Twenty

Meet Suzy and Bob.

They’re good people. Bob has worked for twenty years in the financial services industry helping people build wealth and plan for their futures. Futures most Americans can’t fathom. He’s been a good saver and made some shrewd investments of his own, so his family is prosperous.

Suzy is an ideal mom. She takes care of the house and the children and volunteers with a non-profit, one that brings in a lot of money and has a bunch of directors making well into six figures. She loves Bob unconditionally, loves her life and everyone loves her.

They’re ideal neighbors with a carefully coiffed lawn and regular churchgoers.

The problem is they’re not really good people. You see, a lot of Bob’s investments and windfalls were made with companies that do horrible things. In the wake of their profit, you’ll find a swath of ecocide and financial decisions that enriched senior management while hurting workers. They give money to a church that supports misogyny and a human rights violations.

Bob also banged a few coworkers over the years, but all of this is conveniently hidden behind the scenes. The curtain is never lifted to reveal what goes on backstage. How the money is made, what happens to people during the process and rarely, if ever, is the hypocrisy revealed.

You might say Suzy is innocent, but apathy is moral failure. Maybe she didn’t ask about how their portfolio skyrocketed, because she didn’t care. Maybe she was afraid to ask. Maybe she was afraid she might reveal her financial illiteracy. But maybe she did know and went along with full knowledge.

Eventually, Suzy and Bob had a big fight. Bob got a little too friendly with Annette at the club the other night. Probably had one too many Old Fashioned’s. The fight continued to the next morning, as Suzy hurled accusations at Bob. There was screaming and a few threats. Then the doorbell rang, and they suddenly stopped screaming. Bob walked to the door and opened it, and joy be, it was their neighbors, the Thompson’s.

Suzy stepped up toward the door, her face beaming with happiness, and says, “Richard, Amy, please come in! We’re so happy to see you.” Bob follows her with his own warm welcome, blithely ignoring what happened only minutes before. “Yes, yes, please come in.”

“Well, we can’t stay, but wanted to hand deliver this invitation to a fund raiser for Les Passees. How are you guys?”

Snuggling close to Bob Suzy says, “Oh, we’re wonderful! How thoughtful of you. Bob and I are delighted to go.”

“Yes, happy to go. Delightful.”

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