Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wrong Time for Chutzpah

Was it real chutzpah or just bad timing? To the extent that Forbes probably still prides itself as a "capitalist tool," it was probably a bit of both. Still, one would have thought that editors Matthew Miller and Duncan Greenberg would have known better that to release their list of "The 400 Richest Americans" on the second catastrophic day of what may yet become a catastrophic week. The message is certainly one that is far beyond Schadenfreude. Just how are the rest of us supposed to react to the editors' introductory summary?

The rich haven't gotten richer--or poorer--this year. For the second year in a row, the price of admission to The Forbes 400 is $1.3 billion. In this, the 27th edition of the list, the assembled net worth of America's wealthiest rose by $30 billion--only 2%--to $1.57 trillion.

Perhaps this is a list for the rest of us; so we know whom to ask, "Brother, can you spare a dime?" This is not the rank stupidity of running an airline advertisement on the same page as a report of an airplane crash; so it must be chutzpah (and that "only 2%" is the cherry on top)! Enjoy your Chutzpah of the Week award, guys!

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