Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoons, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal not long ago. In it, he postulates that, among other things, you should buy BP stock, not exactly because of the Gulf Spill, but because right now everybody hates BP, their stock is in the toilet and sooner or later they’ll bounce back and you’ll get rich. Basically, the strategy is buy the companies you hate because you hate them for one of two reasons- they have products that everyone wants (like the cult-like Apple corporation) or they’re doing something you despise because they’re rich and ruthless and just going through a bad patch right now, but as everyone knows, the rich ruthless guys usually win. Sound strategy, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Adams is any less of a slimy little creep for doing it.
Every good investor works this way…it’s the old “buy low, sell high” principle. It’s sound investment advice too, and in two or three years BP stock will probably rebound like Exxon’s did after the Valdez disaster…unless in this case BP decides to say screw it and just goes out of business, of course. But Scott Adams’ investment strategy, although it’ll make him even richer than he already is (like he needs that extra money), remains a reprehensible way to invest. He should just go out, if he can tear his balding butt away from his drawing board, and rob old ladies or something. That makes money too. Or, if there’s ever a lull in war (fat chance, and sadly, a missed opportunity for Mr. Adams), pick up some military supplier stocks. Selling guns to petty African dictators is a good way to make money too.
It’s the same thing as picking up some BP stock because apparently, according to preliminary investigations, BP knew that there was a problem about to occur hours before it happened. The guys on the Deepwater Horizon were arguing with BP execs about whether or not to use a single or double seal cap on the well head and, in spite of knowing the potential for a blowout, BP went with the single seal. Why? Because they were behind schedule by a month and the Deepwater Horizon was costing around a half million a day, so they were like, fifteen million over budget and the single seal was faster. What better reason?
So, these highly trained experts decided, fuck it, profits before protection and killed eleven men outright and destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of others, not to mention devastating an entire eco-system for probably decades to come. So, as a reward, Scott Adams decides to buy their stock. Great idea dude. The disaster’s already happened, so let’s loot some stores and take home a TV or two and grab a watch off a dead guy’s wrist while we’re at it. Might as well take advantage of the opportunity. Fucking prick.
Mr. Adams and BP were made for each other. Turns out the man whose cartoons regularly skewer the misdeeds of corporate America isn’t being ironic, he really does think that all that sleazy shit he lampoons, all the bad things that companies do, really is funny and a great way to make money to boot. He isn’t Dilbert, he’s Dogbert, Catbert and the pointy-haired guy all rolled into one. The rest of us are the Dilbert’s.
I’m kinda poor. The reason for that is long I decided that doing shit like Adams’ doing is a bad way to get rich. My problem isn’t that I’m too stupid to have understood Adam’s strategy years ago; I did. I knew right after 9/11 that armament suplliers were gonna make money, but I didn’t buy their stock. No. My real problem is I like to sleep at night. Apparently, Mr. Adams suffers from no such conscience-related insomnia.
The thing that gets me is that the guy is already way rich from his cartoons and shit…he doesn’t even need the money he’ll make off an ecological nightmare. He’s just a hard-hearted asshole who wants more money and doesn’t give a shit how he makes it, but probably just doesn’t have the balls to go out rob people outright. As I said, fuck him. I hope he dies after a long, successful life richer than Midas, and with the same level of happiness. I also hope, for the sake of the planet, that his kids realize that although their dad had a pretty good sense of humor, he was in the end a useless burden on the world and that they should use the massive inheritances he’ll leave them more wisely to make up for his disgusting greed and lack of morals. But hey, that’s just sour grapes from some poor eco-schmuck who’s not gonna invest in BP, Exxon, Halliburton, military hardware companies or Archer Daniels Midland and stay happily poor on the organic farm he’s struggling to build.
Now that I think about it, the world needs people like Scott Adams…if only to teach the rest of us how the bad people think.