Last year as the protests were just starting, there was an open letter from “Wall Street” making the rounds about the populist movement taking a stand against the banking industry. If you haven’t read it, you should — it was hilariously disgusting (via Reformed Broker). The gist was, go ahead and clamp down on Wall Street, we’ll take your jobs and eat your lunch, you peons.
So, as the job cutting continues on Wall Street with another 1600 people being laid off by Morgan Stanley I thought I’d dig up Main Street’s long overdue rebuttal. Here goes:
We are Main Street. Welcome to unemployment. It’s been our job (if we’re lucky) to take care of all of the stuff you think should just work. Whether it’s your lawn, your kids, your car, your fancy meal, or some undisclosed stain on your Armani suit, it doesn’t matter. We will do pretty much anything you need for twenty bucks, if you ask us nicely. I didn’t hear Wall Street complaining when no on asked questions about how they made their billions. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas. But of course, now the tables are turned. And now that you’re out of work may I suggest to you, today might be a good time to look up your nearest meeting location.
Go ahead and continue to want to do nothing for us peons, take away the entitlements we pay for — but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. Because what’s going to happen when you can’t find jobs on Wall Street anymore? You think you’ll start yet another hedge fund that you can shill to your rich friends and aunts & uncles? At some point don’t you think everyone has grown wise to your games?
We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later, and then we go to our second job. We’re the ones your nanny brings little Jonny to with his sprained ankle, while you’re pretending golf is important work. You think trading markets is hard, try taking care of your mom’s diaper and dementia for $150 dollars a day. The irony of course is, they’ll probably leave you more money than you’ll deserve and then you’ll blow it on another beach house filled with $15000 umbrella stands like that Enron guy. You know, all the stuff we’ll still have to clean or fix for you.
We don’t eat at Maestro’s or The Sidecar. We eat at McDonald’s. And have you seen the stock lately? One of the best performers this year. We don’t need an MBA to know what works. We don’t get laid off with golden parachutes, never have. You think our jobs are so easy, try teaching your self-entitled kids about how the world really works. Try hanging out with them for more than an hour a day, let alone eight. And try dealing with parents like you, who don’t actually do anything to contribute except excrete money you take from other people.
We’re staring at woefully underfunded pensions because of all of the great advice you, Wall Street, gave our employers. We eat hand-to-mouth, on plates from Target. You don’t know what tough is. You have no idea. Come down to my corner in your suit and tie. Stand at a grill for an 8 hour shift with your cufflinks and Ferragamos.
For years investment bankers and traders have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that you are capable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? You can take your cushy jobs & partner status and stick it. You think all your pool boy does is take care of your bored wife? You try inhaling chlorine gas all day in 105 degree heat. And this winter when your heat goes out, try burning some of your money to stay warm because our rates just went up. We’ll still be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much. Why? Because no one could stand to be around you for more than 5 minutes while real work is being done.
Welcome to the Jungle, assholes. We’re making $45k a year without upside. Year-end bonus? Yeh, it’s a gift card to Olive Garden and a pat on the back. So go ahead Mr. Banker, have your revenge, right? I dare you to try to take my job. I double dare you to try to do my job for more than a week. I wish the next reality show was bankers as assistants & landscapers, packing boxes at Amazon, or painting and building houses. I want to see you set the clock on your DVD player, let alone put in a new outlet. I want to see you shovel snow, go ahead, do just your block — without whining about your split cuticles and aching back. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day, and the next… And then figure out what to do when the snow stops.
So, go ahead and preach about how much you do for us, Mr. Job Creator — Mr. 1%. Lecture me about how smart you are. But tell me this, how much further down the ladder do you think we’ll slide before this shit gets real, real nasty? And let me tell you, Mr. Top of the Pyramid, when even the most docile dogs get too hungry, they attack — and you’re the fattest ones in the herd.
You’re dinosaurs. Headed for the trash heap. In 10 years the robots will have replaced most of you too. You don’t add value, you move money. We move everything else. We build things. You? You build spreadsheets. And how many spreadsheets do we need saying the same thing, that the whole system is awash in empty promises? How many traders do we need to keep underperforming the market when these new fangled index funds are the future? So, go ahead — take your severance package and start your gourmet cupcake business, because nothing is more vicious than the truth. We are going to survive because we can take care of ourselves. The question is, can you?
I’m back — I’m not celebrating anyone losing a job — it sucks, but truly this is the time we need to get real about things. The 1% are lucky — like 1% lucky — either through birthright, or connections, help or hard work, or simply just great timing, they are all still lucky. I am lucky. And the working class is more than happy to help and be the best janitors, cooks, flight attendants, and teachers they can be, but it’s time for some respect and dignity to trickle down in this country. It’s time for the 1% to act like a caring older brother instead of a punk bully punching us in the arm every chance they get. That’s what Wall Street and Politicians, and Union Leaders, and all the powers that be among the 1% are missing.
So To Everyone, No Matter Your Lot In Life, Good Night & Good Luck.