Saturday, January 31, 2009

Marie Antoinette Revisited - The American People Continue To Get Royally "F?#%d"

The Shameful, Arrogant, Unfathomable Behavior Of The Self-Entitled

By David Miranda

The past and (yes) continued behavior of the self-entitled on Wall Street and their enablers in the Washington and the State Capitols make the fictional Gordon Gecko in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" look like Mr. Rogers (with no disrespect to Fred Rogers' memory).

It seems like every day a new Congressional hearing, a New York Times or WSJ article, or investigative television journalist exposes yet another of the self-entitled's evidence of a total disregard for anything but their own self-interest. Clueless comes to mind, but using that word is an insult to the naive and uninformed.

Someone once said that the difference between ignorance and stupidity is this - ignorance means you don't know; stupid means you'll never know. The self-entitled are not ignorant people. They are shamefully, arrogantly, and unfathomably stupid of the plight of anyone and anything other than their own self-interest.

Each day new members are added to this "Marie Antionette Rogue's Gallery". On the public side examples abound - auto execs flying corporate jets to DC to ask for a handout; Merrill-Lynch rushing through $18 billion in bonuses (the firm lost $34 billion for the bonus year) just before begging for a bailout; AIG, after receiving bailout funds, hosting a $400K junket to a 4-star golf resort and spa; Merrill-Lynch CEO spending $1.2 million to redecorate his office; CitiGroup ordering a $50 million corporate jet (since canceled after the news got out); Bernie Madoff, the $50 billion Ponzi man, under house arrest at his $7 million NY apartment where he attempted to send $1 million in jewelry and $173 million in checks to friends and family.

On the political front, more examples of the self-entitled - Louisiana Congressman caught in a sting with $100K in his freezer; the impeached Governor of Illinois wanting to sell the vacant seat of President Obama to benefit himself and his wife in rather vivid and vulgar taped conversations; the former senior Senator from Alaska indicted for having undeclared renovations done to his home, and on and on and on.

Marie Antionette didn't get it and it seems neither have the entrenched self-entitled. President Obama ran on a platform of bringing hope and change to America - "Yes We Can".

It is now time to change aspiration for change to action - embracing "Yes We Will" both in the public and private corridors of power. If not, voters, shareholders and consumers will storm the Bastille and demand for their heads.