Alex G Frank: Why 2016 Was the Year of the Scam
In retrospect, it is obvious that the scam as zeitgeist emerged out of real necessity: College loans are crippling, the job market is iffy and many of us are working part-time or freelancing (which feels, too often, like another scam). Rents are inordinately high, wages have flatlined, home ownership seems near-impossible, and even average life expectancy has, in an unprecedented turn, gone down in this country. Who could blame anyone for sympathizing with a scammer, someone who’d do whatever it takes to get theirs in a post-recession economy that’s split the 1 percent?—?who scammed the economy and then got hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer bailout as a reward?—?even farther from the regular folk? Underneath the surface of Donald Trump and Joanne the Scammer’s appeal is the anguish that traditional modes of achieving success are now entirely bankrupt?—?scamming, it seems, is all we’ve got.