Friday, the Thirteenth

“[D]uring the last twenty years there has grown up in this country a set of colossal corporations in which unmeasured success and continued immunity from punishment have bred an insolent disregard of law, of common morality, and of public and private right, together with a grim determination to hold on to, at all hazards, the great possessions they have gulped or captured. It is the same “System” which has taken from the millions of our people billions of dollars and given them over to a score or two of men with power…”

History repeats itself, and repeats itself. . .

Thomas Lawson wrote these words in 1904. He had made a lot of money from what he called “gambling” on the stock market; became disillusioned with what he had done and wrote a series of four articles warning about people like himself; then published a novel called Friday, the Thirteenth, about a stock broker who planned to bring down Wall Street on that day; and then, even more disillusioned because nobody cared, went back to gambling on the market.

On the day of Tom Friedman’s column, the most e-mailed article from the Times was about Pinot Noir. At least Bernie Madoff went to jail the next day, and on this Friday the thirteenth, the stock market’s not down (yet).

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