Commentary

The Comeback: Entering The Jerk Store

I almost joined the Angry Mob.

I was walking down Broadway in Manhattan last night, just outside the Beacon Theater, where Steely Dan was performing. There was a man pushing a cart selling anti-Trump buttons and bumper stickers, doing a brisk business — on New York’s West Side, a bastion of liberal thought.

Walking in front of me was a tall white man with a solid build, wearing an expensive sport jacket. He passed the Trump cart and said in a loud voice, aimed at no one in particular “Well, I’m LOVING the economy!” And he continued walking.

It stopped me cold.

I fumbled the answer, like George Costanza in the “Seinfeld” episode “The Comeback.”

You remember it, of course. When his boss notices George wolfing down shrimp cocktail, he says, "Hey, George, the ocean called: they’re running out of shrimp."

George is slow to come back with a response, until later when he thinks up the phrase: "Well, the Jerk Store called, and they're running out of you.”

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But, a block past the Beacon, I’m still rolling the comeback around in my head.

“Economy? You mean the trillion dollars the GOP stole from health care and people’s retirement accounts to give to the 1%?” Nope. Too wordy.

“The economy? You mean the Dow’s 831.83 point drop on October 10? Have you checked your 401k lately?” Arg. Too geeky for a street comeback.

Maybe: “The economy? Sure, unemployment is down, if you want to work for minimum wage in retail or fast food. But actually take-home pay is stagnant, and some wages are declining adjusted for inflation.”

Shit. Getting the comeback right is hard.

But his comment continues to irk me. Doesn’t he know his economic gains aren’t earned, they’re stolen?

Maybe if I could respond with a picture?

Yeah, that would have done it.

But, back to the angry mob. If by angry you mean I’m concerned about the direction that this country is going in, and the dramatic growth in income inequality — then yes, I’m angry. if by mob you mean I’m joining my fellow Americans to speak out, write, call, email, and show up, then sure — I’m part of the mob.

There’s another word for “mob,” of course. We call them voters.

Nov. 6 is 14 days away.

Are you part of the mob that’s going to vote? If not, email me and tell me why. I’d like to know what will keep you from showing up.

OK, next time, I’ll have a chart in my pocket (I printed out this one), and I’ll show it to him. “Mobbed” with facts, there you go. I found my comeback.

13 comments about "The Comeback: Entering The Jerk Store".
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  1. Artie White from Zoom Media Corp, October 22, 2018 at 1:35 p.m.

    I have no love for Trump, but the Dow was at 18,000+ on the day of the 2016 election. It’s cruised as high as 26,000+ since then. An 800 point drop due to rising interest rates isn’t a big deal in that context. Again, I didn’t vote for Trump and never would, but as a comeback this one leaves you vulnerable. 

  2. Steve Rosenbaum from MagnifyMedia, October 22, 2018 at 1:58 p.m.

    I'm not sure how the rising Dow helps working people, with salaries flat, or declining. My point was - and is - that Mr. "Loving This Economy" isn't working a minimum wage job I'm pretty sure. 

  3. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network replied, October 22, 2018 at 2:04 p.m.

    I'm sure the rising Dow numbers are great news for those whose wages are stagnant, or declining.  Then again, they all have nice, fat stock portfolios, right?

  4. Artie White from Zoom Media Corp replied, October 22, 2018 at 2:50 p.m.

    I agree with you. The rising Dow does not help most people, especially the working poor. But you cited an 800 point drop in your article as a possible “comeback.” That same 800 point drop made headlines a couple of weeks ago too. But it’s not an argument that holds water. Either the Dow matters or it doesn’t. Pick one. 

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 22, 2018 at 3:17 p.m.

    People: The Dow comment has some of his tongue in his cheek. 

    We have seen people who said that they won't vote because there isn't a candidate that excites them. Maybe a magician could make them Sysiphus. From a college student - it's too complicated. Back to kindergarten. They don't know enough about _____ candidate with a phone in their hands twitting about getting drunk. Like there's no info on line or contact an office. Their vote doesn't count is a popular excuse for thousands or millions of people. 

    Until enough people feel enough personal pain, nothing happens. What's the cutoff ?

  6. Gian Fulgoni from 4490 Ventures, October 25, 2018 at 6:08 p.m.

    Silly me. I didn’t realize MediaPost was a publication for espousing political opinions

  7. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network replied, October 25, 2018 at 6:38 p.m.

    Gian:  It's only silly if you didn't notice that the comments are more about the actual state of the economy than political opinions.  

  8. Ken Kurtz from creative license, October 29, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.

    The economy is rolling along nicely enough. My violin is going to break from all the whining about stagnant wages, and the inability of working people to save. You want to know stagnant... my daughter's allowance. When the market crashed in 2008, and I lost my business, I told my then nine year old daughter to pick a few companies she liked, and admired. She did... and we bought stock in those companies in her name with allowance money she'd saved. Over the ensuing decade, she's purchased additional shares based upon her part time jobs baby-sitting, dogwalking, and again, that stagnant allowance. She's accumulated a portfolio worth over $20,000 as a high school senior. Rosenbaum, if you think that an 800 point drop is something to be afraid of, then you don't get it, and your bleeding heart may be keeping other people from realizing the BEST RETURNS possible in investing. Working stiffs... put down the $5 packs of ciggys, and $5 beers and invest. Be a part of it, instead of APART FROM IT. 

  9. Ken Kurtz from creative license, October 30, 2018 at 6:06 a.m.

    Ironic, really, this notion that Rosenbaum "almost" joined "the angry mob" when his pieces here clearly demonstrate that he's a leader of that mob. I mean, really, anybody that feels the need to put down somebody that is enjoying this robust economy by likening him to "a jerk" is, well, a bit of an angry jerk. As for his expressed anger at "income inequality"... there have always been, and forever will be ways to pull one's self out of inequality in this, the land of THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY on planet Earth, but there are many that refuse to do what's required to give themselves a leg up, including STOP BEING AFRAID of meaningless, reactionary 800 point DJIA drops (even my high school senior knew tht was nothing more than a buy opportunity so she could continue to enjoy the steady 7-8% returns that stocks deliver, plus dividends). The left will remain angry, as long as they remain ignorant about the truth, and on the outside looking in politically. Book that, along with 7-8% returns on stocks in the USA (yes, even with corrections, and crashes over the long haul). Stop with the "hair on fire" desire to demean somebody less ignorant than you, and capable of enjoying a strong, robust economy (something that Obama, who I voted for, could not help engineer in his eight years).  

  10. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network replied, October 30, 2018 at 1:46 p.m.

    It's truly great to hear that you're doing well in this economy Kenny. That's all that really matters.  By the way, how much of an income disparity will you accept before you admit that it's a terrible disparity?

  11. Ken Kurtz from creative license, November 1, 2018 at 1:14 p.m.

    For starters, it's not about how "well" I'm doing, or any other individual is doing "in this economy" Chuck. IT IS about how much better EVERYBODY is doing in this economy, and how much easier it is for people that perhaps weren't doing so well TO DO WELL NOW, as opposed to the eight laggard years of recovery that Obama was Imperial Prince over.

    I saw a guy that I felt was unemployable during the Obama years, those tepid, and dreary years when recovery was a mere trickle due to his socialistic tendencies, and inabiilty to recognize real life negative repercussions to liberal policies LAND AN UNBELIEVABLE JOB LAST WEEK!

    Yes... EVERY American has the potential in this economy to do better, and help themselves ameliorate whatever "income disparity" he/she may perceive for himself/herself. Which brings me to your question about what level of income disparity is "acceptable?" A bit of a red herring, really.

    First, I'm not doing nearly as well as I was ten years ago. In fact, my current income is only around 20% of what it was between 1997, and 2008. I left the advertising business, and started a real estate development company in the late 90's. We were very successful and averaged around $50,000,000 in sales for ten straight years. Had 29 full time employees, and put hundreds of subcontractors to work throughout that period. Of course, the real estate implosion, and credit crunch of 2007/2008 made that go POOF. On paper, I went from a "net worth" of around $30,000,000 to a net worth of $0. I barely held on to my family's home.

    I couldn't get a job, but I didn't bitch and moan about income disparities. Rather, I took three 100% commission sales jobs in advertising, and WORKED MY ASS OFF for three years without any guaranteed paycheck, or benefits. A commission sale I made for one of my old companies (Time Inc., a Meredith relic now, huh?) introduced me to a couple of young Georgia Tech guys that had an idea for a niche software product. Been riding with them for eight years now, and doing better. 59, going strong, and more convinced THAN EVER that this land of THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY on Planet Earth allows ANYBODY, regardless of background, to overcome whatever "income disparity" they perceive. Good gosh, I've seen the most unlikely people work hard and GET RICH in this country... no better place on the planet for somebody commited to hard, smart work (as well as commiteed to no whining) to elevate themselves, and make their fortune.

    So, enough with the relatively meaningless "terrible income disparities." They exist in socialistic countries as well between certain "well to do's" and "not so well to do's."

  12. Ken Kurtz from creative license, November 1, 2018 at 1:15 p.m.

    Jesus Himself pointed out that the "not so well to do's" will always be among us, and alluded to certain things that they didn't do, or have no intention of doing that will keep them as "not so well to do's." Even in a great economy like this one...<br /><br />Jesus also pointed out the ridiculousness of "government" taking from Peter to "lift up" Paul (it's what Obama propagated, unfortunately, Jesus was right. Government re-distribution never provides an actual leg-up, but a leg-down... and history continues to prove that out). The left, however, continues to push that failure because it does work at getting "not so well to do's" to vote Democratic. Something for FREE, FREE, FREE (not really, but it plays well) something for ME, ME, ME in the midst of this horrific (self-inflicted) <strong>"disparity."</strong>

  13. Ken Kurtz from creative license, November 1, 2018 at 1:25 p.m.

    Bottom line, that Rosenbaum was compelled to react to somebody enjoying the fact that there are jobs available for everybody again, and 401K savings are at all time highs, and THE FACT that the boat is floating nice and high right now BY BEING GEORGE COSTANZA-LIKE, as whiny an idiot of a character, as well as a caricature that has ever existed in television speaks to the terrible state of the left right now. Apoplectic is a fair description of the left, right now. Hateful as all get-out too.

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