We are debating starting a GoFundMe to buy Lloyd Blankfein a box of tissues so he can, per the suggestion of one Twitter commenter, “cry more.” The former Goldman Sachs executive tweeted that a Bernie Sanders presidency would “ruin” the United States. It’s especially ironic when you think that, well, Goldman Sachs broke the economy the last time around.
First, let’s remember something. Goldman Sachs was pivotally important in the development of deceptive and risky investment products that crashed the global economy in 2007-2009. People lost their homes and quite literally lost their lives because of companies like this. It’s rather rich, no pun intended, that a billionaire of a company that received $10 billion from TARP, would complain about a self-described democratic socialist.
The upward wealth transfer that has taken place over the past 40 years or so has resulted in a less competitive economy. Somehow, any suggestion to change that is suddenly akin to wanting to ruin the economy. This is not debatable, it’s factual. It’s also factual that rich people spend less of their money, dollar-for-dollar, than poor people. Thus, the poor have a greater marginal impact on the economy than the rich. Wrote Mark Blyth:
“…when those at the bottom are expected to pay disproportionately for a problem created by those at the top, and when those at the top actively eschew any responsibility for that problem by blaming the state for their mistakes, not only will squeezing the bottom not produce enough revenue to fix things, it will produce an even more polarized and politicized society in which the conditions for a sustainable politics of dealing with more debt and less growth are undermined.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Bastani points out the utter fallacy that anyone who critiques any element of the inequalities and iniquities of modern liberal capitalism is effectively labeled a Soviet spy. The inability to have meaningful conversations about how to improve social conditions without some Republican asshole saying, “what about Venezuela?” embodies the widening fissures in our discourse.
Fortunately, these fissures are reparable. Or, they’re reparable as long as we decide that we want to live in a civil society where we prioritize the needs of the many over the needs of the few.
In the mean time, perhaps Blankfein, with his estimated $1 billion plus net worth, can invest speculative capital in a startup that 3D prints extremely small violins.
(The Handbuilt City has not endorsed a candidate for president, but it will, with all certainty, be someone other than Donald Trump.)