An op-ed worth reading popped up in the NYT over the weekend. It’s written by a former “wiz-kid” who was pulling in millions by age 30 and grew disillusioned:
For the Love of Money — In the three years since I left, I’ve married, spoken in jails and juvenile detention centers about getting sober, taught a writing class to girls in the foster system, and started a nonprofit called Groceryships to help poor families struggling with obesity and food addiction. I am much happier. I feel as if I’m making a real contribution. And as time passes, the distortion lessens. I see Wall Street’s mantra — “We’re smarter and work harder than everyone else, so we deserve all this money” — for what it is: the rationalization of addicts. From a distance I can see what I couldn’t see then — that Wall Street is a toxic culture that encourages the grandiosity of people who are desperately trying to feel powerful.
The problem of course isn’t that they want to feel powerful, the problem is they are powerful. So powerful they managed to make zillions while throwing countless lives into tatters, conned the US taxpayer into bailing them out of trillions in toxic debt they created so they could make more zillions, and then proceeded to lecture the rest of us on the evils of debt while making still more zillions. So powerful they dominate everything, every piece of ledge, and that includes fouling up every attempt by We the People to help right their wrongs.
These assholes, over a thousand miles away, have pretty much screwed my once comfortably middle-class, middle-aged life up to the point that I may never recover. At least I’m single with no kids, and can stretch a buck, too bad a lot of people aren’t. They have definitely destroyed many families, to the point that some will never get another chance. And the coup de grace is, right now, they’re working their asses off to steal our Social Security and Medicare, the last defense many of us have against the predators and living on the street — if we’re lucky enough to live that long.
I thought twice about even linking the article, the author was part of an industry that so devastated me and many others that my first inclination is to tell him to fuck off and go shoot himself in the head. He’s whining that he has a “wealth addiction” and will probably be widely hailed as a Good Samaritan for suggesting fellow wealth addicts create a “fund” and put 25% of their bonus. But on second though, I’d rather see him stripped of all assets and forced to spend the rest of his life in utter poverty and misery, walking the back roads of the nation in rags begging forgiveness from some of the people who’s dreams he helped destroy.