Entire news networks dedicating huge blocks of time, the way they once went live for hours covering the Mercury program, to the release of a stock onto the market. People waiting outside in Times Square for the magic moment, as though it were New Year's Eve or VJ Day, and everyone acting as though this whole thing is some kind of national triumph rather than a simple mechanism by which an incredibly wealthy recluse will become an unimaginably wealthy recluse. We get together to cheer for stock. We get together to cheer for money. We get together to cheer for zillionaires, and not a dime of it is ever going to filter down to any of those people waiting behind the barriers in New York, watching the price of the stock tick upwards as though they all had a personal stake in it.
If we cheer for big money simply as big money, we're simply never going to get right again. If we pretend to be vicariously rich in order to avoid the fact that so many of us are becoming unnecessarily poor, if the shift of the national wealth has within it elements that we're willing to root for as though they were the U.S. Olympic Plutocrats Team, we will get ourselves suckered again and again. This was a triumph of the insiders, of the people who concocted credit-default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, and the people who will do it again, over and over, unless a more critical eye is placed upon them by the institutions of self-government. This does nothing to ameliorate the effects of our rigged casino economy. It solves nothing connected to wealth inequality or unemployment. It is magic numbers on the screen to which only a very few people have the password, and they're not sharing it with anyone.
Celebrating rich people getting richer as though it had anything to do with the rest of us marks us as suckers of the highest order. Cheering a stock as though it were a living entity worthy of praise marks us as the worst kind of primitive economic bone-worshippers. There already is too much in our economy that looks like a cult. I think public displays of ritual worship is one of those too many.