Success Rewards Itself

I was watching “Face the Nation” last Sunday. Host Margaret Brennan was interviewing Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to #PresidentShithead, about the sketchy, chaotic, campaign-promised Trade War #PS started. Toward the end of that chat, in the context of discussing who such policies benefit (the donor class or the working class), they had this exchange.

KUDLOW: I happen to like successful people. I’m perfectly happy to use the JFK-Ronald Reagan idea that a rising tide lifts all boats-

BRENNAN: [Wryly] You’re still a trickle down guy.

KUDLOW: I don’t- it’s not trickle down, Margaret. It’s incentives. It’s don’t punish success, reward success.

Reward success”? This unpleasantly rattled in my brain for a moment and then my mouth involuntarily quipped to the unhearing flat screen (it wasn’t a Samsung), “Success rewards itself!”

Is it really for me to believe that I am supposed to feel sorry for “successful” people or corporations because they are under threat of being “punish”ed? That they need “incentives” and “rewards”?… That’s pretty out there, man. That’s a head scratcher, and a pretty one-dimensional way of looking at the situation.

So far as I can see, the “successful” seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. Even to the point where when they bankrupted our financial system with massive, institutionalized fraud, as they did in the 2008, setting off the Great Recession, our government, in response, threw them as much new money as they could print and cut their interest rates.

Hey! I smell something fishy…

One man’s success is another man’s misfortune

I’m turning an old idiom around here to make a point about the “successful” people who currently hold the reins of our governmental, financial, energy and information systems. How was their “success” earned? Go research their backgrounds. You will find many stories. Some of these stories might just follow a common narrative. One that shows that many of the most “successful” people and corporations, in our open and free market, built their success on crushing and destroying other people’s “successful” ventures. It’s called competition. It’s not a bad thing, per se. But let’s not pretend that they deserve any “reward”s for their ability to dominate a market or consolidate capital. The result is the reward…sorry, no extra bonus rewards for you (boo hoo).

Often in pursuit of this lofty goal of achieving “success” ethical lines are crossed, laws are broken and innocent people are financially crushed (think about 2008, or all the small businesses that lost to Big Box stores, or the cost of prescription drugs, or this corrupt Trump administration). Let’s not pretend, in an era of relatively unchecked corporate and financial consolidation (i.e., trusts and monopolies), purchased from our compromised government by neu-robber barons, that there is a totally fair and balanced playing field out there to be enjoyed by all.

Common man, are you out there? Hello…?

I go back to this statement “don’t punish success, reward success.”, and I’m thinking the common man, let’s say someone like me, someone who didn’t have a father hand him millions of dollars (mind you, I’m talking 70s and 80s dollars) to get started in the New York real estate market (read, #PS), might look at this communication coming from a representative of our government’s chief executive, and think, maybe, just maybe, “Hey! This particular leadership group isn’t looking out for my interests after all.” Then again maybe the common man doesn’t see it. Maybe they’re thinking about abortion, gay marriage and school prayer…fuck.

Either way, we common men might want to look at these leaders who self-identify as the “successful” and try to get real as to how their “success” is often cultivated. We may need to accept that these “successful” people are often, in fact, not so much “successful” people, as they are “grabbers”.

The Grabbers

So what are “grabbers”? Pretty simple, grabbers grab. Throughout history, grabbers have always grabbed, and they always will. They may be benevolent grabbers, they may be sociopathological grabbers, they may even be malevolent grabbers. Whatever they are, they will grab whatever they can without incentive, trust me. And they are part of the fabric of the human equation. And they will always be surrounded by complicit drones who are more-than-happy to feed off whatever morsels the grabber trickles down. And that is life, and I’m willing to accept reality. And I’ll be clear, I’m not advocating grabber eradication…I’m more focused on grabber education and grabber control.

We, the non-grabbers, just need a strong, judicious, non-grabber-based representative government who will gently extract the needed resource percentage back from the grabbers to inject it back into publicly accessible and fairly distributed revenue streams. Ya know, infrastructure programs, education, medical-right-thru-to-end-of-life care, poverty relief (yada yada yada). This way we won’t all have to tune-in to the grabber mentality to achieve their narrow construct of “success” to survive. Because, if I’m reading things right, too many grabbers is not a great thing…on the whole. [Insert off-color grabber/whole joke here]… Just sayin’.