My friend, R.I., and I have an ongoing argument. She thinks the corporate rich in the US don’t care about our country and are perfectly content to lay waste to our economy. Many are already galloping off to China and India to rape and plunder those emerging markets.
It’s true that once the corporate rich started shipping jobs overseas and swamping American consumers with credit, it was only a matter of time until the American economy turned into a stone from which they could squeeze no water. But I don’t think they were carrying out a conscious strategy like she does. (No, she’s not a conspiracy theorist.)
The rich, by nature, are disinclined to examine both their motives and their central tenets — such as what’s blazoned over the arch that serves as the portal to the marketplace. You know, the one that goes, “Abandon all ethics, ye who enter here.”
But rich are suffering as well. Not only are they being called on the carpet for mismanaging their personal fiefdom of the economy, but they’ve lost money. While that’s not comparable to the job and house loss many in the middle-class are experiencing, rich people tend to be to self-involved to put their suffering in perspective.
What they lack in empathy, R.I. lacks in sympathy. Invoking the memories of those investors who jumped out the window when the stock market crashed in 1929, she declares: “I want to see them splattered. I want you to have to dodge them on the way to work.” (I commute to New York City.)
To protect myself from that hardest of hard rain, she says, “You’ll need a titanium umbrella.”