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We Are An Aristocracy Now

posted by Gus diZerega

The people who destroyed our economy, like CITI and Goldman Sachs, are now getting privileged access to HiNi vaccinations.  Hospitals go without, but not these jokers.  Huffington Post has more on this abomination. 

While I think they were wrong, very seriously wrong, in what they did, I am daily becoming more sympathetic to the motives that led French Revolutionaries to deal with their own aristocracy during their Revolution.  Almost certainly some kid will die because some parasite got a privileged place in line.



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Robert M

posted November 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm


In support of your trenchant observation, take a look at this account of a talk that Brian Griffiths of Goldman Sachs gave in St. Paul’s Cathedral at London:
This was called to my attention by one of the commentators on the most recent post in John Michaer Gree’s blog, The Archdruid Report.
Like yours, my sympathies are increasing …



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Robert M

posted November 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm


The url was cut off:
trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/11/04/goldman-one-ups-gordon-gekko-says-jesus-embraced-greed>



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kenneth

posted November 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm


I’ve often felt that the answer lies with a modified form of Khmer Rouge “house cleaning.” Their instincts weren’t all bad, they just went way way too far. You can’t rid your society of ALL the people who can read. A careful pruning of the parasites from the body politic is what’s needed. That would include most of the Wall Street types, a fair number of the elected and every last single one of the “celebrities” created by reality tv.
As for the flu shot itself, I think much of the mania to get it is a fear-based marketing ploy by the pharm companies. Except for kids and pregnant women, it’s probably not worth your time or money. I got the seasonal flu shot a month ago, and now I’m suffering from something called brachial neuritis, which is a fancy way of saying I can’t move my left arm above my sternum or sleep on it, a condition which might clear up in another three months or so.



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Gus diZerega

posted November 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm


I think even a partial pruning is a mistake. Those things get out of hand and attract people who really like their pruning shears. They create martyrs. Just like the death penalty ingeneral, innocent people get caught up- and in the case of these parasites, hideous as their actions are, I don’t think they deserve expunging. Just being rendered powerless to do harm.
That said, jail for the worst would be great. Done through courts and juries. We’re not Republicans.
Robert – that was a good post by Taibbi. Thanks.



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Makarios

posted November 6, 2009 at 2:13 am


The truly mind-boggling thing about this is that the banksters’ snaffling of the vaccine was completely according to the existing rules. Think about that for a moment. These are the crooks and liars who brought the world to the brink of economic collapse, to the ruin and damage of thousands upon thousands, while taking gross and obscene profits for themselves—and the system still treats them as if they were Masters of the Universe and permits investment firms to compete with hospitals and medical clinics for scarce vaccine supplies.
And yet,. . .it’s not what they’ve done, and continue to do, to the masses that will eventually get them strung up from lamp posts. What will finally bring about their downfall, if anything will, is their grotesque and totally unconscious sense of entitlement. They really believe that they deserve to be treated differently from the little people, because they’re richer and more important and, gosh darn it, just simply better than everyone else. The ancient Greeks had a word for it: hubris. And they knew that, as surely as sunset is followed by darkness, hubris is followed by Nemesis.
Actually, rather than lynching them or jailing them, how about stripping them of all of their possessions except the clothes that they’re wearing, and condemning them to spend the rest of their lives sleeping in doorways on Skid Row? It would be no more than they’ve done to countless others, and it just might smack them into reality.



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Baruch Dreamstalker

posted November 6, 2009 at 11:31 am


Gus, I tracked the Huffington article back to its Business Week origin. Large employers that have set up internal health care systems are getting H1N1 shots to distributed to employees who are at-risk according to CDC guidelines.



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Gus diZerega

posted November 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm


I did too, Dreamstalker. Doesn’t change my position. These companies have a shortage of kids working for them, a shortage of pregnant women, and a shortage of health care workers. And they have no shortage of lying in the past.
Even if they are telling the truth – and I do not believe for a moment that they are – why should working for them give you special dispensation not to have to go to a hospital? Why should working for thugs like Goldman Sachs give you a free walk to the head of the line? Why should hospitals go without while these guys get the vaccine?
No – it is 100% corrupt morally. Their sense of entitlement is a slap in the face to any principles of justice or decency.



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Mama Kelly

posted November 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm


As I am still waiting for my own pediatrician office to have access to the H1N1 vaccine I find this particularly reprehensible. Forgive me, but I thought that along with the privileges of wealth came the responsibility to help those less fortunate.



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Cheryl Hill

posted November 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm


I agree with you Mama Kelly. And not all that long ago “Corporate Responsibility” was more than a buzzword. But a lot of people who have clawed their way to the top don’t see it that way anymore. Their only responsibility is to look out for themselves. They see it as natural selection that the cream rises to the top and the dregs sinks.



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Baruch Dreamstalker

posted November 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm


Gus, I make no excuses for the general maldistribution of vaccine. But if the people working for big companies are valid at-risk recipients I can’t blame their employers for making it available if they can.



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Gus diZerega

posted November 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm


I can’t blame them for seeking vaccine – I blame a system where they get it ahead of public health facilities or private outlets that are open to everyone. As it is, vaccines are scarce AND if you work for Goldman Sachs or some other parasite, so long as it is big enough you get a preferential place in line.
I got my regular (not H1N1) flu shot at Safeway. That’s a private outlet and that is no problem because it is open to the public in general. Safeway getting it only for their employees is a no-no UNLESS there is plenty to go around – then OK by me.
The definition of aristocracy by many of our founders – and with which I agree – was not so much that someone was Lord or Lady This’nthat, but that they received legal privileges denied other people simply because of their preferred status. By that definition, Goldman Sachs has a modern day group of aristocrats at the top, who are a running assault on the best principles underlying this nation.
And that’s assuming that they only give it to Goldman Sachs employees who qualify as at high risk. Given Goldman Sachs’ record of deceitful business practices costing its customers millions or billions, I cannot see any reason to believe a word they say. On anything, unless it can be independently proven.



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Baruch Dreamstalker

posted November 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm


I wouldn’t go to the Founders for a defintion of aristocracy because so many of them were slaveholders. The employees of Goldman Sachs didn’t get their shots (or snorts) because of legal privilege, but because of inept distribution and because H1N1 doesn’t reproduce in the vaccine lab as fast as anticipated. One CDC spokesperson joked that “you can’t make them grow faster by yelling at them.” We can’t remedy the problem by yelling at each other, either.



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Gus diZerega

posted November 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm


I’m not going to get into the slavery issue here – that’s a red herring. Not all were slaveholders and soon after the revolution a majority of states abolished slavery and some gave Blacks the right to vote. So that particular point does not seem relevant to me.
Much more relevant – the same rules should apply to all. You seem unwilling to acknowledge that tax supported privileges based on who you work for are unjust and undermines equality under the law. Hospitals and schools before banks seems to me a pretty reasonable position – given that the hospitals did not get all they asked for, is it too much to ask that everyone be in the same boat? If Goldman Sachs cares so much for their employees’ health, give them time off to go stand in line like everyone else.
Further, the goodies go to firms that over and over again have abused their power to win privileges paid for by the rest of us. Lots of decent people work there – some have been students of mine – but the top people are another story. We’d be better off as a country if Goldman Sachs had never existed.



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