Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Existing in New York City: Where Billionaires Cockily Rule the Roost

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2013
Say Goodbye to: Frank Wess, master jazz saxophonist & flautist.  Wrote "Big Shiny Stockings." I got to see Frank earlier this year with Bill Charlap at Lincoln Center.  Frank Wess, 91, American jazz saxophonist and flautist. 
Life Among the New Serfs (Peasants (Pissants) Are We All)
Chris Hedges has been writing some thought-provoking pieces over the past week, pieces that for me hit the old reality nail square on the head and drove it straight home.  Chris Hedges has been writing thought-provoking pieces and books for several years now though how many heads he's turned in the right direction is a matter of argument.  As the late great Al Lewis said many a time, it isn't enough to preach to the choir, if we are to salvage our lives from the overlords who have taken us over (the Bushes, the Clintons, the Corporate executives, the billionaire class and their millionaire lackeys (i.e., the Koch Brothers and their faithful ass-kissing followers, like Karl Rove, Trans-Canada executives and stockholders, etc.), our millionaire Congress, our new millionaire President...and on and on the list can go) the masses have to get off their asses and fill the streets with revolution.  We are all now living on the New Plantation.  No matter our specialized expertise, we are all shuttled off to the corporate fields to do field work (some fields are battlefields).  No matter how many college degrees we hold aloft with pride, Mr. Charley, boss of the New Plantation, puts a pick and shovel in our hands and says work your ass off for low wages and like it or DIE!

Hedges writes about his experience of attending a famous Ivy League prep school (he excused it by saying he was there on a scholarship) and the multiples of spoiled brat rich sons who attended that school with him.  He writes piquantly about how these spoiled brat rich sons' fathers would visit them once a year trucking along photographers and front men whose job it was to show the world what great fathers they were.  I can relate to Hedges' experience with spoiled brat rich kids having grown up in a West Texas oil-rich city where nearly all of my best friends' dads were in the oil business.  My best friends had their own cars from the time they were 14 (you could get a temporary driver's license in Texas at 14) on until they graduated high school.  One of my best friends was given a Corvette for his birthday when he was a junior in high school; another of my friends was given an MG (this friend was later killed in his MG right around the corner from my house (my parents' house was one street over from where the wealthiest people in my hometown had their mansions)).  These friends had the best of everything: clothes, stereos, motorcycles, golf clubs, swimming pools in their backyards, a rich inheritance when their parents died or they became 21.

Later in my life, my brother would become a multi-millionaire and hang with some of the richest people in the world, many of whom I met over the years.

Hedges says rich people first of all hate poor people, including those people who like to imagine they're in the Middle Class (I say there is no longer a true Middle Class in this country).  This is true.  Rich people hate poor people, a lot of them because they come from poor people.  And rich people who come from rich people definitely hate poor people.  One of the biggest fears rich people have is LOSING THEIR MONEY (or wealth).  Poor people pose a threat to them because they know poor people while admiring the rich in terms of wanting to be rich themselves also hate the rich subconsciously and are prone to anti-rich movements such as Communism and Socialism.  Due to rich people being protective of their wealth, they also hate the government because the government taxes...taxes income; taxes capital gains; taxes business transactions.  The rich hate taxes.  Since even poor people hate taxes, the rich can pull a lot of poor people into their political corral by running campaigns against taxes, against big government, and against what the rich call entitlements (Social Security; Medicare, etc.), which really aren't entitlements at all but are safety net accounts paid into by We the People of the US via FICA payments over the full span of our working lives.  But rich people since they hate the poor, see Social Security and Medicare as Socialistic threats to their wealth because as Social Beneficial programs they truly really work.  Why billionaires like Paul Peterson and this hedge-fund crook, Stanley Druckenmiller, are spending millions of dollars promoting anti-Social Security campaigns in political circles and on college campuses goes way above my head since Social Security has nothing to do with them (they make so much money they're excused from paying into Social Security or Medicare) and has nothing to do with the debt.  In fact, if these two crooked sons of bitches paid the same taxes as the poor, our debt could be wiped out in a matter of NO TIME.  Druckenmiller is now going about the country spending millions of his 2.5 billion-dollar worth trying to convince college students that seniors are robbing their futures through Social Security and Medicare.  Such bullshit.  But then BULLSHIT got them rich, didn't it.

My generation called these rich assholes Capitalist Pigs and that's what they are.  Have you ever witnessed pigs eating at the slop trough?  They eat with a vicious ferocity, squealing madly for more and more as they gulp down the slop.  And thus do our Capitalist Pigs, too.  Squealing madly as they gobble up wealth through trickery, creative accounting, out-and-out crooked dealings, tax loopholes, foundation founding, limited partnerships, insider trading, bribing government officials, laundering drug money, foreclosing on properties, bankrupting cities and nations, lobbying, etc.

My ex-wife, a woman who impressed the rich with her practical outlooks, worked for rich men all her life amassing for herself millions of dollars that were revealed when she died.  Here in New York City she worked for a Lebanese guy who had connections with the Saudi-Arabian royal family and whose best pal was Adnan Koshogi, at that time the world's richest man, and she would come home at night cursing what she called these "Paper Cowboys."  Paper cowboys because all their wealth was tied up in paper: in contracts, in mortgages, loans, advances.  She complained many a night about having to cover for her boss with credit card firms donning him to pay his immense credit card debts.

Check Out These Guys' Salaries

Here is the Top Ten Highest Paid CEOs 2012 (Source: GMI Ratings):
Company NameCEOTotal Actual Compensation
Facebook, Inc.Mark Zuckerberg$2,278,668,214
Kinder Morgan, Inc.
Richard D. Kinder
Sirius XM Radio Inc.
Mel Karmazin
Liberty Media Corporation
Gregory B. Maffei
Apple Inc.
Timothy D. Cook
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
Edward W. Stack
Liberty Interactive Corporation
Gregory B. Maffei
Starbucks Corporation
Howard Schultz
$117,562,601, inc.
Marc Benioff
Verisk Analytics, Inc.
Frank J. Coyne

I've often wondered how is Facebook worth billions of dollars?
Don't ask how much in taxes these dudes loophole out of paying.  You work your ass off while a nerd like Mark Zuckerberg earns more in a day than you'll ever earn in your lifetime.  One of my personal favorites on the above list is Mel Karmazin, a nice Jewish boy from NYC who riding on the back of the popularity of Howard Stern made his fortune via Infinity Broadcasting. And these worthless CEO-types want to do away with your Social Security and Medicare.

So, hey, enjoy your peasantry...and trust me, if you make even $100,000 a year, you're poor to these Power Elitist Capitalist Pigs.

Note: The $13 billion dollar fine poor J.P. Morgan-Chase (pirates) had to pay is only 1/2 of their profits from their criminal activities last year.  Remember, this fine doesn't affect Little Jamie Dimond's salary or bonuses (in case you've forgotten, Jamie is one of Obama's favorite bankers).

for The Daily Growler

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