Krugman: Plutocrats Have Become Sociopaths with Their Persecution Complexes

In his latest post in the New York Times, economist Paul Krugman is almost gleeful that AIG CEO Robert Benmosche has revealed himself to be the sociopath that he is. Benmosche actually went so far as to claim that criticism of AIG continuing to give executives huge bonuses while the company was on the government's dole, is tantamount to lynchings in the Deep South. Those were comments he made in public, to the Wall Street Journal.

Krugman has seen these kinds of insanely overblown statements before amongst the one percent. A few years back, Steve Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, called the attempt to raise the taxrate on most of his income above 15% similar to Hitler's attack on Poland. 

“Sometimes the wealthy talk as if they were characters in “Atlas Shrugged,” demanding nothing more from society than that the moochers leave them alone. But these men were speaking for, not against, redistribution — redistribution from the 99 percent to people like them. This isn’t libertarianism; it’s a demand for special treatment. It’s not Ayn Rand; it’s ancien régime,” Krugman wrote.

Yet, Krugman has a theory as to why the rich spend so much time complaining that they are being persecuted when in fact they got everything they could have hoped for following the financial crisis fallout - namely Wall Street was bailed out at the expense of the workers and homeowners:

“When you have that much money, what is it you’re trying to buy by making even more? … What you really want now is adulation; you want the world to bow before your success ... It is, of course, incredibly petty. But money brings power, and thanks to surging inequality, these petty people have a lot of money. So their whining, their anger that they don’t receive universal deference, can have real political consequences. Fear the wrath of the .01 percent!” he wrote.

Read more at The New York Times.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.