Bernard Madoff, scammer, 70 years old, worth $823 million dollars, master of the Ponzi scheme, pled guilty on Thursday, and now faces a maximum 150 years in prison. By the time the sentencing hearing comes around, he might actually be sentenced to 15-25 years in prison, and eventually be released early if he’s a good boy. The judge revoked the possibility of bail, so unless an appeal of that decision is successful, it looks like his sentence has already begun. Good. Sit there and rot.
Oddly enough, though, I find myself not having excessive amounts of sympathy for most of the folks who were had by him. I look at it this way: the ones who had millions to invest probably live quite well; if they had excess cash lying around, and decided to gamble with it (because, come on, that’s what the stock market game really is: one big gambling high), then they have to take the lumps with the likes. Sometimes, when you gamble, you win. Other times, you lose. This time, you lost…to a fellow who was determined to not lose his gamble. They’re all fish swimming in the same pond. At least they still have their beautiful houses and luxury SUVs, although they might have to give up a car or two to make up for the retirement plan they are now short of.
On the other hand, when poor people lose their homes, their jobs, their cars, whatever…they lose everything. They are not losing an excess of anything…they lose it all. Starting over, for them, is a hell of a lot more difficult than it will be for many of the victims of Madoff, master of Ponziville. They don’t concern themselves with questions of how they will sustain themselves in retirement, because they’re too busy freaking out wondering how they will feed them families tomorrow. While the wealthy can revel in righteous outrage, the poor can only quiver in fear. Maybe it’s the socialist in me, or maybe my heart is altogether too hard, but while I certainly want the wealthy victims to see justice, my heart is not spilling drops of blood for them.
And that is why I am not altogether interested in Bernie Madoff and have not blogged about him at all. Meh.