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35


Street’s elegant rewriting of caveat emptor. Well if Mr. Blankfein is the voice of the 1%, time to move on.


But let’s pretend he is merely at the grittier edge of the divide. That still leaves all the others who think they can award themselves huge pay rises and bonuses that bear no relation to value, even though we now know what they are up to. And don’t forget the politicians who believe they can torch entire economies in the name of an ideal - a conflict-free Europe - that is likely to end in the very conflict they want to avoid, while in the UK our appointed leaders sink deeper into cronyism with all their vested-interest chums, thinking we can’t see their rotten back-scratching. Well, chums, we can, and as it becomes more obvious, so the bridge of trust between us further disintegrates.


Actually, how about this? They are all


Lloyd Blankfeins, oozing with arrogance and contempt – it’s just that he was the one to let his guard down and accidentally speak the truth. What a thought.


The quality of discourse among the 99% is getting worse too. Factionalism, tribalism and obduracy all flourish when fear takes a hold. People start blaming everyone else for their problems, defending positions that in the cool light of day are untenable, if only because doing so upsets their opponents. One of those untenable positions, from the macho end of the spectrum, is that we can throw large numbers of people out of work in the name of cost-cutting and austerity, while simultaneously slashing benefits, and not suffer collectively as a result. This stems from the fallacy that


state spending and private spending are part of a zero-sum equation, that as one shrinks the other inevitably expands and vice versa. It won’t happen. Slash public spending and all you will end up with is beggars on the streets, because the private sector cannot take up the slack. Why not? Because the mayhem created by politicians and their 1% friends is making ordinary business people afraid to take a risk, to start a business, to hire just one person. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a smaller state. But you can’t get there from here.) The multiplicative power of small enterprise is staggering, but for all the cheerleading by politicians who have never turned an honest penny in their lives, it isn’t going to happen until people start telling the truth, building trust and, ultimately, confidence.


Stop spinning. Start leading. Or get out of the way. BF


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