The Billionaires’ Pity Party: Richest People in History Can’t Stop Whining About How Oppressed They Are
America’s billionaires are up in arms! Sure, they’ve made out like bandits, while tens of millions of Americans are still suffering - out of work, in bankruptcy, or owing more on their mortgages than their houses are worth. Along with the rest of the 1 per cent, they’ve captured 93 per cent of income gains in the US in the first year of lopsided economic recovery. But that’s not the point! The point is: They’re the most oppressed people in the history of the world! What’s happening to them in America today is reminiscent of Nazi Germany under Hitler!
Believe it or not, that’s the message coming from a veritable parade of self-portrayed victims at the pinnacle of the 1 per cent of the 1 per cent, who are very angry at President Obama supposedly saying mean things about them. These men are so spectacularly wealthy that it’s literally impossible to understand them in the context of other people’s economic lives, to make sense of what they’re saying. They’re like elephants in the midst of a leper colony, complaining about a gnat bite in a dream they just remembered.
They’ve also been treated so well by Obama that it’s likewise impossible to grasp. He could have gone after them immediately after taking office, breaking up the big banks and pursuing criminal charges against those responsible for destroying the economy based on multiple interlocking forms of fraud. Obama did none of that. There’s simply no understanding their hatred of him in purely objective terms.
But their self-pitying portrayal as victims is another thing altogether. It’s not just commonplace, it’s virtually mandatory among the ranks of American conservatives today - particularly when there’s little or no basis in fact. Indeed, it’s sometimes even quantifiable, as explained in a column occasioned by Herman Cain’s slow, self-pitying exit from the presidential race.