2018 was a year filled with idiots—including the idiots who rule our cursed capitalist hellscape. Here are some of the worst.
If you don’t understand the “crypto” space, imagine a system in which you give someone all your money, and in return they give you an imaginary thing that doesn’t exist at all or mean anything, like magic beans without the beans. “YOU’RE GONNA LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY,” we screamed helpfully, along with many other, less respected financial experts. Alas, people did not listen to us, and lost all their money. Guess you should have listened to Splinter—idiots!!!
David Rolf, Andy Stern, and the gig-friendly labor thinkers
In January, Uber found an unlikely ally: The former Seattle union leader David Rolf, who signed a joint statement with Uber’s CEO advocating for “portable benefits” for workers—which would conveniently allow the company to avoid treating its workers as actual employees. As labor movement ideas go, this is of the same intellectual lineage as the stuff spouted by former SEIU head Andy Stern, who now advocates for a universal basic income (in speeches at the Aspen Ideas Festival) because he considers traditional unions to be incapable of dealing with modernity. Not to be all “circular firing squad,” but with labor leaders like these, who needs Republicans?
Elon Musk, you fake-haired Twitter psycho: Your overworked, injured-on-the-job, racism-sick factory employees are going to UNIONIZE one day, motherfucker. Save a spot for yourself on a rocket to Mars.
Univision is a fucking mess. No one deserves more credit for that than warmongering Israel ultra-hawk Haim Saban, Univision’s chairman and our boss. This is a man who peaked at “owning the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” Since then, he has run Univision into debt penury, dragged the Democratic Party to the right, and been one of the most prominent moneyed supporters of Hillary Clinton—our current president. Adios, Saban. We’ll see you around!
Bald neo-Rockefellerian and plutocrat for the ages Jeff Bezos was smart enough to sell more sheer tonnage of useless crap than anyone in American history, but not smart enough to be able to think of anything to spend his money on except building space ships. Need a good charity, Jeff? How about paying your workers a living wage, you newly-muscled fuck? (Or, buy GMG! It worked out well for Haim Saban.)
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican billionaire Ricketts funded ads saying Donald Trump was unfit to be president—and then, when Trump won the primary, he donated a million dollars to help him become president. In 2017, Ricketts shut down DNAinfo and Gothamist just because he hates unions. Joe Ricketts is one of the ten most despicable people in America. There is not a joke here.
April, 2018: Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson “reportedly owes $1 billion, one of the biggest tax bills ever.”
November 2018: “Once, I think, our children go to college, I think it’s likely that we’ll establish residence in Puerto Rico,” John Paulson says. “It’s the only place a U.S. citizen can go and literally avoid, legally, all their taxes.”
John Paulson made $4 billion betting on the financial crisis and then proceeded to lose many more billions of his investors’ dollars since then by betting on the corrupt pharmaceutical company Valeant.
You’re a real piece of shit, John Paulson.
The Home Depot billionaire “wrote” a book this year titled I Love Capitalism, the publication of which was immediately followed by hundreds of Home Depot employees explaining at length how working for Home Depot had made them despise capitalism. Sure, Langone is responsible for one of the most morally atrocious executive paydays in history, but to be completely fair to him, he also looks like a fucked up eagle that flew into a glass building and has never been the same since.
Laurene Powell Jobs
With her $20 billion fortune, Jobs has chosen the rocky path of many of the idle rich: buying media properties. She bought The Atlantic. She invested in Axios. She even bought the damn Pop Up Magazine, which is just a made-up idea. Though we’re all in favor of money pouring into journalism like a mighty river, we fear that Jobs, like most rich dilettantes, will one day tire of this loathsome and thankless industry and drift off to other pursuits, leaving us all high and dry. Instead of bowing before these billionaires, journalists should get funding from… ah… from…….
We love Apple. Call us. Please.
All of your money can’t buy you a face that is not locked permanently in a dead-eyed stare, Zuck. Only old people and evil government security services use Facebook now anyhow :(
NFL owners had a banner year for being stupidly evil, which is saying something considering we’re talking about a group of insanely wealthy aging white men who love and profit off a game that’s mostly about brain smushing. But their response to the protests against police violence was the product of a years-long effort to dominate and bully league commissioner Roger Goodell, and by blackballing Colin Kaepernick and, until recently, Eric Reid, their efforts appear to have paid off. Fuck them.
Aging Nike emperor Knight, ensconced in his athletic castle that hovers on a cloud over Oregon, tried to singlehandedly buy the Oregon governor’s race this year, donating millions to support Republican Knute Buehler. Who lost! Suck on a sneaker, Sweatshop Phil. (And Oregon, please reform your crappy campaign finance laws.)
Master of the Universe Schwarzman, best known for throwing himself a historically lavish birthday party during the depths of the Great Recession, has eased comfortably into his role as a Trump whisperer, an easy transition from his role as a Trump Wall Street fundraiser. He is the platonic ideal of “rich financier who would happily back Hitler in exchange for access to government contracts.” Now is as good a time as any to remember that in 2010, Schwarzman’s “New Year’s wish for the city of New York” was “to create a tax regime for foreign citizens domiciled in the city to have it comparable to the tax treatment of similar people in London.” GOD you’re a dork.