I don’t have the stomach to read this entire Atlantic piece about the current generation of hedge fund managers and CEOs. According to the summaries I’ve read, this group of Howard Roarks and Dagny Taggarts are a “transglobal community of peers” who would rather put money into their private foundations than pay taxes, which are wasted on lower classes.
Kevin Drum’s summary has some comedy gold, like this quote:
…Speaking at the [Aspen Ideas Festival], Thomas Wilson, CEO of Allstate, also lamented this global reality: “I can get [workers] anywhere in the world. It is a problem for America, but it is not necessarily a problem for American business … American businesses will adapt.” Wilson’s distinction helps explain why many of America’s other business elites appear so removed from the continuing travails of the U.S. workforce and economy: the global “nation” in which they increasingly live and work is doing fine — indeed, it’s thriving.
Allstate is a “global company” in the same sense that an airport with a flight to Toronto is an “international airport”. In other words, there’s Allstate and Allstate Canada. I don’t see Wilson making a move to open Allstate India or Allstate Bangladesh while he’s singing a happy tune about offshoring the jobs of the people who keep his company afloat.
But most of it is maddening:
When I asked one of Wall Street’s most successful investment-bank CEOs if he felt guilty for his firm’s role in creating the financial crisis, he told me with evident sincerity that he did not. The real culprit, he explained, was his feckless cousin, who owned three cars and a home he could not afford. One of America’s top hedge-fund managers made a near-identical case to me—though this time the offenders were his in-laws and their subprime mortgage.
When you’ve bought and paid for a Congress that won’t even raise your taxes to the rates paid during one of the biggest economic booms in history, I guess you can say shit like this without worrying about consequences, but goddam are these assholes begging for a round of Eisenhower-style taxation.