A reader writes:
I don't hate these people's success; I don't resent it one iota. I want them to be successful. Because when they succeed, people get jobs and work and can help to build the economy. I resent their failures, Andrew, their giant fucking failures.
My problem is that these people are so wealthy, so able to insulate themselves from any of their mistakes whether financial, or moral, or even criminal that there is absolutely no accountability. Zero. None.
Our titans of finance essentially gamble away the money of stockholders and pension holders on the derivatives market. Do they lose their jobs? Of course not! There are a couple of sacrificial lambs, but for the most part the whole industry got a huge bailout AND gave themselves gigantic bonuses - at taxpayer expense! In the meantime, I can turn on the TeeVee and see Rick Santelli tell the little people who tried to get their tiny slice of the American dream that this mess is all their fault.
Meanwhile, across the country, people are losing their jobs and homes, health and well being. Families and marriages are ripped apart under financial pressures. People, right now, who want to work for a living, who have scrimped and saved and done everything "right", are at this moment, through no fault of their own, choosing between the rent, the heat, and the grocery bills. Those people can only dream of the magical world without accountability, where our wealthy and powerful live.
I don't resent their success; I resent their utter and complete inability to fail.
On that I completely agree. It goes for politics and punditry as well. Alas, with the banks, they held us hostage. But I would do what the British Tories have done after having done what had to be done with gritted teeth:
George Osborne said he would shortly introduce new laws to raise a £2.5 billion levy on banks' balance sheets. However, he said that the levy could be increased if it did not prevent banks from moving abroad and added it should “raise more and more each year”. It will be introduced on January 1st. Mr Osborne said banks should share the pain of measures to repair the deficit caused by the global financial crisis.