the trouble with capital jizm

guest post:

My beef with capitalism is less that the things that are offered to the 1% are somehow morally wrong, and more in line with the fact that the 1% are held to an entirely different set of standards than the rest of the working world. Everyone else is told that we have to take what we can get, that if we attempt to bargain for better working conditions, benefits, or pay that we’re being greedy and stealing from others, and that if we lose our job, its our own fault and that we’re owed nothing and that we should be ashamed for having to use our paltry unemployment to get by, as opposed to just dying in a gutter I guess. Merit based raises for most working folk are all but a thing of the past, its almost laughable to think that doing standout work would get you a significant raise in this economy. At best, we might hope to get the occasional cost of living increase, that really doesn’t match or keep up with actual increases in the cost of living. We get told by smug conservatives and libertarians that if we don’t like our job we should just quit, or stop complaining.

Meanwhile, CEO’s and other upper tier management make millions in excess of what any reasonable person needs to actually survive. They make the excuse that these obscenely large paychecks are necessary to attract top-talent, a good portion of which don’t seem to be all that actually talented at their jobs, as evidenced by the growing list of companies that hire someone to either right the ship or keep up growth, only to be left in worse shape than when they started. And the rest of us have to hear contradictory justifications for this: On the one hand, CEO’s deserve their ridiculous pay because they’re ultra hard working, financial geniuses who, if you’re going by their relative pay to anyone else in the company, are most responsible for the success of a company. Yet, when they fail to live up to the hype, we hear the exact opposite: the failure of the company was everybody else’s fault but theirs. It was circumstance, or the economy, or their underlings, or bad PR.

When you pair this with the recent genre of op-eds by wealthy individuals who lament the high cost of living, with people to cook and clean for them, private nannies, private schools, the cost of keeping up multiple residences, can you not see how people that in the course of their regular day don’t have two nickels to rub together are sick of this shit?

And that’s not even getting into things like using their massive wealth to buy out-sized influence in our allegedly ‘one-vote-per-person’ democracy.

Real Talk: Any given member of the 1% could lose half their wealth this instant, and they’d still have more than enough money to let them live like kings for the rest of their lives with enough left over for a tidy inheritance to their kids or whoever. If just about anyone else lost half their wealth or income, they’d immediately lose everything they have and have to struggle in poverty.

The thing about it is this: If the 1%er’s of this country gave up just a fraction of their wealth, they could raise people up out of poverty while giving up nothing in terms of their own comfort or standard of living. And as a bonus, this benevolence would likely placate most people! I think people would be a lot more tolerant of a CEO making 100x’s what the lowest paid worker at their company made, if said lowest paid worker had a decent paycheck that gave them financial security, with maybe even enough left over to put into savings, leave for their kids, and enjoy the odd modest luxury themselves every once and a while.”

this is provided as fair use for social commentary and anthropological study on important issues of our day.


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