Ron Rosenbaum

Obama Nails It: The Prima Facie Immorality of Great Wealth

It’s his “malefactors of great wealth speech,” it’s what presidential moral leadership is and should be. It’s Obama denouncing as “shameful” the greedhead mentality that has broken the lives of people who believed in the work ethic and the American dream so the plutocrats could wallow in obscene wealth.(Let’s hear it for old-fashioned populist contempt. And yes the plutocrats have fed off the largesse of both parties.)

No we shouldn’t socialize or nationalize, but when your shamelessness brings misery to others — and your behavior provides the main argument against capitalism — it’s great to have a president who will speak for all of us and call you out with the contempt you so richly — so to speak — deserve:

“President Barack Obama issued a withering critique Thursday of Wall Street corporate behavior, calling it ‘the height of irresponsibility’ for Wall Street employees to be paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year while their financial sector was crumbling.

“‘It is shameful,’ Obama said from the Oval Office. ‘And part of what we’re going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility.'”

Go ahead and wallow, Wall Street creeps, that’s capitalism and I’m with Churchill in saying “it’s the worst system in the world–except for all the others.” There’s no law against it and I’m not advocating confiscatory socialism. But don’t expect us to applaud your billion dollar bonuses and your swinelike consumption when people all over the world — a billion live on less than a dollar a day — are starving and dying. And close to home people are losing their jobs, homes, and health insurance while you manipulate the financial system for your selfish enrichment and its ultimate self-destruction. No, there’s no law against it, but there is moral contempt. No we shouldn’t socialize or nationalize, but when your shamelessness brings misery to others and you display no evident self awareness of your destructive behavior, it’s great to have a president who will speak for all of us and call you out with the contempt you so richly — so to speak — deserve.