How do so many obviously unstable crazy people manage to get so filthy rich?
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by John Cole| 55 Comments
This post is in: Election 2012
How do so many obviously unstable crazy people manage to get so filthy rich?
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Be careful you don’t get sued.
The Bearded Blogger
capitalism’s current form rewards assholishness.
On the other hand, some of the causation goes the other way: having a zillion dollars can make people crazy.
Sociopaths have no shame, no empathy and no core values. That’s how..
Because when they chose their parents, wealth was a prerequisite.
Souls are cheaper then sanity.
@Moesha: That’s it. Period.
The copyright issue is a good reminder of how SOPA would allow abuse.
And doesn’t the company name, Melaleuca, sound like something that had been santorumed?
VanderSloots are people, my friend.
Born on third base but told they hit a triple all their lives.
One: how many of them actually got rich? If Mitt Romney’s any example, a lot of them simply made their money the old fashioned way and inherited it.
Two, maybe it’s not that assholes become rich. Maybe it’s just that extreme wealth allows you to liberate your petulant inner asshole without fear of the consequences.
Moesha is spot on. Normal people don’t feel comfortable lying to others in order to steal their money – yet that seems to be SOP for this company and the claims they make about their dietary supplements. Normal people wouldn’t offshore tens of thousands of jobs just to increase the value of their stock options a couple of cents a share. But that’s the way Wall Street rolls these days. Other people and their needs, desires, dreams aren’t real in any sense at all to these “Masters of the Universe,” and that is the definition of sociopathy. Why we choose to reward these behaviors rather than lock these creeps up is the mystery.
Any relation to Jorhan? You know, of Natalie Holloway fame?
David in NY
At the risk of sparking controversy, I’d say that’s a damned good Greenwald column. Sticking neck way out.
lack of conscience
It’s much easier to become a billionaire when you don’t care who gets hurt along the way.
@Moesha: Agreed. Our current system is a perfect environment for sociopath success; they are rewarded for being completely without empathy, while the rest of us assume the system is fair and it’s our fault that they’re killing us.
I couldn’t resist the blog ad today
“The 4 dangers destroying men”
it’s apparently all about sperm.
Getting rich is easy. Comedy is hard.
This guy gives the ‘White Salamander’ , a good name.
“Pernicious” and quite litigious. Maybe RICO would exhaust his formidable resources.
Culture of Truth
Willard Mitt Romney earned his money the old fashioned way!
Also he was named after Willard Marriott. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that when he grew up he helped the hotel chain cheat on their taxes.
Have Vandersloot’s fleet of lawyers threatened Glen Greenwald yet over the linked article? Might John Cole expect to hear from them threatening him for linking to Glen Greenwald’s article, ending with: “BTW: that’s a nice cat and cute couple of dogs you got there John, we hope nothing bad happens to any of them.”
This is a trick post right? Obviously it helps.
In other news, Douthat thinks Sick Rantorum is an economic populist. kooky even for him.
Arm The Homeless
New Romney is both a floor wax AND a dessert topping!
No wonder this guys son killed Natalie Holloway.
@WaynersT: I get a chat ad with a brunette kicking her feet on a bed. Her name is “Summercusp”.
I’m the wrong audience for that ad for a number of reasons, but mostly because I’m trying to remember whether or not there was someone called “Summercusp” in a Dickens novel.
Multi-level marketing schemes are legal Ponzis, unfortunately. The people who allow themselves to be victimized by them are the same reality-challenged types who vote GOP. A former partner of mine gave me an up-close study of the pathology.
When you pick the right parents, you tend to be spoiled rotten. These people need to be slapped down, figuratively of course.
He looks and sounds like he might be a character from a Cohen Brothers movie. I wonder if he has quintuplets or a wife that he paid somebody to kidnap.
@Arm The Homeless: The first ‘graf of the linky spells it out – the guy is a sleazy fuck with no soul. That’s all you gotta do to get rich anymore!
O/T the sperm chick is doing a nice Angelina Jolie channelling. I’m BruceFromOhio, and I approve of this ad.
@brettvk: The fact that most of his victims are Mormons should have come as no surprise to me, since MLMs seem to be particularly attractive to Mormons for some reason, and Mormons used to be pretty trusting, naive even.
Jay in Oregon
Where would you like your internets delivered?
@Moesha: I disagree inasmuch as they do have core values. Well, value. Sadly, it’s their buttholes.
Sociopaths are about 1% of the general population, 4% of top corporate execs/businessmen. Same lack of empathy present, only channeled into profitmaking rather than running around with a machete and a hockey mask.
Congressmen become rich because of pay-offs and those who pay them off become richer by influencing the laws that benefit them. Then they have kids so the cycle goes on and on.
@R-Jud: Esther Summerson? Bleak House?
Short Bus Bully
John, you’re still conflating PERSONAL WEALTH with SELF WORTH. It’s a common misconception and a cause of much of the world’s problems.
I’d have guessed much higher than 4%. It seems like the present system of corporate management and compensation actually seeks out and rewards sociopathic behavior.
John Cole @ Top:
Because that’s what happens when you have unstable crazy incentives.
Also, many crazy filthy rich people were born crazy and filthy rich. Cf., Koch Brothers.
There’s a distinction between /being/ a sociopath, and /behaving/ like a sociopath. Sociopaths just aren’t wired to have any empathy, where people who are merely behaving like sociopaths have trained themselves to ignore it.
So, yes, the proportions are much higher when you factor in people who merely behave like sociopaths professionally — the system is certainly structured to reward it.
I’d peg that proportion considerably higher than 4% in some of the corporations I’ve worked for.
Lots of unstable crazy people up and down the income class ladder. Generally, it’s easier to ignore crazy poor people.
yes yes and more yes
There are more risk takers in the crazy population. Since there are more of them flipping coins, more of them wind up with 10 heads in a row.
If you are decent and honest and care about others, assume that they are like you and they want more or less the same kinds of things, you will never have what it takes to get that rich. Only people with abnormal socialization patterns end up this wealthy. It always comes at the expense of someone else. Moreover, healthy people stop collecting money at a certain point and they move on to doing what they would really like to spend their lives doing: travel, hobbies, whatever. These people only care about money, they only want to make money, and there is always the possibility of having more money, so they are stuck on that path.
It’s not so much that they’re crazy–it’s that there is nothing to restrain them.
The strong do what they will and the weak do what they must, like Thucydides said.
Corporations absolutely require sociopathy at the top.
Well, in Glenn Greenwald, I suspect he’s found his bigger bully.
It’s what you might call the Caligula effect. A lot of the crazies were born to wealth and really have no clue how life is for normal people and no experience at being told “No!” It produces men who are used to always getting their way and freak out when they don’t. Remember Dubya’s continual state of resentment at having to compete with lesser born but more talented rivals. By contrast, note that Al Gore’s dad had him do farm chores so he’d have some sense what life was like for those not part of the lucky sperm club.
In addition, remember it only takes a small percentage of the big rich to cause a lot of damage under Citizens United. You don’t hear from the sane billionaires because they aren’t so convinced they’re entitled to tell everyone else what to do.
AHH onna Droid
If you read the article this is a typical Mormon story, fleecing the good sheep who line up to be sheared, then using the proceeds on defending their sacred cows: BSA & marriage discrimination.
Extremely authoritarian and patriarchal. The kiddy diddler coverup is Catholic bishops in parallel.
Or Penn State. Love child molesters, hate f—s. Yeah, that makes sense. Getting raped tuffins ya up, ya sissy.
I wonder if MLM watch has a Melaleuca page.
I think there are two sorts of billionaire.
There are those with some freakish talent and a lot of drive to achieve something. For them, wealth is a side effect and a working medium. E.g., Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg.
Then there are those who are insatiable. They want MOAR and they will to whatever it takes to get it. Their insanity isn’t the barrier to their success; it’s the motivation.
I’m pretty sure this asshole is an example of the latter. Meleluca is a big old MLM scam. He’s worth comparing with the Herbalife MLM scammer:
Exactly. If you have no qualms about lying cheating stealing and screwing others and can justify anything you do by concluding “it’s just business” then it is much easier to get rich.
How does a nutcase like Rick Santorum make $900k a year, for that matter?
Paul in KY
@Fwiffo: I hope he sends a letter to Glenn. Glenn will make him regret that action.
If you are crazy and poor, there are all sorts of restraints on your behavior. If you are crazy and well off, there are still, all sorts of restraints on your behavior. If you are crazy and filthy rich there are hardly any restraints on your behavior.
Why do celebrity’s behave the way they do? It’s because there aren’t any other people around them, that are able or willing to tell them to cut that shit out. If everyone in your circle is dependent on your good will and money, then you can count on them to agree, that whatever crazy ass thing you do is perfectly rational, and all those other people saying bad things about you are just ‘haters’. Same thing with the mega-wealthy.