Are the ‘Global Elite’ a Bunch of Extreme Hoarders Killing Us All?
Money and property hoarding are the same — yet money hoarding hurts many more innocent people.
Anyone who’s watched A & E’s “Hoarders” has seen the horrors that can accumulate in a hoarder’s dwelling, from dessicated cat corpses to thousands of swarming rats. Anyone who has read Dickens’ Great Expectations knows that one of literature’s most infamous hoarders, Miss Havisham, never took off her wedding dress, doomed her daughter to a horrible life, and saved her rotten wedding cake for decades before in a fit of madness, she set her hoarder house on fire.
Generally regarded as an expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), object or animal hoarding is so disturbing to non-hoarders that although the similarity between financial wealth hoarding and object hoarding is obvious, criteria have been added to the psychological definition of hoarding disorder that preclude wealth accumulation. Specifically, hoarding disorder is defined as a behavior pattern that involves the collection of physical objects which lead to conditions of physical harm and emotional and social deprivation and stress to the hoarder. Only a few discussions and diagnoses include the impact of hoarding on family, neighbors and community even though people watch the shows because they share the common human fascination with the appalling, the vile, the bizarre.
‘Hoarders’ is a never-ending orgy of hideous, disgusting, gut-churning hoards and intractable hoarders hell-bent on dying under a massive pile of junk able to be seen from Google Earth.
We overlook and excuse the world’s wealth hoarders just like this famous book attempted to make kidnapping and sexual torture “sexy” and “romantic” instead of …
Miser. Scrooge. Cheapskate. Skinflint. Penny-pincher. Tightwad.
No one wants to be called any of these names. The word scrooge comes from one of the most famous characters in literature: Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’
Yes we are living in Dickensian times.
The difference between then and now is that I never had to live as Moll Flanders and I’m here at age 56, still alive, still typing. That is what we call progress.
Like small children, we take hesitant steps toward viewing psychological illness as something that impacts not only the individual, but also families and communities. We begin to recognize that those around the affected individual suffer as well and need care and healing.
It isn’t hard to see that someone who collects every piece of trash that crossed their doorstep plus 200 cats represents a health hazard to someone other than themselves. Many hoarders with families are at-risk of having their children removed from the hoarding home because of severe health and safety hazards.
Few people seem to interpret the unceasing instances of blatant disregard for the health, safety and well-being of any and all others on the part of the global elite as anything “wrong” or a “problem.”
Some people even aspire to being mega-rich as a positive value. Does anyone aspire to be an end-stage extreme hoarder?
It’s difficult to find a significant psychological difference between a hoarder who thinks it’s “reasonable” to freeze the corpses of 200 cats or someone who thinks it’s “reasonable” to foreclose 80,000 homes using fraudulent means, putting as many as 250,000 people out on the streets.
Cat Lady and Money Man have the same regard for others: none. The difference is scale. Cat Lady has control over a small, dilapidated house and innocent animals. Money Man had the means to devastate the lives of hundreds of thousands. Now he’s got the power to take down tens, and even hundreds of millions.
The article’s header is the Santa Ana River homeless encampment of thousands, a camp extending for miles along both sides of the bike trail. These people didn’t end up there because there was something wrong with them. They ended up there because there’s something wrong with Mnuchin and all the others who foreclosed on over 2 million California homeowners since 2008. Almost 10% of California homes stand vacant, according to RealtyTrac. They ended up there because we, collectively, failed to take action to stop the devastation.
19th Century Scrooge could only hurt Bob Cratchit, his family, and Tiny Tim until he, in Dickens’ gaslit fantasy world, discovered the power of love.
Does anyone honestly think that any counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist could establish a treatment plan that could produce Scrooge-like revelations and positive changes for an adult like Mnuchin, like Trump, like Mark Cuban, like Stephen Cloobeck (who preys upon the elderly), like Warren Buffett, like Bill Gates, like Jeff Bezos ? Can these people be helped any more than any of the people on “Hoarders”?
They’ve been Scrooging all of us for DECADES. They don’t care that we’re starving any more than Scrooge gave a damn that Tiny Tim was tiny due to malnutrition and limping about his dark, tiny single-room home on a makeshift crutch and his father, the hardworking, uncomplaining Bob Cratchit, was practically starved to death and freezing on the job. Cratchit’s work is the very work that made Scrooge rich enough to be a miser.
Can you imagine “A Christmas Carol” in which charming Dickensian Londoners rose up and berated Bob Cratchit for his long-suffering service to Scrooge which barely fed and clothed his family? That they wandered the streets singing songs of how it was Cratchit’s fault Tiny Tim had a bum leg and had to use a home-made crutch because he “lacked access to healthcare”?
Christ on His Cross.
There are employed people who are living homeless in every wealthy California city. Cities like Santa Barbara even have overnight parking areas to accommodate them. The people were living by the Santa Ana River in a tent because we not only forgot Dickens’ message, we forgot Christ’s message. We forgot everything.
At least 12 percent of Americans think themselves virtuous because they voted for a woman who had not one, but two plagiarizing “spiritual advisers,” one of whom was an on-the-job sex harasser that she enabled and excused. In addition to this, she most recently iced her spoiled hoarder cake with dung frosting by saying that women who failed to vote for her did so because they voted
“the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should”
This candidate did what her husband wanted when she called the 21-year-old intern her husband was dicking over the desk in the Oval Office a “narcissistic loony tune,” or the woman he was dicking in the closet while she was giving a speech in the Governor’s mansion a “failed lounge singer.” She did what her husband wanted, using the work of “convicted African-American prisoners” to provide “free labor” after they were tried and sentenced to life terms for murder as teenagers and she did what her husband wanted when she called other African-American teens “Super Predators”. Hillary Clinton is Rosa Dartle and Mrs. Murdstone — maybe the bizarre Clinton marriage makes her a 21st century Miss Havisham; Louise Linton is Mrs. Jellyby the self-righteous African charity worker (sans kids).
In the words of another Dickens character, Oliver Twist, scraping porridge from his meager breakfast dish while working as an 8-year-old at the bootblack factory:
Please, Sir, can I have some more?
We don’t let little kids work at bootblack factories in the West any more, but there are millions of Olivers in other parts of the world.
As to our problem with our small army of insanely wealthy, messed-up Scrooges, you wouldn’t let a hoarder with 200 dead cats in her house live next to you, and probably not down the block. Maybe not even in your neighborhood.
But the next town over? Hard to say, isn’t it? You let them suck the life out of other countries and it’s taken us down many notches of health here in the U.S. I just learned that wages in the U.K. are 10% less on average now than they were a decade ago.
That’s how they get away with it.
You know the difference between Ebenezer Scrooge and Stephen Mnuchin or Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Scrooge was a fictional character to whom Dickens could offer a cure and a happy ending. Bob Cratchit, unlike most Americans, never believed what Scrooge was doing was ‘for his own good’ or ‘his fault for not getting a better job.’
If you’re like me, you’ve watched “Hoarders” a few times (the show now airs on TLC, not A & E).
Watching even one or two “hoarding” shows, most of us are struck by how bizarrely self-obsessed, blind, and unaware of the damage they cause hoarders are. Hoarding is another order of self-obsessed from other illnesses with which we may be familiar. It’s impossible for anyone to truly talk sense into the hoarder. They care about nothing but their hoard.
Extreme hoarders exhibit little to no concern for their children’s safety, quality of life, and well being. According to in-depth reports of the impact of interventions and forced clean-outs on hoarding, the recidivism rate is 100% unless the hoarder seeks therapy and treatment. Only 60% of hoarders receiving continuous therapy and treatment stop, and as soon as the therapy stops, the hoarding compulsion returns.
Today’s money and power hoarders aren’t any more self-aware or interested in anybody’s welfare including their own — climate change, war, income inequality are their versions of dead cat corpses or mounts of mummified Happy Meals. They are simply rich, famous versions of Scrooge or 200 Cat Lady or 700 Cat Couple. They may even be less aware their behavior causes problems for themselves and others than Jackie Kennedy’s cousins “Little Edie” and “Big Edie”, the wealthy sisters who hoarded at Grey Gardens.
The behavior and problem is the same. Only the house that’s being destroyed belongs to all of us.
We need to stop them. For our good — the greater good.
And yes, even for their own selfish, greedy, twisted selves.
Otherwise, Bob Cratchit will collapse from the cold, Tiny Tim will die of malnutrition, and the coal will spill forth from Scrooge’s hoarded coal scuttle, and the fire will be climbing up the drapes and it will set Louise Linton’s black leather Cruella outfit on fire and she will, like Miss Havisham, die of horrible wounds — with Pip and us unable to save her.
150 years ago I was a rich man’s perhaps a bit kindly whore.
Today I am a writer.
Life is getting better but it is unacceptable for 1 billion people who do not cause harm to continue to live in poverty, including 1.5 million Americans (and likely more). It is unacceptable for 3.5 million people in this country alone to be homeless. It is unacceptable for the average full-time employed American to work 47 hours a week and be unable to pay a mortgage on an average home or even, in some cities, rent on an average apartment.
When will there be mummified dead cats enough for us to say “Enough!”