Sunday, October 18, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

Being an ‘apologist for the very rich’ takes a pretty special individual, in fact it takes a pretty clueless one as well; who else would come up with this ‘Limbaughesque’ line: “To revile the rich is to revile the American dream,”

I believe the late George Carlin provided us with most accurate description of that cherished conservative value… “They call it ‘The Dream’ because you have to be asleep to believe it!”

Perhaps more interesting is the twisted way they project their own values onto others…and revile them for it!

You can’t help but read this piece and come away stunned at the sentiments revealed not by the wealthy themselves…but by those who…er, feed off of them, their ‘advisers’.

Without further adieu we commence tonight’s offering

Wealth Matters
All This Anger Against the Rich May Be Unhealthy

Published: October 16, 2009

BEATING up on the wealthy seems to be the order of day. I suspected that. But a recent Wealth Matters column touched a particularly raw nerve. It looked at how even people with sizable fortunes were concerned about money in this recession and the impact that could have on the rest of us.

Robert Clarfeld, a financial adviser, bought a Jaguar XKR before the financial collapse, a point he makes on its vanity plate.

Readers rejected the attempt to understand the concerns of the rich. [This isn’t nearly as amazing as how he ends up sneering at this total ‘lack of empathy’…]

“That’s so stupid that you ought to be slapped for it,” one woman wrote. My favorite began: “Bowties and Reaganomics are for losers. You can cry for the rich all you want, the rest of us will be happy to see them get taxed.” [What do you suppose happens next? What else…he turns around and accuses these people of harboring a ‘double standard’…like there’s even a remote possibility any of us will ever find ourselves ‘swapping places’ with the ‘well born’ and ‘politically connected’.]

The vehemence in these e-mail messages made me wonder why so many people were furious at those who had more than they did. And why are the rich shouldering the blame for a collective run of bad decision-making? [Um, since the rich get to make those decisions, who the hell else should take the heat? Those of us who had no say?] After all, many of the rich got there through hard work. [Ha! If you have to work for your money, you ain’t even remotely ‘rich’]And plenty of not-so-rich people bought homes, cars and electronics they could not afford and then defaulted on the debt, contributing to the crash last year. [And who loaned those ‘not so rich’ people the money to buy all of that stuff they couldn’t afford? The same assholes that were making 30% interest on the loan!]

But in this recession, anger flows one way. Eric Dammann, a Manhattan psychoanalyst, theorizes that a lot of people are angry that the rules of the game seem to have changed. [These people are right to be angry, the rules have changed and the law has been suborned!]

“There’s always been envy and hatred toward the rich, but there was also a strong undercurrent of admiration that was holding these people up as a goal,” Mr. Dammann said. “This time it’s different because it feels like it’s a closed club and the rich have an unfair advantage.” [There’s nothing ‘different’ about this time and the way things went a thousand years ago; it IS a ‘closed club’ and they DO have an unfair advantage. But you don’t suppose the guy who is careful NOT to include the prefix ‘Dr’ in front of his name shrinks the heads of ‘normal’ people…do you?]

What is troubling is that the anger has hardened for some into a suspicion that all wealthy people are motivated purely by self-interest, said Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist in Hawaii and a co-author of the forthcoming book, “Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health” (Random House). [Some phrases are just too rich…like the term ‘financial psychologist’ accompanied a place name synonymous with wealth…Hawaii. Simply put, if you weren’t born there and you have a residence there, it only stands to reason you are, by default, rich! Do you suppose Bradley denies the wealthy are motivated by their own self-interest in his ‘forthcoming’ book?]

“The script goes like this: Money is bad, rich people are shallow and greedy, and people become rich by taking advantage of others,” Mr. Klontz said. “But the same people who say money is bad say money is connected to their self-worth — they wished they had it and you didn’t.” [It’s hard to find a cleaner case of ‘projection’. They’re out there all right but this bad boy is pretty damn clean cut…]

In boom or bust, envy is natural, and the desire for a level playing field is understandable. But so too is the desire to do better financially, to the point where it seems at times to be hardwired into our national psyche. “To revile the rich is to revile the American dream,” said Robert Clarfeld, president of the wealth management firm Clarfeld Financial Advisors. [Now you know where our ‘opening quote’ came from and um, isn’t Mr. Sullivan starting to ‘foam at the mouth?’]

This resentment was so palpable, I started to wonder if it was having any effect — were the wealthy aware of it, and if they were, did they care?

TAX AND GIVE A big concern among the wealthy right now, their advisers say, is not populist anger but how it might translate into tax-the-rich legislation on the federal and state levels. Their concern is twofold. [Naturally, Mr. Clueless displays zero concern for what will happen if we don’t succeed at ‘leveling the playing field’…of course, it may be too late to avoid that outcome already.]

The first is that any tax increase has a direct impact on the income they withdraw from their portfolios. More money going to the government means less to live on. “They’re very concerned about taxes going up,” said William Woodson, managing director at the Family Wealth Management group at Credit Suisse. “The percent that goes to taxes is significant if it’s a 15 percent capital gains vs. 25 percent capital gains. It makes a big difference.” [Um, did I mention ‘clueless’? What percentage of US citizens are affected by the capital gains tax rate? Maybe the top 5%, but it’s actually a lot closer to the top 1%…and far more applicable to the top 1% of that 1%! The problem is boys like ‘Slick Willy’ here think we’re stupid…while we don’t pay ‘capital gains’ they ‘infer’ we might someday. Like any of us are going to make a profit on a house we’re madly overpaying for…which would be a capital gain and, for most of us, a ‘one time’ event.]

The second concern may be disheartening for those who are angry at the rich but like the museum exhibitions or scholarships they pay for: increased taxes could cut into donations. While there is not a direct correlation between tax deductibility and personal donations, there is a correlation between increased taxes in a continued weak economy and charitable giving. [Um, sorry good citizen but stealing from your employees and your customers to make tax deductible ‘donations’ for shit that should be publicly funded anyway is one of the things that make me crazy…but nobody looks at this reprehensible practice in the ‘proper context’.]

“I’ve not heard anything from anybody about the economy impacting the desire to do it,” said Lyle LaMothe, head of wealth management in the United States at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “It’s the ability to do it.” [And that ‘ability’ it directly tied to just how ‘larcenous’ these miserable weasels believe they can get away with.]

Mr. Woodson noted that in the last year foundations reduced their giving in line with the economic downturn, yet individuals tended to give the same or more, if they could.

THE ANGRY RICH For the wealthy, their public image is a secondary concern since so many of them seek to live anonymously.

“They feel mis-characterized,” Mr. LaMothe said. “They know the time and effort they contribute. They fund scholarships and all the things they do routinely, and then to be characterized as not doing their fair share begins to wear on them.” [Understand, no actual rich people were inconvenienced by providing their point of view for this article, so far all we’ve read are the ‘opinions’ of their advisers (who may erroneously consider themselves rich…)]

From the outside, the wealthy seem to be one big money-minting group. But how they came upon their wealth differs greatly. And those who did not make their fortunes in finance seem just as angry as everyone else about what Wall Street has wrought. [I’m not sure you are up for another ‘intellectual exercise’ good citizen but I’ll hazard it just the same…what makes rich people rich? Or more succinctly, what makes up the ‘bulk’ of most personal fortunes?
Well hot damn…it’s stocks! Sure, there are some people with vast holdings of ‘hard assets’ but those hard assets are usually ‘represented’ as stocks. Mr. Buffet’s ‘preferred’ shares of Berkshire Hathaway’ are a prime example of this.]

“They want the problem to be fixed for their own personal benefit but also for the broader benefit of the community,” Mr. Woodson said. “They tie their wealth interests to the broader health of the economy.”

Mr. Clarfeld, who manages $3 billion largely for financial services executives, takes exception to lumping all of Wall Street together. He said his clients felt that they had worked hard and honestly for their money and were now being unjustly judged alongside those who did not.

He is counseling clients to live their lives largely as they’ve done in the past, though in a slightly toned-down form. Mr. Clarfeld said he had taken his own advice to heart. He bought his dream car, a Jaguar XKR, before the market crash but then felt uncomfortable about it. “I didn’t like the way it made me feel but not enough that I was going to get rid of the car,” he said. So he made light of it with a vanity plate to recall better times: “PRE LEHM.” [Nobody DARED display ‘conspicuous wealth’ in the ‘egalitarian’ period right after WWII, those who made millions supplying the war effort knew returning GI’s who actually fought in the war wouldn’t like that wealth flaunted in their faces. The war was over and it would hurt business to antagonize your peacetime customers…so these guys hide their wealth…for a while. Usually until their kids inherited it, then ‘humility and pretense’ went out the window. With the return of ‘Great Depression’ like conditions, the rich are going to go into hiding once more.]

WIDER IMPACT: The line from my last column that prompted the most responses was about how the wealthy weren’t sleeping well either. The vitriol in the e-mail showed just how deep the anger against the rich is.

Yet put simply, this is not healthy. After all, if you’re wealthy and no one likes you, you still have lots of money. But if you spend your free time obsessing about the rich, you could end up in worse shape emotionally, personally and financially.

“People who get caught up in this paranoia spend all night reading these blogs, and six months later they haven’t done anything to better themselves,” Dr. Dammann said. “Even if they’re right, there is a lot of wasted energy put into this. They need to look at the mistakes they’ve made in their life.” [Um, does anyone else see the ‘party line’ being toed here? If you’re not rich it’s your fault! Or better, ‘The reason you aren’t rich is you spend too much time criticizing them and not enough time being like them!’ As if we could all be rich! What a dumbass!]

Mr. Klontz is even more concerned that this obsession with money and blame will affect children. He said the risk is creating a generation that distrusts investing and associates wealth with greed. [Would that it were! None of the idiots of this generation are even interested in investing in the USA, in fact, these imbeciles would discourage them if any did!]

“People in their 20s have watched their parents lose their money and now they think, ‘You can’t trust banks, you can’t trust anyone,’ ” he said. “We need to do work around that. That association between money and being bad can be extremely intense.” [Considering money is an extremely flimsy legal construct, how does Bobo propose we ‘work around’ this issue?]

The trouble, Mr. Klontz said, is the people we surround ourselves with often reinforce our beliefs, even when they are unhealthy. “What we don’t see are the wealthy families with modest lifestyles who are raising responsible kids,” he said.

Uh, good luck trying to sell that one Mr. Klontz!

It never ceases to amaze me that these idiots are so fixated on the idea of ‘wealth for a few’ that they fail to see the reality that we’re all in this together.

Civilization has ‘crashed’ countless times in the past due to the failure to learn this one simple lesson. Oddly, it is the same concept used to establish civilizations but for some strange reason the shit weasels keep clubbing the honest people into submission.

Which sucks…

There is a better way but that better way isn’t going to wish itself into existence, you gotta want it.

Until next time good citizen, thanks for letting me inside your head,


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