Flight Papers

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Spiritual journeys are marked by suffering. Other people’s, primarily.


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This morning, they had Michael Lewis on, talking about the long-term effects of Wall Street, as it continues to gently slide into the sewer (or into, uh, some deeper sewer). He mentioned, amongst other things, that the utterly-ridiculous salaries and bonuses that once characterized Wall Street are probably at an end. He also thinks that the ridiculousness of Wall Street bled into ridiculousness in upper management everywhere, leading to CEOs regularly drawing paychecks and bonuses in the range of tens of million dollars—so that’s probably going to crash pretty hard, too. This is, I think, a little naïve, but he’s the economist. If he’s right, I will regard it as “nice.” It’s impossible to muster too much excitement, though—I expect we will still be living in a world where CEOs draw seven-figure compensation at a minimum, whilst their line workers draw minimum wage, and their slaves draw, perhaps, barely enough to minimally survive (unless the harsh realities of the market force their wages down, of course).

And then there’s this,

A few months ago, Lewis visited Princeton University, his alma mater, “to find out what the kids who were going to be investment bankers were now going to do with their lives.” He says he was “so frustrated with how unimaginative young people had become in choosing their path in life that I thought that someone should establish a kind of ‘Scared Straight’ program for Ivy League students.” He’d require them to spend a week with a hedge fund manager in Greenwich, Conn., “just to see how miserable” they’d be after 20 years.

The plunging market has changed many of their plans, Lewis says. “The kids … who thought they were going to be financiers are having to rethink the premise, and that’s a very good thing.” ‘Liar’s Poker’ Author Sees Upside To Market Crash, NPR

So, one of the keen benefits of a global market crash—you know, the thing that’s leaving some people struggling, and lots of people dead—is that extremely privileged white people will really have the opportunity to find themselves.

One Response to “Spiritual journeys are marked by suffering. Other people’s, primarily.”

  1. Rachel Says:

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    So, one of the keen benefits of a global market crash—you know, the thing that’s leaving some people struggling, and lots of people dead—is that extremely privileged white people will really have the opportunity to find themselves.

    I cracked up when I read that. It’s frustratingly true - I work for a mid-size corporation looking to be a big player in the pharma industry. A few of the guys that run the company were talking the other day about their kids (who are currently college students), and how it’s so frustrating that the kids are changing their majors midway through their 4 year programs because of the economy. These are kids who go to Ivies.

    Meanwhile, us littlefolk are trying to figure out how to make the car last another winter so we can keep our damn jobs. And we know that we still have it good.

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