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What if they held a class war and nobody noticed? For decades, liberals and progressives have been bashed for conducting a "class war" every time they suggest that it would be appropriate for the extremely wealthy to shoulder a bit more of the burden of paying for government. Meanwhile, a swarm of far-right think-tanks and political action committees have been working tirelessly to promote the idea that taxes on the wealthy should be lowered further from their historic lows, and that entitlement programs such as social security and medicare are too expensive to sustain (and in any case, immoral). The latest attempts to delegitimize public employee unions are the logical next step in what genuinely appears to be the systematic dismantlement of the middle class. This blog will highlight some of the more extreme examples of this activity that may not always show up in your news feeds.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Margin Call

I've watched the movie Margin Call a couple of times, and found it quite engrossing.  It's been suggested that the company to which all the principal characters belong is a fictionalized version of Lehman Bros, complete with a CEO whose surname is very similar to Dick Fuld, the guy who oversaw the collapse of Lehman.  However, it is left uncertain at the end of the film whether the firm will go under, or whether, in fact, they may have saved themselves with their ruthless divesting of toxic assets.

In any case, one of the scenes that has really stuck with me is a monologue by Stanley Tucci's character, risk analyst Eric Dale, in which he describes to a former colleague the consequences of a bridge that he built in an earlier career as an engineer.  I guess I found it affecting because it seems to so perfectly capture the contrast between practical, real-world accomplishments on the one hand, and the endless churning of commoditized products by the financial sector on the other hand.  And guess which one always makes you richer.

Anyway, here's the clip.  Enjoy!

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