Trading Places, Again

image

Remember Randolph and Mortimer Duke? These two pimps ran the Duke and Duke Commodities Brokers firm back in the “era of Reagan” and loved being rich and playing God at the same time. While engaging in a bet, the Duke Brothers stripped one of their employees of his wealth, prestige and job. To be fair, the Dukes gave a homeless vagrant the job and means to see how the bet would play out. These two brothers lived by rules that allowed them to change the rules as they see fit. Eventually, the bet that the brothers placed on the two unsuspecting marks was discovered and the two, Louis Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine decided that they would get even with the Duke brothers so with the help of others they concocted an insider trader scheme that would make them rich and bankrupt the Dukes at the same time. In the end, the Dukes were poor. Broken by the very men they placed a bet on. Ok, so the story is not real but it made a great comedy.

Trading Places had plenty of laughs but it did make the viewer wonder if it was possible for these guys to replace a well-established man and replace him with a man of the streets. Today, we have greedy CEOs who have or will move jobs overseas and they believe that with the right tools they can replace American workers with Asian workers. Allow me to break up my starting paragraph and follow with me.

  • Remember Randolph and Mortimer Duke? These two pimps ran the Duke and Duke Commodities Brokers firm back in the “era of Reagan” and loved being rich and playing God at the same time.

You have billionaires with the power to decide one’s fate at their fingertips. They can built up an industry, yet at the same time they can destroy it in a millisecond. They can populate a town and they can desolate it. They can inflate the value of a dollar and of course they can deflate it. Yes, these men and women of industry will play God as long as America requests they play the role.

  • While engaging in a bet, the Duke Brothers stripped one of their employees of his wealth, prestige and job. To be fair, the Dukes gave a homeless vagrant the job and means to see how the bet would play out.

We all know the story. Companies moving operations overseas to markets like China to produce goods and as a bonus they get a workforce that will work for perhaps 1/4th of the wages they were paying Americans to produce the same goods. This was a win for the industries that fleeced and fled America.

  • These two brothers lived by rules that allowed them to change the rules as they see fit.

Let’s see!!  Don’t want to deal with unions! (Check) Taxes too high! (Check) Industry standards too tough! (Check) Profit margin too low? (Check) I could go on but the point is made. Companies decided to keep their American address but moved their operations to somewhere in Asia. Not even Mexico was good enough for these anti-Americans. Changing the rules to win the game is common with people of wealth. Tiger Woods did just that with his no-press conference.

  • Eventually, the bet that the brothers placed on the two unsuspecting marks was discovered and the two, Louis Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine decided that they would get even with the Duke brothers so with the help of others they concocted an insider trader scheme that would make them rich and bankrupt the Dukes at the same time.

The Dukes got their comeuppance by having the one thing that they valued most taken away from them: their wealth. Imagine if Americans could give the finger to companies who move jobs overseas by boycotting their goods. Put a hurt on their bottom line. That would stick it to them.

  • In the end, the Dukes were poor. Broken by the very men they placed a bet on.

This made for a good climax but the actions by Winthrope and Valentine would never get that far because money looks out for money. The stock exchange would shut down to protect the decreasing wealth of the Dukes. No way would they allow two unknown characters to hijack the system they built to keep the wealth in their hands.

Millions of Americans have been victimized like the Winthrope character. They were told to go to school, get a job, work hard, save some money, buy a house, raise a family and live the American dream. The problem with that is we put our faith in corporations which has only one goal: to increase their profits and if that means giving your job to the Billy Ray Valentines of the world to accomplish that goal they will. Oscar Wilde was right; life truly imitates art.

Advertisements

~ by R8RBOB on February 25, 2010.

One Response to “Trading Places, Again”

  1. Great article. Very telling and very true. The ” ameican dream” is a wholesale robbery of ” educated” and upwardly mobile people whos lives were screwed over 4 the benefits of the few. It sucks and the people vote 4 it over and over..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: