Thursday, January 03, 2008

Invest This!

"One of the most important things that you can teach a young person is _________________."

How would you fill in the blank? I have a few ideas: have compassion, be skeptical of anything government leaders tell you, don't kill people, don't follow orders, find work you believe in, care for the planet, etc.

No way, Steve Mariotti will tell you. According to Steve (of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship) one of the most important things is "the power of compound interest." Man, that's beautiful isn't it! I heard it on NPR's Thursday evening business commercial for Wall Street unbiased report on investing in the stock market for retirement. Oh, for the spirit Abbie Hoffman... In case you are not impressed with compound interest, and maybe even think the whole capitalist project of investing in war and exploitation kind of sucks, NPR has the gall to stick phony, pro-investment words in Einstein's mouth on its web site. If you click on this screen shot



you'll see how they have the bogus Einstein quote on their web version of the story and even on the streaming audio pop-up (Poor Einstein).

To tell you the truth, this story really bummed me out. After hearing it, I felt almost irresponsible for not being out there investing in stocks for retirement; I can only imagine how less left-leaning folks felt. Instead of doing a piece that might question the wisdom of having retirement plans based on the stock market, or probe the very ethics of Wall Street, or put the whole 401K scam in the context of the post-WWII ravaging of the social safety net in the US - what NPR does is a pro-Wall Street guilt trip against the average Jane and Joe who as Michelle Norris says, "are not very good at putting money away for retirement."

4 comments:

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

That's exactly how I felt sometime back when they aired a McReport on the perfect New Year's Eve party - and there was loser me with no plans that night but to stay at home & listen to my stereo in the dark. I love those 'cool kids' less and less and less and less.

WarOnWarOff said...

Good old-fashioned Mammon worship. I guess at least they're becoming somewhat honest about it now...

Porter Melmoth said...

This whole obsession with retirement accounts is one of the great social issues of today, subject for a whole thesis industry. I think that Wall Street (and NPR) wants to string out as many people on fixed incomes as they can, so the big boys can employ their monies for their own dark purposes, while paying back piddly amounts to middle class innocents who think they're getting a good deal. And if the market crashes, who loses?

And bunny!, I'm glad you're healing from those dark 'NPR Must Be Obeyed' days. Welcome to Liberation, baby!

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

Yes indeed, Mr. M - sadder perhaps, older okay, but surely wiser am I for it. I'd rather live in a refrigerator box in the company of the literature of my choice than to attend an NPR cocktail weenie soiree, given their rather shallow scope (as our good proprieters diligently remind) in the way of current affairs and popular culture.