Sunday, October 09, 2011

Good Wealth, Poor Wealth

While there are various ways to generate wealth, I contend that their overall value can be boiled down to something I'll call "good wealth" and "poor wealth". I know, I know 'just one more dichotomy that further illustrates the growing divide in an increasingly divisive America'. Let me see if I can back up this claim with the recent passing of an icon and a book that I am currently reading.

I will use Steve Jobs as the embodiment of "Good Wealth". Through his company, Apple, he was able to generate billions of dollars, hire thousands of people, create and reinvigorate entire industries, and essentially create a positive multiplier effect across the entire economy.

On the other hand, I will use Wall Street, specifically the world of Hedge Funds* as described in "More Money than God", to personify "Poor Wealth." These groups operate well out of the reach of the general public, generate/destroy incredible amounts of wealth, and have been known to help exacerbate the demise of entire economies- think the whole Thai Baht fiasco of 1997. 

One creates something tangible.  The other speculates on the work of others.  One creates jobs, intellectual property, and tangible products.   The other hires very few, generates no real value outside of the elite inner circle, and the only real tangible by product of its efforts are the creation of markets that are far riskier.

I'm sorry if I'm ranting.  I'm a capitalist and risk taker at heart.  I know that the Hedge Fund guys aren't as bad as the investment bankers.  Because at least the Hedge Fund guys usually risk their own money and they don't get bailed out like Goldman Sachs does.  But  their size and exclusivity plays a big role in creating a wider income disparity in our country and they make the overall markets far more volatile.

As I conclude I can't help but be reminded of all the "Occupy Wall-Street" protests that are springing up every where.  The "we are the 99%" message not only resonates but it really does capture what is taking place right now.  The income divide is huge and there is definitely a tangible anger towards the super rich.  But notice that these protests seem to make the same distinction that I am.  They aren't burning an effigy of Steve Jobs or other innovators.  They have turned their ire on the Wall Street fat cats.

* I selected the Hedge fund mainly because of the book I am currently reading.  I would likely cast the investment banks as the larger player in terms of "bad wealth".

Monday, October 03, 2011

Saving our Bluths

There was a collective feeling of jubilation this weekend amongst those who value good comedy.  It was 'sort of' announced that Arrested Development was going to come back for a brief 4th season that would be capped with a movie. Yes, fan's have been tormented for several years of similar news that always failed to materialize.  But this seems different and a little more formal.

 So in preparation for the release I thought I'd dust off my DVD collection, waste a few days to get reacquainted with the family, and come up with a few questions that I'd like to see answered.  Feel free to share a few of your own.

  • I'd like to see more of Franklin Delano Bluth.  Gob is always looking for a suitable assistant as he continues his quest to get within the Magicians Alliance; why not give that role to Franklin?
  • I was a fan of the friendly rivalry between the Bluth's and the Sitwell's.  I'd like to see the family battle out Sitwell Housing for control of the Bluth Company.
  • Is Buster still a viable candidate with Lucille for Mother Boy XXXV?  I'd like to find out.
  • It's time for another "Bluth Boy Adventure". I'm game for anything that gets Michael and George Michael on the screen together.
  • I'd love to see Tobias come out....straight.
  • Steve Holt.  Has he graduated yet or is he continuing to cement his legacy at the Corona Del Mar high school?
  • Will Uncle Jack be around to bail out the next Bluth crisis?
  • Will Michael ever manage to settle into a normal relationship?
  • Has Barry Zuckerkorn been disbarred yet?
  • Does Lucille have to decide between George Sr. and Uncle Oscar?

The list could go on and on.  My mind is racing with possibilities.  

Here is what MTV would like to see.

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