“Smart parents are more likely to have smart children, and their greater intelligence will be reflected, on average, in higher incomes. Of course, IQ is only one dimension of talent, but it is easy to believe that other dimensions, such as self-control, ability to focus, and interpersonal skills, have a degree of genetic heritability as well.” – Greg Mankiw
Clearly, the first question I ask after meeting a privileged CEO who spends more time on the golf course than in the office where his average employee makes a fraction of what he makes in an hour, and whose primary long-term contribution to the firm will be a PR disaster after which he’s fired by the board for “ethics” violations and sent on his merry way with a seven-figure golden parachute, then it is “well my, what an intelligent and diligent worker with great interpersonal skills you gentleman are! Couldn’t we pay teachers, firefighters, college professors and nurses less to give you more money?”
Ah the trials and tribulations of the 1%. I mean yeah folks, exploitation is hard work. So many offshore accounts to create, so much tax evasion to be done, so many loopholes to be exploited, so many unions and worker’s rights to be quashed, so many Congressman to be bribed and bought, so many health benefits to be denied, so many dinners with the President to be had, and so much manipulation to do to get people to vote against their own self interest and buy into the bullshit bootstraps narrative, and yet so little time.
Clearly the 1% need advocates too and that’s where former President Bush/ wanna-be President Mitt Romney adviser Greg Mankiw comes in who was finally brave enough to write a book defending the 1%. Ann Romney would be happy.
Mankiw is a Harvard professor (my condolences to Harvard and all his students) and apparently also timeless comedian who briefly made the headlines last year for telling a hilarious joke (see right). Haha..poor people. Hahaha…seniors on medicare. Hahaha…self deportation. Let’s make the elderly whom Paul Ryan just proposed we take Medicare away from the butt of jokes…hardi har har har.
The party of hate and greed apparently cannot function without inserting that hate and greed into their pastimes and jokes as well. I imagine that as a 1% er who gets richer by the minute because others keep getting poorer, that really must be funny.
His hilarity has been finally memorexed in a book titled “Defending the One Percent” in which he argues that income inequality is not as terrible a thing as liberals make it out to be. And even if it is, fixing inequality is really hard to do in a way that is not totally unfair to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
Mankiw’s basic argument is that the 1 percent are richer than you probably because they are just better than you. It’s just science! Even the children of the wealthy are probably wealthier and better-educated than you at least partly because their genes are just better than yours, he suggests, and not because these people won the cosmic birth-family lottery that let them be born into wealth and privilege open the doors to the kingdom. Terrible beginnings don’t matter, except insomuch as they make great first acts for Sandra Bullock Oscar movies.
First of all, the fact that we live in a society that rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth, while the lack of those with destitution, is pretty fucked up, because such a supposition automatically views people who are not intelligent, diligent and who lack interpersonal skills as less than.
Less than deserving of fair, livable wages, less than deserving of access to affordable and quality health care, less deserving of receiving a quality education, less deserving of clean air, water, food and soil, less deserving of a bail out and definitely less deserving of overall financial stability. In other words, if you are stupid and lack charm, you deserve being exploited by your employer, have your house taken away, pay outrageous interest rates on your credit cards, have no access to health care, not get a good education, breathe in toxic air and ingest toxic food and overall be punished in society and viewed as a lesser human being.
I guess that explains the homelessness problem and why that prick Reagan defunded all government run mental institutions. People with mental illnesses (which may include “unintelligent” people) and those who lack breeding and pedigree don’t deserve a roof over their heads, medical treatment, a warm meal and a job. Let them rot on the streets, why should we, as a society, care? Let them eat cake… or garbage…
That is what the meritocracy is all about in this country, right? The idea that if you got what you got then it’s ’cause you greased your elbows and worked hard while those who don’t have anything or are barely muddling through despite a job and hard work, are lazyasses who neither want better lives nor want to work for it, ipso facto they deserve starving or succumbing to an illness or else lead a tenuous middle class existence from which they could be unceremoniously exiled after a brush with unemployment or a health crisis.
That is a pretty neat argument when you are part of the 1% or those wanna-bes because it just makes it so much easier to keep focusing policies on the 1% and how to get them rich(er) (and to get you to vote for their interests
so that you too, one day, may join their rungs), as opposed to focusing our resources to create a meaningful social safety net that addresses those very issues. Why worry about leveling the playing field and caring about unintelligent losers who lack charm and clearly deserve to be exploited or else lead a life where they are a paycheck away from complete destitution, when you can focus all your efforts to keep the wealthier even wealthier?
Of course, the assertion that the US rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth is an abject falsehood. As if only 1% of the population possessed such attributes, which then automatically translates into them being deserving of and entitled to everyone else’s money and all the privileges contained therein.