Saturday, April 25, 2009

On Outrage and Annoyance: Twisting a Thought Pretzel

There's been a number of them lately; the ones that just scream at you from their titles alone. Here we have "Fair Pay" which is, amazingly, properly capitalized. Way to go, hardworker! I know that shift key has been giving her trouble since she became dimly aware of the English language. It's good to see she's making progress.

Speaking of hard work:

One of the dividing lines between me and a lot of the commentators on the Wall Street crisis is that I am not outraged by their pay. If any of my classmates are left on the Street, I'm well aware that they mortgaged their last ten years in order to bet on a directorship that's now at best a badly tainted prize, and at worst just evaporated beneath their fingers. I work 60 to 80 hour weeks doing something I love. They've been working 30-50 hours a week more than that, doing work that no reasonable human being could claim to enjoy the mechanics of. I do not resent the difference between their well-located New York co-ops and my tiny row house in an "emerging" neighborhood in DC. I'm only thankful I'm the one in the row house.
The avalanche of stupidity comes quickly these days. Seems like every post I take a look at has an opening paragraph so choc full o' crap I can smell it through the screen. Rundown time:

1) She's not outraged that people are taking millions of tax payer money because they completely fucked up after having already collected millions while in the process of fucking up? Yet she complains about the horrors of welfare and food stamps as if we should allow people to starve to death so that they don't get soft. Huh, interesting point of view.

2)Hm, herself and her classmates mortgaged "ten years" (that's a long time to get a fucking MBA) to get to the point of wreaking havoc on our economy. Yeah, that's swell. I personally have lots of respect for those who think of education as "mortgaging" their time. I know that when I finish my PhD, if I'm not making 100k right off the block I'm going to rue all of that damn time I spent "educating" myself. Seriously, who the fuck demands sympathy for choosing a job they're essentially admitting is complete bullshit? These people "mortgaged" their time because they wanted to be, and felt entitled to be, masters of the fucking universe. I suppose we should laud Stalin the many hours he put in trying to kill all these people. I mean, c'mon guys, look how fucking hard he worked?

3) She works 60-80 hours a week? Put that one in the "claims unsubstantiated by evidence" file.

4) Again, not sure why we're supposed to feel so bad about people who work really hard doing something of use to no one just because they work hard.

So she quotes someone who makes a point that these people are pretty much brainwashed. It's a fair point. I'm not sure why Megan brings it up, though, because her next libergraph introduces itself with:
The difference between me and them is that I don't think they deserve their pay, either. Now it may be that I, in my position as taxpayer, have to continue to pay these guys their huge salaries, because the unintended consequences of trying to regulate their pay will make it harder to get the banking system back on its feet.
Oh, so people are getting undeservedly rich while billions starve, but that's not outrageous. Again, point taken, McArdle. Glad that she's willing to take one for the team by paying them with her taxes. We wouldn't want to destroy the fabulous banking system. I mean, it's been keeping us out of depressions for decades at a time at only the cost of a few S&L type scandals in between. That's only a major scandal/screw up every 10-20 years! It's a fucking peachy keen organization that one is, the banking system. Gotta pay to keep it healthy! Fuck getting people to the doctors. I want my tax money going to the banking system!

I don't know how much more of this I can actually address directly. She futilely tries to pump her argument but somehow manages to start talking about herself again. Guess who's not at all outraged by their inability to get a job in 2002 after getting their MBA. Not Megan, that's who. After picking out the narcissism, her argument is almost a thing of beauty. She's essentially saying that the rules are totally arbitrary and no one is entitled to anything. Yet, this is the system for which all attempts at correction are misguided government coercion. Unless of course it's the banking system which needs a bailout in which case open up Treasury's coffers, already! Can't you see the investment bankers are behind on their boat payments? I love libertarians. "Life sucks but I got mine. Whatcha gonna do? PS The other people who got theirs are gods!"

Towards the end, she clarifies a point on her outrage (Only 20 million paragraphs into another one of her "Me me me" screeds).
So for all the bankers annoy me, their pay--and its difference from mine--doesn't outrage me. The difference between their pay and that of a physical therapy assistant or an auto line worker doesn't outrage me.
Ohhhhh. It's just annoying. Yeah, I see. The exploitation of the productive members of society by the members who merely push paper around is a mere annoyance. Silly me. Once I realize that the people whose time was spent in the pursuit of money at the expense of life, relationships, and any sense of having made a meaningful contribution have made sacrifices for their money, suddenly I don't see them in such a low light. If they love money so much they're willing to sacrifice their fucking soul for it, well, hey, I guess they deserve it, right? Oh wait, then she says "No one deserves their pay so I can hardly be angry at blah blah taking what they can get." so they don't deserve it. And if we're angry it's not because there's a shitfest of a system that needs to be fixed. We're just jealous. Or something, I dunno. The mobious strip that is this woman's thoughts is far too twisted in on itself for me to follow.

She closes with some bullshit about how she's not angry at anyone, which is completely congruent with her constant backing of those with whom she identifies while she tears down those with whom she does not. The reason she didn't frame her whole spiel from the POV of the autoworkers? Coincidence, I'm sure.


spencer said...

that's a long time to get a fucking MBAI think what she meant was that these people spent ten years working on Wall Street in careers they hate so they can someday be a director or something.

Which is just as stupid.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Nice piece. But it's "wreaking" havoc.

NutellaonToast said...

Ahg, I always miss those

bulbul said...

She works 60-80 hours a week?Maybe that's what she bills...

D Johnston said...

I had a lot to say here, but I'll stick to this: I got curious about that whole "60-80 hours a week" thing. It's obviously bullshit, but I wanted to see how off the mark it was. I went to the blog and copied everything she'd written (leaving out quotes, which in many Megan posts are longer than what she has to say) from the 18th to the 24th. During that period, she wrote 6683 words, or about 112 per hour assuming a 60-hour week.

I suppose I could be generous and include time spent researching and proofreading. But c'mon, it's Megan. Most of her articles are just her opinion, back to front. Assuming she types at a rather sluggish 30 words/minute, and then doubling the result to account for proofreading and rewriting (and I'm being really generous by assuming that she does either of those), She'd be done in less than 8 hours.

So the question is: Does anyone believe that Megan McArdle spends 50-plus hours a week doing research?

NutellaonToast said...

I was actually going to give a tepid defense of her because I'd noticed in the past that she writes articles for the main rag without mentioning it on occasion, but a search reveals her output is pretty much non-existent over there as well.