While middle and working class Americans have seen a wealth crash the last few years, a fortunate few have made out like bandits (which is what generally happens when you act like a bandit). Some were so rich they were not even counted in the Federal Reserve's survey:
That exclusion means that the new Federal Reserve numbers for 2010 understate — by $1.37 trillion, the total wealth of that year’s Forbes 400 — America’s actual level of wealth concentration.Woops.
One (kind of racist) academic, Charles Murray, even coined a term for these successful people - The Cognitive Elite (dun Dun DUN!). You know, the people who are richer than you because they are smarter, more industrious, and even have better values.
Well, let's look at one recent 1% success story that comes from that "cognitive elite." The story of a man who is a member of Murray's elite corporate managerial class that deserves to rule us because they are just so good.
From Yahoo Finance:
PLANO, Texas, June 18, 2012 - J. C. Penney Company, Inc. ("jcpenney") (JCP) today announced that Michael Francis will be leaving the Company, effective today. Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company's marketing and merchandising functions.Hard work eh? He must be a long term employee who worked his way up from the mail room and [insert trite bullshit here] and he really strove to make JC Penney's the company it is today and...
Johnson said, "We thank Michael for his hard work at jcpenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Not so much.
From Zero Hedge:
Because despite leaving just 9 months after his hiring, Francis is entitled to collect a whopping $9 million in pro-rated signing bonus (alongside $100,000/month in salary): all in all - a tidy package of $10 million for shooting the breeze while observing a sinking retail ship. Not bad for a company whose stock has just plunged to September 2010 levels.
For some perspective, from The Big Picture which includes more charts:
Michael Francis has been have launched into the 1% from just that 9 months of "work" (if he wasn't there already). 9 months of work, $10 million, and JC Penney is at historic lows. Talk about failing up!
So remember when someone tells you those rich people are so "superior" that they are not just luckier than you but that they have "better cognitive abilities" - it is like most of the things you are told about present day America, a lie. They aren't smarter, they aren't more virtuous, the 1% are simply raiding the system. A system they have mangled to serve themselves at your expense.
While record numbers of children live in the street, while veterans have record unemployment, while the middle class disappears - a public company, owned by many of your pensions, is paying this do nothing douchebag $10 million.
Don't be a sucker. Occupy Wall Street.