The Talking Dog

December 11, 2011, Company store

It says something-- I'll leave precisely what it says as an exercise for the reader-- but it says something, that six members of the Walton family [heirs to the Walmart fortune]alone have more cumulative wealth than thirty percent of the American people (that is to say, around 90 million Americans). People who, of course, will have few shopping options besides Walmart stores.

Meanwhile... we have JP Morgan Chase Bank head Jamie Dimon giving us an "in your face" contention that there is somehow a broad "bias against the rich." The article, however, debunks this... I would guess that many, if not most, Americans believe that they are just one lucky break-- such as a powerball ticket away-- from their own rightful place among "the rich"... and, as the Beast piece just cited observes,:

As he said it on Wednesday, Dimon apparently believes we generally resent the rich for their success. But Steve Jobs was venerated after his death, despite his billions, and Bill Gates has long ranked high in polls asking people to name the people they most admire—even as the government was accusing him of being a market-crushing monopolist and long before he started earning that kind of respect by devoting most of his time to giving away his money.

The difference is that Jobs and Gates created the companies that earned them their billions. Dimon, by contrast, is a hired gun—an employee paid to run a publicly traded company. Theoretically, shareholders have a say in his compensation, but how good a job he has done seems to bear little resemblance to his pay. Early in 2008, JPMorgan Chase was trading at $45 a share—compared with $33 a share today.

People resent as well the $25 billion in TARP bailout monies JPMorgan Chase received at the end of 2008—while those facing foreclosure have received virtually no help. There’s also the $391 billion in loans JPMorgan received from the Fed in the months after the subprime meltdown, according to a GAO study. JPMorgan and other banks paid virtually no interest on these loans (0.01 percent). But Dimon, never satisfied, has cast Bernanke and the federal government as foes of the big banks.

It's not the dispensation: it's the fairness... or lack thereof, perceived or otherwise, of, say, fabulously rich people paying lobbyists millions to save themselves billions in taxes, or gaming a system so that taxpayer dollars bail out their bad decisions (and give them mega-bonuses... and of course, they are beyond accounatability even for gains obtained by outright criminality)... while millions (or tens of millions) of others lose their jobs, homes, pensions and futures. Something just seems... off.