At the bar last night were some of the regulars. My friend Phil just got back from a trip to the Caribbean paid for by his wealthy older brother.
“The harbor was packed with yachts. I mean hundreds of them, ” he said shaking his head. “Some of them are only there for a couple weeks a year. What it costs to run one for a week is more than my salary for a year. Why don’t they just rent one?”
“They don’t know what else to do with the money, ” I sighed, “They Hoover it up from the rest of us. Or as Taibbi says, they stick their blood funnel into everything that smells of money” and then they stuff it into these floating mattresses among other things.”
And surprise, surprise, this morning on “Up” with Chris Hayes, Hayes asked Paul Krugman the same question concerning the hoarding of profits by the 1%. Profits are way up for the few and companies like Apple have gobs of cash. You could blame it on no demand, he mused. But then he added:
“They seem to be sitting on it.”
“But why?” said Hayes.
“I don’t know why, ” replied Krugman.
I shouted at the TV, “I know! I know!”
Krugman continued, ” Maybe they are making so much money, they don’t know what to do with it.”
Bingo! Exactly what I said last night. I also said last night that if they just couldn’t spend it all, then how about they give it to the rest of us.
My friend Marlee said, “You don’t really mean just give people cash do you?”
“Well, no, not exactly although I’m not adverse to the idea. But we could put it in the kitty and use it to repair things maybe. And build affordable homes. Things like that, ” I declared.
Well, when I woke up this morning I had another idea. What if the rich with all those yachts could only dock their big boats where the population was happy. If the residents of these places had enough to eat and a warm and safe shelter, then the yachtkateers could come ashore. Otherwise they should just roam the seas together and, occasionally when they came across some deserted crap pile of land with no people, they could walk on the earth for a bit. No happiness for us, no harbor for you.
Krugman called this predicament we find our selves in “a global savings glut”. I call it hoarding. On TV hoarding shows they highlight dysfunctional sad sacks with droopy drawers sitting in their flip flops amidst piles of Reader’s Digest, Guns and Ammo and other crap. Well, there’s little difference, as far as I can tell, between those poor souls and the looters on their yachts. The rich are surrounded by piles of Forbes, Wall Street Journals, and Town and Country with caviar and creme fraiche dripping down their chins instead of Cheetos crumbs, that’s all. Come to think of it, at least the poor flip flop wearers probably bought all the junk around them. The rich jerks stole all their junk. So I say again, there should be no safe harbor for these hoarders.
Note: Transcript not up yet at 3PM MT. Should be up soon.