn thing. But I can honk a horn!

    • dirigo says:

      Well ya need a harp to play Harpo, fer cryin’ out loud!!! I’ve got one in the basement. It’s more money than for the Groucho gear though …

      • mikeinportc says:

        I know a harpist – Ted, The-Gay-Hawaiian-Florist . Used to work with him. ( A total laughfest !!! Could be a comedian. :) ) He only charges $100/hr . ( Which is why he’s more harpist than florist these days. ;) ) Interested? Let me know. :) )))))

        Even though the job market is awful, apparently the market for failingupwarders is still quite robust.

        Did you see Tom Englehart’s post from earlier this week? I figured out what’s meant by all the Foxites’ references to professional protesters. Some of those Marxists that occupied Tahrir Square paid a vist to OWS , to offer encouragement. Damned Islamofascist-Hippies!

        Check this out this one. Lol! Binghamton’s not exactly known as a DFH-haven (such as Ithaca) , so ol’ Matt ‘s probably got the RWAs spinning (again) . ( I didn’t bother reading the comments, as I didn’t want to feel compelled to spend an hour responding to the FOX-inspired crap that is most likely there.)|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  3. cocktailhag says:

    Not looking for a florist or harpist at this point, but you never know.
    Good for the mayor of Binghampton; guess he’s a little smarter than ol’ Bloomberg.

  4. mikeinportc says:

    ^ No “P”. ( Sort of a sore point,with some there.) Some faraway out-of-towners seem think it’s in the Hamptons (lol!) , or a sister city to Hampton, & Hampton Roads,VA. I’ve seen that , on shipping/mail labels : Binghampton, VA NY. :)

  5. mikeinportc says:

    I’m hoping that when they come to get me, it’ll take ‘em a few extra days. ;)