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December 03, 2007

Socialism in America

By: Bernard Chazelle

Slithering through the wetlands of freedom, the viperine snake of socialism has breached the firewall of civilization and distilled its poison upon the most innocent, vulnerable members of our society.

I am talking, of course, about investment bankers. While Main Street lives the indolent dolce vita of silky-soft capitalism, the harsh, bleak dystopia of socialism is the daily reality in the parched canyons of Wall Street. Its latest victims? Charles Prince and Stan O'Neal.

These sweatshop laborers used to toil away in the trenches, Chuck at Citigroup and Stan at Merrill Lynch. Through grit and hard work, our two unsung CEOs (which, unsurprisingly, rhymes with "unsung heroes") managed to reduce the combined worth of their companies by 20 billion dollars!

Now don't flatter yourself: are you so sure even you could lose that much money if given a chance? In socialist tyrannies, sadly, no good deed goes unpunished. And in lieu of a heartfelt thank-you from wiped out investors and laid off employees, Chuck and Stan had to take it on the chin: 360 million dollars in severance, right there on the chin!

Some farewell present, I hear you say. But how much is 360,000,000 dollars? "A lot" doesn't quite cut it. The socialist enemy is ruthless and you must be on top of your game to fight it, Comrade. So let me help.

A dollar bill is 6 1/8" long. If you made a roll of toilet paper out of 360 million dollar bills (and lots of scotch tape), you could start in Los Angeles and pull on that roll all the way to Wall Street and then back to LA, covering the road with toilet paper as you go. Then you could repeat this round-trip excursion 6 more times, and you would still be left with 31 million inches of dollar-bill toilet paper: enough to last you and your family until the year 2059 (assuming you stay away from Earthbound Farm pre-washed spinach).

And guess what? You'd still be left with $9.99 + tax: enough to purchase a copy of the "Wall Street Communist Manifesto," the one-page bible of investment banking. It's only one-page long and that page is only one-line long. It reads: "The key to success in banking is to privatize all the profits and socialize all the losses." Or, as rappers on the Street like to put it,

Socialism is for us bankers,
Capitalism is for you suckers.
So, Suck. On. This.

Written by Bernard Chazelle

Posted at December 3, 2007 09:03 PM

"A dollar bill is 6 inches long."
And how lonmg is a Euro?

In ze zerapy bizzness ziss is called "currency envy."

You Amerikans must overcome.

Now, are ve ready to talk, Bernard? Call Dr. Spielvogel. Very nice post, almost subversive.

Posted by: donescobar at December 3, 2007 09:25 PM

those poor people! they can have all my money to tide them through this crisis!

Posted by: almostinfamous at December 3, 2007 09:50 PM

>> how long is a Euro?

There's no euro bill. (Starts at 5.)
It's a coin. Can't shrink. Ever.

PS Someone asked why I was dissing the dollar bill: it's really 6 1/8" and not 6".
My apology. Error fixed.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 3, 2007 09:52 PM

almostinfamous: you're so kind. But I'm afraid they already have your money.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 3, 2007 09:55 PM

Isn't "viperine snake" sort of like "snaky snake"? It really does drive the point home.

Posted by: StO at December 4, 2007 03:21 AM

but the last time Mr. Prince was let go without adequate severance, Stalin killed 30 million people in the death camps!

Posted by: mathpants at December 4, 2007 06:48 AM

Apparently, Ted has never seen Dodgeball.

Posted by: David Grenier at December 4, 2007 10:34 AM

I saw part of Dodgeball on tv over the weekend. Now I want to see Blades of Glory.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at December 4, 2007 11:28 AM

And, naturally, I want to see IMPEACHMENT, the series.
1-202-225-0100 DEMAND IMPEACHMENT.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 4, 2007 12:23 PM
Apparently, Ted has never seen Dodgeball.

Hey. Not all of us are familiar with the complete works of Rip Torn. The fragile psyche is still recovering from his disturbing Mailer episode.

Posted by: Ted at December 4, 2007 01:39 PM

>> how long is a Euro?

There's no euro bill. (Starts at 5.)
It's a coin. Can't shrink. Ever.

Always hard, too.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at December 4, 2007 07:43 PM