Blow it all, cry the liberal grasshoppers

He who dies with the most toys actually loses.  So says a do-gooding harridan at Bloomberg, financial advice flogger, and journalist, Farnoosh Torabi.  In an opinion piece that's both shamelessly boastful and reader-shaming, Torabi exhorts us all to think like billionaires when determining our bequeathments.  How so?  First things first: Confer with hedge fund managers, whose illimitable bank accounts could buy and sell our humble abodes ten times over.

Torabi explains that after chatting with Bill Perkins, deep-pocketed financier, cardsharp, and author of Die with Zero, she was struck by the revelation that "spending more money while you're alive is more fulfilling than leaving behind a nest egg." 

"Fulfilling for whom exactly, ma'am?" is the operative question.  For the handful of us who host a popular podcast and live in a Brooklyn co-op?  The answer is, apparently, everyone, from Bill Gates to the grease monkey drawing down $15 an hour at your local repair shop.

The give-it-all-away ethos is an article of faith among the jet-setting Davos class.  But Torabi is a convert to the notion that it "should become mainstream."  Again, mainstream like Miley Cyrus or mainstream like a Walmart shelf-stocker isn't a distinction acknowledged or explained.  Torabi only implores readers to deny their natural urge for posterity, take up their philanthropic crosses, and follow her.

Her well meaning proposal hits a number of snags, the least of which is the intended audience of her moralizing tract.  The class of people who read Bloomberg are not the type to punch a physical time card or contribute the minimum amount to their 401(k) (if their employer even provides one).  They don't constitute the great swath of what's called the "middle class."  More likely, the casual Bloomberg reader is of the professional overclass who laze through office jobs, spending idle hours loafing around online, unironically perusing the London Review of Books on their lunch break at Prêt à Manger.  Or they're bug-eyed traders who already have their inheritance mapped out in Pimco bond holdings and Amazon stock and don't need any edgewise advice.

The reach of Torabi's appeal is circumscribed by that old sorting devil of economic status.  But her message is rooted in mainstream liberalism, which emphasizes here-and-now satisfaction over prolonged, piecemeal struggle.  The Wimpy motto of paying tomorrow for what you want today is the organizing principle of leftist politics.

It's why every Democratic presidential candidate for the past two decades has proposed to up the estate tax or eliminate loopholes related to it.  Joe Biden plans to tax the capital gains on assets gifted to heirs, which would provide a disincentive to not hold on to property or valuables for the next of kin.  Kamala Harris, during her brief campaign for presidential top seed, proposed increasing the estate tax on the loathed top 1 percent, with the additional pilfered funds funneled to teachers.  Bernie Sanders, the beating heart of liberals' fluttery desires, wanted to nip as much as 77% of the value of bequeathed estates.

All this wealth, pried away from the age-old practice of securing generational continuity, won't be stored in its own cordoned section within the public till.  Green-eyeshaded Treasury Department stiffs won't keep guard over the goods until they handsomely bloom after decades of soaking up interest.  As with Social Security, the dough will be spent now, not later, on those living today, not the souls of tomorrow.  The offer Democrats make to voters is as simplistic as it is appetitively whetting: sell the future for present happiness.

Torabi's sans-legacy advice is another variant of this shortsighted presentism.  Transcendent moral concepts like duty and fidelity don't figure in liberalism's material mindset.  They're superstitions masking greed.  To make right with the liberal crowd, you must sever the bionormative urge to pass the fruit of your life's labor down the congenital line.  Spend, spend, spend today!  Push any thought of tomorrow to the side.  And if you die an intestate, all the better: no thorny legal prohibitions to the state seizing your monetary leftovers.

"History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present," Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Torabi wishes for us to forsake loyalty to the communion of shared blood for a short-lived spending high.  Given the country's level of debt, both private and public, it would seem like the party's gone on long enough, the punch bowl scraped dry, and some officers of authority required to shut it down.

Image: Pikrepo.

He who dies with the most toys actually loses.  So says a do-gooding harridan at Bloomberg, financial advice flogger, and journalist, Farnoosh Torabi.  In an opinion piece that's both shamelessly boastful and reader-shaming, Torabi exhorts us all to think like billionaires when determining our bequeathments.  How so?  First things first: Confer with hedge fund managers, whose illimitable bank accounts could buy and sell our humble abodes ten times over.

Torabi explains that after chatting with Bill Perkins, deep-pocketed financier, cardsharp, and author of Die with Zero, she was struck by the revelation that "spending more money while you're alive is more fulfilling than leaving behind a nest egg." 

"Fulfilling for whom exactly, ma'am?" is the operative question.  For the handful of us who host a popular podcast and live in a Brooklyn co-op?  The answer is, apparently, everyone, from Bill Gates to the grease monkey drawing down $15 an hour at your local repair shop.

The give-it-all-away ethos is an article of faith among the jet-setting Davos class.  But Torabi is a convert to the notion that it "should become mainstream."  Again, mainstream like Miley Cyrus or mainstream like a Walmart shelf-stocker isn't a distinction acknowledged or explained.  Torabi only implores readers to deny their natural urge for posterity, take up their philanthropic crosses, and follow her.

Her well meaning proposal hits a number of snags, the least of which is the intended audience of her moralizing tract.  The class of people who read Bloomberg are not the type to punch a physical time card or contribute the minimum amount to their 401(k) (if their employer even provides one).  They don't constitute the great swath of what's called the "middle class."  More likely, the casual Bloomberg reader is of the professional overclass who laze through office jobs, spending idle hours loafing around online, unironically perusing the London Review of Books on their lunch break at Prêt à Manger.  Or they're bug-eyed traders who already have their inheritance mapped out in Pimco bond holdings and Amazon stock and don't need any edgewise advice.

The reach of Torabi's appeal is circumscribed by that old sorting devil of economic status.  But her message is rooted in mainstream liberalism, which emphasizes here-and-now satisfaction over prolonged, piecemeal struggle.  The Wimpy motto of paying tomorrow for what you want today is the organizing principle of leftist politics.

It's why every Democratic presidential candidate for the past two decades has proposed to up the estate tax or eliminate loopholes related to it.  Joe Biden plans to tax the capital gains on assets gifted to heirs, which would provide a disincentive to not hold on to property or valuables for the next of kin.  Kamala Harris, during her brief campaign for presidential top seed, proposed increasing the estate tax on the loathed top 1 percent, with the additional pilfered funds funneled to teachers.  Bernie Sanders, the beating heart of liberals' fluttery desires, wanted to nip as much as 77% of the value of bequeathed estates.

All this wealth, pried away from the age-old practice of securing generational continuity, won't be stored in its own cordoned section within the public till.  Green-eyeshaded Treasury Department stiffs won't keep guard over the goods until they handsomely bloom after decades of soaking up interest.  As with Social Security, the dough will be spent now, not later, on those living today, not the souls of tomorrow.  The offer Democrats make to voters is as simplistic as it is appetitively whetting: sell the future for present happiness.

Torabi's sans-legacy advice is another variant of this shortsighted presentism.  Transcendent moral concepts like duty and fidelity don't figure in liberalism's material mindset.  They're superstitions masking greed.  To make right with the liberal crowd, you must sever the bionormative urge to pass the fruit of your life's labor down the congenital line.  Spend, spend, spend today!  Push any thought of tomorrow to the side.  And if you die an intestate, all the better: no thorny legal prohibitions to the state seizing your monetary leftovers.

"History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present," Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Torabi wishes for us to forsake loyalty to the communion of shared blood for a short-lived spending high.  Given the country's level of debt, both private and public, it would seem like the party's gone on long enough, the punch bowl scraped dry, and some officers of authority required to shut it down.

Image: Pikrepo.