January 5, 2011

"The Rise of the New Global Elites"

Chrystia Freeland writes in the Atlantic:

... But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind.

... I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company. A gentle, unpretentious man who went from public school to Harvard, he’s nonetheless not terribly sympathetic to the complaints of the American middle class. “We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world,” he told me. “So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.” 
... Wilson’s distinction helps explain why many of America’s other business elites appear so removed from the continuing travails of the U.S. workforce and economy: the global “nation” in which they increasingly live and work is doing fine—indeed, it’s thriving.

For the super-elite, a sense of meritocratic achievement can inspire high self-regard, and that self-regard—especially when compounded by their isolation among like-minded peers—can lead to obliviousness and indifference to the suffering of others.
 
Unsurprisingly, Russian oligarchs have been among the most fearless in expressing this attitude. A little more than a decade ago, for instance, I spoke to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, at that moment the richest man in Russia. “If a man is not an oligarch, something is not right with him,” Khodorkovsky told me. “Everyone had the same starting conditions, everyone could have done it.” 

By the way, just because Khodorkovsky is an SOB doesn't mean that his jailer, Mr. Putin, isn't an SOB-squared.

Though typically more guarded in their choice of words, many American plutocrats suggest, as Khodorkovsky did, that the trials faced by the working and middle classes are generally their own fault. When I asked one of Wall Street’s most successful investment-bank CEOs if he felt guilty for his firm’s role in creating the financial crisis, he told me with evident sincerity that he did not. The real culprit, he explained, was his feckless cousin, who owned three cars and a home he could not afford. One of America’s top hedge-fund managers made a near-identical case to me—though this time the offenders were his in-laws and their subprime mortgage. And a private-equity baron who divides his time between New York and Palm Beach pinned blame for the collapse on a favorite golf caddy in Arizona, who had bought three condos as investment properties at the height of the bubble.

... The lesson of history is that, in the long run, super-elites have two ways to survive: by suppressing dissent or by sharing their wealth. 

Not surprisingly, the word "immigration" never comes up in the article. Dissent suppression seems to be working fine.

I've argued for citizenism as an alternative to the reigning ideologies in part because globalism is so endlessly vulnerable to manipulation by clever elites.


255 comments:

1 – 200 of 255   Newer›   Newest»
Luke Lea said...

I wonder if these guys will change the tune when they wee the 800 lbs Gorilla come out of its cage? That would be China.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the plutocrats described didn't really win in any meritocracy.

The most obvious examples are the incompetent Wall Streeters who were bailed out by the government with no strings attached on executive compensation.

Another is corporate governance rules on unreturned shareholder votes that basically let executives set their own compensation packages, while CEOs of the big Japanese conglomerates make two million a year or so. If incumbent politicians could count non-voters as voting for them, they would also always call themselves the big winners.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, progressives never use one of the best argument against plutocrats who claim that they won their wealth in a pure meritocracy and that a small handful of people should be the only ones deserving to benefit from productivity growth: bell curves.

Sure, people are different in how smart they are and how hard they work, and some obviously are more deserving of greater rewards; bell curves can also explain a great deal about group differences. But another thing bell curves tell you is that almost nobody is three or four standard deviations from the mean, so it's absurd to think the talent of these plutocrats is in any way proportional to their compensation.

Anonymous said...

Well, I really tend to doubt that "immigration" has been that big a factor in the astonishing---and very disturbing---wealth bifurcation which American society has experienced over the last few decades...

It's certainly true that competition from immigrant workers has been an important factor between the decline of blue collar wages, but I'd say that foreign industrial competition/free trade has been a much larger factor, not to mention the impact of outsourcing on the lower end of the white collar spectrum. And it's not obvious to me what immigration has to do with the rise of all the private equity/hedge fund/Wall Street billionaires, which seem to be the focus of the quoted section from The Atlantic.

At a guess, I'd put immigrant job-competition as being responsible for less than 20% of the growth of American wealth disparity, with the impact being the decline of the bottom rather than the far more remarkable rise of the top. And since the readers of The Atlantic are probably overwhelmingly part of the white collar world and unhappy about all the Wall Street plutocrats, the lack of attention to the concerns of blue collar construction workers and meatpackers about immigration issues is pretty understandable. In fact, I'd think the main immigrant angle for those readers would be that smart Asian students from an immigrant background might be tough competition for their children applying to Yale Law, but that's a trivial slice of American immigrants, and really a different matter entirely.

Anonymous said...

The more revealing quote from that article is this:

The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. “His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,” the CEO recalled.

There you have it. US-based company that does not give a damn about Americans. This is is precisely the mindset of the Russian nouveau riches who plundered their own country.

Anonymous said...

Here are three very simple ways to reduce inequality in America:

1. An immigration moratorium, including ending the H-1B program, to increase wages for jobs that can't be outsourced. (http://www.vdare.com/pb/091205_immigration_moratorium.htm).

2. A financial speculation tax. (http://www.cepr.net/index.php/issues/fst/).

3. As one of the comments mentioned, a binding shareholder say on pay provision for corporate executives, where unreturned proxies can't be counted. Compensation should also be explicitly restricted for firms benefiting from public bailouts or Fed special lending facilities.

Pedantic Loony said...

I thought you wrote this post, Steve. On VDARE it's credited to James Fulford, who is a fine writer, but no Sailer.

Anonymous said...

The elites should be careful what they wish for. So much of the wealth they have built up is based on the consumer culture they have nurtured. If the middle class ever decides (again) that it can no longer afford its lifestyle, they have the most to lose. Talk to Tom Friedman's in-laws.

If America's middle class is over-extended, it is thanks to funding provided by the elite. Who decided to lend the money to that Wall Street CEO's feckless cousin so that he could buy three cars and a home he could not afford? It sure as hell wasn't the guy pouring the shakes at McDonald's.

The TARP bailout should've taught us all a great big lesson - that the elite need the middle class far more than the middle class needs them. If America's middle class is so irrelevant and expensive, why haven't they all yet hightailed it to El Salvador, or Burundi, or China? After all, we're just all overpaid widgets, right? But they haven't left because they need us.

There are plenty of countries that seem to do just fine without having as many overpaid elites as America. The top 20 countries by income equality include Japan, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany, plus several not-entirely-undesireable East European countries. The USA comes in at 80-something, and of the 45 countries below us there are scarce few one would care to live in.

No, it is not intelligence that is the major divider between elite and non-elite, or even ambition or work ethic. As much as anything else, it is a moral code that the elites are willing to bend and even break: shafting one's business partners (Mark Zuckerberg), abusing a monopoly (Bill Gates), or bribing politicians (just about every Fortune 500 CEO).

I've always been taught that one of the fundamental traits of a leader is the willingness to take the blame, but that is the precise opposite of what has happened recently. Our economy collapsed thanks to the actions of Wall Street CEOs, and it collapsed thanks to the actions (and inaction) of our politicians. But can anyone even name a single member of the "elite" who took a smidgeon of the blame for the mess created - Angelo Mozilo, Barney Frank, Robert Rubin, George W. Bush, anyone? 535 members of Congress, and I can't think of one who has said that the blame rests with him.

Not one, so far as I know. Every member of the elite pointed fingers. When I go wrong on a project at work I admit it, to myself and to my bosses. But the people at the top don't do that anymore, if they ever did.

Anonymous said...

The most disturbing passage for me was this one:

"The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. 'His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,' the CEO recalled."

If this CEO wants to help out the third world, he should do so out of his own pocket, instead of taking money from those beneath him and splitting it between himself and the world poor.

As an aside, the CEO probably pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, so let's not pretend he won his wealth in an unrigged game.

Moreover, there's a contradiction between pundits claiming at different times that (a) free trade is a great thing for all; (b) free trade means the middle class must take a pay cut. If (b) is true then (a) is false, and then who needs free trade?

Anonymous said...

Khodorkovsky: "Everyone had the same starting conditions, everyone could have done it."

Except that not everyone was willing to be an ardent Young Communist careerist in the USSR and not everyone was ready to do what it takes to have KGB watch out for your financial interests.

Anonymous said...

Reading about these rich parasites makes me squirm when I think about how Republicans are now mouthing about the haves and haves not: comparing regular workers to public sector teachers or firefighters. It's a transparent deflection of blame from the people actually hoarding all the gains from our productivity growth, particularly the Wall Street welfare queens.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

The elites are right: the American/West European middle-classes consist entirely of vastly overpaid widgets. Elites should save themselves a lot of money and hightail it to El Salvador, or Nigeria, or India. They sure as hell don't need us. I'm amazed, in fact, that they haven't left yet. It's certainly not because they can't afford the airfare.

By the way, the 20 countries with the highest income equality include Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and several not-entirely-undesireable East European countries. The US ranks 80-something. The 45 or so countries less equal countries than us include perhaps four that one might consider desireable. If the list of income equality has anything to say about it, it is America's elite that is vastly overpaid, not America's middle class.

I was raised on the notion that one character trait of a leader was the willingness to take responsibility when things went wrong. Looking at the recent financial collapse, I see not a single corporate CEO who took the blame, or who willingly resigned his job or returned his undeserved millions, and I see not a single one of Congress's 535 members who feels that it was his fault for what went down.

Our elites make the Hurricane Katrina looters look models of civic virtue by comparison.

(Apologies if this is similar to another post. It appears that one may have evaporated in the ether.)

Anonymous said...

"It's certainly true that competition from immigrant workers has been an important factor between the decline of blue collar wages, but I'd say that foreign industrial competition/free trade has been a much larger factor..."

It isn't just wage competition, per se. Our society has been shaped enormously by the immigration and other race-related policies of the last 45 years. Expensive suburban sprawl is in large part a result of mass immigration, school busing, forced integration, and lax-on-crime policies created by the elites.

Of course a society gets the elites that it deserves and, in the case of politicians, the elites that it chooses. We choose/shape the elites, and they shape us.

Anonymous said...

I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company. A gentle, unpretentious man who went from public school to Harvard, he’s nonetheless not terribly sympathetic to the complaints of the American middle class. “We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world,” he told me. “So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.”

It's interesting to compare CFO compensation across countries. You find that those in America are often making 10 times more than counterparts in Europe or Japan without adding 10 times the value to their companies. So maybe this guy should be the one taking a pay cut?

Anonymous said...

"It's interesting to compare CFO compensation across countries. You find that those in America are often making 10 times more than counterparts in Europe or Japan without adding 10 times the value to their companies. So maybe this guy should be the one taking a pay cut?"

Like most CFOs, I'd imagine he equates "Value" with "What people are willing to pay you". This definition of adding value may include such things as suppressing or purposely deemphasising research as to the questionable value of extremely high CFO renumeration, but if so I would not expect him (or his general class of person) to contest it.

Bruce Banner said...

Not being terribly sympathetic to the plight of the American middle class comes naturally to the foreign-born and raised. Or seems to, despite their "gentleness" and unpretentiousness... But what's the excuse for the American born?

Anonymous said...

Steve, your claim to advocate for citizenism rings hollow. You regularly care nothing for the troubles of low income people - particularly members of minority groups - whose suffering you blame (accurately enough) on their intellectual inability to earn a larger paycheck. Yet, when it comes to YOUR and many of your readers' inability to earn oligarch level paychecks you appeal to patriotic responsibility.

You simply care about people similar to yourself and your loved ones and care nothing for the dumbass ghetto-dwellers or for the brilliant businessmen. A citizenist is more akin to a socialist, and heaven forfend that you'd ever adopt THAT title.

You can't have it both ways. You can't ask the heir to the Busch fortune to not tilt the investing table in such a way that it hurts you and me for their benefit while not giving a damn about the suffering of the unconnected ADD-brained low-IQ third-generation Hispanic guy who has no hope for a better life because the best he can hope for is a demeaning job as a dishwasher.

Anonymous said...

This is is precisely the mindset of the Russian nouveau riches who plundered their own country.

The Russian oligarchs who plundered Russia following the Soviet collapse were predominantly of Jewish background. They weren't plundering Jews, they were plundering native Russians.

Truth(er) said...

I like the comment of the 30-something Taiwanese CFO. Little does he realize that the wage-arbitrage mentality he professes is exactly what Karl Marx predicted would destroy capitalism: relentless cost-cutting by the capitalists exploiting a reserve-labor force of the unemployed led Marx to predict that the entire structure would eventually be overthrown.

Friedrich Hayek wrote an excellent book called Capitalism and the Historians. In it he explains why Marxism failed as a predictive theory: the proletariat of the early industrial age was not exploited by the capitalists. It was created by the capitalists. Capitalism and industry so increased the productivity of labor that a person could support himself by selling his time, instead of merely relying on inheriting land and tools from parents or working in a wealthy household. Thus, population exploded without resulting in the mass impoverishment of the people.

Conditions today are altogether different. China and India represent the classic proletariat that capitalists use to arbitrage away wages. The current elite attitude is literally duplicating all of the conditions to prove Karl Marx correct.

How ironic. The elite will sell the rope others will use to hang them.

Anonymous said...

Anon - Well, I really tend to doubt that "immigration" has been that big a factor in the astonishing---and very disturbing---wealth bifurcation which American society has experienced over the last few decades...

Surely much of the disparity is simply the importation of poor people who, at least in US terms, remain poor. Bingo - instant wealth disparity!

Anonymous said...

"The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. 'His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,' the CEO recalled."

As a moral argument, that's a pretty good one (certainly it will appeal to those on the left, and Liberals). My only issue with it is that those of us who have expressed concerns with free trade for decades were told repeatedly that this WOULDN'T be the result of it.

master_of_americans said...

Like most CFOs, I'd imagine he equates "Value" with "What people are willing to pay you". This definition of adding value may include such things as suppressing or purposely deemphasising research as to the questionable value of extremely high CFO renumeration, but if so I would not expect him (or his general class of person) to contest it.

The difference is that he went out and made the salary he wanted a reality. He doesn't need to argue over whether he should have a high salary; he's got it already. He's arguing against an American middle class mindset of entitlement, by which we expect to be taken care of because we inherently deserve to richer than the rest of the world.

beowulf said...

I think Kevin Drum's observation about this article was spot on:

America is dominated more and more by an elite class that cares less and less about the public good because they don't really feel like they have a stake in the public good anymore: they've never served in the Army or the Peace Corps, their kids never come within yelling distance of public schools, they donate their money exclusively to their own churches and their own global foundations...

One of the reasons that economic elites in the post-war era were more civic-minded is that the vast majority of the young males (and not a few young females) served in the military during WWII.

That generation had fairly positive opinion of Uncle Sam for the reason Benjamin Franklin noted, if you want a friend, have them do you a favor. Its never too late to reactivate Selective Service. :o)

Dahinda said...

"Everyone had the same starting conditions, everyone could have done it."

Only if you are lucky enough to get in on the ground floor of something big first! If not then you're not even near the starting gate!

AMac said...

At position 17 supra, Anonymous wrote:

"[Steve, you] care nothing for the troubles of low income people... You simply care about people similar to yourself... You can't have it both ways. "

It's memorable writing, thanks to the mix of eloquence and upside-down insight.

Here's a suggestion for Anon: google the phrase "Left side of the bell curve", then use the first couple of hits to puzzle out its meaning.

By the way, a string of really good comments to this post, so far.

Paul Mendez said...

The current elite attitude is literally duplicating all of the conditions to prove Karl Marx correct.

I've long thought people have been way too quick to consign Marx to the dustbin of history.

Lenin's "Marxist-Leninism" was a hoax, but plain old Marxism just might have the last laugh.

ben tillman said...

... But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic....

... I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company.


Meritocratic? This guy's success was subsidized by others against their will. In other words, his success is due to theft.

Bill said...

Steve missed a chance to make a much better point, here. One of the less-talked-about consequences of HBD-denialism is this moral preening by the high IQ elite.

Sub-prime mortgages, cars you can't afford, payday loans, smoking, and lottery tickets are signal behaviors of low IQ types. And, since low IQ comes from genes (which have a large lottery component), avoiding those mistakes is not akin to exerting a superior moral control, it is akin to winning the lottery. This is especially so today, after we have thrown away all the norms and social controls which helped low IQ types avoid these errors more often.

In essence, the high IQ elite has systematically destroyed the social institutions which protected low IQ types from their own failings. Then, they blame the low IQ types for the predictable consequences.

If HBD awareness teaches you anything, it should be that the life mistakes made by low IQ types are the fault of high IQ types.

AMac said...

I was especially charmed by the narrative of the Investment Bank CEO and the Top Hedge Fund Manager. It's the former's feckless cousin and the latter's offensive in-laws who caused the financial crisis, by greedily signing onto their too-big mortgages.

The financial elite's three-step plan beats the Underwear Gnomes', hands-down.

1. Devise and promote ways to lend Other People's Money to those who are unlikely to repay it.

2. Earn a tidy fortune by doing so.

3. Rationalize.

Overturning Bernie Madoff's conviction should become Wall Street's cause celebre. The Constitution's prohibition of Cruel and Unequal Punishment makes it a matter of great moral urgency.

Anonymous said...

The "global elites" or trannies (transnationalists) are basically NYC liberals in their opinions —and they generally hate America. They have spent the past 60 years building a globalized economy, and the U.S. went around pushing democracy and free markets. We spent trillions of dollars and the blood of our soldiers setting up economic competitors all over the world. And we pretty much have the same government and attitude as we had in 1960, when our only competition was Europe and Japan.

Anonymous said...

". It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.”

I recall Snow Crash was telling us, circa 1995,
"once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity ~~ y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:
music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery"


The USA is now seeing what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity. That part came true. But y'know what? The USA sucks at microcode and high-speed pizza delivery. As for music and movies, I suspect that their current market domination is mostly due to inertia, not actual talent or skill. I don't enjoy being the skeleton at the feast, but I speak the truth.

So ... in 2011, I suspect the music and movie industries will continue to decline. I won't be able to tell, I've got a lot of anime I need to watch, so I won't have time to go to the movie theaters.

また会う

Chicago said...

They may view themselves as living on a higher plateau than everyone else but the actual fact is they are very much nationally based. They expect the US government to safeguard their interests internationally and act on their behalf in all manner of ways. If they're important enough the government will use the threat of military muscle against other countries. They rely on the backing of the country and the common people in it. If they're so transcendent let them move to Bolivia or Nepal; plenty of low paid servants available there.

Anonymous said...

Everyone had the same starting conditions, everyone could have done it.”
really? everyone has ethnocentric co-ethnics running the 'transition' to capitalism?

Anonymous said...

The most disturbing passage for me was this one:

"The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. 'His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,' the CEO recalled."

If this CEO wants to help out the third world, he should do so out of his own pocket, instead of taking money from those beneath him and splitting it between himself and the world poor.

As an aside, the CEO probably pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, so let's not pretend he won his wealth in an unrigged game.

Moreover, there's a contradiction between pundits claiming at different times that (a) free trade is a great thing for all; (b) free trade means the middle class must take a pay cut. If (b) is true then (a) is false, and then who needs free trade?
==================================


a pretty disturbing passage by YOU, dear reader.

I'm all for economic-nationalism, to an extent but if it means some type of anti-free-trade anti-globalist measure that protects a single Middle-Class family at the expensive of 5 potential middle-class family in the 3rd world, i'll take the meritorious 3rd worlders who do not have a disgusting entitlement attitude.

In order to protect this middle class family in the USA, if it means the CEO can't do business the way he wants, if it means curtailing the growth of FIVE middle class families in the 3rd world. screw that...

i'm an American, but I'm also a member of this planet.

I'm all for America-First, but not at the sacrifice of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

The most disturbing passage for me was this one:

"The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. 'His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,' the CEO recalled."

If this CEO wants to help out the third world, he should do so out of his own pocket, instead of taking money from those beneath him and splitting it between himself and the world poor.

As an aside, the CEO probably pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, so let's not pretend he won his wealth in an unrigged game.

Moreover, there's a contradiction between pundits claiming at different times that (a) free trade is a great thing for all; (b) free trade means the middle class must take a pay cut. If (b) is true then (a) is false, and then who needs free trade?
==================================


a pretty disturbing passage by YOU, dear reader.

I'm all for economic-nationalism, to an extent but if it means some type of anti-free-trade anti-globalist measure that protects a single Middle-Class family at the expensive of 5 potential middle-class family in the 3rd world, i'll take the meritorious 3rd worlders who do not have a disgusting entitlement attitude.

In order to protect this middle class family in the USA, if it means the CEO can't do business the way he wants, if it means curtailing the growth of FIVE middle class families in the 3rd world. screw that...

i'm an American, but I'm also a member of this planet.

I'm all for America-First, but not at the sacrifice of everyone else.

none of the above said...

If one American dropping from middle class to poor can raise four Chinese from poverty, imagine how many Chinese could be raise from poverty by one American multimillionaire hedge fund manager dropping into poverty.

none of the above said...

Bruce Banner:

It's probably pokntless to expect American elites to care much about middle and lower class Americans. But it's hopeless to expect foreign elites to care. If elites from India, China, Taiwan, etc are going to care about any poor people, it'll probably be their own countrymen.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to feel any allegience to the "American People" mainly because there is no such thing. Unlike other countries that have an ethnic, racial, religious tie to one another, Americans are just a random aggregate of disparate "individuals." This is the bitter fruit of the "propositional nation." To paraphrase Buchanan, we are the polyglot boarding house to the world.

Anonymous said...

We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world,” he told me. “So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value.
i wonder how many of those hardworking people end up being co-ethnics?

Anonymous said...

A lot of the plutocrats described didn't really win in any meritocracy.
exactly. They have 'won' by corruption or gaming the system, or lowering standards of civic trust.

Anonymous said...

Steve, a suggestion, if you think that citizenism is a viable way to solve problems, why not work the idea into your posts more often. I can't remember that last time you discussed it. If you mention it more often, there will be more chance to debate its strengths and weaknesses and see whether it's really a viable idea.

Svigor said...

... The lesson of history is that, in the long run, super-elites have two ways to survive: by suppressing dissent or by sharing their wealth.

I guess not being thieves is off the table.

What happens when middle-class Americans catch up with the whole hollow state/illegitimacy thing going on here?

Mewling, crying plutocrats, that's what.

Rohan Swee said...

“His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,” the CEO recalled.

It's not only CEOs who are so very generously willing to trade somebody else's livelihood for the good of mankind. Lots of Americans who feel confident in their ability to "compete in the global labor market" are also so nobly inclined. Just check out any random economist's blog, progressive or libertarian, and their commenters.

But the thing is, in a truly open global labor market, most people's labor, unskilled and skilled, is worth very little, if labor compensation is evaluated according to that gentle, unpretentious CEO's abstracted textbook worldview. The endpoint of an unlimited labor supply with no non-market counterweights is not broad-based prosperity. (I.e., the "rising middle class" in developing countries, under these "ideal" market conditions, is a transient phenomenon.)

That everybody else knows this, even if they give lip-service to theory, is manifest in their actual policies. But that rival nations have highly protectionist "selfish" policies, and pretend to worship the Great God Economic Efficiency only if it's in their interest to do so, is generally ignored when the hate-on for the Western lower orders is on parade.

That, e.g., the Chinese will state unblushingly that they cannot let their currency float freely because of the disastrous consequences for Chinese workers, theory and "global citizenship" be damned, they are merely stating, like non-crazy people, that certain economic systems are great as far as they go, but economies are made for men, not men for economies. I.e., they are talking like normal human beings, not the sociopaths besetting our economy. (And considering that most of the former are power-mad self-serving kleptocrats themselves, that's saying something.)

If the "market" arguments actually stood up to scrutiny, we wouldn't be being subjected to the moralizing bullshit. Really, does anybody seriously believe that the "senior colleague" of that hedge fund CEO ever applies the logic of that utilitarian moral calculus ("let's impoverish one American to enrich 4 Asians") to himself?

The bad faith of these arguments should be obvious to anybody who's observed the evolution of Davos Man's justifications over the years. They started out by telling us that the naysayers were economic illiterates who didn't understand that this was all going to be "win-win", and they had the charts and the hired economists to prove it. Then they moved on to doing a lot of public chin-pulling about how, mysteriously, the incalculable benefits of globalization to the American nation were not being broadly distributed. (Haw haw haw. As if that were a bug, not a feature.) Now they've moved on to arguing that we should just eat shit and die, because we don't deserve any better (but not until they've managed to unload all their bad debt onto us and our posterity).

I just don't know how anybody could fail to be persuaded by all this.

RAH said...

Why should anybody have any obligation to the American Middle Class? Why should they have higher wages at the expense of corporations and the third world?

You say "Well, I'm tribal and I don't care. Gimme Gimme Gimme!" Unfortunately, that's not an argument that's likely to convince anybody but those that already share your values. It's like a Christian going around trying to convince atheists by referencing the Bible.

If you like tribalism so much, go to Afghanistan. Human civilization is about moving away from tribalism and towards meritocracy. There's no reason the world needs to be held back for the American Middle Class, which isn't smarter, more moral or any way more deserving than anybody else in the world.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Steve, your claim to advocate for citizenism rings hollow. You regularly care nothing for the troubles of low income people - particularly members of minority groups - whose suffering you blame (accurately enough) on their intellectual inability to earn a larger paycheck. Yet, when it comes to YOUR and many of your readers' inability to earn oligarch level paychecks you appeal to patriotic responsibility."

Actually, Steve has often written about the obligation that we have, or rather ought to have, to those who are lower on society's ladder, particularly black americans.

By the way, one does not "advocate for something". One "advocates something" or "is an advocate for something". When did this monstrous construction "advocate for" come into common parlance? It sounds stupid.

Matt G. said...

"By the way, just because Khodorkovsky is an SOB doesn't mean that his jailer, Mr. Putin, isn't an SOB-squared."

Really? If given the choice I'd take Putin. At least Putin is a nationalist who cares about his country.

Formerly.JP98 said...

Threads like this are the mirror image of the pro-open-borders threads at Reason's Hit & Run blog. The Hit & Run commenters (gung-ho libertarians) grasp some economic truths but are missing the HBD piece, while commenters here get HBD but would benefit from adding some economics to the picture.

On the one hand, we have history showing the benefits of free trade and comparative advantage. On the other hand, we have research showing that a lot of Americans simply lack the aptitude to make it into the middle class in an economy based less and less on having a strong back. Both of those truths need to be recognized if policy making is to be effective.

jabowery said...

If you want actual data for fighting this battle, see Elizabeth Warren's speech "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class".

The main criticism I have of her speech is that she doesn't explicate the obvious:

The "cost of living" figures offered up by these elites had no bearing on Baby Boomer family formation.

Now, while I think just about everyone who wants to argue with these elite parasites should be forced to watch Warren's speech until they pass a test on its contents, the elites themselves who talk about McMansions, real estate speculation, designer kids clothes bough by soccer moms, etc., should be treated to their life sentence of viewing continual reruns of Warren's speech in this manner.

Contemplationist said...

www.the-american-interest.com/article-bd.cfm?piece=907

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Steve didn't mention the reason that our elites allow massive illegal workers and out sourcing of jobs, inflation.

Our elites were terrified of inflation in the seventies and early eighties. That they were getting rich while stopping inflation seemed like a 'win-win' to them. Throwing the bone of easy credit to everyone else was even better consumption remained steady, people had money to spend so were not upset, and the elites got to vastly expand another giant financial sector that benefited them.

The rest of us got screwed but we're just peons. Since WWII the US has been in a long slow decline of wages/lifestyle. I have more junk than my grandfather ever thought of but if he wanted to he could easily find work even in the height of the Depression. And he could easily afford a home/car/etc. on his wages. His house was not as full of bells and whistles as mine but it was better built and is still standing something my prefab (the only thing I can afford) will not be doing in seventy some years.

My grandmother never needed to work. She still living comfortably on his pension. Both my wife and I must work to make ends meet. My grown daughter has to live with us due to economics. All are working.

I worked for Boeing in the '80s/90's. I was being groomed for minor management and was sent to breakfasts, meetings, conferences with senior VPs on a regular basis by my management.

I know they were supposed to give me the idea they cared about the 'little guy' but I think they genuinely did care. That all changed when management decided to cut all ties with Seattle in an effort to cut all feeling of camaraderie and friendship between the management and workers so that the management wouldn't mind cutting the workforce permanently. It worked.

The management no longer gives a shit about any workers. Boeing is on a long slow outsourcing decline that will end only when the cost of the outsource doesn't meet the cost of the cheaper labor. As long as they receive tax breaks at both ends for doing so it'll never end.

Tell me how we don't need laws and protection. Productivity increase by workers, management and stockholders got rich, workers got credit debt up the ass and stagnating wages.

Anonymous said...

"You can't have it both ways. You can't ask the heir to the Busch fortune to not tilt the investing table in such a way that it hurts you and me for their benefit.

Sorry but I had to cut the rest of your comment it was too long. If you have been here before you'd know that Steve has advocated many positions that directly benefit the poor.

I am not sure if he has advocated anything that would economically benefit the rich but his social suggestions would benefit them despite themselves.

I suggest you explore his articles on welfare, IQ, economic protection. Unless you're just trolling, then never mind.

Anonymous said...

Anon said - "Well, I really tend to doubt that "immigration" has been that big a factor in the astonishing---and very disturbing---wealth bifurcation which American society has experienced over the last few decades... "

Back in the 60s and 70s, an ordinary white person with an ordinary job who was reasonably good at managing his money could afford to live in a decent house in a decent neighborhood with decent schools, because most areas of the country were either black or white, and the whites could AFFORD to get away from the blacks. Third-world immigration doesn't just lower wages, it turns working-class neighborhoods into high-crime ghettos with miserable failing schools.

Many of the people who took out colossal mortgages for McMansions in the far-flung suburbs were trying to move into a school district that would stay majority-white long enough for their youngest child to graduate from high school.

A good education for your children is part of the American dream. Non-English speaking immigrants, if they come in large numbers, RUIN the public schools, especially if the children are "slow learners" from violent, dysfunctional families.

If you have to move several times during your lifetime because your neighborhood goes "minority" AND you have to pay to send your children to private or parochial school for much of their education, it is MUCH harder to build wealth.

Why didn't the gentle Taiwanese stay in Taiwan? The model minority is starting to grate on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, just because Khodorkovsky is an SOB doesn't mean that his jailer, Mr. Putin, isn't an SOB-squared."

Russia has been much better off on every social and economic metric under Putin than under Yeltsin. Khodorkovsky, who went after ultimate power before he lost that fight to Putin, would have continued the thieving policies of the Yeltsin years. Why does the Western media support Khodorkovsky's campaign for czar? (And this IS what's happening here, no doubt about it.) Becuase, apparently unlike Steve, NYT reporters think that there is a huge difference between Putin and Khodorkovsky. They know that Khodorkovsky would be friendlier to thievery in all its forms.

Do you know, for example, that under Putin Russia has decreased its debt to negligible levels? How does that compare with the behavior of Western elites on the same issue? Putin's government is paying Russian women money for choosing to have larger families. Again, how does that compare with Western governments that are facing the same exact problem?

I'm sure that Putin enjoys power (what sort of man wouldn't), but he also shows a loyalty to the majority of his country's population. I believe this is why the Western media is negatively predisposed to him.

RKU said...

Anonymous: "Surely much of the disparity is simply the importation of poor people who, at least in US terms, remain poor. Bingo - instant wealth disparity!"

Actually, I very much tend to doubt this. The figures I've seen floating around are that by the mid-2000s, the top 1% of American households held approximately the same total wealth as the bottom 90-95%, which really is quite astonishing. And since the wealth of most ordinary Americans is largely their home equity, the subsequent collapse of the Housing Bubble would have probably made this comparison even more extreme.

So unless there are vastly more illegal immigrants than anyone remotely suspects, I'd think that the vast majority of the bottom 90-95% of the American population aren't the result of the "importation of poor people."

(Incidentally, I was the author of the "anonymous" 4th comment from the top---must have used the wrong field or something)

---RKU

Truth said...

"I wonder if these guys will change the tune when they wee the 800 lbs Gorilla come out of its cage? That would be China."

Why would they, they'll be living there.

The word "globalist", and it's derivitives were used many times during this article.

Anonymous said...

I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company. A gentle, unpretentious man who went from public school to Harvard, he’s nonetheless not terribly sympathetic to the complaints of the American middle class.
let's get some perspective here.. this guy came, went to a school founded by Puritan Christians, probably got loan and scholarship money funded by US taxpayers, probably benefited from 'diversity' hiring, and shows nothing but contempt for the country he is prospering in.

what sort of people, what sort nation, allow this?

John said...

The problem exists in many countries and not just confined to the U.S. At the heart of the issue is the changes in how business gets done as well as how the corporations reward individual contributors.

Today, there are more ways for corporations to leverage the skills of the most outstanding contributors such that they have a much larger impact on the bottom line of the company. At the same time, corporations are also finding ways to reward these individuals in a way that is more proportional to their contribution to the company. In a way, this happens because the corporations are getting better at doing things.

People near the right tail of the bell curve are making more contributions and are being rewarded more for it.

The rest of the people are also doing fine, but of course inequality means that they are seeing less of the benefit and the ones that make the most contributions are reaping most of the rewards.

The society that does way going forward would be the one that is successful at maximizing the contribution from these people while keeping the masses happy, because this trend will continue to accelerate in the future.

John

JSM said...

"You can't have it both ways. You can't ask the heir to the Busch fortune to not tilt the investing table in such a way that it hurts you and me for their benefit while not giving a damn about the suffering of the unconnected ADD-brained low-IQ third-generation Hispanic guy who has no hope for a better life because the best he can hope for is a demeaning job as a dishwasher."

Why not?

And why are YOU causing suffering for the ADD-brained low-IQ 3rd gen Hispanic guy by dissing his job as "demeaning"?

Marc B said...

These folks are nothing more than "kinder, gentler" versions of Jack Welch, but at least Welch had the balls to admit his ambivalence about the negative effects that globalization has on the US. This new generation of super-rich are no different, except they largely vote democrat, support liberal causes, and think of themselves as moral compared to the Robber Barons (who at least created US jobs).

I don't see the need for the term citizenist when nationalist is sufficient. It's amazing how fast internationalism has become the default(on both the right and left) since the 1980's and now any nationalistic fervor is attacked.

adfadasdf said...

The global elites are schizo. On the one hand, they come across as Mr. Potter-like(It's a Wonderful Life)Republican libertarians--selfish, petty, unfeeling, cold, etc--, and on the other hand, they are like the biggest know-it-all do-gooders in the world.

Sometimes, they blame THE PEOPLE for all the problems, but they also profess to know what's best for THE PEOPLE and wanna help.

There's probably a difference of views among different ethnic/national groups within the 'global elite'. Wasp elites are likely to be more idealistic and do-goody, more likely see the government as a force for good, not least because US has a proud tradition of reformist can-do democracy.
But elites from India or Taiwan may be less enamoured of what government can do. For rich Indians, big government means all the red tape from independence to the early 90s(as seen in the movie GURU). For the majority of Taiwanese, big government means mostly dictatorship under Chiang Kai-shek and his mainland-fled cronies who ruled over 'indigenous' Taiwanese for several decades.

Also, some cultures have less of a philanthropic tradition than do westerners like Swedes and Anglos. And new elites from poor nations got rich only recently and savor what they have more than western global elites who have a longer tradition of enjoying wealth and privilege(and thus take them for granted). The nouveau riche remember what it was like to be poor, and they knew many poor people up-close and have no illusions about the 'saintly poor', as established rich people with a sense of noblesse oblige do.

The super-elite is probably more meritocratic than in the past, but I'm not sure if this will always be the case. It was the case in China from 80s to early 90s, but then a new oligarchy grew up around the Communist Party, and now you have a situation where Big Families in government and private sector collude to control and own most of China.
Japan was meritocratic as it rose from the rubble of WWII but by late 80s, a new oligarchy was in place in government and business.
Though Jews have gained more from American meritocracy than any other people, there seems to be a lot of shameless networking among crooked Jews on Wall Street and Ivy League universities. And though the neocons rose up on the Right with new ideas, they are now the corrupt establishment within the GOP. And with affirmative action favoring rich blacks, Jews, and others over poor whites, how meritocratic is that?
And I'll bet a lot of Arab and Latin American foreign students at US Ivy League universities were admitted as a result of family background and connections(and even bribery by their parents)than by merit.
And just how did a bozo like Sotomayor become supreme court judge? But then, how did a bozo like Thomas do the same?
And Hollywood... WOW, what rot!!

There's a kind of paradox in all this. Many, though not all, superrich people amassed their fortunes by INTELLIGENTLY exploiting the STUPIDITY of the masses. Elite intelligence feeds on mass dumbness. Hollywood is one example. It obviously takes people with high intelligence to finance the movies, organize huge productions, come up with dazzling special effects, etc. But the whole thing is catered to dumb dumb masses. And even the housing bubble mess was a case of intelligent people devising a very clever formula to encourage masses of dumb people to borrow and buy/spend.
Meritocracy depends on moronomania.

asdfasdfads said...

With the rise of meritocracy feeding on moronomania, we have smart people encouraging dumb people to be dumber.
The American music industry is run by Ivy League graduates and the like. So is American TV stations. But since the name of the game in our mass culture is 'make as much money as possible from the masses who aren't too bright', it becomes a contest among smart people to come up with a more smartly packaged dumb stuff for dummies.

It used to be the elites acted in a certain way so that the lower orders aspired to elevate themselves. Now, the elites make more money than ever by encouraging the masses to act dumber and more childish.
If you make an intelligent movie like EXCALIBUR, you have a moderate hit or a box office flop. Make something as dumb as AVATAR or LOR, and the dummies keep on coming.

Has to be said...

"You simply care about people similar to yourself and your loved ones and care nothing for the dumbass ghetto-dwellers or for the brilliant businessmen."

It's funny how people at every income level believe that those either above or below them don't deserve the money they get. It's true of the subjects of this piece and it's true of the commenters in this thread.

"A citizenist is more akin to a socialist."

Yup. But not the Marxist kind. Marxists were internationalists.

Evil Sandmich said...

@anon: Steve, your claim to advocate for citizenism rings hollow. You regularly care nothing for the troubles of low income people - particularly members of minority groups

I don't think you could be more wrong. Steve has written various posts about how education should be geared towards natural gifts and not wasted on trying to turn everyone into doctors and he has also lamented the fact that our elites (minority and otherwise) have screwed up the economy and limited opportunities for those on the bottom rungs of society (I even recall his mild favoring of trade restrictions in order to help correct that), oye!

So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value

10 times he wishes, I think he forgot a zero or two (or three, etc.). From my middle-up-down point of view it's true that up to a certain point a high wage is needed to attract a limited talent pool to a given position, but it's also true that at upper end salary positions it's about trying to grab as much as you can, while you can.

Dahlia said...

A consequence of globalization that I've seen and worry about escalating is about women: the demand for beautiful women, that being white women. Combined with an era of worsening values, it is very worrying.

What began in Asia, and South America to a much lesser extent, with exploiting poor children and women to elite foreign men has grown into problem in Europe with women being forced into sex slavery with dark men being the main clientele.

Just like the oligarchs hollowing out the middle-class, these smart men use their intelligence to either corrupt a people to use their women or kidnap them outright. (The Game movement for those who want to stay cads is basically this in a nutshell: intellectually outmaneuvering pretty women with dumber women being overrepresented amongst the conquests.)

Further, their is jealousy between the races of women that is poisonous to the social fabric.

In the late 90s, I visited NYC as a 19-year-old and decided to go off on my own site-seeing and walking about. I was constantly harassed by Indian and Middle-Eastern men when on a tour bus or anything tourist related. They weren't just about getting a date, they were extremely aggressive saying they wanted to fly me to some country that night or some such. They would not stop talking no matter how polite I tried to be about being left alone. I just wanted to enjoy the city and coming from a modest background, this was a dream of a lifetime and I wanted to savor every second of it. These men could have been evil-doers or your run of the mill cads, but I would get targeted, the last time by a duo, out of large groups. I got tired of it and finished a trip by sitting next to the tour guide of the bus.

Most white men just don't act this way. Globalization makes it extremely plain who is beautiful and who is not. And just like there are great rewards for beauty, it also comes with danger for those who can be easy prey for the immoral moneyed class.

Anonymous said...

In Soviet Russia, Jews were excluded from many of the positons in the government and bueracracy, and also from some of the top schools. To climb the socioeconomic ladder, some Jews went into private business, illegal at the time, and used bribery to win support from the Slavic law enforcers. Many of these businesses were import/export and brought banned consumer luxury goods into the country.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the country's assets were auctioned off to private bidders. A lot of Russian Jews, especially those that had already run private enterprises, were able to gain control through the biddng process. A lot of the equity in these state assets was sold pretty cheap, as Soviet officials took bribes in exchange for assigning low valuations. Other mechnaisms, like providing loans and exchaning them for equity, were used as well.

By the late 90s, I believe 7 extremely wealthy businessmen, 6 of them Jewish, owned half the country's corporate assets. Seen as having looted Russia and living overly extravagant lives, most ordinary Russians detested them and branded them oligarchs. Beyond that, the oligarchs formed large security forces that often fought with each other and other businessmen or security forces. When Putin assumed power, some of the oligarchs used their money to support rival poltical movements, which brought down his wrath on them. Now a lot of the Jewish oligarchs are in jail or have fled the country, with their assets expropriated by the government.

People often assume there must be good guys and bad guys. In Russia, everybody is a bad guy, more or less. One group of bad guys helped another group of business-minded bad guys take control of a lot of businesses. Then a third group of bad guys put group number two in jail. It's tought to feel sorry for anyone here and pretty much everyone deserves to be in jail. Russia does have a long history of violent anti-semitism, but polls show that today's Russians aren't particulary anti-semitic anymore.

It's assumed that Putin is anti-semitic. That's not completely true, as Jewish oligarch Roman Abramovich has been allowed to keep his assets, mainly because he is a Putin sycophant. Putin is a power hungry alpha male and he'll steamroll over any other potential rivals. His main problem with the oligarchs wasn't that they were Jewish or even that they were corrupt - the problem was that they were too much like him and constituted a threat.

Few people realize just how much political, economic, and social chaos and violence engulfed Russia and eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet government. A lot of enterprising but crooked people, both Jewish and Slavic, took advantage of that atmosphere to make money, grab power, and fight/kill their rivals. Today, the chaos is diminshed, but the country remains immensely crooked.

Anonymous said...

Those who control the capital or assets (ie investors and managers) just want maximize profits/dividends. In a closed economy, their interests often align with those of local workers and communities. Remember - "What's good for GM is good for America?" In a global economy with free movement of labor, goods, and capital, their interests now often diverge with those of the American workers and their fellow countrymen.

Businessmen have always been greedy SOBs. The problem is that improvements in communications, transportation, travel, and political/economic coniditions overseas are now facilitating globalization. Why build a factory in Detroit when you can build a factory in China and pay half the compensation?

In the past, globalization was hindered by quite a few barrers. If you wanted to hire, you had to hire Americans. If you wanted to invest capital, you invested in America. If you wanted subtractors, most likely they'd be American. American businesses and workers were on the same team. Back in the 1980s, Detroit lobbied Reagan to place quotas on Japanese cars because they were getting hammered by the competition. These days, they'd just open plants in Japan and sell the cheaper cars here.

Free trade and immigration have exacerbated the outsourcing trend immensely too.

adfasasdfasd said...

"Ironically, progressives never use one of the best argument against plutocrats who claim that they won their wealth in a pure meritocracy and that a small handful of people should be the only ones deserving to benefit from productivity growth: bell curves."

The most prominent 'progressives' are hired by, funded by, or the children of the rich. And they go to the same cocktail parties. Also, even liberal Jews take pride in Jewish power/wealth in Wall Street, Hollywood, etc.

Because there are many white gentiles, whites still have substantial power WITHOUT holding top elite status. But because Jews are relatively small in number, their power derives from elite status/privilege/influence. They must rely on quality of power since they don't have quantity of power--demographics.
Thus, liberal Jewish dominated media did not go after Wall Street as harshly as they went after Enron. Though many Jewish liberals were offended by some of the stuff done by Wall Street Jews, Wall Street power was still perceived and prized as Jewish power. Similarly, though many liberal Jews are offended by some Israeli policies, they are still for Israel's 'right to exist', which means Israel's right to kick butt in the Middle East.
If Wall Street had been mostly wasp-dominated in 2008, Jewish media and Jewish-dominated courts would have done everything to bring down all the blueblood crooks and have the banks nationalized(as it should have been temporarily to clean out the bad shit and then returned to the private sphere). But Wall Street was the center of Jewish economic ower, and so other institutions controlled by Jews went easy on it.
Similarly, Jewish overlords in government(both in GOP and Dem party)bailed out Wall Street because it was the bastion of Jewish power.
Just as Russian communists were Russians first and internationalists second and just as Chinese communists were Chinese first and internationalists second, Jewish progressives are Jews first and progressives second. Only idiot white gentile progressives are progressives first and whites second.

Anyway, it makes no sense to discuss what Bush or Obama did because both are puppets of Jewish power. Whoever wins the presidency, Jews get the lionshare of goodies while their dumb goy allies get crumbs. So, under Bush, Jews got pro-Wall Steet policies and wars for Israel while dumb Christian evanjellies got 'symbolic' stuff like NO STEM CELL RESEARCH, uh duh!!! And under Obama, Jews got the bailouts and bigger control over everything while blacks got more foodstamps and lowlevel government jobs.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if these guys will change the tune when they wee the 800 lbs Gorilla come out of its cage? That would be China."

Make that an 800 lb panda.

B Lode said...

Bingo - instant wealth disparity!

Yeah. *sigh* ... And instant reason to have welfare, AA, taxpayer-salaried social workers, etc.

adsfadfasdf said...

It's funny. For the global system to be enforced, there needs to be bigger government and NGOs, which means there will be more people who amass power, fortune, and influence through politics, influence peddling, moral extortion(such as "if big tobacco doesn't support our agenda and fork over more money, we'll call it a mass murderer").
Bill Clinton is now worth more than 100 million. Al Gore is worth gazillions. And Obama is bound to amass gazillions. He'll probably take in $200,000 per speech after stepping down. What did Jeffery Sachs ever do to become so rich and powerful? By pretending to save the world. Superrich guys and governments shower globalist world-crusaders with money, prizes, privileges, and etc. Lot of yuppie professionals work for 'non-profit' organizations which really do nothing but pretend to do something. Many people in these sectors produce no wealth or goods but do very well for themselves. I mean what did Michelle Obama or Van Jones ever do that made them so rich?
In the past, rich formed clubs to show off they are rich. Today, they form clubs to show off how hard they are working to save the world. But they are just like the corrupt Catholic Church of old.

And it just FEELS BETTER to work at 'doing good for humanity' than working for a profit(though real businesses create real wealth, real jobs, and real goods for everyone.) Mandarinism is alive and well--and more lucrative than ever.

Anonymous said...

As an aside, the CEO probably pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, so let's not pretend he won his wealth in an unrigged game.

What does it matter if he pays a lower rate, if he pays ten times the taxes? Does he use ten times the government services?

Anonymous said...

Reading about these rich parasites makes me squirm when I think about how Republicans are now mouthing about the haves and haves not: comparing regular workers to public sector teachers or firefighters. It's a transparent deflection of blame from the people actually hoarding all the gains from our productivity growth, particularly the Wall Street welfare queens.

Actual welfare queens have never paid a dime of income tax in their lives. The top 10% of income earners provide 68% of Federal tax revenues. In many cases, these people are getting back some of what they previously paid in income taxes, and what they will pay in the future. The welfare queens will live off high income taxpayers their entire lives.

Make no mistake - Ford cratered his company by overpaying his workers instead of designing better and more reliable cars. Instead of creating a monopoly that nobody else would ever catch up to, he drove his company into a distant also-ran position next to GM. Ford was a great industrial engineer, but a terrible CEO.

Anonymous said...

I was raised on the notion that one character trait of a leader was the willingness to take responsibility when things went wrong. Looking at the recent financial collapse, I see not a single corporate CEO who took the blame, or who willingly resigned his job or returned his undeserved millions, and I see not a single one of Congress's 535 members who feels that it was his fault for what went down.

Our elites make the Hurricane Katrina looters look models of civic virtue by comparison.


When you accepted blame for breaking the TV set, your dad grounded you. When a corporate exec admits blame, he is beset by government lawyers who try to put him in prison for the rest of his natural life and seize his assets. That's not even factoring in the tort lawyers who see his admission as part of a smash-and-grab operation. Bigwigs in countries outside of the US are much more like to apologize because the consequences are relatively trivial.

Comparing failed business leaders with Katrina looters is absurd. Katrina looters comprised murderers, robbers, petty thieves and so on. If you're going to write such absurd things, why not up the ante and compare corporate leaders to Genghis Khan, Hitler and Attila the Hun?

Anonymous said...

in the long run, super-elites have two ways to survive: by suppressing dissent or by sharing their wealth.


No, the elites also have a third option: get the hell out of Dodge when the masses blame their free-spending ways on the people who actually build companies and create jobs.

The comments in this thread and by Steve unfortunately seem to indicate that a significant portion of even the right has decided to turn its back on capitalism.


if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.


That quote is absolutely true. I ask you this: where exactly is the evil CFO going to get 10X the money to pay you for 1X the work? It's not that he hates workers. It's that the company doesn't have the cash in the Obama economy!

What people here don't get is that the 1950s were an unsustainable time. America was untouched and the rest of the world had just been recently devastated by World War 2. So of course even the unskilled laborer could produce a lot of value in a place with buildings that weren't smoking ruins.

Times change. Now Eastern Europe, China, and India have shucked off economic leftism -- while the US is embracing it!

This is of course psychotic. The Eastern Euros, Chinese, and Indians rose by embracing capitalism. The US response is...to embrace socialism. Truly sad.

Anonymous said...

really tend to doubt that "immigration" has been that big a factor in the astonishing---and very disturbing---wealth bifurcation

Do some basic math.

Importing tens of millions of illiterate migrant workers who aggregate at the bottom of the wage scale is -- almost by definition -- going to increase poverty and income inequality.

Anonymous said...

JP98 wins the thread. Finally, some sanity. I am amazed so many HBD believers subscribe to an Obama-like view of businessmen as eeevul.

Guys, you can't love jobs while hating the people that create 'em.

Anonymous said...

he top 10% of income earners provide 68% of Federal tax revenues
that's income tax. not capital gains..and i wonder what the tax rate is for the .05 % which is who we are talking about here, not a dentist with a good practice.

Difference Maker said...

Actual welfare queens have never paid a dime of income tax in their lives. The top 10% of income earners provide 68% of Federal tax revenues. In many cases, these people are getting back some of what they previously paid in income taxes, and what they will pay in the future. The welfare queens will live off high income taxpayers their entire lives.

Charming. The lower class loots the upper class after the upper class has looted the middle class.



Make no mistake - Ford cratered his company by overpaying his workers instead of designing better and more reliable cars. Instead of creating a monopoly that nobody else would ever catch up to, he drove his company into a distant also-ran position next to GM. Ford was a great industrial engineer, but a terrible CEO.


Ford as a kind of American Lamborghini?
But then America would be stuck in the pre motor age.

Anonymous said...

By the way,

(a) income isn't the only form of compensation (status is a biggy). Making $10M a year is one form of compensation, having 100,000 people read your articles and parrot them is another.

(b) the lady writing the article and all the people reading this blog post are just as much "elites" as the people she writes about in the third person. You are reading for fun. That makes you an elite.

Catch this snippet where she makes the admission against interest:

"Among these is Google’s Zeitgeist conference, where I have moderated discussions for several years. "

RWF said...

"Russia has been much better off on every social and economic metric under Putin than under Yeltsin"

Wow so an oil producing country got wealthier when oil prices were high than when they were low!

Anonymous said...

Re: CEO pay, what a lot of people don't get is that they call it socioeconomic status for a reason.

The professor, civil rights lawyer, journalist, or activist has *social status* greater than the pharmaceutical executive. Proof: ask 1000 people whether a "civil rights lawyer" or a "pharmaceutical executive" is a better person.

Women love men with high social status, maybe even more than they love men with high economic status. And that's what matters. As Chris Rock once said, a man would live in a cardboard box if he could still have beautiful women.

So that's the thing: CEO pay has risen because guys who have that much ability are no longer accorded the respect they deserve. That respect goes instead to ghetto rap stars, "activists", and our affirmative action president.

Deprived of status compensation, they're going to seek economic compensation. If you're a pharma executive who is working nights and weekends to deal with the insanity that is the Obama administration while some time server clocks in a 9-5 and then disses you to boot, hell yes you're going to demand some f'ing $. I mean, under Ogabe you face criminal penalties if an underling screws up -- so the role selects for the few supercompetent people who are willing to "get rich or die trying".

I think we'd all prefer it if we went back to a time of noblesse oblige, but that's a two way street.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Guys, you can't love jobs while hating the people that create 'em."

Horseshit. I could just as well say yuou can't love work while hating the people who do it.

And how many jobs has Goldman-Sachs or J.P. Morgan created? What, of value, have they produced.

Take a company like, for instance, Tektronix, a maker of electronic test equipment. By what right do they transfer manufacture of oscilloscopes to China, as they have recently started to do? The current officers of Tektronix did not build the company. They did not make it what it is today. That wealth was built by american citizens - the citizens who were Tektronix's customers and employees, raised in american towns and taught in american schools and colleges. Why is it that a few greedy clowns in suits get to decide the disposition of wealth which they did not and cannot create?

Has to be said...

"I am amazed so many HBD believers subscribe to an Obama-like view of businessmen as eeevul."

Not surprising at all. Many HBD-ers are paleos, and paleo-"conservatism" is really an old-fashioned flavor of socialism.

JSM said...

"What does it matter if he pays a lower rate, if he pays ten times the taxes? Does he use ten times the government services?"

Quite possibly--particularly if he has been successful in his lobbying efforts to get Congress to pass laws that make it hard for new startups to enter his field.

All great fortunes are dependent on their (state-enforced) monopoly status. In a free market, if you got a big pie, there are far too many others looking to take a yummy big slice out of it for you to ever get to be a megacorporation -- unless gov't has done you the favor of putting on, and enforcing, barriers to entry on your wanna-be competitors.

airtommy said...

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the country's assets were auctioned off to private bidders.

The Soviet Union did not collapse. It was doing OK (not great, mind you) before and after it was voluntarily disbanded by Gorbachev.

Russia collapsed in the 1990s due to America rigging the election to get Yeltsin and his Jewish gangster cronies in charge.

Anonymous said...

cut Khodorkovsky some slack. He may have been excessively proud of himself (and is indeed known to others as a very bright guy) but you will never find him celebrating dispossession of his fellow citizens as a way to benefit the "masses lifted out of poverty" or the whales or the atmospheric CO2 levels. Plenty of Russian businessmen truly "looted" the country, but Khodorkovsky actually is believed to have contributed to modernizing and expanding the oil industry as opposed to wreaking havoc to make a buck. Did he pay the "right" amount of taxes or the "wrong" one? In Russia at the time nobody paid full taxes, tax evasion was (and might still be) an essential part of run-of-the-mill corporate accounting.

It's true that under Putin Russia is a lot more prosperous than under Yeltsin, and that can be explained in part by the work of competent managers like Khodorkovsky (which took time to bear fruit) as well as by much higher oil prices. Oil, as you may recall, crashed in 1986 courtesy of Reagan and stayed low throughout the 90s. Putin happened to luck in on higher prices of the 2000s, and reputedly he also lucked in on stealing Khodorkovsky's oil company as well...

Has to be said...

'"Russia has been much better off on every social and economic metric under Putin than under Yeltsin"

Wow so an oil producing country got wealthier when oil prices were high than when they were low!


Under Yeltsin, all this extra wealth would have ended up in Swiss accounts, and the country would have been no better off than before.

RAH said...

The philosophy of the Sailersphere: Anybody poorer than me is genetically inferior. Anybody richer than me is evil, greedy and advantaged.

You guys should form an alliance with Tim Wise, who also thinks that because his favored group isn't doing as well as he'd like it means the market is unfair.

Anonymous said...

Elites ask, why should we prefer our fellow citizens over anyone else? It would be no surprise if they asked themselves why they should prefer their own family and friends over any others.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, Steve:

What principles are you applying by which Putin comes out as a double SOB, or even a regular SOB?

Rohan Swee said...

Formerly.JP98: ...while commenters here get HBD but would benefit from adding some economics to the picture.

On the one hand, we have history showing the benefits of free trade and comparative advantage.[...]


No. History, not even in the limited case of the history of the United States, does not demonstrate that "free trade" is always and everywhere beneficial. It depends very much on the particular circumstances of the trading nation. It's always a bad thing when good ideas become calcified dogmas that keep their promoters from noticing what's unfolding in front of their noses.

The concept of comparative advantage has also been distorted into near meaninglessness. If the U.S. really had a "comparative advantage" in all those areas that misusers of the term claim we have a "comparative advantage", we wouldn't be ceding industries and running trade deficits in all those areas where we supposedly have this great "comparative advantage". (And no, it's not all the fault of unions.) Modern manufactured goods and "knowledge work" are not analogous to wine and wool.

adadsfasdf said...

"Russia has been much better off on every social and economic metric under Putin than under Yeltsin."

True, but what Yeltsiin did was much tougher, more fundamental and important. He had to preside over the necessary dismantling of the old system. Putin merely had to pick up the pieces and provide stability.
Yeltsin cut open the patient and removed the commie tumor while Putin did the job of sewing up the patient again. Yeltsin was NOT a good surgeon, but he had the bloodier and more wrenching task.
And despite his craziness, he was something of a genuine idealist who saw the evil of communism and wanted a more just Russia. Maybe he was naive given the Russian character, but like Gorbachev before him, he was a man of some character who'd at time even risked his entire career and life to do what was right.
I don't deny Putin's patriotism but he played it safe all along as a smooth intelligence officer, a kind of official gangster of the state. He was probably the right man for the job as Russia is not ready for democracy nor posssessed of strong civil society institutions.

Anonymous said...

By the way, just because Khodorkovsky is an SOB doesn't mean that his jailer, Mr. Putin, isn't an SOB-squared.

Putin knows who Olof Aschberg and Meir Wallach-Finkelstein were.

Putin is growing on me lately, in the same way that Henry VIII is.



PS: Someone chez Brin has [yet again] re-censored the direct link to the original Olof Aschberg piece.

Anonymous said...

This simple but profound observation from another anonymous deserves to be highlighted:

Those who control the capital or assets (ie investors and managers) just want maximize profits/dividends. In a closed economy, their interests often align with those of local workers and communities. Remember - "What's good for GM is good for America?" In a global economy with free movement of labor, goods, and capital, their interests now often diverge with those of the American workers and their fellow countrymen.

Anonymous said...

"'His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,' the CEO recalled."

And, of course, there are enough Indians and Chinese to totally annihilate the US middle class and even start booting America's professional class out onto the street.

For a humorous take on the rapid acquisition of wealth by an individual with one idea, rent The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin from Netflix. After becoming fabulously wealthy opening an international chain of department stores that sell only rubbish, Reggie divests himself and starts a commune for middle-age middle class people (the philanthropic phase). Fall and Rise, made in the 70's, is the greatest Britcom of all time, and certainly prescient in our age of accidental technology billionaires.

Rohan Swee said...

Those who control the capital or assets (ie investors and managers) just want maximize profits/dividends. In a closed economy, their interests often align with those of local workers and communities. Remember - "What's good for GM is good for America?" In a global economy with free movement of labor, goods, and capital, their interests now often diverge with those of the American workers and their fellow countrymen.

Wow, ya think?

Which is why their countrymen need to stop thinking in outdated, quasi-religious, Cold War terms about business and trade.

JP98 wins the thread. Finally, some sanity. I am amazed so many HBD believers subscribe to an Obama-like view of businessmen as eeevul.

See above. I'll eat my hat and my socks too if there's anyone here who actually thinks "businessmen are evil". That would be as stupid as believing that businessmen are never corrupt and destructive. (And I don't mean creatively destructive.)

Guys, you can't love jobs while hating the people that create 'em.

If the people you're fellating were actually creating jobs in this country instead of instead of having consecrated themselves to balls-to-the-wall, no-value added rent-seeking, people probably wouldn't be noticing their criminality so much.

Jay said...

The Taiwanese American dude was right. If you are getting paid 10 times more than somebody in China, then should you not produce 10 times more goods than him/her.

Gotta love how Steve is using the Taiwanese American guy's immigrant status and then trying to turn this into an immigrants-hate-America/immigrants-are-unpatriotic thing instead of just an Occam's Razor Plutocrats-love-money thing. Then again, what can I expect from this blog?

As for Citizenist? I highly doubt Steve claims this Taiwanese American guy as one of his "Americans." Steve is showing his blatant racism a little too glaringly obvious again.

Another Anon said...

"Why does the Western media support Khodorkovsky's campaign for czar? (And this IS what's happening here, no doubt about it.) Becuase, apparently unlike Steve, NYT reporters think that there is a huge difference between Putin and Khodorkovsky. They know that Khodorkovsky would be friendlier to thievery in all its forms."

If anyone has Czarist pretensions, it's Putin. Khodorovsky is a Russian patriot. He could have kept his status as a successful industrialist if he were willing to kowtow to Putin. Or he could have absconded with his wealth to London or Switzerland. Instead, when Putin came after him on trumped-up charges to keep Khodorovsky from funding a viable opposition party, Khodorovsky chose to stay and plead his case through the Russian legal system, knowing it was corrupt and the deck was stacked against him. He did that -- and he's rotting in a Siberian prison now -- to draw the world's attention to Russia's lack of democracy and lack of rule of law.

If Russia ever becomes a real democracy, Khodorovsky will be remembered as a hero who helped make that happen.

"Do you know, for example, that under Putin Russia has decreased its debt to negligible levels? How does that compare with the behavior of Western elites on the same issue?"

High oil prices, not Putin's policies, are why Russia has been flush.

Anonymous said...

"Wow so an oil producing country got wealthier when oil prices were high than when they were low!"

Nigeria is an oil-producing country, and it's dirt-poor. Saudi Arabia is drowning in debt. Income has almost nothing to do with solvency. If it did, most NBA players wouldn't be bankrupt.

If the elites are intent on stealing, all income will be stolen. It doesn't matter how large this income was. The same is true of individuals - if a man is irresponsible, he will always be in debt. No matter how much money you give him, he'll spend it all and then get into debt.

Only ignorance of human nature could lead someone to ascribe Norway's success to oil or Putin's economic success to the rise in oil prices. If an oligarch was at the helm, every single cent would have been stolen.

airtommy said...

Wow so an oil producing country got wealthier when oil prices were high than when they were low!

Actually, oil prices broke out to the upside halfway through Putin's Presidency. Putin did a better job than Yeltsin before high oil prices.

And the artificial downward spike in oil prices in 1998 was due to the machinations of the mostly-Jewish financial elite, who were simultaneously telling us how great Yeltsin and the Jewish gangsters were for Russia. As a matter of fact, they're still telling us that.

Anonymous said...

Yes. An immigrant from Taiwan received citizenship in America, was allowed to study in an American university, received American tax payer subsidized student loans, and is now telling middle class Americans they should have lower wages. What ******* **** **** this all is. Our country has gone ******* insane.

Only in America, do we accept that an immigrant, who has benefited from society's largesse, telling us that we should be poorer.

Go back to Taiwan where you belong.

Michael said...

Another answer that apparently didn't come up in the article, when the question of who was to blame for the financial crisis was asked, was government's use of the mortgage lending industry as a tool for indirect social engineering and wealth redistribution.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac held or guaranteed a majority of the residential mortgages in the United States (and still do). They were in fact a mortgage oligopoly that smaller lenders had to meet or beat if they wanted to compete for the remaining business. Beginning in 1992, Congress set quotas for the GSEs' lending to lower-income borrowers that increased throughout the following decade. In addition, similar pressure was placed directly on private-sector mortgage lenders through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Only a few years ago, Barney Frank was urging the GSEs to "roll the dice" on subsidized housing. Snake eyes for Barney! Of course, now he and others that were complicit in the crash have tried to wash their hands of it, and a mostly-complaisant press has indulged them.

Anonymous said...

In East Asia, they've kept immigration at about zero and have always had high trade barriers. They don't buy into any of thise global citizen BS - and they're doing just fine. Why do all these editorialists act like the West is the only prosperous part of the world? What about east Asia?

Anonymous said...

The Rise of the New Global Elites

Ace had a long piece this afternoon - essentially an historical variation on this theme - concerning the rift between the "working" class & the "professional" class in Victorian England:


The Illusion of the "Professional" Class and the Rise of the Liberal Aristocracy
Posted by: Ace at 03:16 PM 2011-01-06
http://minx.cc/?post=310326

...I was reading about Victorian London a while ago... and the writer... noted, for example, that a Bank of England clerk would be a member of the middle/professional class, despite the fact that what he did all day was hand-write numbers into ledgers and do simple arithmetic and some filing work and the like, whereas, say, a carpenter actually did real thinking, real planning, at his job, with elements of real creativity.

And yet it was the Bank of England clerk who was considered a "mind" worker and the carpenter merely a hand-laborer...

And this all goes hand in hand with my own Great Big Idea, that liberalism is largely, by subconscious design, a machine of class-differentiation for those aspiring to be part of an upper class to count themselves as part of that upper class, even if (especially if!) their credentials for belonging to that class are otherwise slim...

Anonymous said...

A lot of the plutocrats (Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Gates) legitimately created wealth and opportunities, but plenty of them used underhanded means too. Not just the Russian oligarchs, but also a lot of the Wall Street crowd and others.

As Paul Vocker said, there is not a "shred of evidence" that financial innovation, which has made Wall street VERY rich, has benefited the economy. Instead, the new financial instruments are basically a tool to extract wealth from the working, middle, and upper classes and entrapranuers - and give the wealth to the Wall Street. For example, TARP, which was triggered by the excessive opaqueness of all these financial instruments, was funded by America's tax payers and given to Wall Street. However, before the bailouts, when everything was booming, these firms made billions through the speculation that these financial instruments enabled. Heads they win, tails we lose. Wall Street gains the upside of speculation, but we bail them out from the downside. What BS!

Even a lot of businessmen that bring in cheap labor are essentially extracting wealth, in the form of wages, from workers and giving it to themselves.

A lot of businessmen also use their political ties to get business. Why do you think that billionaires fly the Clintons around in private jets and why do you think Chelsea Clinton got hired at a hedge fund? Is Chelsea some brainiac math genius?

We need to be careful to distinguish genuine innovators and entrapranuers from the shysters. The former are our country's lifeblood, while the latter are going to hell some day.

Steve Sailer said...

"What principles are you applying by which Putin comes out as a double SOB, or even a regular SOB?"

I'm against murder.

RAH said...

Elites ask, why should we prefer our fellow citizens over anyone else? It would be no surprise if they asked themselves why they should prefer their own family and friends over any others.

Differences...

1) I actually know my friends and family
2) The affection I have for F&F is mutual

Your preferences for other "citizens" is arbitrary. Some people might prefer their own race. Others one nationality, a region or fellow believers in a religion. All people have a right to prefer whomever they want. They don't have the right to force others to sacrifice for their favorite people.

You like American citizens more than Chinese and think that buying American for higher prices helps them? Fine, only buy American. If enough people do so then manufacturing jobs will stay here. But the fact of the matter is that Americans don't care enough to sacrifice their own self-interests for the sake of fellow citizens. As a matter of fact, I bet most of the protectionists who are reading this, if they went and checked their closet, would find out that their pants are made in Columbia and Bangladesh.

Just like how liberals love integration but run away from black schools, paleos love protectionism but shop at Walmart.

Anonymous said...

"Khodorovsky is a Russian patriot."

Whiskey, is that you?

Charlesz Martel said...

I Believe

by Robert W. Service
It’s my belief that every man
Should do his share of work,
And in our economic plan
No citizen should shirk.
That in return each one should get
His meed of fold and food,
And feel that all his toil and sweat
Is for the common good.

It’s my belief that every chap
Should have an equal start,
And there should be no handicap
To hinder his depart;
That there be fairness in the fight,
And justice in the race,
And every lad should have the right
To win his proper place.

It’s my belief that people should
Be neither rich nor poor;
That none should suffer servitude,
And all should be secure.
That wealth is loot, and rank is rot,
And foul is class and clan;
That to succeed a man may not
Exploit his brother man.

It’s my belief that heritage
And usury are wrong;
That each should win a worthy wage
And sing an honest song ....
Not one like this—for though I rue
The wrong of life, I flout it.
Alas! I’m not prepared to do
A goddam thing about it.

Steve, thought you'd enjoy this...See this video again for a "True" global elitist who was also an internationalist who truly understood the world. I'm afraid we shall not see his like again in our generation.

Charlie Rose interviews Sir James Goldsmith:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PQrz8F0dBI

adsfasdfasdf said...

"Yes. An immigrant from Taiwan received citizenship in America, was allowed to study in an American university, received American tax payer subsidized student loans, and is now telling middle class Americans they should have lower wages. What ******* **** **** this all is. Our country has gone ******* insane.
Only in America, do we accept that an immigrant, who has benefited from society's largesse, telling us that we should be poorer.
Go back to Taiwan where you belong."

ROTFL. My immediate reaction is to say, 'my sentiments exactly'. But then, I share some of the attitudes of these immigrants. There are too many useless native born people in America.
I knew this Hindu guy whose parents worked nearly 24/7 at a gas station to put him through college, and he studied very hard and did well for himself. Though he benefitted from American society, he also became productive member of the community. He became quite conservative. There's a pretty awful movie by Richard Linklater called SUBURBIA--shocking since Dazed & Confused is so good--where some Indian guy working at a convenience store explains how he's gonna succeed while white trash is gonna stay on the bottom. IN a way, he's saying he has more appreciation for the opportunities and freedoms of America than native born Americans do. America is a land of dreams, and he's gonna study and work to achieve his dream. So, why should he pay more taxes to support lazy Americans who take things for granted?
Another incident. A cabbie, an immigrant from Africa, started a conversation and complained that American born blacks are so lazy and useless. He said America offers opportunities even for poor people that Africa does not, but too many black Americans just sit on their butts and demand handouts. American born blacks feel ENTTTLED to 'rights'--material goodies--without working. And I've also heard Polish cleaning ladies--some of them illegal immigrants--complaining about all those lazy white kids who care more about having fun than working.
Immigrants do benefit from the American system, but if they study, succeed, and earn money, they've become productive members of society than leeches. If our gripe is that too many immigrants don't work and leech off the system, it would be hypocritical to complain about those who work, succeed, and pay taxes. Why would they want to pay MORE TAXES since they can see, plain as day, all the people on welfare and all those useless government employees sucking dry the system? Also, where they came from, poor don't have it so good. They see American poor living better than middle class people back home and wonder why Americans bitch and whine so much.
Also, many immigrants start out in poor/poorer neighborhoods and see many of the social pathologies of America--youth crime, family breakdown, welfare dependency, lack of discipline, drug use, etc. When they finally climb out of this hole, they get to thinking, 'my taxes will go to support the leeches I escaped from.' They also think, 'if I started out poor as an immigrant but made it to middle class status, why can't those dysfunctioal native born Americans do the same?'

Another Anon said...

"Little does he realize that the wage-arbitrage mentality he professes is exactly what Karl Marx predicted would destroy capitalism: relentless cost-cutting by the capitalists exploiting a reserve-labor force of the unemployed led Marx to predict that the entire structure would eventually be overthrown."

Marx was a proponent of free trade because he thought it would be the death of capitalism.

"Nigeria is an oil-producing country, and it's dirt-poor. Saudi Arabia is drowning in debt."

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have fast-growing populations. Russia has a declining population.

"And the artificial downward spike in oil prices in 1998 was due to the machinations of the mostly-Jewish financial elite"

That's the first time I've heard someone complain that Jews lowered oil prices. In reality, oil prices were low in '98 mainly because the dollar was strong.

"I'm against murder."

Sailer wins the thread.

adsfasdfasdf said...

I think we need to define 'elites' more carefully. Not every successful professional is part of the 'elite'. Members of the real elite have ELITE POWER AND INFLUENCE. So, some well-to-do accountant or computer programmer is not really a part of any elite. But a Hollywood mogul, a big gun on Wall Street, or a very influential professor is part of the elite.
Most successful people don't have political or cultural power, and if we include them in the 'elite', it distracts us from the REAL ELITE with REAL POWER, which may be exactly what the LIBERAL JEWISH ELITE wants. If some dinky Hindu-American doctor, a well-to-do Cuban-American lawyer, or a Taiwanese-American computer programmer is part of the 'elite', are we to assume that they are on the same plane as the likes of Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, Steven Spielberg, Michael Bloomberg, etc? Ridiculous.
When we look at Germany or China, do we consider all the doctors, lawyers, and accountant in that country as part of the 'elite'? So, some German dentist is up there with the CEO of Volkswagen?

The real elites in this country are Jewish and liberal wasps. They are the BIG PLAYERS.
Merely successful class of people may be called part of the globatariat or some such, but they are not part of any elite. Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Zuckerberg are part of the elite. Some Polish-American engineer who makes 300,000 a year is well off but part of no elite.

Tom V said...

Jay:

As for Citizenist? I highly doubt Steve claims this Taiwanese American guy as one of his "Americans."

I highly doubt the guy wishes to be so claimed (unless federal money is involved). Citizenism, as a social contract, requires reciprocity.

To paraphrase the great "American" himself:

“So if you’re going to demand 1,000 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 1,000 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the elite class need to decide to take a pay cut.”

And that applies whether your name is Wang, Gates, or Obama.

Rohan Swee said...

RAH: All people have a right to prefer whomever they want. They don't have the right to force others to sacrifice for their favorite people.

From what felicitous climes do you hail, RAH, that the fruit of your labors is not extorted to benefit people you don't care about and would rather not subsidize?

1) I actually know my friends and family
2) The affection I have for F&F is mutual


I suppose some will always prefer the roomy comfort of hanging separately amid a sparse but completely freely chosen company, rather than enduring the sometimes irritating process of hanging together with a more considerable gang, partially decided by custom and sundry other "arbitrary" mystic chords.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that foreigners are harder working than soft Americans, who will get trammeled in the global marketplace if they ever have to compete on equal ground.

As La Raza likes to say, "Por la raza, toda. Por otra la raza, nada)". (Translation: For our people, everything. For outsiders, nothing.)

I'm with La Raza on this one.

Even if we have a nation of ungrateful buffons, it's still our country. I don't want Polish or Chinese taking our jobs or flooding our labor market, even if I do admire their industriousness and thrift.

adsfasdfasdf said...

"What principles are you applying by which Putin comes out as a double SOB, or even a regular SOB?"

"I'm against murder."

In the GODFATHER movies I was against murder when the horse(in pt 1) and the whore(in pt 2)were killed, but just about everyone else had it coming.

So, it depends on WHOM Putin killed.

Anonymous said...

Don't think of it as murder, think of it as very high dose radiation therapy.

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Sailer said...

I'm against murder."

That's so like you Steve - so quaintly old-fashioned.

adfasdfasdf said...

"I'm against murder."

"That's so like you Steve - so quaintly old-fashioned."

Steve Sailer is Kay. This Russian thing must all end!!!!

travis said...

What's a Golden Age to some is a Guilded Age to the rest. When you're on the winning side, you never have to give much thought to war, empire building, the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth and power, and the domination of the environment. All can be chalked up to Progress or Fate. When you're on the losing side, you learn to appreciate grace.

Howard Hughes said...

Well, time for some common sense. I got nothing against income equality. A sensible income equality, a society were the doctor earns more than the janitor and the engineer more than the construction worker. But the salaries of the CEOs and the money this, so-called, "new elite" got is not fair. Sure, all you libertarian idealogues, Ayn Rand-readers and whatnot may go around praising capitalism all day. I got nothing against a market economy either. The thing is: the market may be excellent for creating wealth, but it does not distribute wealth in a just way. A great society, a society were the great bulk of the people can live meaningful lifes, a society that has progress, in science and in the arts - in such place the majority of the population ought to be able to work hard, live good, live safe.

Man is a political animal. A nation is, at best, different groups keeping a power balance and having some sort of unity. At worst? Broken power balance, total war. I do not want oligarchs sitting with all the power. I do not want the state to have it all either. You need balance between the elites of the country and you need a strong and confident population.

Of course, that is easier to achieve if the country in question got, at least a basic, ethnic and cultural unity. The elites of the West is taking that away. Nations will fall. I see no Putin that can change that. Looks like the only option is to have a good time while Western civilization falls.

A lot of people have touched upon the HBD angle. If intelligence, work ethic and other traits are influenced by genes, then we do got an even bigger need to help the less unfortunate. That's what humans do. Life isn't supposed to be just about status-whoring & moneymaking until you die in a bourgeois bubble. It's not about just getting more stuff. Don't get more - BE MORE.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I'm all for America-First, but not at the sacrifice of everyone else.

That's a noble sentiment. Do you think "everyone else" would reciprocate?

Anonymous said...

"Your preferences for other "citizens" is arbitrary. "

All preferences are arbitrary. Is your family better than any other? If not, then any attachment you might particularly have to them is invalid.

Not very persuasive.

If the US is being asked to dissolve itself, to de-sovereignize, let me see some other country do it first and show us this new Utopia.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Russia collapsed in the 1990s due to America rigging the election to get Ymeltsin and his Jewish gangster cronies in charge.

Uh, no, the Soviet Union collapsed because the labor theory of value is detached from reality. Also, the USSR collapsed because Caucasians don't want to be Russian Bolsheviks. For that matter, most Russians don't want to be Russian Bolsheviks.

Anonymous said...

So, it depends on WHOM Putin killed.

Yeah, that's one of the reasons that Henry VIII is growing on me.

H-VIII maybe have been an "SOB" [to quote Steve], but he was up against some real monsters.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I tell you what - the [apparent] randomness of the LIFO stack makes these long threads just exceedingly difficult to follow.

Truth said...

"Re: CEO pay, what a lot of people don't get is that they call it socioeconomic status for a reason.

The professor, civil rights lawyer, journalist, or activist has *social status* greater than the pharmaceutical executive."

Yeah, that Steve Jobs has never been on the cover of a magazine, has he? Zuckerberg, who's he?

airtommy said...

That's the first time I've heard someone complain that Jews lowered oil prices.

I hate to break it to you, but snarky bewilderment at criticism of Jews doesn't play well on this website.

In reality, oil prices were low in '98 mainly because the dollar was strong.

No, it stemmed directly from the unwinding of Wall Street's huge arbitrage games triggered by the LTCM collapse. As soon as those games finished, the free market sent oil back to its previous equilibrium price.

RKU said...

Anonymous: Nigeria is an oil-producing country, and it's dirt-poor. Saudi Arabia is drowning in debt. Income has almost nothing to do with solvency. If it did, most NBA players wouldn't be bankrupt.

If the elites are intent on stealing, all income will be stolen. It doesn't matter how large this income was. The same is true of individuals - if a man is irresponsible, he will always be in debt. No matter how much money you give him, he'll spend it all and then get into debt.

Only ignorance of human nature could lead someone to ascribe Norway's success to oil or Putin's economic success to the rise in oil prices. If an oligarch was at the helm, every single cent would have been stolen.


Yes, this is exactly correct. Certainly Putin and his friends skim 5% or whatever off the top of their national economy, but elites do that sort of thing everywhere, whether it's called royal privilege, corruption, or just taxes. But from all the evidence I've seen, Putin and his associates are completely sincere in their desire to make Russia and its people strong, successful, and prosperous, which is the polar opposite of the intentions of the previous Oligarchs they replaced.

Now I haven't studied the subject in detail, but I think a pretty good case can be made that Putin has been by a wide margin the best and most successful major world leader in recent years, given the desperate situation his nation faced when he came to power and the enormously improved conditions today. This puts him ahead of China's very solid current leadership, since their country was doing very well when they came to power, and they have merely maintained that fine upward trajectory despite external difficulties. As for the major country with absolutely the worst series of recent leaders---well, I'll give you three guesses...

In fact, for years I've been telling people that a delegation of senior American notables should travel to Russia and offer Vladimir the American throne, much as occasionally happened in grossly mismanaged European countries during the 18th and 19th centuries. Among other things, one of our greatest problems is a debilitating infestation of local Oligarchs, and Putin has acquired quite a bit of experience in setting right those sorts of difficulties. In fact, I suspect that merely his arrival upon these shores would quickly provoke a mass exodus of those shady characters, much like mice scurry away at the merest scent of "cat"...

Whiskey said...

The Financial Times (of all papers) acknowledged that the people in the West, all across it, had lost confidence in the Global Elite technocrats, from immigration to finance to spending to pretty much everything else.

Citizenism is what the Tea Party folks (terrified of being called racist for now) are proposing, it won't work (because it won't stop the floodgates of illegal immigration pushed by Mexicans and pols here now). What instead we will get is Mexico "exposed" by China as a weak, non-state collapsing under narco pressure and incapable of making anything of value, flooding America with 50-70 million Mexicans all at once and prompting "Survivor" nationwide.

Voting people off the island is one way to make the pot bigger. Expect the usual solutions: tribe, language, ethnicity to surface in crisis. It already has in Hungary.

Truth said...

"What does it matter if he pays a lower rate, if he pays ten times the taxes? Does he use ten times the government services?"

Yes, as a matter of fact, someone with a 10,000 sq foot house probably uses 10 times the sewer, water, and sanitation as his secretary.

"And with affirmative action favoring rich blacks, Jews, and others over poor whites, how meritocratic is that?"

Nepotism favors WASPs over everyone else, simply because it was a rigged game when they came over, how fair is that?

"Instead of creating a monopoly that nobody else would ever catch up to,"

There are no monopolies that no one else ever catches up to, that's why Rome is no longer the financial center of the world.

"Ford was a great industrial engineer, but a terrible CEO."

His company is still relevant 63 years after his death, imagine if he was competent!

ben tillman said...

Bill writes,

In essence, the high IQ elite has systematically destroyed the social institutions which protected low IQ types from their own failings. Then, they blame the low IQ types for the predictable consequences.

And this goes double for England. Class warfare has devastated the working class.

Truth said...

"I mean what did Michelle Obama or Van Jones ever do that made them so rich?"

What gives you the idea that Van Jones is rich?

"Guys, you can't love jobs while hating the people that create 'em."

Horseshit."

Mr. Anon has it entirely right here. For some reason you high IQ geniuses think that wealth is created in a vacum. No, wealth creation is a symbiotic effect of originators, workers and consumers. No one billionaire creates jobs out of the goodness of his own heart, he creates them because he has to. If he could have employees without paying them he would, this is what happened in this country until 1865.

ben tillman said...

He's arguing against an American middle class mindset of entitlement, by which we expect to be taken care of because we inherently deserve to richer than the rest of the world.

No, we expect to be taken care of because we assembled resources sufficient to take care of ourselves. People like your Chinese CFO have stolen those resources.

Truth said...

Finally, I have asked this question many times before, and not one of the multitude of 150+ IQ geniuses has taken a run at it:

Why would the brilliant, high-achiever, "doer" type oligarchs, that as one commenter so eloquently wrote; "you are so happy to fellate," give hundreds of millions of their dollars to a "communist" who "hates business" to be president of the United States?

Wait, I know; "BECAUSE HE'S BLAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKK!" But just humor me for a second and try to answer me that question without that brilliant response. I would really love to hear it.

Whiskey said...

Anon regarding it being "more muy macho moral" to benefit more Third Worlders vs. fewer Americans ... Few Americans will take that position. It is a loser (since it implies making the entire Third World marginally better by making Americans living at the level of that Pakistani bricklayer).

That is too, the place where IMHO citizen-ism ends up. Because its bloodless and value-less. People will live and die for their culture, race, religion, etc. Not so much the idea of a united Colors of Benetton set by citizenship. This is why Globalism is under attack ... it is not politically sustainable to ask Germans or Americans or Japanese to become massively poorer to benefit Chinese or Pakistani folks.

Colonization of IT by foreign groups (Indians, Chinese, etc.) is a massive problem for upward mobility, and getting worse in that both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have foreign, not native Americans, as CEOs. It would be inconceivable in France or Japan or Sweden to have foreign CEO's of key, "national champion" companies.

Yes, "humans are moving away from tribalism." That's why Muslims in the UK are always blowing people up, around the globe, and why American Muslims are doing the same. Or Rwandans hacking each other to death over tribe, or Ivorians, or Nigerians. Maybe among eunuch-like Euro-elites, but not among the people who have had about enough of this.

Whiskey said...

Businessmen have NOT always been greedy SOBs. Henry Ford integrated his factories, in the teens, and paid wages that allowed his workers to buy his cars. Ford believed in America, something today's elites do not. Ford did not crater his company next to GM, both were wildly popular and globally dominant for about fifty years. You cannot patent a production line and Ford bought labor peace while GM was wracked by violent strikes in the thirties with negative attention from FDR.

We need good, old fashioned protectionism. Sell in America, build in America, with American workers, at American companies, sharing Intellectual property with American companies.

Good points on women care about status. This cannot be said enough.

Khondorvsky is likely a stealing SOB. Putin is both a thug and an ineffective one that is aligned against America. Playing the high-oil price game is both stupid (long term: think coal gasification or military adventure somewhere to get oil flowing) but non-productive. Russian genius in the Space program, military hardware, is self evident and the genius of Russian design (rugged, simple, easy to service, reliable) could make life much better selling cheap but effective desalinization plants, water purification, and the like instead of thuggery to keep oil prices high and cheap deals certain to fall through to keep Islamists happy over Beslan.

MerePere said...

Slightly off-topic: do you fellers believe that the distribution of IQ has changed over the,say, last 2000 years? In other words, assuming it was always normal, has the mean or standard deviation changed? I remember a sort-of wise-crack saying that goes something like this: the quantity of people has increased, but the quantity of intelligence has stayed the same.

Dahlia said...

RKU said,
"But from all the evidence I've seen, Putin and his associates are completely sincere in their desire to make Russia and its people strong, successful, and prosperous, which is the polar opposite of the intentions of the previous Oligarchs they replaced.

Now I haven't studied the subject in detail, but I think a pretty good case can be made that Putin has been by a wide margin the best and most successful major world leader in recent years, given the desperate situation his nation faced when he came to power and the enormously improved conditions today."
and
"Among other things, one of our greatest problems is a debilitating infestation of local Oligarchs, and Putin has acquired quite a bit of experience in setting right those sorts of difficulties. In fact, I suspect that merely his arrival upon these shores would quickly provoke a mass exodus of those shady characters, much like mice scurry away at the merest scent of "cat"..."
********
Endorse these sentiments and your whole comment completely. I have always had an instinctual admiration for Putin, but he's such a "throwback" that I think conservatives just don't know what exactly they *should* think in regards to him.
I told one of my German relatives, to her horror at my admiration of him, "He truly loves his people when everyone else sees theirs as expendable."

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

All the people defending the elites and their complaints about the "overpaid" American middle class still fail to answer a simple question: if Americans, American talent and work ethic, American culture, American respect for the law, and American respect for private property are irrelevant to the success of the elites, THEN WHY THE HELL ARE THEY STILL HERE?

Bill Gates still lives in the Seattle area last time I checked. The quoted CEO of Applied Materials, Michael Splinter, still lives in the Bay Area, as do Larry Page and Sergey Brin. All those Wall Street execs like Stephen Schwarzman and Lloyd Blankfein are still living in the New York area. Why haven't they all left for El Salvador yet?

Their claims of not needing the US is simply a bargaining stance. That's what they say. Everything they do suggests that they need the West very, very much.

Anyway, it strikes me that in countries where the financial industry is given the most freedom to "innovate," their manufacturing innovation has slowed relative to other nations. In America and Great Britain too many of the best and brightest have abandoned science and engineering fields in order to seek 7 and 8 figure paychecks in finance. Countries without such bloated financial industries, it seems, have lower trade deficts, since more talent goes into more useful activities.


" He's arguing against an American middle class mindset of entitlement, by which we expect to be taken care of because we inherently deserve to richer than the rest of the world."

I don't feel that I inherently deserve to be richer than the rest of the world. I do feel that I don't deserve to have my country stolen from me by my supposed leaders and given away to anyone from anyone in the world who wants to live here.

"i'll take the meritorious 3rd worlders who do not have a disgusting entitlement attitude."

Actually, they have a hell of an entitlement attitude. Quite a lot of them seem to feel entitled to come live in my country.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"If you like tribalism so much, go to Afghanistan. Human civilization is about moving away from tribalism and towards meritocracy."

This assumes that tribalism as exhibited in 102 IQ Great Britain would be similar to the tribalism exhibited in 85 IQ Afghanistan. A bad assumption, I can assure you.


"both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have foreign, not native Americans, as CEOs.

Pepsi's CEO, Indra Nooyi, has also at times made statements that are brazenly anti-American.

All the more reason to drink tap water, besides the fewer calories, the risk of diabetes, the money saved, etc.

If you really need the caffeine, eliminate the middle man and buy some No Doz.

Anonymous said...

The politicians, media, bueracrats, regulators, intelligensia, lobbyists, elite businessmen and financiers, power brokers, and establishmentarians are all in bed together. Republican, Democrat.... it doesn't matter. They have in common a desire to promote free trade, mass immigration, an end to borders, NAFTA, GATT, WTO, opaque financial markets, big government, and globalization. These type of policies enhance their collective power and wealth at the expense of society, but that's okay..... because they have no loyalty to their society. Some of them like Israel, but none of them like America.

There's a tendency to criticize Jews, but white gentiles like Ted Kennedy and Bush are among the worst offenders. It doesn't matter what tribe they are - the elite doesn't like America.

People don't realize this nearly enough. For example, Bill Clinton gave a lot of speeches, for a lot of $$$, for a number of businessmen after he left office. Now his daughter is working for a hedge fund and marrying a Goldman Sachs VP. Doesn't matter that he's a Democrat or that he came from a white trash family in Hope.... Clinton, and family, is apart of all this. So are the Kennedys, Bushs, Obamas, and pretty much all the important elites.

CC-bLF said...

"give hundreds of millions of their dollars to a "communist" who "hates business" to be president of the United States?"

As a bribe to keep the communist from targeting HIS company for expropriation.
This sort of thing generally happens when it's clear the communist has a good shot of being elected.

In those curious, seemingly inexplicable instances where a rich guy provides the startup funds for a communist to begin his campaign, well, there's an old adage, nobody hates competition more than a Big Businessman. So Mr. Big may be providing significant funding to get a communist's campaign off the ground in order to make Mr. Communist beholden to him. Mr. Communist will then, in gratitude, institute communist policies which hurt Mr. Big's competitor more than it hurts himself. So Mr. Big is still relatively ahead.
(In a bear market, he wins who loses the least -- that is to say, if your competitor goes out of business while you survive, then that leaves market share for you to grab later.)
You're welcome.
BTW, Truth, have you bought any gold yet? I'm debating selling some and you are the perfect-est contrary indicator I've met yet.

ATBOTL said...

"... But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic"

Oh, of course. There is no ethnic networking involved with the elite at all.

Anonymous said...

"In Soviet Russia, Jews were excluded from many of the positons in the government and bueracracy, and also from some of the top schools. To climb the socioeconomic ladder, some Jews went into private business, illegal at the time, and used bribery to win support from the Slavic law enforcers. Many of these businesses were import/export and brought banned consumer luxury goods into the country."

That's total baloney. Jews were always vastly over-represented in the Soviets elite. Their over-representation declined over time, largely as a result of laws that discriminated against ethnic Slavs being eased.

Another Anon said...

"I hate to break it to you, but snarky bewilderment at criticism of Jews doesn't play well on this website."

I hate to break it to you, but you sound like an idiot blaming Jews for low gas prices.

"No, it stemmed directly from the unwinding of Wall Street's huge arbitrage games triggered by the LTCM collapse. As soon as those games finished, the free market sent oil back to its previous equilibrium price."

You really have no idea what you're talking about. Oil prices bottomed in the early '80s and except for a spike during the first Gulf War, stayed low until the end of the '90s. That period was a secular bear market for commodities. LTCM didn't cause that secular bear market. Read Jim Rogers on this. He started buying oil and other commodities in '98.

By the way, LTCM was founded by a WASP, John William Meriwether.

Bucephalus said...

A mistake here, I think, is to see the attitudes of the elite as expressed in their interviews as mere arrogance, of the "we don't need you" sort.

It might be that in some cases, but in a lot of cases the attitudes on display are really an inital bargaining position. "We don't need America, but America needs us" is their way of saying "don't raise taxes on the rich, don't restrict the flood of cheap labor, don't limit executive pay, don't regulate our industry, and don't expect us to give anything back to this country or its people."

My first lesson in bargaining, as a very small child, was from the movie "Ghostbusters." When the Ghostbusters were trying to buy an old firehouse and Dan Akroyd's character slid joyously down the fire pole, declaring they had to have the building, Bill Murray's efforts to haggle on the price went to shit. Lesson learned: never let them know how badly you want it.

The elites need the West. They need the West more than we need them. They've proved it because they haven't moved, and they bring all the top talent here, and all the top talent, no matter where it's from, wants to come here. They might be able to earn a great living in some other countries, but it still wouldn't be a fraction of what it is in the USA, etc. That Taiwanese CFO, whatever he may claim, chooses to remain in the USA for a reason.

CC-bLF said...

"If he could have employees without paying them he would, this is what happened in this country until 1865."

AND what is happening today with the importation of the mestizos.

At least the plantation owner paid for the slaves' food, medical care and shelter out of his own pocket.

Today's neo-slavers are smarter than that. They have offloaded THOSE costs onto the social-welfare system (i.e., the rest of us).

Gotta admit, at least they learned their lesson. The trick is, pay your slaves just a pittance and get the rest of society to pay for their necessities, so you don't have to. That way, Truth will not accuse you of slavery, but you still get the ginormous profits.

Simon in London said...

Truth:
"Why would the brilliant, high-achiever, "doer" type oligarchs, that as one commenter so eloquently wrote; "you are so happy to fellate," give hundreds of millions of their dollars to a "communist" who "hates business" to be president of the United States?"

Obama's ideology is New Left cultural Marxist (and moderate black nationalist), not Communist. The cultural Marxists (who I work with) grumble about capitalism but their main target is culture, especially white working class culture, not capital. They're ok with a mutually beneficial alliance with the capitalists to promote eg mass third world immigration. The long term idea of the cultural Marxists is that this will bring about the destruction of capitalism, but in the meantime lots of capitalists get rich, which is what capitalists like.

It reminds me of the 19th century Prussian "marriage of iron & rye", where big industry & agriculture allied against the emergent German middle class, preventing the development of an English-style bourgeois civil society.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the elites need America's respect for the rule of law and lack of corruption. They also need the American military and American police.

The elites are not going to India, because it's too run down and dirty. They aren't going to China, which is completely boring and unimaginative. Africa is much too chaotic and dangerous. Latin America is too dangerous as well. The Middle East is full of fundamentalists and violent fanatics; also a lot of elites are Jewish. Japan and Korea are too closed and conservative. Singapore and Hong Kong are cool, but too small and maybe a bit too conservative too.

It's pretty much America or Western Europe or some Anglosphere country. If the elites do go somewhere else, I'd guess Switzerland, but that's not likely.

The Wobbly Guy said...

This is the first time I've heard Singapore being described as 'cool'.

Look, I love my country and all, but 'cool' is not what I would describe it!

Anonymous said...

"Now I haven't studied the subject in detail, but I think a pretty good case can be made that Putin has been by a wide margin the best and most successful major world leader in recent years, given the desperate situation his nation faced when he came to power and the enormously improved conditions today."

I HAVE studied this subject in detail, and I can agree with that statement wholeheartedly. If you don't know anything about Russia, then look, for God's sakes, at the Western media's attitude towards him. How good must a leader be for them to hate him THAT much?

What, except for loyalty to his own people, could possibly provoke such hatred for a politician from outfits like the NYT?

RAH said...

From what felicitous climes do you hail, RAH, that the fruit of your labors is not extorted to benefit people you don't care about and would rather not subsidize?

Lol, subsidization is people being able to deal with who they want, while the non-extorters are those who want to force others to give them jobs.

Whatever you say big brother.

The fact is you can't steal the best sounding bromides from capitalism in order to make your case for socialism. If you want to be a socialist, be a socialist. But don't do violence to the concept of liberty by defining it as insulating the American worker from competition by limiting the freedom of contract for consumers and producers.

Rohan Swee said...

In order to protect this middle class family in the USA, if it means the CEO can't do business the way he wants, if it means curtailing the growth of FIVE middle class families in the 3rd world. screw that...

CEOs can't do business however the hell they please in most other countries, some of which are navigating the modern global economy quite nicely with heavily protectionist policies, designed to protect their own growth and employment levels. The True-Believin' "capitalists" around here appear to get their ideas about the world economy from novels and Chamber-of-Commerce press releases.

i'm an American, but I'm also a member of this planet.

That's sweet, but without reciprocity from the rest of the planet, not worth a bucket of warm spit.

The Randian Altruist is one of the funniest pathological specimens of the modern West.

I'm all for America-First, but not at the sacrifice of everyone else.

"Everyone else" doesn't give a crap about you, but is more than willing to encourage the ideological delusions of Westerners for their own benefit. (Not that I blame 'em.)

But perhaps this is unfair. You're probably very clear-sighted in perceiving your own self-interest. Spouting this detached-from-global-reality "global citizen" treacle costs you nothing and may be an advantage in certain venues.

David Davenport said...

As a matter of fact, I bet most of the protectionists who are reading this, if they went and checked their closet, would find out that their pants are made in Columbia and Bangladesh.

Please tell us dumb paleos the actual, specific brand names of some pants made in the USA. Also, at what stores or Web sites can these trousers be purchased? I assume you're also aware of the sweatshop garment factories here in the USA staffed by underpaid illegal immigrant workers.

Just like how liberals love integration but run away from black schools, paleos love protectionism but shop at Walmart.

So, you're too high class to shop at WalMart. Please tell us where you purchase your pants. ... At some venue where one would never encounter a plebeian white or black or Mexican American customer, I assume. Lots of black Americans shops at WallyWorld, for your information.

... My larger point is that when an industry has been driven almost entirely offshore, action stronger than selective shopping by a minority number of individual consumers is needed to bring that industry back to the USA.

It's one of the delusions of Lib Lib Libertarianism to think that strong gooberment action is never needed. Protectionism in some form and a crackdown on illegales in the USA will indeed be needed to bring some American industrial sectors, such as the garment trade, back to life.

////////

Truth, you say that America needs black Americans because America needs consumers and workers? Don't you understand that one reason for allowing the immigrant flood into the USA is to make black Americans even more redundant?

airtommy said...

Oil prices bottomed in the early '80s and except for a spike during the first Gulf War, stayed low until the end of the '90s. That period was a secular bear market for commodities. LTCM didn't cause that secular bear market. Read Jim Rogers on this. He started buying oil and other commodities in '98. By the way, LTCM was founded by a WASP, John William Meriwether.

Jim Rogers started buying 1998? What curious timing! I wonder if it had to do with the obviously artificial downward spike in oil prices that you're pretending did not happen.

The downward spike is even visible on this half-century chart despite the log-scale.

LTCM didn't cause the commodities crash. On the contrary, it was Wall Street players like Goldman Sachs, who looked at LTCM's books and then bet heavily against them, which caused the crash. Don't worry if you don't understand the complex machinations of Wall Street. Leave it to the high IQ crowd to sort things out. We know that the largely Jewish financial elite have America's best interests in mind, just like the Russian Jewish oligarchs and the Bolsheviks helped make Russia great, right?

Truth said...

"As a bribe to keep the communist from targeting HIS company for expropriation.
This sort of thing generally happens when it's clear the communist has a good shot of being elected."

You're joking, right?

The "communist would have not been elected without receiving hundreds of millions from the "business owners." He would still be a local politician.

"In essence, the high IQ elite has systematically destroyed the social institutions which protected low IQ types from their own failings."

Wait a minute, I thought the problem was that they were INCREASING these social institutions?

"Why haven't they all left for El Salvador yet?"

YET is the operative word there. The Bush family is the largest private landowner in Paraguay.

"BTW, Truth, have you bought any gold yet? I'm debating selling some and you are the perfect-est contrary indicator I've met yet."

I don't own gold, but I own plenty of silver. In a barter economy (which is probable int the coming years) it is difficult to go shopping with a one ounce chip worht $1,400.

Truth said...

"At least the plantation owner paid for the slaves' food, medical care and shelter out of his own pocket."

True only in a technical sense. The reason African-American cuisine has never caught on nationally is that slaves were given the parts of the pig, for instance, (feet, intestinges, head) that 'masa' never intended to eat or sell.

There is also a saying amongst older black people; "they let me off today to tend my own crops" meaning the slave was given a half-acre of land to grow his own food, and he had to do it AFTER working in the field.

"Today's neo-slavers are smarter than that. They have offloaded THOSE costs onto the social-welfare system (i.e., the rest of us)."

Very true.

Gotta admit, at least they learned their lesson. The trick is, pay your slaves just a pittance and get the rest of society to pay for their necessities, so you don't have to.

Good going.

"Obama's ideology is New Left cultural Marxist (and moderate black nationalist), not Communist."

New Left Marxist, not communist huh?

So the guy who actually wrote The Communist Manifesto was not a communist? Semantics.

The breakdown of the family structure is actually a common thread as to something that must be achieved in Marx's writings.

As for the silly 'black nationalist' thing, same question; how does getting one elected help a coterie of lilly white businessmen who love money and helped him get elected?

Truth said...

Steve Quayle's website, Stevequayle.com has a pdf titled "The Elite's Secret Covenant" listed that will give all of you great 150+ IQ national merit scholars, some idea of how the modern world really works.

Anonymous said...

Colonization of IT by foreign groups (Indians, Chinese, etc.) is a massive problem for upward mobility, and getting worse in that both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have foreign, not native Americans, as CEOs. It would be inconceivable in France or Japan or Sweden to have foreign CEO's of key, "national champion" companies.

Sir Howard Stringer isn't a very Japanese sounding name!

Anonymous said...

occam's razar suggest that the anti-pathy towards high performing Jews is based on ENVY.

David said...

If "everyone" should become a CEO, then who would be left to do the work?

Remember, most of these guys are THIEVES - literally. Their fortunes are built on government-business synergies, i.e., on colluding with dictators and coercive political structures, for their personal profit at the expense of the victims of government aggression. The oligarchs are a prime example. And don't delude yourself into believing there are no American oligarchs.

It is a case of Orrin Boyle or Al Capone reading Atlas Shrugged and declaring he's John Galt.

fdasdfasdfadsf said...

"In Soviet Russia, Jews were excluded from many of the positons in the government and bueracracy, and also from some of the top schools. To climb the socioeconomic ladder, some Jews went into private business, illegal at the time, and used bribery to win support from the Slavic law enforcers. Many of these businesses were import/export and brought banned consumer luxury goods into the country."

"That's total baloney. Jews were always vastly over-represented in the Soviets elite. Their over-representation declined over time, largely as a result of laws that discriminated against ethnic Slavs being eased."

No, it was because affirmative action for Slavs was increased while overtly Jewish 'Zionists' were suppressed(even since Israel sided with US).

Anonymous said...

Pepsi's CEO, Indra Nooyi, has also at times made statements that are brazenly anti-American.

Does she put fluoride in Pepsi?

All the more reason to drink tap water, besides the fewer calories, the risk of diabetes, the money saved, etc.

And fluoride.

David said...

>There's no reason the world needs to be held back for the American Middle Class, which isn't smarter, more moral or any way more deserving than anybody else in the world.<

Okay, then do without it. Do without the US military - paid for by the US middle class - that protects your global interests.

The middle class put you on your pedestal and maintains you there. Now you're telling it, eat shit and die.

You have forgotten the lesson of Marie Antoinette.

adsfasdasdf said...

"The elites are not going to India, because it's too run down and dirty. They aren't going to China, which is completely boring and unimaginative."

The elites don't really have to go anywhere though they do travel a lot. With all the advanced communications, one can be part of the global elite right at home. Warren Buffett and George Soros can do 90% of what they are doing for the next full year by staying at home and being linked to the internet.
Even non-elites today have quasi-elite powers. Arguably an average person via the internet has more news resources than New York Times in the 1970s or even 1980s. And guys like Drudge, if not exactly of the elite, has gained quasi-elite power through Drudge Report.
And some youtube channels by private citizens have lots of hits. They are like copycat elites or minilites. Maybe their power is real or maybe it's delusional, but this global elite thing is essentially an electronic phenomenon. Even if we were to end immigration, as long as we global interconnectedness and free trade, global elites will get to do most of what they want.
So, is Steve Sailer part of the elite? He's certainly not superrich, but he seems to have gained a kind of elite status in the new right movement. He even has fans in other countries.
And that idiot Daily Kos guy smartly used the internet to become something of a minilte player. And I wonder if the Tea Party would have been possible without the internet. Grassroots today is really fiberoptics.

David said...

>Why didn't the gentle Taiwanese stay in Taiwan? The model minority is starting to grate on my nerves.<

Here, here. If he is so meritorious, then couldn't he have built his wealth there instead? Or is it possible that the existence of the American middle class, and of the culture from which it resulted, had something to do with the fundamental social conditions of his meritorious rise to individual glory? Thanks for spitting on a society after climbing its back, "gentle" Taiwanese.

By the way, is HE really delivering as much value as he gets - probably something like 100x or more than similar people do, pace bell curves? Is the proof of such supposed to be the bare fact that he gets it? Then Al Capone, who gots lotsa bitches 'n' bling, was a success and admirable, too.

Anonymous said...

And this goes double for England. Class warfare has devastated the working class.

Left elite lionization of the lumpenproletariat and lumpen prole like Jamaican immigrants as cultural heroes, essentially because they were the thing furthest from the bourgeois in a poor direction, caused the real working man to believe that this is what he should emulate.

Right elite fear of the working class and disatisfaction with an industrial economy in which their unions had power (in favor of a financial services driven economy in which the "chaps" got all the money and called all the shots) undermined the dignity and self worth of the working man from the other flank.

Without either of them offering any real options for them in its place but subsidised, castrated, makework service centre jobs.

The result? A cultural devestation in which lumpenproletarianism has been normalised.

It's still not that bad, compared to a lot of supposedly "developed" countries, but compared to what it could have been...

Anonymous said...

You honestly think the post-war lower-middle-class "Joe generation" actually made it on its own merits?

They were coddled from cradle to grave, with artificial full employment, the GI Tract Bill, government protected trade and industry, not to mention communist and mafia-controlled unions.

I have little sympathy for that arrogant, bigoted, entitled-as-hell generation - one that waved jingoistic flags and crosses and preached free enterprise and personal responsibility while sucking at the teat of communist unions.

At the same time, the hard hat Joe Generation screwed its own children and grand-children and
other descendants out of a decent future, and blamed it on the "laziness" and "immorality" of youth. Never their own hypocrisy.

These are of course the specimens for whom homosexuality is a sin; but hypocrisy isn't.

And you wonder why I have so little sympathy for the bloated artificial alcohol-sodden middle class of the "good old days" propped up by government intervention and Soviet sabotage via unions. Let them fall to Pakistani levels of prosperity - or the same level as their descendants. They reap what they sow.

David said...

"I'm against murder."

Interesting. I had been unaware that Putin was convicted of murder by a legitimate court.

Svigor said...

Human civilization is about moving away from tribalism and towards meritocracy.

Yeah, and meritocracy is sooo the direction America's heading. And Israel, the ethnic summer home for 40% of our elite, isn't tribalistic at all.

Not surprising at all. Many HBD-ers are paleos, and paleo-"conservatism" is really an old-fashioned flavor of socialism.

You know you've crossed the Rubicon when you don't shrink from scare-words like "socialist." Nope, not a socialist, at least no more than the founders, but I don't move for any schmuck just wielding the word, either.

Socialism is like "anti-semitism" for capitalists; it's what they call anyone who doesn't follow their rules, like "there is nothing in the universe more important than the dollar you can make this instant."

Capitalism sucks as an -ism. It should be subordinated to a higher social power, or it eats everything in sight. It's a tool, not a religion.

The philosophy of the Sailersphere: Anybody poorer than me is genetically inferior. Anybody richer than me is evil, greedy and advantaged.

The "philosophy" of the current crop of criticizers; money is God - he who has more of it is more Godly than he who has less. The naturalistic fallacy writ large.

It's always a bad thing when good ideas become calcified dogmas that keep their promoters from noticing what's unfolding in front of their noses.

Thank you, sir.

Svigor said...

Differences...

1) I actually know my friends and family
2) The affection I have for F&F is mutual


1) is the typical counterargument, but it falls flat if you examine our culture. E.g., a "long-lost cousin" really does have an "in" over an unrelated total stranger, ceteris paribus. E.g., the typical person's attitude toward a stranger really does change when they discover he's a "long-lost son." Family matters, even in the absence of personal ties. That's why Braveheart and The Departed had soon-to-be-dead heroes siring children under the noses of their enemies, cuckolding them.

2) Typical Americans, like typical family members, do have more affection for one another than they do for other nationalities, exceptions notwithstanding.

Your preferences for other "citizens" is arbitrary.

No, it's no arbitrary, it's about interests, which aren't arbitrary.

Some people might prefer their own race. Others one nationality, a region or fellow believers in a religion. All people have a right to prefer whomever they want. They don't have the right to force others to sacrifice for their favorite people.

No, but they do have the right to act in their own interests.

Just like how liberals love integration but run away from black schools, paleos love protectionism but shop at Walmart.

Just like how "cognitive elitists" love the "cognitively elite" populations of China, India, and Israel, but don't advocate any of the policies that these "cognitively elite" populations actually pursue.

Svigor said...

So, why should he pay more taxes to support lazy Americans who take things for granted?

I don't know about paying more taxes, but he does owe a particular debt to his new home; his old home does not (cannot) reciprocate the opportunities and rights he's been offered (in part, by "white trash"), so he should have to compensate somehow.

Actually, they have a hell of an entitlement attitude. Quite a lot of them seem to feel entitled to come live in my country.

As far as I can tell, ALL of them do. At least, enough so that it's the default attitude.

A mistake here, I think, is to see the attitudes of the elite as expressed in their interviews as mere arrogance, of the "we don't need you" sort.

It might be that in some cases, but in a lot of cases the attitudes on display are really an inital bargaining position.


Same here! 'Cept, we don't need these #$@!s. That's my stated, and held, position.

Is the proof of such supposed to be the bare fact that he gets it? Then Al Capone, who gots lotsa bitches 'n' bling, was a success and admirable, too.

Yep. Naturalistic fallacy; "is" is "ought."

Truth said...

"Interesting. I had been unaware that Putin was convicted of murder by a legitimate court."

And neither was O.J.

none of the above said...

ccblf:

Have you missed the part where the "communist" has been shoveling bailout money to the big banks, blocking meaningful financial reform, and "reforming" healthcare by making it mandatory for everyone to buy insurance from huge private companies? And brought in bankers to run his economic policy and now to be his chief of staff?

"Comminist" is entirely the wrong model, as is "secret Muslim," "Liberal," or "Post-racial intellectual.". The best model I see for Obama is "Corrupt, amoral career politician from Chicago.".

Kylie said...

"Pepsi's CEO, Indra Nooyi, has also at times made statements that are brazenly anti-American.

Does she put fluoride in Pepsi?

All the more reason to drink tap water, besides the fewer calories, the risk of diabetes, the money saved, etc.

And fluoride."


Very funny. Now go kick up the dust in somebody else's eyes.

We all know the mine shaft gap is a far greater danger to the American people than fluoridation.

David said...

S/b hear, hear. Apologies to all town criers.

Anonymous said...

How much value is Mr. Taiwan producing? Let's give him a pay cut and distribute his salary to the American middle class.

RAH said...

Please tell us dumb paleos the actual, specific brand names of some pants made in the USA. Also, at what stores or Web sites can these trousers be purchased?

Well, I put "Pants made in America" into a search engine and came up with this.

... My larger point is that when an industry has been driven almost entirely offshore, action stronger than selective shopping by a minority number of individual consumers is needed to bring that industry back to the USA.

How was it "driven" away? Did the choices of consumers have anything to do with it?

Look, the beautiful thing about a market is that more than one preference can be accommodated. If 10%, or even fewer, of Americans were willing to spend more for domestically made pants someone would take advantage of the niche. Some already have; the only problem is that only a small minority of Americans are willing to pay more out of some kind of misplaced patriotism and thus the jobs have been "driven" away.

It was the American consumer who "drove" American jobs away as much as the capitalists/globalists/elites that you're all rallying against.

Rohan Swee said...

These are of course the specimens for whom homosexuality is a sin; but hypocrisy isn't.

And you wonder why I have so little sympathy for the bloated artificial alcohol-sodden middle class of the "good old days"...


Not any more. I think you've illuminated the sources of your antipathy quite nicely. TMI, dude, TMI, as my teenagers say.

Mr. Anon said...

"RAH said...

As a matter of fact, I bet most of the protectionists who are reading this, if they went and checked their closet, would find out that their pants are made in Columbia and Bangladesh."

Try to find pants made in the U.S. Or alternatively, try to go out in public without pants, and see how far you get.

You know, I have to pay taxes, potentially to support you or your kind, and have to share a nation in common with you, much as I would prefer not to. We all have our crosses to bear.

"RAH said...

Just like how liberals love integration but run away from black schools, paleos love protectionism but shop at Walmart."

How do you know the political preferences of Walmart shoppers. I'm cool with protectionism, and I never shop at Walmart. I don't believe that paying the absolute lowest price for something is necessarily a good idea. It might be when buying gravel, however not such a good idea when buying food or clothing anymore than when buying shelter and medical treatment.

I hope you libertarians are able to find or establish your libertarian paradise on Earth someday. None of you would last two months in it.

Svigor said...

But don't do violence to the concept of liberty by defining it as insulating the American worker from competition by limiting the freedom of contract for consumers and producers.

Thank heavens for RAH! Before RAH, all we had to go on for the "concept of liberty" was the founders, who restricted immigration to "free white persons," the racist, anti-liberty bastards that they were.

CC-bLF said...

"There is also a saying amongst older black people; "they let me off today to tend my own crops" meaning the slave was given a half-acre of land to grow his own food, and he had to do it AFTER working in the field."

Well, but the plantation owner, who owned that land and could have forced the slaves to grow that food and then give it to him to sell, or could have used that 1/2 acre to grow more cotton, was in fact providing a means to eat to his slaves out of his own pocket (forgone crops sales). Mestizos aren't even given, by today's neo-Massas, a 1/2 acre to grow a garden. The neo-slaves get food stamps paid for by the rest of us.

PPPPPTTTTT.
African slavery has led to nothing but endless trouble and heartbreak for the rest of us, non-owning, Whites. This newfangled method won't end any better.

CC-bLF said...

"I don't own gold, but I own plenty of silver"

Ah, shit. That means the top is in. Darn.

Baloo said...

What the hey, let's start a grass-roots movement and do an end-run around them all. More angry mob supplies HERE.

elvisd said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXopG-xdoI4&feature=related

Sam Francis on the new elite.

kurt9 said...

This article does not tell the whole story. It also fails to differentiate between entrepreneurs who invented something and created real value (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.) and those who made their money manipulating the system to their benefit (Wall Street bankers, most large company CEO's). The first group produce real wealth as well as opportunity for others. The second group are nothing more than parasites.

Another failing of this article is its depiction that the "transnational" mentality is reserved only for the very rich. This is not true. It is possible for someone with engineering background (who is not rich) like myself to create a business where I manufacture in China, or even where the bulk of my sales are in China and the rest of East Asia. It is also possible for someone like myself to feel more commonality with Japanese and Chinese people I have worked with in a technical capacity (and who share the same worldview as myself) than with "white" people in my own country (probably 90% of the people here) that I can't even have an interesting conversation with at all.

Of course my relationships with other people are based on common interests and activities that I may have with those people over any other criteria. Understanding this is not rocket science.

Whiskey said...

England was mostly a place of drunkards and violence. Only during the Victorian era did a good dose of social repression "fix" this problem, lasting until the 1950's.

See Hogarth, Gin Lane, etc.

JSM said...

"Have you missed the part where the "communist" has been shoveling bailout"

Truthie asked why Big Business would donate money to a communist.
I explained it.

Whether or not BO is a communist is another question. (I happen to agree with your model, btw.)

But as far as the bailout money, etc., as I explained, Mr. Big will sometimes donate $$$$$$$$ to hostiles, such as communists, in order to gain traction on them, at which time the communist invariably sees fit to forget his principles in order to reward his paymasters. Payola, iow (which true of ALL politicians, communist or otherwise).

David Davenport said...

Of course my relationships with other people are based on common interests and activities that I may have with those people over any other criteria. Understanding this is not rocket science.

So, if these other people with whom you have relationships based on common interests and activities -- if those other people were in trouble, how much money or physical stress or danger would you spend or undergo to help them?

Would you expend a generous amount of personal resources and risk exposure, or no more than a prudent amount based on utilitarian calculations of potential benefit for yourself?

-- David Davenport, aerospace engineer and rocket scientist.

Truth said...

"Truth, you say that America needs black Americans because America needs consumers and workers?"

Did I say that, or did the founding fathers? There is a reason we're here.

"African slavery has led to nothing but endless trouble and heartbreak for the rest of us, non-owning, Whites."

Now who's fault is that, Sport? You should have picked a smarter ancestral line.

RAH said...

Thank heavens for RAH! Before RAH, all we had to go on for the "concept of liberty" was the founders, who restricted immigration to "free white persons," the racist, anti-liberty bastards that they were.

I don't really have a problem with that Svigs. Relatively homogenous states + trade between them = universal peace and prosperity.

Truth said...

"Don't you understand that one reason for allowing the immigrant flood into the USA is to make black Americans even more redundant?"

Oh, so I take it you're an honored guest at the Tri-lateral Commission meetings?

"Have you missed the part where the "communist" has been shoveling bailout money to the big banks, blocking meaningful financial reform, and "reforming" healthcare by making it mandatory for everyone to buy insurance from huge private companies? And brought in bankers to run his economic policy and now to be his chief of staff?"

Geez, finally!

Anonymous said...

I suppose the problem is not so much that our elites are going to move away or form a deracinated international affluent class. Even now, with taxes really low in places like UAE or Hong Kong, Western elites still prefer high tax NYC or London, which suggests that they continue to be rooted to their nations of origin. Even many Indian elites, like steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, like London over Bombay.

The problem is moreso that elites can make a lot of money by moving jobs and capital investment overseas, benefiting them without helping American workers or domestic entreprenuers. Financiers and executive management are increasingly becoming economically divorced from their countries of origin, even if they continue to live there and identify with the larger cultural mileu. For example, Llyod Blankenfein (Goldman Sachs CEO) lives in NYC and socializes primarily with the New York business/finance crowd, but his company is outsourcing a lot of jobs to cut costs and compete more effectively overseas. Good for him, good for Goldman, bad for aspiring American investment bankers.

Globalization is mainly about investing your resources overseas, rather than home. The equivalent would be hiring your neighbor's son to mow your lawn.

Many Americans should be prepared to lose their weekly allowance.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Globalization is mainly about investing your resources overseas, rather than home. The equivalent would be hiring your neighbor's son to mow your lawn."

That's a pretty good characterization of it.

"Many Americans should be prepared to lose their weekly allowance."

And the parents perhaps ought to learn to sleep with one eye open, if they are going to treat thier son that way.

Anonymous said...

"I am against murder."

And yet, from 2004 to 2008 you waxed poetically about the greatness of George W.Bush even though there was ample evidence that he was torturing people in Guantanamo and that his shadow Blackwater corporation was killing civilians in cold blood in Iraq. Hypocrisy at it's best.

Face it, Steve: you just don't like thuggery when it's done by foreigners or by others against the American people. You love your native-born thugs and celebrate them as great men. You are just a hyper-nationaliist fanatic who loves your country too much. In your eyes, the U.S.A can never do any wrong and is the greatest nation ever. American presidents are the greatest men to ever walk the Earth who go around crushing all the "evil" out there on behalf of the U.S.A even if the "evil" is just some leader who decided that his country's oil reserves should be used for the benefit of his own people and not for the profit of American oil companies and for providing petrol-guzzling American consumers with cheap gas. I think you read too many Superman comics as a kid where, after Superman crushes with a single punch a nation that showed some nterest contrary to American interests, Superman would blurt "For truth, justice and the American way!" LOLOLOL.

Rohan Swee said...

kurt9: It is also possible for someone like myself to feel more commonality with Japanese and Chinese people I have worked with in a technical capacity (and who share the same worldview as myself) than with "white" people in my own country (probably 90% of the people here) that I can't even have an interesting conversation with at all.

Of course my relationships with other people are based on common interests and activities that I may have with those people over any other criteria. Understanding this is not rocket science.


It's quite possible to have transnational friendships, and even lead an international, expat life, while being firmly grounded in one's on culture and nation, and having deep affection and loyalty for "the fires of home". People have done it for centuries.

No foreign friend of mine ever claimed to belong to the tribe of Nowhere Men, membership in which, you seem to imply, is a prerequisite to a non-parochial existence. Of course I feel "more commonality" with them in some things than I do with my own countrymen, many of whom I dislike, hate, or who bore me silly. They wouldn't be my friends, otherwise. But they have cultures of their own, to which I do not belong, as they do not belong to mine. (I find it odd that one would travel the roads of the earth seeking nothing from other people but common technical interests or a "shared worldview", wanting nothing more than what one expected.)

To be a member of a culture, and to feel loyalty to one's countrymen, is a different thing than the bond one has with freely chosen friends. It's not an impediment to any of the things you claim to have, and a lack of it is just that, a lack, not an alternate or a substitution.

none of the above said...

Baloo:

I rather liked Jebbie's proposal (a frequent commenter on Glenn Greenwald's blog): if you're p-ssed off about how politics is going, and how your side is always sold out--regardless of which side is yours--go change your party affiliation to independent, undecided, whatever. This sends a loud, clear signal to the parties that their members are seriously unhappy, in language they understand.

The downside of this is that in many states, you can't vote for the nomination. That's usually not a big deal to me, but YMMV.

Anonymous said...

Even now, with taxes really low in places like UAE or Hong Kong, Western elites still prefer high tax NYC or London, which suggests that they continue to be rooted to their nations of origin. Even many Indian elites, like steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, like London over Bombay.

That is starting to change.

The real issue, BTW, is that Hong Kong and Bombay are boring, or widely seen as boring by elites. Good places for work - poor places for play. But that too is changing.

Also there has been a history of non-Westerners moving to the West, but not the reverse.

Hobbit said...

Whiskey (good name!) said...

England was mostly a place of drunkards and violence. Only during the Victorian era did a good dose of social repression "fix" this problem, lasting until the 1950's.

That may have been true, but I wonder if the English social repressors attacked alcohol as an alien Mediterranean drug (which it was, and is) in the same way that modern American Holy Rollers brand psychedelic drugs as being "foreign" and "alien".

Never mind that hemp (for cannabis as well as rope) and mushrooms have been around longer in human history than alcohol - and in all places, even Northern Europe.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 255   Newer› Newest»