Friday, May 27, 2011

Hypocrisy ... thy name is DSK

"L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu."--La Rochefoucauld

We've learned a lot about DSK's residential requisites over the past week: the riyad in Marrakech, the 2 apartments in Paris (including a 250 m2 in the Place des Vosges), and now 620 m2 in Tribeca at $50,000 a month. Which makes the attack below on Hervé Gaymard a bit rich. All's fair in love, war, and politics, but I'm betting Gaymard wanted to get up and slug the guy. And make no mistake: DSK's fortune has shifted the focus from the bling-bling president to the left's double discourse about wealth, with DSK as exhibit no. 1. (Manuel Valls' comment on the party's embarrassment here.)


Strauss-Kahn cartonne Hervé Gaymard by aklineuropa

8 comments:

Guilhem said...

Strauss Kahn bashing is fine, but I don't see why paying a rent of 50 000$ would prevent him for criticizing someone whose 14 000 € rent was paid by the state...

meshplate said...

Brilliant find, Art! What a putz!

brent said...

@Guilhem: I wouldn't recommend politics as a career. Perhaps law.

meshplate said...

Guys in the PS like Valls who fail cut with DSK and the grotesque compromise that he has landed the party in are unbelievable. If personal loyalty and opportunism is still even now trumping principal, god help the PS come election time. Yes it's disgusting that he's paying $50k a month while he's on trial, and yes paying the worst and highest priced attack dog lawyers in the US to come up with some below the belt arguments goes beyond the mere right to defend himself.

meshplate said...

I meant to write principle, not principal of course!

Guilhem said...

@Brent: worst, I'm an economist. But still, I don't see why being super rich should prevent anyone from criticizing people who steal from the state. There is a huge difference between being rich enough to be able to afford a 50 000 $ rent and having the tax payers pay your 14 000 € rent. I do not see DSK being hypocrit there.

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Guilhem, He's not accusing Gaymard of "stealing" from the state, since how much rent to pay for an appart' de fonction is a legitimate decision of a state official. He's criticizing Gaymard, as a representative of the Republic, for living so far above the means of a Smicard. Hence there is an implicit critique of inequality and separateness from the people as diqualifications for one who would be a legitimate governor. Yet at the same time he disposed of a vast private fortune and seems to have felt no contradiction. That's the way I see it. The economist's view strikes me as rather bloodless: each agent has his "endowment" and makes the free "choices" dictated by his preferences in light of the budget constraint thus defined. This is a nice abstraction, but as Brent says, it demonstrates a lack of political instinct.

Guilhem said...

@Arthur Goldhammer> Thanks for taking the time to answer. And please, do not put all economists in the same basket: not all of them are as bloodless and lacking of political instinct as I apparently am.
Then I guess we could argue forever about how to interpret the first seconds of this interview, and about hypocrisy of politicians in general, but I'm guessing that we both have better things to do.