We are driven to be informed. To know what’s going on in the world.
We have it all, don’t we? Newspapers, magazines, cable television, the vast Internet... And yet, what is the point?
What's the point to all this when there is my own work to do – my latest novel and my next (and certainly not forever to do it...) - and so much that I haven't read that would really be worthwhile reading?
Am I spending my time (do we have anything else?) well?
For example - this morning I woke up at 6:30, went downstairs and put on a pot of coffee, then walked out to the driveway to pickup my home delivery copy of The New York Times. So, here I was with The Times, the TV (Morning Joe on MSNBC) and a fresh brewed cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. How good is that? Pretty good, but not as good as you might think.
The news was all about Sonia Sotomayor (who is a dead-lock to be confirmed… so where’s the “news” part?), last night's MLB All-Star game (a meaningless and silly exhibition), some feeble attempt by the GOP to introduce their own healthcare plan, and a mention or two of Dick Cheney's maybe/maybe not-coup he cooked up with the CIA… eight years ago!
Of course, all of this was presented as being "VERY IMPORTANT STUFF."
And then it happened. I saw “What Really Matters.”
I read where Goldman-Sachs turned in a Second Quarter profit of $3.44 billion. $3.44 BILLION! Yes, this is the same Goldman-Sachs that was about to "go under" last fall and about to take the Civilized World with it plummeting into a deep, dark hole, flushing ourselves and “Life As We Know It” down the cosmic toilet. To prevent such a catastrophe, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars were funneled to the Overlords at Goldman-Sachs to "save them." Aren't we all glad we did that? Whew! My God, what might have happened? Some of them might have lost their jobs, their healthcare coverage, even their homes. We couldn’t let that happen. Who do we think they are – those wonderful Americans who are Goldman-Sachs – autoworkers?
Thank The Lord we took our money and instead of saving it for our retirement or our kid’s college, we gave it to them, to save them. Now the good folks at Goldman-Sachs tell us that in the 65 working days of April-May-June 2009... a period of economic disaster for so many Americans, times so bad they have been unknown since the Great Depression more than 75 years ago... in those 65 days Goldman-Sachs pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made a profit of $3.44 billions. Do you know what that means in terms of the kind of money we can understand and relate to?
Look at it this way -
Goldman-Sachs made an average of $53,000,000 in profits EVERY DAY.
That's the same as $6,625,000 an hour (more than you make in sixty minutes?) or $110,000.00+ for every minute... EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE HOUR. Go ahead… count to sixty. Do it now. One, two, three, four… There goes another 110 grand to the boys at Goldman-Sachs!
Every “working” hour means the hour you spent on your private email, the hour you spent looking at porn sites, the hour you spent talking to your wife, your kids, your mother, or whomever, the hour you spent eating lunch, even the hour you left early on a couple of days. I know you did. It didn’t make any difference. It didn’t put a dent in their moneymaking machine. The wheels at Goldman-Sachs never stopped turning... at six figures plus for every one of those hours.
How many of us have ever had $110,000.00 in our hands at any one moment? So, let's put this $3.44 BILLION profit into an amount of money we can deal with realistically, something as they say we can get our hands around.
How about - $1,840.00 a SECOND! If it took you three seconds to read that line... Goldman-Sachs made another $5,520.00 bucks. If you’re a slow reader, they made $7,360.00 or maybe $9,200.00. If it shocked you and you read it twice? Don’t ask. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault.
Iraq? Afghanistan? North Korean or Iranian nukes? Nationwide foreclosures? Widespread unemployment? Poor healthcare - and the lack of it for fifty million of us? A vacancy on the Supreme Court? Baseball? Apple pie? Chevrolet? Really, it's all about the BILLIONS isn't it? We know “What Really Matters.”
None of the other shit means anything. $$$$$$$$ - Yikes! We’re fucking helpless aren’t we?
Time is all we have. How we use it is all that matters. I want to spend mine as well as possible. I hope Valentine Marofsky will share his reading list with me.