Why does schadenfreude feel so good?

Poor little baby. But he shouldn’t jump out a window — he should get on the floor of the stock exchange and scream hysterically. And maybe poop his diapers.


  1. Tualha says

    He should go on Fox News and blame it all on Obama. Then go on the lecture circuit. He’d recoup his losses in a few weeks.

  2. consciousness razor says

    That baby is directly in the uncanny valley for me…

    Much like most stock brokers for me, and they’re not even digitally altered (or so I assume).

  3. raven says

    Whose shadenfreude?

    Annualized GDP growth for the first half of 2011 was 0.8%. It needs to be around 2% just to keep up with population growth. A healthy economy creating all those jobs we lost should be over 3%.

    A lot of economists think we are heading into another recession and soon. The government is out of fiscal bullets.

    Well who knows? Predicting the economic future is notoriously difficult. I don’t know either* but think it is likely.

    Bill Clinton: IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!!

    If the economy goes down and right now without any doubt it is heading down bigtime, Obama is going to have a difficult time getting reelected.

    Historically when things are dismal, the voters just automatically toss out the politicians.

    Say hello to President Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Romney, or Huckabee.

    *Maybe the resident economist knows. Tis??? The bat signal is flashing.

  4. consciousness razor says

    Maybe they’re cleverly designed robotic entities?

    Perhaps, but there’s no need to presuppose the stock borkers were designed. They could’ve evolved naturally. ;)

  5. says

    I’d have more schadenfreude if stocks weren’t declining due to a sluggish economy.

    And the insiders tend to be able to reduce losses and enhance gains. Indeed, the baby’s the right sort to lament losing it all, as it’s the small investor most likely to do so.

    Glen Davidson

  6. says

    “….Why does schadenfreude feel so good?….”

    I trust the Buddhist concept of ‘mudita’ will be embraced with equal vigour when it is apropos? The medieval church taught ‘delectatio morosa’ as a sin you know.

  7. Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM says

    There is nothing more cute than a baby digitally altered to act like an entitled post collegiate frat boy.

  8. LRA says

    “Say hello to President Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Romney, or Huckabee.”


  9. JohnnieCanuck says

    Now it says E*TRADE Financial took it down with a copyright infringement claim.
    Probably not their optimum response strategy.

  10. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    raven #4

    A lot of economists think we are heading into another recession and soon. The government is out of fiscal bullets.

    Well who knows? Predicting the economic future is notoriously difficult. I don’t know either* but think it is likely.

    I think a continuance of the recession* is likely.

    Now I’m going to get on my soap box and tell you who’s to blame for it.

    Members of the policy elite and various pundits claim it’s mostly the public’s fault. The idea is that we got into this mess because voters wanted something for nothing, and weak-minded politicians catered to the electorate’s foolishness.

    So this seems like a good time to point out that this blame-the-public view isn’t just self-serving, it’s dead wrong.

    The fact is what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people. In many cases the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.

    For the past several months there has been much screaming, yelling and ranting about the need to reduce the deficit. That focus in itself represents distorted priorities, since our immediate concern should be job creation. But suppose we restrict ourselves to talking about the deficit, and ask what happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?

    Three main things. First, there were the Bush tax cuts, which added roughly $2 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. Second, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which added an additional $1.1 trillion or so. And third was the Great Recession, which led both to a collapse in revenue and to a sharp rise in spending on unemployment insurance and other safety-net programs.

    So who was responsible for these budget busters? It wasn’t the voting public.

    George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party’s ideology, not in response to a groundswell of popular demand. And the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.

    Similarly, Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do, not because Americans were clamoring for war against a regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion and voters were never as solidly behind the war as America’s political and pundit elite.

    Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry, that’s who. Let me give a particular shout-out to Alan Greenspan, who played a crucial role both in financial deregulation and in the passage of the Bush tax cuts and who is now, of course, among those hectoring us about the deficit.

    So it was the bad judgment of the elite, not the greediness of the common man, that caused America’s deficit.

    *Yeah, I know. Officially we’re not in a recession right now. But the economy is so flat that it wouldn’t take much to put it in recession.

  11. says

    Hey ‘Tis

    I agree with everything in your post.

    However, I have an idea that keeps popping up in my head that’s so simple that there must be something wrong with it… can you apply your economist-ness to it and tell me why it won’t work?

    If the administration formed a WPA-like shovel-ready infrastructure agency, funding high-employment projects of the type I see credited to the Stimulus Bill;

    And then funded it thusly:
    Anyone can walk into a bank and contribute $100 to the agency under their SS number.
    They get a receipt with a serial number.
    One out of every one hundred contributors gets a $1000 dollar tax free check back from the agency, hopefully to be spent quickly.

    (I got this idea when cleaning up the “loser” scratch tickets in front of my studio, which is next to a lottery agent.)