Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sucks To Be You

We are in a terrible financial mess, one that could potentially even change the way we live our lives forever. The rich have nearly managed to bankrupt the country, and nobody knows what kind of shape we'll be in when the dust from this financial implosion finally settles. It scares me, but one tiny light shines like a pin-point in the darkness; we might finally be rid of people who think like this:

However, in fact, workers in the banking industry are taking a massive
hit. CEOs were forced to take huge paycuts, and if their bank is in
trouble, they've already lost the greatest portion of their personal net
wealth. The banks are firing huge numbers of people, and the ones who are
left can count on their paychecks looking pretty anaemic this year. I know
that many of you would like to see every single one of them have their paycheck
reduced to that of a Nissan line worker, but it doesn't work that way. The
good people at those banks have better alternatives than being a Nissan line
worker, and have usually invested substantial amounts of time and money in
building human capital, rather than hitting the line after high school. If
you cap their pay there, they will leave to pursue those other
opportunities, leaving you a firm staffed with the rejects who can't work
elsewhere. Given that we are trying to save the banking industry, not
destroy it, that's not a good idea. A UAW worker, on the other hand, has
alternatives that are generally much worse than the wages on a Nissan line.

It makes me sick at heart to read this, because I know there are millions of people in this country who think the same as this post's author, our own Megan McArdle. I see them all the time, driving their SUVs and Hummers to take the kids to school, McCain/Palin stickers proudly decorating the back windows, where they can be easily removed. They support light rail in the neighborhood a few blocks away from them, but are enraged at the possibility of an apartment building in their area. They worked at Enron and work at Exxon and Haliburton. They can be overheard in shops talking about money or sex, and little else. They proudly stand in line to get in the latest restaurant or buy the latest gadget but will scream at service people if not helped fast enough. They truly make me sick.

You see, the bankers are worth more money because they invested time and money in improving themselves. Well, their parents did, but that's the same thing. The line workers just went straight to work after high school, and their parents didn't spend vast amounts of money on them for an education. By virtue of being born into affluence instead of poverty or relative poverty, the line worker is therefore of less value as a person and therefore doesn't deserve good middle-class pay, benefits or security. That is for superior people like McArdle.

Rejects. Fellow human beings are rejects to her.


Anonymous said...

"...and have usually invested substantial amounts of time and money in building human capital, rather than hitting the line after high school."

Is she really such a clueless dolt that she doesn't understand there are people who "hit the line" because college is not an option for them either academically or financially? Some can't afford to pay huge sums of money to take four idle years to earn a degree. That doesn't mean they are stupid or lazy. It means they are in a non-privileged position and have to start working to earn money right away. Given Megan's contempt for little people like me who only attended state schools rather than Ivy League designer ones, I can't even imagine how lowly and dumb she must think people who didn't go to college at all must be. I know tons of folks that didn't, and the sad thing is, most of them are smarter than McArdle on her best day. And they earn more money than her, for certain. What a disgusting *snob* that woman is.

Susan of Texas said...

I went to a state school too, that I paid for myself by waiting tables.

I wish the little hot-house flowers like Megan luck surviving in the future.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I had to pay for it myself by working as well. I happen to be very proud of the fact that I didn't take any money from my parents.

Megan has nothing to worry about. She can always fall back on Mommy and Daddy.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm suffering from Outrage Fatigue. I'm speechless.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys notice the first sentence of that post?

"If I'm so fond of workers taking haircuts, why not at AIG and the banks, huh? huh?"

Susan of Texas said...

CP, it's like she's wearing a Karmic "kick me" sign. Anyone this blatently oblivious is going to suffer blow-back sooner or later.

Julia Grey, yes, it's hard to take.

Anonymous said...

I think that Megan secretly thinks that real life is like the old "game of life" where you had a "choice" between "going to college" or "not going to college" based on a roll of the dice and your ability to look ahead and think "hm...if I take the go to college route I make lots of money but if I don't, well, I don't." But here's the interesting fact about real life--its not a board game, and people don't start out "equal" with their fates apportioned by the roll of the dice. Her karmic comeuppance can't come too fast for her readers.