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Be Careful Who You Listen To May 16, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education.
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Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer, gave words of wisdom to University of Syracuse graduates this week-end:

“Throughout my life, throughout this crisis, I’ve seen many people bury themselves by failing to stand up, being mealy mouthed and simply going along with the pack,” said Dimon at the university’s Carrier Dome, where more than 5,000 students received diplomas.

He told students to “do the right thing, not the easy thing” and not to become someone else’s “lap dog.”

Dimon, 54, who was the subject of student protests before the ceremony, was met at the end of his speech with loud applause by the audience of more than 17,000.

“Have the courage to speak the truth, even if it’s unpopular,” said Dimon. “Have the courage to put yourself on the line, strive for something meaningful, even to risk the embarrassment of failure.”

Although this speech by one of the “captains” of Wall St.  who got us into this financial mess provoked some protest, the demonstrations were tame. Perhaps they should have protested more vigorously when they had the opportunity.

As Digby wrote:

That’s the truly sickening thing about Dimon’s speech. Due to his cohort’s hideous professional malpractice, these kids are going into a workforce in which the worker is at a huge disadvantage. It’s not just that 10% workforce is out of a job ( a number which is undoubtedly understated.) The problem of high unemployment hits everyone who’s working as well.

These young college graduates are going to find that they are competing for jobs with people who have years of experience and are willing to take cuts in pay and benefits because they have a nut to crack every month or kids to support and they need a job very badly. But older people are at a disadvantage as well. They tend to require higher pay and expect their experience to count for more (plus employers just don’t like ‘e

Those in between are working in a world in which the competition is so stiff that they can’t afford to “put themselves on the line” or rock the boat in any way. They are doing the work that used to be done by three people (hence “productivity growth”) and they are stuck in whatever dead end job they found themselves in before the recession began because everyone knows you are daft to quit with 10% unemployment. Workers are at the mercy of their bosses, working as wage slaves, getting no raises, feeling trapped and at their mercy. Refusing to be a “lap dog” isn’t on the menu in an environment like this.

When there is 10% unemployment, the whole workforce is under stress. And the longer it goes on, the more frustrated, angry and depressed the average working stiff feels. Masters of the Universe can drone on about being brave and finding meaning and telling the truth even if it’s unpopular, but he might as well be speaking in tongues for how relevant it is to workers right now.

Those kids may not know it, but they soon will. And I hope they find it in themselves to look back on this day and wish they’d turned their backs on that bastard when they had the chance. It was probably their last opportunity for a good long while to follow his advice.

 

Why anyone still listens to these clowns is beyond me. Their claim to be some sort of paragon of independence and virtue is as delusional as their economic models that predicted endless wealth production based on perpetual ponzi schemes.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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