Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unexpected Humor from The New York Times Article on the Lives of the Richest 1%

Unexpected Humor Because It is Unintended – But It is Funny

In order to put a face on the people in the United States that have now been designated the 1 Percenters, because they are the top 1% in income the New York Times has produced a story and some details about their lives.   Although intended as a serious piece, the laughs just keep on coming.

For example, here is a very wealthy man talking about his business, charter aircraft service, presumably charter private jets.

To many, 99 vs. 1 was an artificial distinction that overlooked hard work and moral character. “It shouldn’t be relevant,” said Mr. Katz , who said he both creates job and contributes to charitable causes. “I’m not hurting anyone. I’m helping a lot of people.”

Yes, just the other day a group of poor people were thankful they had the charter jet service that Mr. Katz owns available to take them to the welfare offices to pick up their food stamps.  And it's great that he is not hurting anyone, a fine reason to cut his taxes.

And then there is this

This corner of Nassau is 77 percent white, 11 percent Asian and only 3 percent black. Those figures include a number of large ethnic enclaves, including families of Iranian, Russian and, more recently, Chinese and Korean, heritage.

Residents say they like the area’s diversity. 

Yeah, that diversity thing is great when the area is 77% Caucasian and 100% fabulously wealthy.  Can anyone say “tokenism”.

Of course the very wealthy consider themselves very deserving, after all they worked hard for their position in life.

Dr. Chandok said she had never heard the Occupy Wall Street
slogan “We are the 99 percent.” Two children and 11-hour workdays, she said, do not leave much time for politics.

But when the slogan was explained as a complaint against the wealthy’s growing share of income, she shook her head. “I spent four years in undergraduate school, four years in medical school, three years as a resident and three years as a fellow,” she said. “You have to look at the people who are complaining.”

No Dr. Chandok, you need to look at the working families in this country.  Families where one person may have two jobs and the other person a part time job and they get by on very little.  They work harder and longer than you do, and no they have not had the benefit of government supported education that you have, because maybe they could not afford college or did not have great public schools to prepare them for college.

And we close with the ever popular refrain about how $380,000 a year is just barely enough

Many of Nassau’s affluent families think of themselves as practically middle class, saying that property values and taxes are so high that $380,000 does not go very far.

“On Long Island, it’s barely a living,” said Steven R. Schlesinger, a lawyer and professional poker player. “In Plano, it’s a living.”

But not to fret Mr. Schlesinger and Dr. Chandok, help is coming in the form of more tax cuts for the wealthy.  So you will still be able to use the charter air services, and not have to mingle with, well, you know, the people that are working long hours for little pay just to keep their families together.

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