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May 2010

Serving Professional to Make Wealth Bondage Perpetual

Candidia Cruikshanks, CEO of Wealth Bondage and Proud Sponsor of Gifthub, and an inspiration to many, including me, has charged me as her most loyal minion to find a Trusted Advisor Serving Professional who can deal with what is for her a pressing issue. She would like Wealth Bondage to operate in the event of her untimely demise as a perpetual, hereditary monarchy, tyranny, empire, aristocracy of excellence, or family owned monopoly for at least 100 years. The problem is that she has no legitimate, living issue of her loins, and her tubes were tied on order of the court after an unfortunate incident when she was 11. She tried cloning, but the product of that is not working out too well. She has a horror of going from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations, associating those with her mother who was a seamstress in a sweatshop owned by. Well, never mind who owned it, it was some kind of family business, still going strong, actually, but now a wholly owned subsidiary of Wealth Bondage. So here is the deal: If you can figure you how to make Wealth Bondage Perpetual, Mistress Candidia will adopt you as her own Son or Daughter, making you and your heirs Masters or Mistress of Wealth Bondage for Life with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereunto, Now, to win this Prize of a Lifetime, you must submit a plan on how you would use her Six Dimensions of Capital to sow confusion among her enemies, subvert democracy, take over the media, brainwash the public, wreck the market, and destroy the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Well, actually, given the progress we have made in all but the last, a workable 12 month action plan to destroy the Pacific would be a good start. But do at least touch on how you would make perpetual her current gains in the other areas as well. In her own words:

I suffer so, Children. Truly, I do. What if Wealth Bondage were to end with me? What would my little slaves do then? How would they know what to do without me or my heirs providing them with the appropriate guidance adapted to their dim understandings and stations in life? Without org charts, incentive pay, advertising, monitoring and measuring, and fear of terror, what would these little morons do? How would they feel free if not bound? It is not for me that I want to found Wealth Bondage as a Family Owned Dynasty. It is for the little people in their pathetic shirtsleeves who do so need strong leadership, Honey. So, please, kneel, supplicate, and submit your plans to me for my amusement. Some will go to the next level, the rest of you losers will be voted off my island, cut into what we call chum and fed to my pet shark. That is how life is. I say so. And it is my world. Get used to it, Honey, for the next 1,000 lovely years. We Noble Cruikshanks will live and rule forever!!!


Comment Policy

Commenters may leave comments under a pen name, but please leave a valid email address, so the editor can contact you. Also be please be aware that comments may be deleted by the editor if, in his sole opinion, the comment exceeds the boundaries of tact, good humor, and courtesy.



Staying Positive as Things Come Asunder

Are illegal drugs a cost effective alternative to mood medicines legally prescribed in accordance with the master social contract? I don't know. My own recent treatments were totally free. Neither legal nor illegal, but outside and above the law. That is the future as I see it. Nationalized healthcare, in a sense. A sub rosa intervention on a national scale to address a mental health state of emergency. But who knows, I may just need a vacation.

The Epicurean Dealmaker

After reading a revelatory, insider, post about leading investment bankers as psychopaths, I clicked on the blogger's About Me page:

ABOUT ME
THE EPICUREAN DEALMAKER — New York, New York, USA

I facilitate, justify, and advise parties to M&A transactions, when I am not advising against them. I have been doing this for almost two decades, mostly at a couple of big banks everyone has heard of and lately at an independent advisory boutique. I am one of the bad guys, if you like.

I remain anonymous because I enjoy my job, my apartment, and my family, and I would prefer not to give any or all of them up because I have insulted or ridiculed some vengeful member of the Great and Good. This is good for you, Dear Reader, because it means I will continue to insult and ridicule said G&G, which we all acknowledge to be a more amusing pastime than reading The Wall Street Journal stock tables. You are welcome.

Should you see me on the street, however, you will be able to recognize me easily. I am the distinguished looking, well dressed 6'5" gentleman with chiseled abs and gleaming teeth the size of dinner plates. Sorry, ladies: I am not available.

View my complete profile on Blogger.com, if you must. You will find nothing there I have not already told you here.

I remain anonymous because I enjoy my job, my apartment, and my family, and I would prefer not to give any or all of them up because I have insulted or ridiculed some vengeful member of the Great and Good. In Wealth Bondage some wear blindfolds, some are gagged, some bound and gagged. All the mirrors are one way. Those who cry out are beaten again. The place is run by psychopaths who in the name of making you sane will drive you mad. But it pays well. And we are addicted to it. We would not be cured at any price. Wealth Bondage does not exist. It was just a figment of my imagination. I see that now. Be glad you are not crazy. Let's keep everything normal on an official basis.

I Am Glad to be Back

Tranquility

I am feeling much better. Please disregard my recent post, written when I was so sick. I appreciate all of you who have sent get well cards to me in the asylum. (Such an odd word, asylum for a padded cell, forced feeding, shock therapy, and a straight-jacket with adult diaper. Asylum from what?) I did not have to undergo the lobotomy, after all. I have been pronounced well enough to go home and resume my normal duties. I can't even remember what I was upset about, something to do with the collapse of the Atlantic ocean, the biosphere generally, the death of a mentor, the restructuring of democracy into a corporate enterprise, the sovereign debt crisis, drones killing people at long distance, the loss of civil rights in a time of terror, and other crazy stuff like that. Now, I see it was all a bunch of nothing. It is all normal. Life is good. I am ready to accept delegation again and do as told by those set above me. Thank you all for bearing with me. Hope you have been well, or that your own meds work as advertised. Trust the process. I didn't use to, but I do now. Wealth Bondage does not exist, I can well attest to that, I have been there and I am never going back. Now, let's talk about philanthropy: What would you like to change or preserve in the world?

What is Wealth Bondage? Frequently Asked Questions

This post and the setup of which it is a part, including but not limited to Wealth Bondage, and Dr. Chadwallah, is dedicated to my own Tutor, Martin Price, in the hopes he would have laughed, despite himself. Your service was today. I missed it but wrote this as my homage. I mention you, as a leading Scholar who trained me so well, so people will know that this is a serious work of Augustan Scholarship, not some Tale of Tub. We had our times with critical theory, to be sure. I hope you find here a suitably well considered riposte, a little late for us both, hunh?  From Success to Significance followed by the old heave ho. May you rest in peace and may the spirit of your work never die. Serio ludere. - pbc.

Dr-Chadwallah-mt 

The notes below are provided for the benefit of the reader by Dr. Amrit Chadwallah, Adjunct in Charge of Hidden Meaning in Wealth Bondage, with special attention to Gifthub. He is responding at the request of Top Management to many readers who have asked for a clarification of the Relations Between the Parties involved. The answers as laid out in this Internet Communication are intended to accurately represent the views of Dr. Chadwallah at the time they were written. They may not represent his current opinions, nor those The Current Author Function or his Employer, Gift Hub, a division of Wealth Bondage dedicated to serving ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) with wealth planning, philanthropic planning, family values counseling, money laundering, reputation management services, religious instruction, values clarification, and dynastic political leadership training. For those seeking univocal answers to life's larger questions, Wealth Bondage always recommends that you consult your Employee Administration Professional assigned to your division. If you need to see a Priest, Swami, Rabbi, Zen Monk, or Values Free Values Consultant, a Mentor for your child, a Serving Professional with special knowledge of the Buddha, or a Trusted Advisor specializing in Rapport Building through Neurolinguistic Programming, or a Life Coach, one will be provided at market rates, from a list of Preferred Providers, maintained in Personnel. For further Caveats and Disclaimers, read our Legal Notice. Your presence on Gifthub constitutes your agreement with The Terms and Conditions of The Wealth Bondage Master Contract. Check here if you would like to litigate. __ YES! Please Sue me, now.  _ NO! Please sue me later!

Q. What is What is Wealth Bondage?

A.  Ah, the eternal question! Wealth Bondage is a work of art in the Augustan Tradition, harking back to Menippean Satire and Rabelaisian Carnival as discussed by Bakhtin, writing under Stalin. Wealth Bondage is a series of parables, as discussed by St. Mark, writing under Caesar.  Wealth Bondage is a "play without footlights," a performance in which the audience is among the cast. WB is a Text riven by aporia (undecidable elements) whose meaning is endlessly differed, displaced and deferred. Wealth Bondage is a trace, a spoor, a vapor trail, a symptom more than a sign, a portent, an omen, an index of cultural decline. Wealth Bondage could be called the space between Texts, or even between letters! Wealth Bondage is an anagram, a riddle, a jest. Wealth Bondage is both a coin and the currency system. Wealth Bondage is the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mack, and the financial regulatory apparatus, as well as the firms that support same. Wealth Bondage is rated AAA by Moodys, and Duff and Phelps.

Q. What is the source of Wealth Bondage?

A. Wealth Bondage comes from the holy ghost, or the muses and graces. Wealth Bondage flows from the heights of MT Helicon.Wealth Bondage is based on The Feast of Fools, also known as the Feast of Asses, celebrated throughout the Dark Ages, during the Feast of the Circumcision. To this day, the ass's ear make us laugh in the spirit of The Great God Pan. And as Hippocrates, said, the tears streaming down his cheeks, "Laughter is the best medicine." You may as well laugh about what you can't fix.

Q. I still can't see where you are coming from. Can you provide me with some context for Wealth Bondage?

A. Wealth Bondage is a dialogic Text which through разноречие (roughly translated as heteroglossia, but there is really no equivalent in English) explodes its own narrative conventions, breaking the frame of its own mock serious discourse.  Or, Wealth Bondage is a system of signs not referring to so-called "external reality," but instead standing between us and the unreal blackness of eternity like a scrim or Simulacrum, or a whole procession or precession of Simulcra across the screen of the darkened mind or arcanum. Wealth Bondage is pure discourse. Wealth Bondage is art for its own sake. Wealth Bondage is revival of the art of lying, as of canting, musico-metaphysically considered. Wealth Bondage is the Eternal Return of the Same, per Nietzsche who was driven insane by it. Wealth Bondage is The Author Function, burning at the stake, as Artaud said, and gesturing through the flames! Wealth Bondage makes it new, makes it strange, it defamiliarizes us with everyday reality so we see it clearly at last. Wealth Bondage is the sound of one hand clapping. Wealth Bondage is not a Text but an Inter-Text, the absent ground of all groundedness. Wealth Bondage is both the Text Itself always already displaced by the Scene of Interpretation with which it competes for the reader's attention. Wealth Bondage is not "the truth," Wealth Bondage is the realization there is no truth outside of Wealth Bondage as we know it, subject to our human limitations. Wealth Bondage is thrown, or rather it is throwness in its essential Being. Thrown where? A dumpster, obviously, along with the English Canon. Wealth Bondage is the Tailor Retailored in an infinite regress, an unknown country from whose bourn is no return.

Q. That sounds like chuckle-headed philosophy, but isn't Wealth Bondage supposed to be a great work of literature?

A. Yes, Wealth Bondage is is an immortal work of the moral imagination, in the spirit of Jean Genet's Whore House, The Balcony, or the den of doxies and thieves in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. Wealth Bondage also merits comparison to Swift's satire of the Irish Parliament in which he likens them to inmates of an insane asylum. 

Q. What is Wealth Bondage for?

A. To ask what wealth bondage is for, demeans it and suggest to me that the person who asked that utilitarian question is a cultural cretin. Wealth Bondage exists for its own sake. To treat it as a means to any further end begs the question once again of what could be "outside of Wealth Bondage" to which it might aim or point? Wealth Bondage is autotelic and autocatalytic. It like the idle adolescent lost in his own imaginings requiring nothing outside itself to achieve ecstatic completion, over and over. Wealth Bondage is Prolific. Wealth Bondage is Devouring. Wealth Bondage is the Alpha and the Omega.

Q. What is in it for me, though?

A. Wealth Bondage is a mirror held up to nature, as Horace said. Art is the mirror in which the reader see his or her own face. So, Wealth Bondage teaches you to know yourself, which the ideal of all moral philosophy, as it is of of art from around 2,000 BC to Baudelaire, in the nineteenth century, in Paris. Even today, in the absence of truth or moral consensus, Wealth Bondage is good for you, at least in small doses.  Wealth Bondage is strong medicine wrapped in honey, so that the patient, in this case you, will swallow it down. Wealth Bondage is designed to delight and instruct. Wealth Bondage is the disease. But like a homeopathic remedy, Wealth Bondage is also the cure. Wealth Bondage is a gift, a potion, a dose, as of medicine or the clap, or medicine for the clap, which historically was treated with arsenic. A little Wealth Bondage goes a long way. Ask your Doctor if Wealth Bondage is right for you.(If you have pus or bloody discharge accompanied by inflamation of the urethra, please consult your immediate superior.)

Q. So what does it cure, then?

A. Wealth Bondage cures corruption, whether of the individual body, soul, or society. Wealth Bondage in certain cases has cured the blind, the halt, the lame. Wealth Bondage has been proven to cure depression and anomie. Wealth Bondage is a social disease. Wealth Bondage is a spiritual cure. The Bible says that Wealth Bondage can raise the dead, but few cases are confirmed. 

Q. Cut the crap; what is Wealth Bondage really?

A. Wealth Bondage is really pervasive, the horizon within which postmodern life, in every aspect, appears to us as a Market, and as such Free. Wealth Bondage is the basis of all domestic and foreign policy. Wealth Bondage is a well kept secret. Wealth Bondage is hidden in plain sight. Wealth Bondage is a Bordello for persons of Wealth. Wealth Bondage is what lobbyists call "Congress." Wealth Bondage is a morality play. Wealth Bondage is reality as we know it: A play of shadows on the wall of a cave. Wealth Bondage works closely with the Administration. Wealth Bondage is the neoliberal consensus, where politicians of all parties meet in amity, toasting the way things are and always will be. Wealth Bondage remains committed to a bright future for our children. Wealth Bondage is a Family of Affinity. Wealth Bondage is a Dumpster, or a padded cell. Wealth Bondage is at War with Terror. Wealth Bondage is pretty scary itself. Wealth Bondage is socially constructed. Wealth Bondage has never been stronger. Wealth Bondage does not condone torture, nor does Wealth Bondage engage in torture, other than consensually or nonconsensually with those deemed Enemies of Wealth Bondage, or with our Private Clients at agreed on rates. Wealth Bondage may engage in surgery without anesthetic in the proven Roman manner to improve the looks, habits, or morals of those involved. Salt in the wounds is provided free of charge to qualified customers. Wealth Bondage is a state of perpetual War. Wealth Bondage is a state of Emergency, during which time your civil liberties may be suspended for the preservation of Wealth Bondage itself. Wealth Bondage is an ecological disaster. Wealth Bondage meets in special session, even as we speak. Wealth Bondage is Classified, provided strictly on a need to know basis, subject to a signed confidentiality agreement.  Wealth Bondage is in crisis. Wealth Bondage is well managed by a team of MBAs for the benefit of our shareholder, Candidia Cruikshanks. Wealth Bondage can be saved, but only if you are willing to make personal sacrifices, or make them in any case, willingly or not. Wealth Bondage is counting on your personal support during this very difficult time for our country.

Q. I have a hard time interpreting this. Can you interpret your interpretation, please?

A. All interpretations of Wealth Bondage are themselves inside Wealth Bondage and as such are provisional. There is no "outside" of Wealth Bondage. Wealth Bondage cannot be "trued up" to anything outside itself, for there is no veridical axis true or false, good or bad, against which it can be measured. Wealth Bondage cannot be rectified or recuperated. Wealth Bondage is a semiotic disaster. All interpretations of Wealth Bondage are equally valid, for those who make them. None are binding on the Management of Wealth Bondage.  Wealth Bondage is the boundless play of the Signifier in love with itself. As for myself, as a Hermeneutics Professional, skilled in the detection of Hidden Meanings, I would say Wealth Bondage is proof positive that Freedom is indeed on the March. Never has the Signifier felt more free of restraint than in Wealth Bondage. Wealth Bondage is jouissance without even touching.

Q. Who owns Wealth Bondage, for Chrissakes?

Wealth Bondage is a public good owned as a sacred public trust by our Nation's Steward, Candidia Cruikshanks, CEO of Wealth Bondage, she who rules us all. Wealth Bondage is held in Street Name by an account in Switzerland. Anyway, Wealth Bondage at the most literal level is a corporate entity owned by Candidia Cruikshanks. It is also by extension, the Scene Rooms inside Wealth Bondage, including the padded cell in which our Current Author Function is now held as a Prisoner of Conscience. Wealth Bondage is also, the Dumpster out behind Wealth Bondage in which the Wealth Bondage employees congregate, at the curb separating Wealth Bondage from the Public Square, to discuss matters of moment to the General Public, to drink Thunderbird in a spirit of congeniality and high spirits, and to contribute our collective two cents worth for the good of humankind. Grab a mask and join us, if you wish. Yes, we are under surveillance, aren't we all? But the NSA guys, from the blacked out van, are over by the flaming barrel, jamming a cappella with the Happy Tutor. They are just people too, as drunk as we are. Welcome one and all!

Q. OK, I sort of get it, but what is the connection with Gifthub? I thought this was supposed to be a serious site about Philanthropy? 

A. Yes, Gifthub is a nonprofit subsidiary of Wealth Bondage. The purpose of Gifthub is to Save Capitalism. You are right about that. So far it is working. Capitalism is growing, despite its recent setbacks.The prognosis is good. The earth may perish, but Capitalism is as a concept irrefutable. Empirically, without Capitalism we could not have Philanthropy to save it.

Q. What or who is the Author Function that I see referenced under each post?

A. The Author Function is an honorary position of Gifthub, established under a Genius Grant, and awarded to a Scapegoat chosen at random from the condemned on death row. The job description is classified, but in general The Author Function is charged with posting ideas to advance Capitalism by means of Philanthropy in the context of human flourishing and in accordance with the triple bottom line of Wealth Bondage: Profits, Planets, People. Failing that, the Author Function is periodically executed, by burning at the crossroads, in the Ancient Tradition Celebrated by our Athenian Ancestors, to purge the sick society and to cure the plague. This was called catharthis, as discussed in Aristotle's Poetics, and involved either ritualistically killing off a loser, often an undocumented alien, a madman, or a physically challenged person, or the king. Generally it was a loser. Some thing never change. The borders of the body, mind, and polity, the line between the real and unreal, between the serious and comic, between the sick and the healthy, between Fool and Knave, must be protected. Someone is to blame.Through the ritual murder of the scapegoat we come together as a people. We, as Christians, not unlike Cannibals, meet every Sunday to drink his blood in commemoration of our great crime. At the founding of Wealth Bondage is - yes! - the scapegoat. Some worship a cross, others a shrunken head. It all comes to the same thing, a target market for Wealth Bondage.

Q. Who is The Author Function?

A. Why are you asking?

Q. Just Curious, who is he or she? How can I get in touch?

Yes, as you suspect, the person holding the Author Function Position is at any given time a real person, whether living or dead. Prior to the Author Function's rebirth, due to windfall profits, following the Bailout, and the staffing increases that followed, Wealth Bondage was published posthumously by various hands. Please consult the most recent Wealth Bondage organizational chart for the current incumbent. As of the date of this Text, the position is held by Phil Cubeta, now out on extended medical leave. If he is sacrificed, or when he is sacrificed in the line of duty, to save Capitalism, another Author Function will be chosen by lot from among the condemned. Phil is being held incommunicado, but you can email him care of Wealth Bondage, Chill Room #4.

Q. How is Phil doing?

A. Phil is responding well to his treatments, or at least as well as can be expected. We expect him back soon. He would be hard to replace. He is being fed well through a nose tube.

Q. Now wait a minute, if he is in the madhouse who is posting this stuff?

A. In Phil's absence the entire Wealth Bondage team is taking turns posting what you call stuff in his name, or under his title, or actually above his byline with his picture. I provide editorial services to insure the authenticity of Phil's Personal Voice and its continuity across time and over incumbents as they come and go. The Branded die or go mad, but the Brand remains. That is the power of Wealth Bondage, which will outlive us all.

Q. How can I get involved in Wealth Bondage?

A. Child! Child as you art! How to get involved in Wealth Bondage? Try birth. 

Q. How do I get out of Wealth Bondage?

A. You have to be born again. To find yourself you must lose yourself. You will be reborn in brokenness and surrender. There is no charge for this service, of breaking you down, though we reserve the right to harvest your organs. We invite you to consider a private consultation before you give informed consent. Please strip down to your undershorts. The Happy Tutor, your Personal Dungeon Master, will escort you through the narrow gate into the hereafter. He is currently serving our other guests. Some are in protracted labor, as you can hear.

Q. Other guests, like a black site, you mean?

A. Like a black site, yes.

Q. You call this Menippean satire? I knew Menippus personally, and believe me you are no Menippus, Dr. Chadwallah, or whoever you are. Why are you jerking me around like this? Who can I talk to get some straight answers? Be transparent with me for once, please.

A. Thank you for holding. Your call will be handled in the order in which it was received. Please hold. Wealth Bondage is experiencing higher than normal call volumes. Please hold. If you would like a subprime loan, please hit 1. If you would like to inquire about debtor prison, please hit 2. For foreclosure, please hit 3. For life insurance, hit 4. To buy or sell derivatives, hit 5. To receive or fund a bailout, hit 6. To make a contribution to Gifthub to Save Capitalism, hit 7. For outpatient surgery, or other outcall services, hit 8. For taxidermy or ventriloquist services, hit 9. To purchase or for instructions on using a Sock Puppet, please spell the last four digits of your social security number using the dial pad of your telephone. For adult diapers and other personal care products, hit 9. To return to the automated Attendant, hit zero. For relief from Wealth Bondage hit your head hard with a hammer. For all other questions, please stay on the line; an Adjunct trained in English as a Second Language (ESL) will be with you shortly.Thank you for waiting. Your continued passivity is important to us. Please hold. (Editor's Request: Repeat in an endless loop, and call it art. Add sitar music if possible.)

Posted by Dr. Amrit Chadwallah as an aid to reflection.(This post has not yet been reviewed by Upper Management; it is posted subject to cancellation or revision.)

Posted later: This FAQ was posted in error. Please disregard. Wealth Bondage does not currently exist.


Patrons of the Imagination

Jon Rappoport at No More Fake News channeling Catherine Austin Fitts. Wm Blake would have read this with pleasure, as might Adam Smith. If only funders more often saw their role in this light. Imagination breaks the mind forged manacles of Wealth Bondage, whether of fake news, empty entertainment, brands, political propaganda, materialism, or stereotypes of left and right, leaving us free to create - including small, local, forprofit enterprises, including farms and ranches, that sustain a family. Catherine always reminds me that what we call Free Markets stand to truly free and fair enterprise as a Bordello stands to a marriage of true minds - a simulacrum and a perversion.  What we have now are markets rigged to serve those whose imagination is not moral, nor life giving, to say the freaking least. But then again, I find my views are becoming more normal as the Therapy takes hold. You can have a little too much moral imagination, as Mistress Candidia reminds me. I have nothing but good things to say about those set above me. Next step is lobotomy, but if need be, so be it. Then I could at least pass for a normal consumer of Wealth Bondage. You are lucky that you always were normal. I am speaking now as myself, as far as I can tell.

Give Now to Save Capitalism!

Givenow2

Capitalism is Under Siege

Give Until it Hurts

Or, else, It will hurt a whole lot worse, trust me!

What total crap! To say that I rule the world, make markets rise and fall, sell illusions on tv, influence politicians, suborn philanthropy, and immiserate you pathetic little cubicle dwellers is just so wrong. Wealth Bondage is all about Freedom, honey.  Yes, there is suffering. Yes, there is injustice. Yes, you personally are totally screwed. So what? Free markets make me do it! Those who would overthrow me had better think twice, or I will spew oil in the Pacific too, crash the Greek economy, destroy your retirement savings, and leave you and your family pecking at my boots to ask, "O Mistress, what can we do for you that you might spare us?" Be aware, my loyal little munchkins: For our Economy is a Communist organization, sic 'em O'Reilly! Show Momma what a good little boy you are. So fierce, defending Freedom! Bold Fresh, you kill me, God what a joke. The rest of you, loyal idiots, Give Generously to Gift Hub Today to Save Capitalism and your Precious Freedom! Every dollar will go directly to me to advance my work in this dark world. I need every fucking dime! Melt your wedding rings, pull out your Dad's gold fillings. Sell your daughter into prostitution. But give me my due!

- I approved this post, written by Phil Cubeta, my Employee of the Month. Signed, Candidia Cruiskhanks, CEO of Wealth Bondage, Proud Sponsor of Gifthub: Saving Capitalism through The Gifts of the Many. Your gratitude, expressed in dollars, moves me deeply. Truly it does. More please. I need much more from each of you, now!


Will Immiserating the Middle Class Save Capitalism?

From The Greeks Get It, by Chris Hedges, in Truthout:

What is happening in Greece, what will happen in Spain and Portugal, what is starting to happen here in states such as California, is the work of a global, white-collar criminal class. No government, including our own, will defy them. It is up to us. Barack Obama is simply the latest face that masks the corporate state. His administration serves corporate interests, not ours. Obama, like Goldman Sachs or Citibank, does not want the public to see how the Federal Reserve Bank acts as a private account and ATM machine for Wall Street at our expense. He, too, has helped orchestrate the largest transference of wealth upward in American history. He serves our imperial wars, refuses to restore civil liberties, and has not tamed our crippling deficits. His administration gutted regulatory agencies that permitted BP to turn the Gulf of Mexico into a toxic swamp. The refusal of Obama to intervene in a meaningful way to save the gulf's ecosystem and curtail the abuses of the natural gas and oil corporations is not an accident. He knows where power lies. BP and its employees handed more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

As a serving professional to hedge fund managers, I must say that the future looks bright. They will bet upon the collapse of Europe, and then the US; I will bet on their continued success. They will turn to philanthropy to emerge as moral heroes, and my consulting practice will prosper, planting dynasties that will last one thousand years. Lots of people in this world. Ecosystems are going to hell, and economies too. There is simply not enough to go around. Who decides who eats? Those are the ones that I will serve as a serving professional, naturally. My goal is to be helpful.


Controlling the Planning Interview with an Eye to Higher Purposes

In every interview a sale is made, either you sell the prospect or the prospect sells you. In this class you will learn how to control the interview. - Big Ticket Sales Training

Taught that class in a windowless, pee-yellow room in Birmingham, AL to rookie life insurance agents; then for several years in Savannah, GA. As I worked my way up, the conversation about control got more subtle, but the fact remains that even the most client-oriented Trusted Advisors and Serving Professionals, control the interview about your money and your legacy. Each has a process and pay points. Each has software into which a paralegal or paraplanner will input your goals and financial facts in little boxes. "The software doesn't do that," the paraplanner whines when faced with an unusual goal, like calculating how much a person can give away during his or her lifetime without impacting other goals. A client who goes to an estate planner for a lifetime goal will get a death time plan, and the client will be none the wiser, since the process is so obscured with detail and technical jargon.

Now, I am not trying to rescue the client here from the advisor. Perhaps it is the other way around. What advisors say is that clients are unwilling or unable to come to voice about their vision, values, goals, hopes, aspirations. The client is often passive, grudging, and at odds with spouse or kids. The advisor cannot read minds.The advisor then makes assumptions about ends in view. So the paraplanner says, "I worked with what you gave me, boss; this is what the software kicked out; don't blame me; garbage in and garbage out."

The result is that the client - assume it is you - gets the plan that the software produces, the one to which the serving professional's business plan and training are well attuned. You get what I call the Ken and Barbie Plan with the names, ages, and financial details replaced with your own. 

In this class you will learn how to control your advisors lest they control you. 

Actually, the hope is that we can meet on higher ground, to partner with advisors for inspired plans. 

Advisors will meet you on higher ground, if you lead there. They will meet you on higher ground rather than lose you altogether as a client, even if higher ground takes them more work, requires them to buy new software, or send their paraplanner back for more training.

Rule of Thumb: To master others we must master ourselves. Unless our own vision is clear, we cannot expect the advisor to facilitate it. In this famous statue, you are the rider; the advisor is the prancing steed. The stoic emperor, Marcus Aurelius, has mastered himself before he set out to master the horse, the army, the populace, the world. His eye is on the horizon. Go to your advisors in that spirit, or they will ride you like that horse to their destination, ignoble as it might be. More likely, they will be like the serving professional who sees this statue and says, "What an amazing horse. I wonder what it cost? Wish I had a horse like that. I know what I would do with a horse like that if I had one."