Posted May 7, 2024 by Ben Carlson

One of my favourite popular civilization developments successful caller years is nan celebrated personification property tour.

If you constitute a caller book aliases person a caller movie aliases TV show coming out, you person to talk to each outlet imaginable to waste your project. There is truthful overmuch contented and truthful overmuch title for our attraction these days that moreover uber-successful group are forced to make nan difficult sell.

That intends going connected each large podcast. Then location are nan greeting shows, astir apt immoderate sports-pop civilization outlets and moreover a GQ aliases Rolling Stone profile.

There is nary mono-culture anymore, truthful you person to flood each disposable channels successful bid to get nan connection out.

Jerry Seinfeld has been connected an all-out media blitz these past fewer weeks to beforehand his caller movie connected Netflix.1

My favourite question and reply was his quality connected nan Blocks Podcast pinch chap comedian Neal Brennan. The 2 comics are friends, truthful Seinfeld seemed comfortable capable to wax poetic connected a number of different topics.

My finance encephalon was instantly drawn to their chat astir money. Jerry talked astir really money civilization changed everlastingly successful nan 1980s:

SEINFELD: In nan seventies, this is nan tragic move of American culture. And this was explained to maine by Mario Joiner who cracked this puzzle that I could not fig retired what nan hellhole happened. That money became everything. What happened because it was not for illustration that successful nan seventies. In nan seventies, it’s really cool is your job? How cool is what you’re doing? If your job’s cooler than my job, you hit me.

BRENNAN: And nary 1 said, really overmuch are you making?

SEINFELD: Oh, you’re doing okay. You’re making this? Yeah. Who cares? And Mario Joiner explained this to me. He said nan eighties was nan first clip that young guys could make a batch of money fast.

Never existed before. Rich guys were Aristotle Onassis, Andrew Carnegie, shipping, iron. You couldn’t make a batch of money accelerated successful those days.

And it has poisoned our civilization to this day. It’s poison.

The Wall Street Journal had a poll past twelvemonth that shows nan stock of Americans who opportunity patriotism, religion, having children and organization engagement are very important to them person taken a nosedive successful caller decades. But look astatine nan value of money:

It conscionable continues to rise.

You person to return astir surveys pinch a atom of brackish but it is existent successful galore ways that money has replaced nan institutions erstwhile generations valued. Just look astatine nan inclination successful religion rank successful nan United States:

So what happened? When did money go a deity successful our society?

The maturation of nan finance manufacture successful nan 1980s surely played a domiciled successful what Seinfeld is talking about. Charley Ellis erstwhile described what it was for illustration moving Wall Street backmost successful nan 1960s erstwhile he went into finance:

The activity was interesting, but cipher expected to make overmuch money–unless you uncovered a awesome maturation stock, which was what we each secretly hoped to do. MBAs were uncommon. PhDs were ne'er seen. Commissions still averaged 40 cents a share. All trading was insubstantial based. Messengers pinch immense achromatic boxes connected wheels, filled pinch banal and enslaved certificates, scurried from agent to agent trying to complete “good deliveries” of banal and enslaved certificates.

The 1980s gave america Gordon Gekko, junk bonds, much securitized products, derivatives and Wall Street arsenic a destination for agleam young people. The dualing bull markets successful stocks and bonds besides helped make group rich. The financialization of everything is simply a inclination that has continued to this day.

The financial and security industries comprised astir 1.5% of GDP by nan mid-19th century. By nan extremity of World War II, it was only up to 2.5% of nan pie. Finance was a reasonably unchangeable 4% of nan system done nan 1960s and 1970s.

The biggest jump connected grounds started successful nan 1980s. By nan onset of nan Great Financial Crisis, nan finance manufacture accounted for much than 8% of GDP, which is astir wherever it stands today.

A decent chunk of that maturation started successful nan 1990s arsenic Wall Street financed nan IT revolution. Tech is different manufacture that has minted an astonishing number of rich | young group successful nan past fewer decades.1

Most group didn’t request these numbers to cognize Seinfeld’s mentation checks out. Americans are obsessed pinch money. It’s 1 of nan things that makes america awesome and miserable astatine nan aforesaid time.

I’m not suggesting money isn’t important. It is. Money tin bargain security, comfort, wellness and a amended modular of living. Maybe money can’t bargain happiness but it’s overmuch easier to debar misery if you person enough.

The problem is money can’t capable nan void successful your life.

Seinfeld says fulfilling activity is nan solution to nan poisons of money:

Okay. I had a bunch of kids astir nan array past night. And I said to them, immoderate of them are starting to work. I said, if your activity is unfulfilling, nan money will beryllium too.

Comedians are nan modern-day philosophers.

The full question and reply is worthy a listen:

Further Reading:
Timeless Themes From nan Movie Wall Street

1I didn’t watch it yet but I’ll springiness it a effort eventually.

2Finance and tech besides dress up astir 45% of U.S. banal marketplace capitalization.