Many people who like to think of themselves as “winners” are actually “enablers.”
“While the post-Great Recession expansion was long, both the economy’s average annual growth rate and the typical worker’s earnings gains were relatively modest by the standards of earlier long expansions.” – cppb.org
“Loser.” – Donald Trump
I have this love/hate relationship with the time period we call the Great Recession.
On the one hand, sure, I got through it. My freelance path changed course, leading to new opportunities. I am thankful for my part-time work during those years and the variety of experiences. (I’m a writer. Our brains need that stuff.) I quit drinking. The Great Recession itself helped to inspire a book. My perspective on the world now, based on those years, feels right. I feel fine telling some of the world’s worst people that they rank among the world’s worst people. When they cry at me, I keep talking.
Still: I hate that I had to go through it all.
No. I hate that the whole boondoggle was so billionaire-friendly.
The financially-speculating whiteboys and the beneficiaries of generational wealth…you know…the citizens who caused the Great Recession…never got penalized. Quite the opposite, the government paid them tons of money. Which they handed over to shareholders instead of using it to fix their mistakes. I hate that.
These people have only gotten worse in the years since.
The Jobless Recovery. The New Normal.
And now…this: “U.S. corporate after-tax profits hit a record high of $2.5 trillion in the third quarter of 2021, further enriching wealthy executives and shareholders. One factor behind the profits spike: giant corporations have used the excuse of pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks to jack up prices for gasoline, food, and other essentials.”
To cover up the increasing corruption and defend the growing inequality, the billionaire-friendly crowd keeps spinning and re-spinning an ugly narrative about how life has its “winners” and “losers” and people like them won.
If your professional role in life is to help the super-rich get even richer, you don’t deserve any feelings of accomplishment. And when it comes to the senses of entitlement, if you’re not worth at least twenty or thirty million, comparatively you ain’t got diddly. You’re a scab crossing picket lines and crossing them on the cheap. You have not “won” much.
The Great Recession did not have winners. More like takers.
We just kicked off the year 2022. Thinking back to the slow climb out of the longest recession in history, it never would have occurred to me in those days that down the road a worldwide pandemic would strike, then cause so much unnecessary destruction—mainly because society would choose to protect the assets of the wealthy instead.
The same men who shoulder responsibility for the Great Recession also hit it big after Covid-19 struck. Only they seem to be whiny about it all.
I say “white” when I talk about systemic inequality because us white-skinned Americans are the most billionaire-friendly group in the United States and we worsen the problem for other Americans, because we can extract money from those other groups. Billionaires rob us, we rob others. That’s what makes America “great.”
As a white male who came from an upper-middle-class upbringing and went to college and all that, my role here is to point out the problems that I see with my demographic. We stack the deck in our favor while lecturing others about cheating. And this makes us smirky.
Snapshots in time from 2008 through 2011 can instantly put a smile on my face. Even factoring in all of the stress and the aggravation, I do have some amazing memories.
And the not-so-amazing memories that led me to quit drinking…well…they led me to quit drinking. That was their purpose.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that the Wall Street whiteboys went to jail over the damage they caused. I’d be so much cooler with it all.
It would be great to tell the world that I freelanced and worked part-time gigs all through the longest recession in U.S. history, gave up drinking, and wrote a book during that time—and I would like to tell the world that fact with a big ol’ proud smile on my face.
And a whole bunch of suck-ass fuck-asses were more-than-happy to help the wealthy. They received a bit of money and an unearned smile in return.
Now we are nearing 900,000 deaths from Covid-19. Too many in the upper middle class rationalize the deaths with nonsense like, “Not to play devil’s advocate here, but I would like to point out that the stock market is doing great.”
This mindset does not deserve to feel like it’s on the winning end of life and the masses are on the losing end.
Billionaire-friendliness. The first step is to admit you have a problem.
Part I. Earlier posts:
• The New Einsatzgruppen wants to talk fatherhood. Oh, boy!
• The Petting Zoo Bourgeoisie.
• Operation Week Off.
• NYC vacay. May, 2003.
• Bros: America’s New Jews.
• Fuck customers. The investor is always right.
• Open letter to a selfie of my drunk-ass self, taken on August 11th, 2001.
I write fiction and have two dark comedies available, Fearkiller (Volume 1) and Notes from Trillionaire Island: Fearkiller (Volume 2), as well as Revolutionizer Alpha, the first book in a sci-fi series. I also wrote a story about God. It was weird, but then I decided to make the story and its sequel free. And all of the sudden, it didn’t seem as weird. Writing about God is much less weird when you write about God without charging money for it.
Here’s my professional site, my trade.
Follow me on Medium.