Friday, June 10, 2011

The Bifurcation of society: Chumps and Hustlers

The Cunning Realist has a story from TAC pointing out that we have become a nation of Chumps and Hustlers:

The world is becoming much more of this hustlers game. The conservative folk, who survive by playing it straight, see rules change and bend before their eyes....

The old and unworldly had the worst of it. Many were driven to begging, many to suicide. The young and quick-witted did well. Overnight they became free, rich, and independent. It was a situation in which mental inertia and reliance on past experience were punished by starvation and death, but rapid appraisal of new situations and speed of reaction were rewarded with sudden, vast riches. -Sebastian Haffner on the early 20's Weimar economy in Defying Hitler

Another story from Marketwatch outlines a scam where unscrupulous real estate agents convince sellers to take a loss on their property in a sale to a pre-arranged buyer with the agent and buyer splitting the profits. Illegal? Unethical? Who cares? It's the wild West and the honest folk lose their life's savings.

What we are slouching toward is not the result of true conservatism, it is the result of a decade where the grifters wrote the rules and carried away or destroyed the wealth that had taken three generations to build. We lack the vigilance needed to protect our cherished institutions and now they are in shambles.

Congress cannot or will not appoint the necessary watchdogs because their corporate paymasters dictate otherwise, yet these same Congressmen have ample time to exhibit their genitalia on social media and airport bathrooms. We fight unnecessary wars and ignore the health, welfare and education of our own people; we operate out of irrational fear of Islamic terror while the real threat is from financial terrorists within our own borders and institutions.

I'm a firm believer that the complex dynamic system will correct eventually, but I am absolutely amazed at how much pain the common citizen is willing to endure in order to protect a status quo that is lining the pockets of charlatans at the expense of working folks. When the bureaucrats scream "We're broke", we readily entertain the elimination of Medicare and health care for each other yet allow the military-industrial complex and the banking industry to wallow in unregulated and unfettered greed.

If you're not the hustler, then you must be the...

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