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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:33 PM

Is OWS making billionaires paranoid?

Are they making them paranoid enough? There's an interesting posting in NYmag: The Other Barbarians at the Gate with an interview with real-estate mogul Jeff Greene. Greene seems to think his billionaire neighbors should be paranoid:

It’s strange to imagine someone like Greene, who counts Mike Tyson as a close friend, and who has a streak that caused the L.A. party girls to refer to him as “Mean Jeff Greene,” feeling vulnerable. It’s hard to think of any superrich person as vulnerable, just as it’s hard to think that a bear with outstretched claws and giant teeth is more afraid than you are. But over the past few months, it’s become clear that rich people are very, very afraid. Sometimes it feels like this was the main accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street: a whole lot of tightened sphincters. It’s not a stretch to say many residents of Park Avenue harbor vivid fears of a populist revolt like the one seen in The Dark Knight Rises, in which they cower miserably under their sideboards while ragged hordes plunder the silver.

“This is my fear, and it’s a real, legitimate fear,” Greene says, revving up the engine. “You have this huge, huge class of people who are impoverished. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we will build a class of poor people that will take over this country, and the country will not look like what it does today. It will be a different economy, rights, all that stuff will be different.”

More often than not, fears like these manifest as loathing for the current administration, as evidenced by the recent wave of Romney fund-raisers in the Hamptons. “Obama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals,” one matron blurted at a recent party at the Pierre for Dick Morris’s Screwed!, the latest entry into a growing pile of socioeconomic snuff porn geared toward this audience.

I love that line about "socioeconomic snuff porn!"

Greene, a registered Democrat, isn’t buying this school of thought. “It is kind of a problem in America that so many Americans believe if they elect a different president, everything is going to be fine. This whole idea of American exceptionalism, that we’re the greatest, when people don’t have health insurance, don’t have housing,” he says, swinging past the guesthouse, which has 360-degree views of the bay, and the staff house, which does not. “There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,” he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,” he says. “At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a ­Hollande. A Chávez.”

This reminds me of an excerpt from an old history text on the young nation of America's response to the French Revolution: The author spoke of aristocrats in the US "fingering their white throats" while reading news from France. Yeah, I went to college a long time ago, and they were allowed to print things like this.

Read the rest of the article at: http://nymag.com/news/business/themoney/jeff-greene-2012-8/

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:43 PM

1. I think he is very smart. The rise of OWS so quickly not just in this country but everywhere the

policies of 'Greed is Good' have devastated countries, should scare those who can't stop grabbing all they can grab and who have shown zero concerns for the rest of the people. The corruption, while their puppets in government may be willing to ignore, has not been ignored by the people.

It will be a ­Hollande. A Chávez.”

I can see why the ultra wealthy would fear leaders like Hollande, who has already raised taxes on the wealthy, and Chavez, who like Hollande, came to power in Venezuela after the country was ravaged by the Global Capitalists. Back then who would have thought their next targets would be First World Countries? In Ven the top 20% owned everything. Chavez instituted policies to correct that imbalance, which is why they hate him.

Hollande in France is a sign that Europe is now in the position of having to do the same thing, correct the imbalance created by the corruption and greed turning those countries in replicas of Latin American nations who suffered under the same policies.

I hope his wealthy friends listen and start 'sharing' a little before what he fears actually happens.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:55 PM

2. “Obama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals”


"Animals" are created by the destruction of livelihoods and dignity.

Why should people support the body civic when it doesn't support them, when it tells them they are expendable, useless, unworthy?

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:37 PM

3. OWS is still around? who knew nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:05 PM

5. Apparently the people who need to know they exist. Didn't read the article, did you?

Not only do they exist, they will, as this very astute, member of the 1% realizes, they will only grow unless something is done to lessen the income gap. He appears to be trying to talk some sense into his fellow 1%ers, but isn't having much luck.

But watching the rise of OWS he actually listened to them. And he's not the only one in his position who is paying attention.

“Do you see this?” Greene asked the audience, pointing to a slide that showed the widening income gap. The crowd, whose members had paid the $6,000 entry fee to get investing tips, not guilt trips, made restless noises. Then there was a smattering of impressed applause, followed by uneasy laughter. Greene blinked, surprised. “People look at Occupy Wall Street as, This is just a little kind of a disorganized joke,” he said, raising his voice. “If we take another 10 percent of middle-class America’s income, who knows what kind of other social unrest could happen in this country and the changes that could happen to our way of life?”

He's talking about the people who try to dismiss OWS. He is not that foolish. He is also not entirely altruistic, but he is smart and he has apparently not only heard OWS' message, he agrees with it.

And he is afraid. Smart people often see the signs before others. Since he shows signs of being capable of understanding the problems, and because he has that clarity of thinking, he is concerned about the dismissive attitude of others to the reasons FOR OWS.

Kudos to him for not pretending that OWS doesn't exist and the reasons why it exists, and what is likely to increase its growth. I hope he succeeds in his efforts to enlighten the deniers he has tried to talk to, before it's too late.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:52 PM

4. The day is coming, asshats, and it's coming to you....


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Response to Robb (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:13 PM

7. Dude, that is a cap from "Frankenstein."


It's not a real mob. Metaphor escapes you.

And I suggest you read this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1240129326

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Response to Robb (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:23 PM

9. Already done, in the post I linked and which you apparently


didn't read.

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