To: Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citigroup, Bear Stearns, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company
CC: Business majors, Bernard Madoff
Subject: My (your) money
Only 20 minutes ago I mailed in my state and federal income tax documents. Unfortunately, I didn’t make enough money this past year to get taxed by the feds, but the State of Oregon is charging me $128, and that check (forgive my handwriting) is in the mail as we speak. I would imagine that, as all I’m paying are state taxes, my money will probably go to state education budgets, road repair, police salaries, etc. Of course, I was once under the impression that all tax money went to programs that benefited the taxpayers, so I guess I’m not really an expert. Plus, you guys seem to be pros at getting money that isn’t yours, so I’m sure you’ll find a way to finagle my $128 out of the state’s hands. Also, please do enjoy the substantial payment from my parents.
How about that government red tape, though, huh? Filling out all the returns and vouchers, checking boxes, adding stuff up, making out the check to the Oregon Department of Revenue instead of the Wall Street Collection Plate… It’s just a shame what you guys have to go through to get our money. That is, more of our money. The money that you didn’t set on fire while freebasing cocaine off of Lindsey Lohan’s tits.*
*I don’t know that for a fact, but Lindsey Lohan has been out of the public eye for awhile, so maybe you guys had her hired as a Cocaine Tits Consultant or something.
Now, please, don’t feel bad. This, of course, is a pointless statement, seeing as you have demonstrated that you have no sense of shame, but I’m only telling you not to feel bad so that I can explain why, if you did have the capacity to feel, you wouldn’t have to feel bad. While you did lie to just about everybody under the sun about how much money you were making and went to the racetrack with what little money was actually there, you weren’t committing a crime – you were living the American Dream. While simultaneously committing multiple crimes.
Everywhere in America – from Wall Street to whatever the most heavily trafficked commercial thoroughfare is in most small towns – people have been trying for decades to get something for nothing, quick results for no work, at great risk if necessary (anything to avoid that work). The diet pill industry is booming, and if you’ve looked at the Internet recently you’ll notice that there’s a few thousand ways to loose weight fast without working out or changing your diet. If you’ve been keeping up on my blog, you’ll remember that students today expect top grades for mediocre work. And then, of course, American television viewers are fully unwilling to watch any show that doesn’t yield quick and constant laughs, contributing to the demise of Arrested Development, Home Movies, and most recently King of the Hill.
But nobody in this country has been able to achieve their dreams as well as you. You guys lived without remorse, boldly making shady deals and inflating your own worth in order to maximize your gains, all while steadfastly avoiding any consideration of the long-term ramifications of your actions. God bless you fine gentlemen – and I’m sure a fair number of you are upstanding men of religion who have found a suitable workaround for Commandments 7, 8, and 10, as well as Deadly Sins 1, 4, and 5.
This is just one big lesson in being careful what you wish for. A significant number of Americans wanted quick laughs with minimal intelligence, and as a result we’ve all been subjected to the continued success of Dane Cook and Family Guy. Likewise, a whole lot of Americans wanted to give their money to somebody and have that somebody give them a lot more money right away, and thus nobody questioned your financial success because it was all so good. On a side note, poor taste and greed aligned late last year, when Dane Cook’s half brother and manager was arrested for embezzling $1 million from Cook over the course of 18 months.
So keep in mind, it’s not your fault – it’s our fault. We, America, dreamed big and created a climate where you guys could succeed: that’ll teach us to dream big. Of course, some people allege that as you guys have a significant amount of education and experience in the financial industry, perhaps you ought to have been setting a slightly better example for the rest of the country. But that’s a crock – it would be unfair to ask anything more of you guys after you spend all day cooking books for us.
I have to be honest – we all know my math skills aren’t up to par, and I can’t guarantee you that I didn’t fuck up somewhere on my tax forms. It’s fully possible that I owe you guys some more money (but of course, we all do) and, through my own financial mismanagement, neglected to give it to you. If this is the case, please accept my dearest apologies for depriving you of my money. Rest assured that if I’ve committed some sort of financial impropriety, the government will come down on me pretty hard and I’ll get my just rewards – until then, you guys keep on enjoying all the other peoples’ money you’re getting.
Truman Capps says, “Thou shalt not Ponzi.”