Friday, October 14, 2011

Success Is The Best Revenge

I get it. Poverty is at its highest level since the early 1950’s. There aren't nearly enough high-paying jobs and wages are stagnant (the median full-time male worker earns just $48,000 a year, the same as in 1969 in real, inflation-adjusted terms). Home prices have dropped to 2003 levels and don’t show any signs of rebounding. Health care and education costs continue to skyrocket. The stock market is increasingly beguiled by billionaire hedge fund managers and Wall Street insiders who use their secret sauce (computer algorithms – think Moneyball only evil) to manipulate outcomes. Washington is a complete f*cking shit show. And all the while corporations are reaping record profits ($1.5 trillion a year) as the rich get richer. Make no mistake – we ARE heading for a new recession and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. In other words we’re screwed.

So what’s the problem? While there are multiple structural problems with our economy, in the eye of the storm lies the high cost of U.S. labor. Job creation and wage growth have stalled as U.S. companies outsource and downsize to take advantage of cheap foreign labor. Companies have seen profits rise using low-cost manufacturing outlets in Asia to supply high-cost goods to Europe, the United States, and Japan. This shift in the power balance between workers and businesses is driving an unprecedented level of income inequality. As corporate profits swell the gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us widens, as the top 1% benefit from their large investment holdings. The fact that trading partners like China are playing dirty poker (holding down the value of their currency to make their exports artificially cheap) only compounds the problem. (Thank you China for kicking us while we’re down - don’t think we’ll forget about this when we’re back on top, you pinko commie bastards) The credit crisis, increasing debt (both public and private), and the steady decline of the American standard of living, all stem directly from this job and wage stagnation, among other things.

So how do we fix it? F*ck if I know. If I had all the answers I’d be one of the uber-rich myself. I do know this: taking a shit on the sidewalk in Zuccotti Park is not the answer. Something for you hippies to consider while you’re out there setting up camp and making those stupid, uninspired (yet amusing) picket signs: while the overall unemployment rate remains over 9%, there's a huge difference tied to education level. Among those with less than a high school diploma, unemployment stands at 14%. For those with a bachelor's degree or higher, it’s just 4.2%. So roll up your sleeping bags, stop feeling sorry for yourselves, take a f*cking shower for God’s sake, and go out and educate your misguided souls. I know - school’s not free but that’s what student loans are for (don’t worry it’s the next credit bubble waiting to burst, and eventually the government will pass a law giving the banks a tax break to forgive your student debt, so spend it like it’s not yours while there’s still time). Then once you have an over-priced, government-subsidized education the only thing keeping you from your piece of the pie will be… you. I hate to rain on your pity parade, but there’s no rescue party coming to hand you the things you think you deserve. You’ll actually have to work hard for that stuff - God forbid.

But what about the CEO’s and hedge fund managers getting uber-rich while the rest of us claw and scratch just to get by? Trust me, I’m just as pissed off as you are about corporate greed, government bailouts, and the overall sorry state of our economy. I could easily be discouraged and squat in the park with the rest of you losers, blaming my problems on someone else. But I choose a different path. I choose to wake up each and every day and think about one thing and one thing only – revenge. Why waste time despising the rich when I could instead invest my time trying to become one of them? With a positive attitude, an innovative spirit, and a relentless sense of resolve, ANYONE can crash their party. Why not me? Why not you? This is America for Christ's sake. I’m coming for my piece of the pie Wall Street, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me. No matter how shitty things get always remember: success is the best revenge. See you at the top, mother f*ckers.

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