A leading IT research firm is predicting the resurgence of the Occupy movement on an even larger scale, the beginnings of a barter economy in the wake of mass boycotts, and a movement toward nonprofit-driven medical care instigated by activist volunteers.
The information technology research firm, Gartner, which describes itself as “the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company" warns its clients not to be seen as culprits in the inevitable labor unrest, consumer boycotts, and mass social upheaval. CEOs had better get ready for some heavy-duty backlash and enhanced public scrutiny of their greed. They had better get their PR asses in gear, in other words.
Of course, the ultra-rich are paying no heed. One tycoon named Ken Langone is so pissed off by the sudden unwarranted attention being paid to the poor that he is petulantly threatening to cut off the cash for the refurbishment of St. Pat's Cathedral in NYC. He's warning Pope Francis, through his pal Tim Cardinal Dolan, to tone down that inequality rhetoric -- or else. Dolan was forced to go on the Plutocrat Channel to do damage control, simultaneously pushing back against this trendy new demonization of The Obscene Rich and insisting no such demonization is even taking place. I guess that makes him an ecclesiastical centrist.
Langone, billionaire founder of Home Depot, funder of both Republicans and Wall Street Democrats, had approached Dolan and complained that another billionaire who of course is not named Ken Langone got his feelings hurt by the Pope. From the CNBC transcript:
So, he says to me (Dolan)-- "Pope Francis is helping us big time. Because there's such an enthusiasm and a love-- for him and for the church that he said, "People are more interested in our project of Saint Patrick's Cathedral." He did pass on to me.
He said, "Now, one person said, 'You know, you come to us who have been-- blessed, who are wealthy. And, yet, we sense that, perhaps, the Pope is less than enthusiastic about us.'" And he said, "We need to correct that."
And I said, "Well-- Ken, that would be a misunderstanding of the Holy Father's-- message. The Pope loves poor people. He also loves rich people. He loves people, all right. He's -- and he-- and he's not into the condemning game for anybody." His famous, renowned statement now, "Who am I to judge?" So, I said, "Ken, thanks for bringing it to my attention. We've got to correct to make sure this gentleman, who's the only one I've heard, understands the Holy Father's message properly. And then, I think he's going to say, 'Oh, okay. If that's the case, count me in for Saint Patrick's Cathedral,' so.
So, yeah. But I trust Ken's judgment so much that if he tells me, "This is a potential donor who's a little confused and perhaps irritated about the Pope's message. Can you help me out here?" So, I think we have. Yeah.If anybody can put the extreme back in unctuousness it is Tim Dolan.
Langone, for his part, recently went on another plutocrat channel to deliver his own pro-rich people anti-Paul Krugman rant, urging that Social Security be cut. Along with the other CEOs of the Fix the Debt austerian crowd, he falsely claims that poverty-stricken old geezers are stealing pensions and healthcare from the unborn. But since he also spends part of his billions glorifying the house of the Lord(s), he also passed on to his pal the Card the message that obscenely wealthy Americans are preferable to obscenely wealthy foreign people.
So, yeah. It is indeed shaping up to be the year to end all Annuses (sic). Cheers, everybody!