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Batten Down the Economic Hatches

You know world financial markets are roiling when Dubai is having trouble:

No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or cancelled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

The playground of the rich and shameless isn’t so playful any longer, it seems. So, what’s a formerly flush financial bonus award missing exec to do without a place to play with his polo pony? Whine

There’s nothing inherently immoral about having a lot of money, if you can keep it in perspective. The median U.S. household income in 2007 was $50,233, and only 5% of U.S. households had incomes of more than $177,000. Statistically, if your income is anywhere near $500,000 a year, you’re rich. If you make as much as the CEOs of the nation’s 500 biggest companies (whose compensation averaged $12.8 million in 2007), you’re very, very rich. If you took in the $657 million averaged in 2006 by each of the top 20 private equity and hedge fund managers, you’re insanely rich.

But are you too rich?

Well, if you find yourself appalled at the thought of getting by on $500K a year, and you’re not the sole support of 10 special-needs children or perhaps a small Third World village or two, you’ve gotten too rich. If charity balls, chauffeured limos, a household staff and private jets feel like necessities rather than luxuries, you’re too rich. And if you’ve come to feel you have a God-given right to feed at the government bailout trough, but you denounce it as creeping socialism when you’re asked to show some personal financial self-discipline in exchange, then yes, you’re too rich.

Too stupid to plan ahead for a downturn — which always happens in the business cycle — and socked nothing away on your gazillion dollar salary? Then you are too stupid for words. You rely on frequent tax breaks to bail out yer ass instead of being fiscally responsible?  Then you are a moron.

Truly.

Fiscal discipline. It’s not just for the other half. And maybe, just maybe, if you learn to live on less, it might carry over to more prudent and less sketchy business practices, too.  

So the rest of us won’t have to bail out your reckless asses.  Again.

I suggest volunteering at the local food bank in your spare time to see what real need looks like.  Learn the meaning of "service to others" perhaps.  But I’m not holding my breath.

Some days, you just have to turn to Lewis Black (YouTube) for advice. (Caution: don’t play this loudly at work or in front of small children.  *g*)

H/T reader bill and Twisted Martini.

Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

Batten Down The Economic Hatches

You know world financial markets are roiling when Dubai is having trouble:

No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

The playground of the rich and shameless isn’t so playful any longer, it seems. So, what’s a formerly flush financial bonus award missing exec to do without a place to play with his polo pony? Whine

There’s nothing inherently immoral about having a lot of money, if you can keep it in perspective. The median U.S. household income in 2007 was $50,233, and only 5% of U.S. households had incomes of more than $177,000. Statistically, if your income is anywhere near $500,000 a year, you’re rich. If you make as much as the CEOs of the nation’s 500 biggest companies (whose compensation averaged $12.8 million in 2007), you’re very, very rich. If you took in the $657 million averaged in 2006 by each of the top 20 private equity and hedge fund managers, you’re insanely rich.

But are you too rich?

(more…)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com