Clip: Advice to Plutocrat Perkins: Time to Shut Up!

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There’s a rule of thumb in cyberspace etiquette known as Godwin’s Law, named after Mike Godwin, the Internet lawyer and activist who first came up with it. A variation of that law boils down to this: He who first compares the other side to Nazis loses, and the conversation is at an end. Unless you’re billionaire Tom Perkins, who seems dedicated to digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself.

By now you’ve probably heard about Perkins’s infamous letter to The Wall Street Journal (whose editorial page is the rich man’s Pravda of class warfare) in which he wrote, “I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich…’ This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

It’s astonishing how ignorant (not to mention crude and cruel) the very rich can be. Surely, one of his well-paid retainers could have reminded Mr. Perkins that Kristallnacht was the opening salvo in Hitler’s extermination of the Jews, the “night of broken glass” in 1938 Germany and Austria when nearly a hundred Jews were murdered, 30,000 were sent to concentration camps and synagogues and Jewish-owned business were looted and destroyed, many of them burned to the ground. If Perkins thought his puny point survived the outrageous exaggeration, he was sadly mistaken.

Tom Perkins Apologizes on Bloomberg TV
Nonetheless, after a stunned world responded, venture capitalist Perkins went on Bloomberg TV to apologize for using the word “Kristallnacht” but not for the sentiment of his letter. “I don’t regret the message at all,” he said. “Anytime the majority starts to demonize the minority, no matter what it is, it’s wrong and dangerous and no good comes from it.”

Perkins also said that he has family “living in trailer parks,” but bragged like some cackling James Bond villain that he owns “an airplane that flies underwater” and a wristwatch that “could buy a six-pack of Rolexes.” That watch, on prominent display during the Bloomberg interview, is a Richard Mille, a charming little timepiece that can retail for more than $300,000. At that price, a watch shouldn’t just tell you the time, it should allow you to travel through it, perhaps back to the Gilded Age or Versailles in 1789, just as the tumbrils rolled in. Here in the office, our $85 Timex and Seiko watches have crossed their hands over their faces in shame.

That Richard Mille watch triggered TV producer David Simon’s comment on an upcoming episode of Moyers & Company that it should be sold and used to open drug treatment centers in Baltimore, the city where Simon was a crime reporter and which served as the backdrop and central character of his classic HBO series The Wire. You can watch the complete excerpt here:

By the way, the other David Simon to whom ours refers is no longer the highest paid American. The title now goes to CBS Chair and CEO Leslie Moonves, who’s getting a salary of $60 million, and will always be remembered by us as the man who said of rampant political spending, “Super PACs may be bad for America, but they’re very good for CBS.”

Pity the rich their gluttony; it has made them blind.

Bill Moyers is the managing editor of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com.
Michael Winship is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, and a senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos.
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  • Kate113

    Thank you Mr. Moyers, you are a reasonable voice that I love to learn from.

  • goducks58

    Amen Bill. Keep doing everything you do for what is good in this world.

  • Cathryn Sykes

    Unless, Mr. SuperRich Man, you are currently crouching in an attic waiting for the knock on the door, I suggest you forgo the whining about how the way you’re being treated is just like what happened to Germany’s Jews. When you see guillotines being set up in the local town square, then you can start to whine…..but by then, your greed, arrogance and rampant stupidity will have done it’s work….and there will be no one to hear your complaints…or at least, no one who cares.

  • bob

    occupy wall street will be more important and longer term more meaningful than the tea party because their message of inequality and the 1% has become the most issue. the president talks about it and now even rich billionaires now talk about it.

  • Anonymous

    Perkins and today’s 1% make the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age look like Saints who trod briefly on earth by comparison.

  • https://twitter.com/John_de_Vashon John Sage

    Perkins is such an unrepentant Oligarch that even the 0.01% should be embarrassed by him. Not that that’s likely to happen…

  • BG, dismayed leftie

    Dear Mr. Perkins:

    Here’s a solution for you, if having money makes you such a victim: GIVE IT ALL AWAY. Not only will your immediate problem be solved, you can then prove what a brilliant entrepreneur you are by starting with nothing and making it all back like you expect everyone else to do.

    Sincerely,

    BG

  • Anonymous

    The Robber Barons at least did a few useful things, like build railroads and stuff. With the guys today, it’s all just financial manipulation.

  • Dude

    I think your comments, the amount of people that approve of your comments and comments similar to these on this thread supports Mr. Perkins belief that we are heading in a dangerous direction. The tone expressed here is destructive – and ultimately self destructive.

    You know it does not really matter what group of one percenters the people with the pitch forks are going after, ultimately we are all demeaned when a group of people are demonized and stereotyped. That is what is happening right here on this web page.
    Yes, Perkin’s references to Kristallnacht are over the top, but i think his bigger point is in fact correct. Many of the comments and positions expressed here are very reminiscent of Russia circa 1917 and China in 1949 -50 and Cambodia in 1975. Do you read history? Don’t you see how demonizing any group whether they be rich or poor should not be allowed and negatively impacts you as much as the intended victim of your comments?

    I don’t find your comments particularly clever or illuminating or intellectual.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    “Anytime the majority starts to demonize the minority, no matter what it is, it’s wrong and dangerous and no good comes from it.”

    He seems to be forgetting a word in that sentence – “oppressed” needs to go before the word “minority” for this to be in any way true. The super rich are hardly oppressed.

  • NotARedneck

    “With the guys today, it’s all just financial manipulation.”

    True. The caparison with the Guilded Age is a poor one. Today’s wealthy have more in common with the crooks who manipulated Wall Street in the late 1920s – without honest politicians coming in to clean up and put them in prison.

  • NotARedneck

    If you’d really read history, rather than just spouted the Fox Snooze abbreviated notes, you’d realize that politics in the US today has much more in common with the right wing’s power grab in 1920s Germany and Italy.

  • Anonymous

    You know what, Dude? Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. And it’s okay that a lot of people see that spade and add their comments on it. To turn a blind eye to it and say nothing or say some squeamish little bomide about it does nothing.Something needs to be done about this .01 percent owning almost absolutely everything in the world, and the only way to do something about it is to call attention to it. If that .01 percent doesn’t want some sort of force used against them then they can hand over what they’ve stolen with their robber baron tactics.

  • Dave Jannsen

    That’s hilarious. You think Bill Moyers is obscenely rich? You think he compares to a billionaire? First off, who CARES if he is rich or poor if what he is saying is true. Last I checked Warren Buffet is really rich and he’s saying: I need to be taxed a little bit more. You’re probably solidly middle class – or maybe a little bit less, and you’re arguing for tax cuts for BILLIONAIRES. You’re the reason why we are looked at as the country that rides the short bus to school. We’re talking about returning to the Clinton tax rates 4% tax hike is not socialism; secondly, take a look at Germany- less debt than us and more prosperity and yes, they tax the rich a lot more than we do. Nice way to set up a false dichotomy.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Moyers, “Obscenely rich”? No. Far, far from penniless? Yes. Wiling to give up whatever wealth he has? Hell no! It’s very easy to wag your finger at those with money, but if the finger was pointed at you? Therein lies the rub. As far as my finances? I’m not even in sniffing distance of Mr. Moyers let alone any of those that are deemed “overly rich”, but I can say with all honesty that a poor person never gave me a job. If the “rich” are taxed beyond a certain point, they will no longer seek to expand their enterprises, cut their losses (along with thousands, if not millions of jobs) and sail away to their private islands in “airplanes that fly underwater”. Then, the “income inequality” problem will be solved: We’ll ALL be poor.

  • Anonymous

    CaptQT,
    So, you are one of the many folks in this country who consider themselves temporarily disadvantaged billionaires? Good luck with that.
    Greed and selfishness are looked upon by many as virtues. Sorry, actually, those who promote such traits are pathetic losers.

  • Anonymous

    We share being ‘major Moyers fans – even with this frustrating half hour format.
    But it’s hard to know how to convey what sort of thinking is behind your question. Harsh? About 10,000 children are killed or injured each year in the USA?! Have you read about climate change at all? And the death and social chaos & suffering that will bring? And dependence on the rich and the State it will usher in for the majority? Do you have children? Do you know that 1 in 4 highly profitable corporations in this country by ZERO, that’s ZERO taxes, at ANY RATE? Can you justify capital being taxed lower than what labor is taxed? Do you understand the amount of inequality this is in this country and why and what the trend is? Do you know war is a racket….mostly good for crony capitalism and a ‘shock doctrine’? Harsh? Just wait….that is life in USA for a huge segment of the population now and will be for all of us once the infrastrure is further broken, ‘law and order’ is imposed by militarized police are everywhere and get called to put down protesters, & the NSA will be spying, & there are food shortages, and no civil liberties. It already means very little to actually vote. Harsh you say?! Please try to read deeper into all these HUGE indicators of our social welfare unraveling.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, incentive should be rewarded (some), but suggest one focuses on learning about how income and capital was taxed during the Eisenhower’s day or in places like Germany or Iceland, etc. The rich ‘give’ jobs? Equality of opportunity and schools in this country? Sounds like a lot of hooey & you’ve swallowed a lot of bunk. The way alot of these obscenely rich people get and hoard and expand their money is exploiting labor,buying politicians (corruption) and/or desecrate the sacred and limited Earth, leaving nothing for next, never mind seventh generation. We will live or perish as a society and civilization based on how we treat the Earth and each other, how we deal with population increase — and not by saying ‘thank you, Bossman’ to the few and often selfish uber-rich.

  • Anonymous

    Do you really believe that Mr. Perkins works that much harder than the rest of us? THAT much? What is he, Superman?

  • John G.

    The .01% are getting worried, and they should be. When you’re living on a mountain of wealth like that, while everyone else just keeps getting poorer, it should weigh on you. No fair system distributes the benefits of any society this way.

  • Ignatz

    The problem is not money. The problem is the attitude – reflected in your post – that one’s money is an accurate measurement of his worth as a human being. And the poor and middle class and not as GOOD as the rich. And frankly, that’s insane. And that sort of Social Darwinism is used as an excuse to oppress the lower classes and to keep the poor poor.

    ["Without reward for hard work, there will be no hard workers:"]

    For the most part, poor people work harder than rich people. Have you noticed that the phrase “The Working Class” doesn’t mean “The Rich”?

  • Dude

    So, as I said, you comments and threats of violence are exactly the type of rhetoric Perkins was talking about. You proved his point quite well. Its the same rhetoric used by Pol Pot , Chairman Mao and Lenin. We all know what happened in each of those countries. After they killed all the wealthy people they went after all the teachers, religious leaders, union leaders, politicians. etc. You are seemingly blind to history and the fact that you are predjudice against people will a lot of money. Its sad that people don’t learn the lessons of history. What everyone seems to forget is that all the monsters of history mentioned above started with the “ruling class” and ultimately worked their way down to terrorizing everyone. Be careful of what you wish for. To be frank ,it is shocking to me that people approve of your comments. Do yourself and your kids a favor and read some history. Start with Animal Farm and 1984. The “force used against them” will one day be used against you. That is the lesson of history. It never stops with the proverbial “them”. This is just so sad. Fools on the left and fools on the right.

  • DrLearnALot

    I think he should keep talking. He’s making an excellent case for raising his taxes.

  • mcart

    Here here.

  • Anonymous

    This method seems to work with that republican base.

  • KootenayCoyote

    All quite right. But I have my doubts about the ill-named ‘Godwin’s Law’, which is by no means law. It seems the counterpoise to the Anti-Likud = AntiSemitism foolishness. Some things are reminiscent of the Nazis, & we do ourselves a disservice by failing to recognize nasty little hints of approaching Fascism.

  • Anonymous

    The creative 1%?! These uber-rich are the very lucky (and often corrupt/corrupting and are only sometimes creative, along with lucky, corrupting….) 1%.
    Here’s what every awake parent and human being knows: almost all human beings are born, full of potential and potential creativity, but their circumstances – governed by the environment and economic realities they are born into, shape what happens to that potential. Heard of epigenetics, Mr. Selective Facts? Who likes to attribute his success solely to his own genius and effort. Forget scholarships, schools, roads, laws, etc that helped make this possible. )
    It takes CREATIVITY IN THE MAJORITY to try to exist in the Uncivil Society that people with this level of cluelessness and self-delusion — and dare I say it – UNCREATIVE IGNORANCE is ushering in.

  • Anonymous

    To demonize the wealthy for being wealthy (envy) is one thing. To say they have managed to purchase politicians and have policy written to help them entirely too much, at the expense of the country/middle class, is completely another thing. He deserves the criticism as that letter was beyond ridiculous. I’m sure he pays less of a percentage in taxes than we do in this house. With my husband working 70 hour weeks. Now, if this brought us jobs? I would not complain. But things went too far, they were given way too much, and they started putting this money off shore, etc. and not investing in the US like they were supposed to.

  • Anonymous

    Or maybe the watch could be sold to get his family out of trailer parks. But just saying that is probably ‘class warfare’ to him.

  • Healthcare not Warfare

    If a person or people rob a bank they are criminals, and rightly so. But this guy believes that if the banks rob people that they are the creative 1%. The ability of wealthy individuals to extort, lie, cheat, bribe and steal to rig the system in their favor is celebrated by too much of society, against their own interests.

  • Anthony Endres

    A war waged firstly by the rich, which created such excessive income discrepancies and institutional inequity is what is leading the 99% only having to defend and fend for the little they have left. It’s an act of a population’s societal self-dfense, peacefully and without arms, for workers to ask for more money and less staggering economic inequality, when 100 people alone earns as much as . 3.5 billions taken together. Comparing that to the evil acts of crazy powerful men of the past is rather laughable if not a life-threatening act to those accused. In times where the rich owns bombs and drones, and even flying underwater planes, he let some of his own family members “living in trailer parks,” risk to die in their trailer trash houses during severe storms? Whow. What a extraordinary caring family man Mr. Perskins prove to be.
    His family will surely thank him for his kindness?

  • Roman Latkovic

    As long as the people vote these criminals in…

  • Anonymous

    My late wife worked for CBS in 2002. They were told no one would receive raises. Then Moonves was paid a bonus around $20,000,000.00 That’s

  • Anonymous

    You slept through the grasping the big picture part of social studies didn’t you? I’m going to have to call troll on ya buddy.

  • Anonymous

    Another republican that thinks their irrational dreams of being filthy rich are anything other than dreams. Moyers isn’t a billionaire wearing a watch worth twice what my house costs you clueless clod.

  • Anonymous

    Republican troll.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re comparing the genocide against the Native Americans I can see your point.

  • Jack Hammer

    Do you know what hard work is? On a slow day, I have lifted my body weight 10 times by 10 in the morning. That’s hard work, just ask the lines of helpers I’ve gone through that couldn’t keep up and quit after a week. Why? Because even $8 an hour more than the average moving company pays, isn’t enough money to support more than one person. Perkins wouldn’t last a day and yet, for some reason, my hard work doesn’t have anywhere near the value his does.
    I don’t think Perkins is a criminal, just completely out of touch from, and full of disdain for those of us who are beneath him. I say beneath him because he most certainly views us as beneath him. The biggest threat to our national security and our economy is, by far, the wage inequality.
    What a shame most of the country is asleep. I don’t know if people realize this, but, no matter what the money changers think, if about 40% of people who make less than $11 an hour stayed home from work for three days, we could bring the whole thing down. Since our vote is pretty much useless, that’s what we should do.

  • Anonymous

    Dearest Albert, I don’t recall reading in Mr. Moyers original article (or anywhere else for that matter) that indicated Mr. Perkins was hard to work for, or that he (or his companies) paid miserly wages to their employees. Attacking me, regardless of my net worth, for being a bad boss? Where does that come from? You’d LOVE to work for me! Of course, I’m rather picky about who I hire. I tend to prefer those who want to work as hard as I do, not those who want something for nothing…

  • Anonymous

    No one wears a watch anymore. We all tell time on our phones. What a douche to even have that watch.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a sunrise where people don’t make absolutist self-serving arguments. It’s a sunset where the rich, which made their wealth from us all, give back to those that made sure they would never miss a meal. Your world doesn’t exist. My world? I pay 49% taxes. The rich in MY world pay 37% for the exact same dollars. I pay more to support my country than Texico, Pepsico, Walmart and Exxon combined! I pave roads. They get to use them. I pay for police. They get to call them. I pay for welfare that they say should be cut because it’s too expensive, and I pay 40% of my tax dollars that they get rich off of, for wars they started and I didn’t want. Cap….you have some very strange ideas about the world you live in..

  • Terence

    Is sarcasm the best you can do?

  • Mike List

    your comment is irrelevant, absolutely nobody said the rich should give all their assets to the poor. well, maybe Jesus did, but since I’m not a christian, I could be mistaken.

  • Dude

    Your comment is just so far off base. I have no reply.

  • Dude

    So you all accept dyanne’s call to violence? This is what you want to teach your children? She is advocating violent class warfare. This is just so sad.

  • GregoryC

    I agree. The rich used to give back to their communities: noblesse oblige. Not so much now. My home town had wealthy families who supported the arts, public education, social charities, paid living wages (and pensions, health care), but the new rich are self-indulging sociopaths it seems.

  • Anonymous

    I hear you & I’m all for communication leading to change.
    It does have to be said though that given this man’s access to education & information & a broad and well-rested view of what’s going on — his ignorance and arrogance is not only what prevails – he seeks to broadcast it and persuade others!

    The time’s up on this level of self-serving arrogance — in ‘defense of…words like ‘Democracy’ or ‘Free Market’ lingo. It has all the maturity and depth of understanding as Ayn Rand’s followers. Actions speak louder than words!
    It’s GREED and a source of great ignorance and tremendous suffering.

  • Anonymous

    For you, it sounds like the choice is capitalist or ‘leech on society’. That you have had initiative, smarts & health & some aspects of ‘provided opportunity” and have made good and want to strive to do even better for yourself and your family is not the issue. (Good for you, glad you got yours.)

    This (capitalist-leech) choice is black and white, and shallow thinking!
    This man, defends a minority — MISSING OUT on the idea of what that minority advocates, how it became a minority, and how it ACTS matter!
    Matters in terms of social welfare, environmental realities, distribution of those things that enhance or threaten the quality of Life and death of ‘the People’ and Living & Sustaining Life Systems on Planet Earth NOW and in future. Your children and seven generations ahead’s future, too, whether you think your money will protect you or not.

    Not in the ‘cumbaya world’ (one of your sticks and stones), but in the REAL, experienced, consensus reality world. This man is following a foolish (shallow, selfish, destructive fantasy) and crony capitalist line – that does not adequate reflect the context nor the initiative & hard work that someone like you probably has spent. This is too limited & dangerous. It must be challenged. Economic slavery is slavery, and poverty is a kind of violence…it’s causes are complex and need to be addressed.

    You make the choices created OR AVAILABLE to you, and I think my future is connected to the greater good of People and Life Systems. Plus, I still CARE about others!
    And I think we need everyone’s talents in a bigger way, to create real opportunity — YES – for self-responsibility and widespread and sustainable quality of Life — not just in words, but in lived and practical reality.
    The 1%, like this man, don’t really act like they care about Justice or are interested in such things. Only ‘capitalists or leeches’ preaching and ‘I’ve got mine living.’ It’s not about charity, it’s about justice and peace…and without those, there is no real ‘opportunity.’

  • Catqua

    The 1% are getting worried. There cutting their own throats. They don’t realize that if the system continues in their favor that the economy cant continue. They don’t seem to know how to look at themselves. They just look at Govt and the 99% to be the problem.

  • Adrian Cracchiolo

    A breeding program they get worse every generation

  • Adrian Cracchiolo

    Jewish Central Bankers of a certain sect of Jew and Congressmen and other nationales in the corporate elite and intellectual elite

  • scat

    Right on! Nothing is ever enough. Someone who isn’t satisfied with $10 million would not be satisfied with $10 billion. It’s not about the stuff or the money. It’s about having more power than anyone else. In a sense it’s about immortality. And it’s delusional.

  • scat

    In case you didn’t notice, the very rich could still live very comfortably if they gave away 90% or more of their wealth, while they average American would end up living under a bridge if he/she gave away even less that that percentage. IT’s not hypocritical, it’s fact. Sunrise on your planet just might have blinded you,

  • scat

    For one who complains about being on the receiving end of insults, you are quite capable of dishing it out.. Now that is hypocrisy.

  • scat

    From my brief personal glimpses into the world of the very rich, it is a place I would not want to inhabit. Money and power (actually one and the same in today’s world) are like a destructive rust that ruins everything it touches. It becomes the most important thing — ahead of duty, compassion, friendship, community. Despite that, it sometimes seems everyone wants it. We are self-destructive beings.

  • scat

    You need to spend more time in the real world, not the world of right-wing talking points. Not everyone has the resources to conquer the world. There are people with disabilities, with lack of education, with diseases that are mental and physical. There are people who have been thrown away by companies moving their operations overseas. And where are all those high-paying wonderful jobs that are just begging for employees? Please tell us and you will see a line going around the block tomorrow. And where did you get the idea that all it takes to get super-rich is to do everything on your own with no help from anyone else. As for starting your own business, I have done that and you need to have resources to build on and a lot of just good luck.
    Speaking of casting dispersions, aren’t you sitting behind a keyboard and insulting a lot of good people who have been stomped on in this economic disaster. I guess you don’t know anyone who has lost their job and their house because of the games played by our Wall Street wizards. And you haven’t heard of communities destroyed by plants closing down. Every large industry in this country has cut tens of thousands of job. And the so-called wealthy job creators have done little or nothing to create jobs. They are sitting on thier assets, essentially waiting for people to buy thier stuff, but of course, that is not going to happen until the middle class is working and confident in the economy again.

  • scat

    There you go again, called people “leeches”, is so mean-spirited. Just remember, karma has a wicked sense of humor. I don’t wish it on anyone, but sometimes people have to experience what they think they know about others that they look down upon.

  • scat

    With his money he can do a lot more than just try. He’s so grounded in his wealth that he really can’t see beyond that and I suspect he doesn’t really see any need to . There are very wealthy people who are generous and trying to better the world, but he’s not one of them. He’s basically just trying to talk his way out of an annoying situation.

  • scat

    He’s not a minority if you put things in terms of wealth. In terms of the power that comes with a lot of money, he is one of a very small number of people who own the majority of power. And that is precisely his goal

  • scat

    It’s not about being wealthy, it’s about what you do with it. Self- indulgence is not considered a virtue no matter what income bracket you fit into.

  • scat

    You lose points for snarky comments.

  • scat

    She is also arguing against her own self-interest unless she is one of the 1%,which I doubt. Even a lot of the 1% see the corruption in our current economy.

  • scat

    The rich do not go into business to “give us a job”. They do it to make money and gain power. I have worked for large and small companies and none of them even hinted at a goal of creating jobs. One boss referred to employees as his profit-making units. Employees are just a pesky necessity to the goal of making money.

  • scat

    And who is going to buy thier products and services?

  • Terence

    Tiresomely patronizing.

  • Pete

    $85 Timex and Seiko’s, never mind $300,000!!
    You can buy a $20 digital keeps as good time as anything

  • moderator

    To the community,

    Please read our comment policy before commenting. Also, please avoid personal attacks, if you cannot, you will be unable to participate in the community.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    CaptQT:

    You have made your point quite clearly, please move along.

    sean @ moyers

  • Anonymous

    Lower taxes? Lower regulations? (for the super rich) He’s in touch? I hate the majority of the upper 1% because of this.

  • NotARedneck

    There is more than $33 trillion hidden by tax havens. A small proportion of that is from beneficiaries of organized crime or corrupt despots from the third world but by far the largest share is the wealthy tax evaders from the wealthy countries (like the 0.1% in the US) In addition, they have moved much of this money on to assets in the first world (land and stocks, etc.), assets where the ownership is hidden by offshore corporations with dummy directors and hidden ownership. The “old” wealth among the 0.1% probably have 60% to 90% of their wealth stashed this way. It is a gradual process that takes decades of planning and careful tax evasion.

  • NotARedneck

    Many of these types (people who make a bundle from “trading”) are very dishonest. They cover up their mistakes while they take credit for their “successes”. When companies like Enron go bankrupt, it is more than likely that they were gamed by those traders who they were paying large commissions to.

    Another aspect of this is the dishonesty and often criminal fraud and insider trading that these types do. It is a massive problem in the US and elsewhere, involving perhaps several hundred thousand such criminals.

    Until we demand tax policies that severely punish such zero sum activity and DEMAND real investment (like was the case from 1940 to the 1970s), things will only continue to spiral down.