Pitying billionaires as America starves

Discussion in 'Media' started by hvactec, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    A record number of people are living in poverty. Meanwhile, politicians bemoan the fate of the "persecuted" wealthy

    The housing market has bottomed out faster than at any time since the Great Depression. The job market is so weak that one third of the unemployed have now been without work for more than a year, making unemployment “a semi-permanent condition,” according to the Associated Press. A record number of Americans are now living below the poverty line — including one out of every five children.

    We’ve reached the economic end times, and we’re now seeing the deep fissures of our society laid bare. On one side, throngs of protesters have hit the street demanding justice for the 99 percenters — otherwise known as The Rest of Us. On the other side, the top 1 percent are complaining about “only” clearing $400,000 a year, and about throngs of poor people getting between them and their steak dinners.

    In a sense, Ann Coulter is right — there’s a French Revolution quality to it all. Not from the poor but from the ultra-wealthy, who see the upheaval and are now screaming their ancient battle cry even louder: “Let them eat cake!”

    With that preface, we present to you the autumn edition of our ongoing beat coverage of the “Let Them Eat Cake” movement.

    Discriminating Against Unemployed People is Your Corporate Right!

    For all the enduring mythology about laziness being the cause of unemployment, this recession has seen the biggest ratio of job applicants to job openings on record. When massive crowds of jobless citizens appear when even a few of the lowest-paid jobs open up, it’s pretty clear that it’s not lack of work ethic that’s causing unemployment — it’s a lack of jobs, coupled with discrimination against those who are currently out of work. This latter problem is so acute, that President Obama and some states have proposed bills to ban the practice.

    Yet, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, is leading the congressional Republican effort to stop the federal proposal. In a House floor speech, he decried creating “a new protected class” of Americans, and forcefully defending the right of corporate executives to punish people for the crime of being out of work in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    It’s Easy to Get Work… If You Have $5 Million

    If you are unemployed in this crushing recession, if you’ve filed job applications to no avail, if you can’t even get a call back from an employer’s HR department, never fear: as long as you’ve got $5.2 million, you’ve got a great shot at finding a decent-paying job.

    In a story that cheerily underscores just how powerful elite privilege is in our stratified economy, the Guardian reports that in what was likely “the most expensive job application ever,” hedge funder Ted Weschler “paid $5.2 million to win two charity auctions to have dinner with investment guru Warren Buffet [and] now Buffett has offered him a job.”

    While Weschler’s job application cash did go to a San Francisco homeless shelter, the spectacle once again reminds us that for all the talk of meritocracy, aristocrats prefer fellow aristocrats more than ever. Indeed, you may think your resume counts for something, you may think a good interview will clinch the job for you, but think again. All the warm-and-fuzzy stories about Weschler’s ascent want you to know that all that “merit” stuff doesn’t matter.

    Equity Means Everyone Else Must Sacrifice

    In a classic piece of bait-and-switch, billionaire hedge funder Steven Schwarzman (the guy who threw himself a $5 million birthday bash) published a Financial Times editorial in September seeming to move away from the Let Them Eat crowd. Calling his dispatch an “olive branch” to President Obama, Schwarzman insisted that he’s ready to “share the pain” of fixing America, and says that “most Americans will be willing to sacrifice for economic stability and a bright future for our children, if the [fix] falls equitably on all shoulders.”

    What stands out is not the nebulous promise that Schwarzman is open to some form of sacrifice, but the naked attempt to perpetuate a key narrative of Let Them Eat Cake-ism — what I’ve called the Myth of the Persecuted Billionaire.

    First, there’s the “olive branch” framing — yet another attempt to suggest that President Obama has been waging a vicious war on billionaires like Steve Schwarzman. Naturally, we’re asked to forget that Obama is the man who played a key role passing the Wall Street bailouts, extending the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich, opposing serious caps on executive pay and watering down the financial reform bill — all while stocking his administration with Steve Schwarzman clones.

    By using notions like “equity” to justify service cuts and tax increases that will hit the middle class the hardest, Schwarzman wants us to ignore the fact that in the recession, the financial sector is the one corner of the economy that is being permitted to avoid sacrifice entirely. Indeed, a glance at this one stunning image recently released by Reuters shows that the Schwarzmans have experienced the diametric opposite of sacrifice — they’ve been rewarded and pampered while the rest of us suffer.

    $400,000 a Year isn’t Enough

    read more Pitying billionaires as America starves - Salon.com
     
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  2. PredFan
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    PredFan Gold Member

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    1. We have the richest poor on the world.
    2. There is no reason why anyone in America hould go hungry. There are charitable organizations that will feed people.
    3. Most people who are poor are poor because of poor life decisions.
    4. The evil filthy rotten stinking nasty rich are the people who will get us out of this mess by creating jobs, not by being taxed to death.
     
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  3. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    I am now poor. Actually I'm doing quite a bit better being poor than I did working 16 hours a day taxed into poverty. I became poor on the advice of my accountant. He was right. I have a higher mean income living in poverty than I did when I was making more money and taxed out of it. I can afford now to get my hair done regularly. Something I could never do when I worked since I actually ended up with quite a bit less. I would rather work. I am waiting out this administration so that when it becomes profitable to work again, I'll do it.

    My granddaughter is much poorer than I am. She has four children as a single mother. Her children are among those as considered living in hunger. Her mean income is more than my son makes as a business executive. Section 8 has given her a gorgeous three bedroom two bath apartment for which she pays $250 a month. She gets EBT and WIC, not that she actually has to buy food with these benefits. She goes to food banks, pantries and charities who give her most everything she needs. Her older kids get all three meals at school so all she has to give them is a snack. The EBT cards go mostly for eating out. Since she's poor, utility companies charge paying customers a surcharge (look at your bill) so my granddaughter can run her AC 24/7 for free. Her phone bill is $5.00 a month lifeline service and the welfare office just gave her a paid cell phone for emergencies.

    She hasn't had to buy her kids clothes ever. Rich people and stores donate everything from underware to coats. She has never had to buy a single Christmas or birthday present for any of her children. Her money goes on herself and the boyfriend of the moment. And, she "works". She has a friend equally as adept at gaming the system. The friend gets paid by the state for providing childcare to my granddaughters' four children. My granddaughter gets paid by the state for providing child care to her friend's three chidren.

    All in all, the poverty level is close to $5,000 a month.

    This is the real face of poverty. There are millions and millions of poor in this country just like my granddaughter.
     
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  4. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Yep.
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Can you find us a single American who is starving?
     
  6. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    You'd have to look at people who work and are taxed into oblivion. The small business owner who lives on hamburger helper and sleeps in the back room of a little shop someplace.

    Ironically, a description of the "rich" that OWS wants to further rape.
     
  7. blastoff
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    blastoff Undocumented Reg. User

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    Oh, gosh all those poor. Maybe they could sell or barter their cell phones, HD TVs, air conditioners, whatever they listen to tunes on, fancy car wheels, cigarettes, etc., etc. for some food.
     
  8. PredFan
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    PredFan Gold Member

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    The USA has the richest "Poor" in the world.
     
  9. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Can Anyone name a Single American that does not have a Right to have His or Her Private Property Protected?
     
  10. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    The rich should get a clue. They aren't wanted in this country. They should leave and take all their wealth with them.
     

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