Monday, February 18, 2008

This much stupid

that's how much.

Separate and increasingly unequal:

I also disagree with the notion that the concentration of wealth is a large political problem.
*sigh*
Europe is, if anything, even more elite-dominated than America, despite radically less income inequality. And while the wealthy certainly have the ear of politicians, and also give a lot of money to those politicians, it's not clear to me how tightly these things are linked on matters of broad national policy. It's clear and obvious that people who give campaign contributions get favors that are large to them, but small from the perspective of the nation: a $14 million tax break for Florida loggers, or what have you. But the president of GM makes no campaign contributions; I bet he still gets his phone calls returned by politicians, especially if they happen to be from Michigan.
"The president of GM makes no campaign contributions"?
And it gets worse
I think that if there is a problem, it is that high concentrations of economic power may make the current distribution of wealth intergenerationally self-sustaining. ... But in America, money buys access to things, particularly education, but also opportunities like unpaid internships, that make it easier to get a high-paying job. This may be more worrisome than big wealth concentrations.
Did Megan have her eyes open at any point in her time in private school? What's she's describing is not a hypothetical, it's how society has been run at least since written descriptions of society began. The rich get richer, regardless of merit. Of course there are exceptions, but goddamn Megan is dense.
Wealth is eroded over time, either by lazy heirs or the sheer multiplication of descendants; hence the phrase "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations". But if the rich start passing on, not money, but the habits, skills, and social capital to make your own money, the result could be an aristocracy more deeply entrenched than any ever seen in America.
Notice the "subtle" argument here? If the children of the rich get richer, that's because they were taught to be superior beings, not because they had everything handed to them on a goddamn platter by actually talented people whose salary the rich pay. The "problem" is a crop of "super-rich" who just are superior. Excuse me while I swear at Megan a bit for trying to intellectualize the rich kid's inherent sense of entitlement and self-superiority. Fuck you, you stupid shithead asshole fucking fuck of a fuckafuck. Don't tell yourself that's not what you meant, either, Megan. It is. This bullshit hypothetical supposes that there's no MONEY being passed down along with the superman training. That's fucking dumb. (And btw, "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves" is an expression of old money snobbery, the implication being that those lacking the class to be born into old money won't be able to hold onto it. Megan simply doesn't know what she's talking about.)
Conservatives might rejoinder that this elite might be more entrenched, but less effective, since much of what it is handing its descendants are positive endowments such as virtue and education; endowments that can't be realized without a substantial amount of work by those descendants. I don't think that's right--our education system daily gives lie to the notion that America nurtures any sort of equality of opportunity--but even if it were, we'd need to think hard about the character of a nation with a hereditary educational aristocracy.
Conservatives might rejoinder what, exactly? That a hypothetical elite that doesn't inherit their families' wealth would obviously deserve their superman lifestyles, but not have the financial muscle to dominate politics the way they do now? All the money the wealthy previously held having been what, donated to the fucking poor?
I'd try to respond constructively to Megan's convoluted drivel, but she barely managed to rise to the level of confused ramblings. The muddled objections to nonsensical hypotheticals she herself constructed simply overwhelm you with stupid. It comes across like an unintentional snapshot of how her psyche deals with the unfair and undeserved advantages she's had in life. I'd say something dismissively witty about these psychic defenses, but they're simply too incoherent. I don't believe that Megan thinks her own existence is a bad thing, yet that's what she essentially concludes with. One thing money doesn't buy is self-awareness.

3 comments:

spencer said...

I was unaware that we had a logging industry of any significance down here in Florida.

Clever Pseudonym said...

I read that last paragraph you quoted from Megan about four times and I still have no idea what in the hell her point is. Describing it as "incoherent" is almost kind.

spencer said...

I was unaware that we had a logging industry of any significance down here in Florida.

Now that I think about it, maybe we do, but it's in that part of the state that we like to call "Georgia." Or very close to it, to the point where it may as well actually be Georgia.