Another Modest Proposal from Jonathan Chait

A Modest ProposalThose Very Serious white guy business reporters Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen over at Politico report on the breaking news that CEOs are whining about the lack of certainty in the market. I discovered the article through Jonathan Chait where he attacked the insularity that allows reporters to think that what is good for GM (“the CEO class”) is good for America. But I found I was even more annoyed with Chait than I was with VandeHei and Allen.

Chait seems to have a problem with the way these reporters and CEOs talk about policy, not the policy itself. For example, his whole article sounds very much like this:

Moynihan claims that more free trade is good, and I am in total agreement. But we should remember that these things might be disruptive to workers. And he claims that we need to reform entitlements. No argument here: gut those mother fuckers! But let’s not forget that many people don’t see the wisdom of doing this. And all these great men agree that the best way to help the poor is to allow them to sell their babies as food for the rich—human baby is a nice sweet meat! And I think this a fairly sensible as policy.

Luckily, Matt Yglesias saves us in a short article, Dear CEOs: Please Stop Whining About Uncertainty. He says what should be obvious to everyone, especially CEOs: life is uncertainty. If business wasn’t uncertain, it would be easy to make money. And if it were easy to make money, why the hell are corporations paying these fucktards so much?

Look. Uncertainty is an intrinsic feature of reality. Business executives do not currently know what fiscal or regulatory policy will look like in 2017 and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to alter this fact. Executives in 1952 did not know what 1957 would look like and executives in 1992 did not know what 1997 would look like… [I]n the real world it’s hard to get rich because certainty doesn’t exist. There’s no certainty about domestic public policy, there’s no certainty about foreign crises, there’s no certainty about technologic trends, there’s no certainty about consumer tastes, there’s no certainty about anything. Life is hard.

I would disagree on only one thing: selling babies for food. That’s a fucking slam dunk!

Update (11 December 2012 4:12 pm)

Charles Pierce at Esquire has a very good—and funny—take down of the original article. He particularly has a problem with the people who are quoted by VandeHei and Allen, “Brian Moynihan? The modern poster child for Deposition Alzheimer’s? Put a Bible under his hand and Moynihan won’t remember his own name, but put a couple of credulous fools in front of him and he’s suddenly got all the answers.” But he ends the article very seriously:

Clearly, a deal on the economy is being cut with the minimal amount of input from the people on whom the weight of the deal will fall most heavily. Sacrifice is being parceled out by people who will feel none of it. And elite journalism is presenting this iniquitous arrangement from the point of view of the grifters and thieves who will profit most from it. This piece is not about the current economic stalemate. It’s about two Beltway foofs showing the red on their asses by demonstrating that they can get important people on the phone. This isn’t economics. This isn’t even really journalism. This is a brief in support of oligarchy. It is public financial star-fking.

And that is the big problem. That is always the big problem. The poor are never consulted. The middle class is rarely consulted. But you can bet your ass that Obama is hanging on every word that fucktards like Brian Moyniham and Jamie Dimon spout.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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