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Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

December 22, 2011

“Dear Jamie Dimon”

Dear Jamie Dimon,

America is different than almost every other place on earth in that its citizenry reveres the wealthy and we are raised to believe that we can all one day join the ranks of the rich. … In a nation bereft of royalty by virtue of its republican birth, the American people have done what any other resourceful people would do – we’ve created our own royalty and our royalty is the 1%… We worship our rich to the point of obsession. The highest-rated television shows uniformly feature the unimaginably fabulous families of celebrities not to mention the housewives (real or otherwise) of the rich… if they’re rich, we are watching.

… when Steve Jobs died, he did so with more money than you or any of your “job alliance” buddies – ten times more than most of you, in fact. And upon his death the entire nation went into mourning… His biography flew off the shelves and people bought Apple products and stock shares in his honor and in his memory. Does that strike you as the action of a populace that hates success?No, Jamie, it is not that Americans hate successful people or the wealthy. In fact, it is just the opposite. We love the success stories in our midst and it is a distinctly American trait to believe that we can all follow in the footsteps of the elite, even though so few of us ever actually do.

So, no, we don’t hate the rich. What we hate are the predators.

America hates unjustified privilege, it hates an unfair playing field and crony capitalism …  it hates privatized gains and socialized losses, it hates rule changes that benefit the few at the expense of the many and it hates people who have been bailed out and don’t display even the slightest bit of remorse or humbleness in the presence of so much suffering in the aftermath.

Nobody hates your right to make money, Jamie. They hate how you and certain others have made it.

Don’t be confused on this score for a moment longer.

Josh Brown nails it in this open letter to JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon

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