Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE 1%? You always know what's coming when Megan McArdle starts like this:
After a disappointing year, the big banks are pulling back on their bonus pools. A lot. This is going to be hard on bankers whose salaries are usually a very small part of their overall compensation--and yes, yes, before you drag out the world's smallest violin, let me agree that they have no entitlement to anything more. Nonetheless...
I'll boil it down to you: Bankers make all the money and money pays for things and boy you creepy little New York "creatives" are going to be sorry when they all Go Galt. (Why they should Go Galt, she doesn't say -- presumably the seething contempt of the masses will hurt their feelings so bad that they have to run away to Bumfuck, Arkansas and start a new Stock Exchange. Or go overseas and find a country that wants its economy destroyed by bogus financial instruments.)
So it's interesting to contemplate what it will look like, if the financial industry gets shrunk down to the size that many are hoping. The last time that happened, in the 1930s-1960s, New York had a lot of other businesses: shipping, manufacturing, and for that matter, being the corporate headquarters for so many national businesses. That's pretty much ended. New York is now a specialist city: creative industries, finance, and tourism.
It's sort of a Rorschach thing, really: I read it and think, yeah, wouldn't it be nice to have policies that would give cities back a manufacturing base through which poor people could make a living? Whereas she writes it and thinks, stinky bohemians don't know their place.

I will add that I never saw a family come into New York from the hinterlands and pony up food, lodging, and ticket money to watch a financial analyst fart through silk.

UPDATE. Tbogg shorters appropriately.

I suppose I should also link to a couple of my own past considerations of the New York revival topic. Everyone should have a part to play in the sustenance of the city, but whereas the working class once served as its backbone, those citizens have since been reduced to retainers for the rich, with their servants' quarters moved to the farther reaches of the boroughs.  McArdle can't engage this reality, so she goes with the brokers-versus-bohemians puppet show; her fans will cheer for Team Pinstripe to beat up the hippies, and everyone can forget about the enormous remainder of the population, which struggles more every day to get by and could actually help if these idiots would first acknowledge their existence, their need, and their power.

Comments are also choice. Jennifer: "You'll know things are really bad when the Thermomixes start showing up in the pawn shops." Fats Durston: "Wow. New Yo'k, just like I pitchered it. Stockbrokers 'n' ever'thang." Etc.

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