1 Percent's Long Con, Featuring Jim Cramer and the Tea Party

A few years ago, Eric Cantor used the Labor Day holiday as one more occasion to celebrate business owners. To a lot of people, that sounded crazy. But in truth, it came straight out of the bull-market ideology of the 1990s, a time when the nation came to believe that trading stocks was something that people in small towns did better than slicksters in New York, and when Wired magazine declared, in one of its many frenzied manifestoes, that “The rich, the former leisure class, are becoming the new overworked” and that “those who used to Americans said back then, and the most fundamental novelty of the age was an idea: that markets were the truest expression of the will of be considered the working class are becoming the new leisure class.”We were living in a “New Economy,” the people. Of course the Beardstown Ladies were better at investing than the Wall Street pros; they were closer to the humble populist essence of markets. Of course the Millionaire Next Door was an average Joe who never showed off; that’s the kind of person on whom markets smile. And of course bosses were the new labor movement, leading us in the march toward a luminous economic democracy.Ugh. I got so sick of the stuff that I wrote a whole book on it: “One Market Under God,” which was published by Doubleday just as the whole thing came to a crashing end. Here is an excerpt.The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 10,000 mark in March of 1999, a figure so incomprehensibly great that it was anyone’s guess what it signified. The leaders of American opinion reacted as though we had achieved some heroic national goal, as though, through some colossal feat of collective optimism, we had entered at long last into the promised land of riches for all. On television, the rounds of triumphal self-congratulation paused for a nasty rebuke to the very idea of financial authority brought to you by the online brokerage E*Trade, a company that had prospered as magnificently as anyone from the record-breaking run-up: “Your investments helped pay for this dream house,” declared a snide voice-over. “Unfortunately, it belongs to your broker.” And behold: There was the scoundrel himself, dressed in a fine suit and climbing out of a Rolls Royce with a haughty-looking woman on his arm. Go ahead and believe it, this sponsor cajoled: Wall Street is just as corrupt, as elitist, and as contemptuous toward its clients as you’ve always suspected. There should be no intermediaries between you and the national ATM machine in downtown Manhattan. You needed to plug yourself in directly to the source of the millions, invert the hierarchy of financial authority once and for all. “Now the power is in your hands.”Read More.Source:  The Progressive Populist/THOMAS FRANK