Former Wall Street trader Marlon Weems discusses the problems with capitalism and he offers what he thinks could mitigate its failures.
Marlon Weems on capitalism
Marlon Weems recently wrote the article “The Fiction of the Self-Made Billionaire.” It was a comment on the following statement Kim Kardashian made.
I have the best advice for women in business. Get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days…You have to surround yourself with people that want to work…So if you put in the work, you’ll see results. It’s that simple.
Implicit in Ms. Kardashian’s comment is the opinion that anyone can achieve her enormous financial success — if only they work hard enough. Moreover, her theory is that more of us haven’t risen to her rarified financial heights due to laziness. In other words, those of us who aren’t rich have only ourselves to blame. We just aren’t doing it right.
Interestingly, none of the Kardashians acknowledge their tremendous head start on the road to billionaire status. Indeed, their share of the late Robert Kardashian’s rumored $100 million trust fund provided one hell of a safety net — not to mention being raised by a step-parent (Caitlyn Jenner) reportedly worth $100 million. In reality, the entire lot of Kardashian/Jenner siblings were born into the pinnacle of wealth and privilege. Riches like that make working for a living a choice, not a necessity.
Putting aside the fact that Kardashian‘s “nobody wants to work these days” quip makes her sound like a boomer, bitterly yearning for the ‘good ole days,’ her comment doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Her misguided sentiment is part and parcel of American exceptionalism ideology.
Marlon Weems spent thirty years in finance and more than a decade on Wall Street. He writes about the intersection of domestic politics, the US economy, and America’s history of anti-Black racism. Subscribe to his newsletter here.
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