Friday, August 17, 2007

Hatin' On Edwards

If we're going to hate on him at least be real about why. The fuss over his investment in Fortress is pure bullshit.

Some basic realities:

1. People with millions of dollars need places to keep those dollars, hedge funds are one of those places. You don't become wealthy or stay that way by storing your money in a passbook savings account or in your mattress.

2. No one who invests is 100% in the clear. There is absolutely no way to be certain that not only is every fund or company one is invested in is not involved in any illegal, unethical or simply offensive behavior, for certain it is impossible to know everything about everything they themselves are invested in. Trying to barbecue Edwards because a fund he invested in in turn invested in other companies at least one of which is foreclosing on homes in New Orleans...please, give me a break. It's highly unlikely Edwards had more than the barest awareness he even owned this fund, I'm sure he pays people to manage his investments unlike someone like me who has to do her own legwork.

3. Most of the people doing the most squealing about this would be delighted if they owned those shares and would not think twice about foreclosing on their own grandmother if it meant they'd pocket a nice profit.

4. Every single person running for president is a wealthy person compared to the majority of Americans, we don't vote for broke-ass m'fers. They didn't become wealthy by giving away free homes to the homeless, I don't care how much some of them try to pretend they're Cesar Chavez (yes, I said Cesar not Hugo because he's a phony m'fer too)

5. Nothing is all good or all bad. You might feel positively saintly by investing all of your money in something like Whole Foods but the truth is you'd be invested in a company that while it may be fabulous, sells groceries that the average American family can not afford to buy. Exxon may be run by greedy little trolls but without them you'd be walking to work in 100 degree heat, not driving or riding in an air conditioned bus. Investing is essentially nothing much more than making a buck off of the cupidity of others.

I'm far from being a John Edwards fan (talk to me about Elizabeth maybe) but attacking him for being another wealthy investor is just flat hypocritical. If we're going to do that then we have to toss out all of them and start over down at the trailer park. Never mind, that wouldn't work either because as soon as the guy from the trailer park got his foot in the door....he'd be the same as the ones we have in there now. Probably worse.


Anonymous said...

Very good. I appreciate the effort you put in to this.

Vigilante said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto.

Woozie said...

"we don't vote for broke-ass m'fers"

Even though I know a lot of broke-ass m'fers that have better ideas than a lot of, if not all, of these rich-ass m'fers.

A couple issues ago The Onion did a great piece about an Edwards campaign promise saying that they would eliminate all things bad by 2010. The campaign's new motto was "bad things are bad".

Not Your Mama said...

It would be easier if things were that cut & dried wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

"as soon as the guy from the trailer park got his foot in the door....he'd be the same as the ones we have in there now. Probably worse."
This is a an unfortunate blemish of prejudice and classism on an otherwise killer post. One reason middle America keeps we progressives at arms length is they see our propensity to look down on people who are different from us (i.e., people in trailer parks) while espousing a line of tolerance and understanding.

Woozie said...

I saw that as more of commenting on the inherent corruption of the American political system and less of people in trailer parks are retards. Even if thy are :)

Not Your Mama said...

I've lived in a damned trailer so I can say that ;). Once upon a time I slept under bridges. I laugh at the stereotype myself because I've been on both sides of the economic fence and the asshat in the gated community driving the BMW is no different than the guy in the trailer park once you scratch past the superficial.

Frankly it's true. At least half of so-called "progressives" DO look down on everyone else. How the hell do you think I got so goddamned mean? (yes, I am laughing not pissed in case you're wondering)

TomCat said...

Once upon a time, I used to be somewhat rich and did considerable investing in the market. As an investor, the things I looked at were P/L statements, Debt/Asset ratios and the like. Financial news sources did not concentrate on political considerations. One day, I heard a news story and recognized the company as one whose stock I owned. being a person of conscience, I carefully looked through the rest of my portfolio as well. I was horrified!

Mama has this issue dead to rights.