Thursday, December 16, 2004

December 15, 2004

Whenever a Democrat even mentions the growing gap between top-tier earners and working stiffs, Republicans slap them down with the charge that they are trying to sow resentment and engaging in “class warfare.”

Well, there has indeed been a class war raging. The only trouble is the Dems didn’t show up for the battles.

Remember when the Bushites scoffed at the idea that the President’s nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts would largely benefit the rich while providing crumbs for the rest of us? A lot of Dems not only did not fight back but also defected to the other side, voting for those tax cuts. I remember almost three years ago talking to people in Dashcle’s office trying to convince them after the tax cuts passed to try to roll them back. I was told then, in essence, to shut up and go away. They said they couldn't do that because many of their own people had voted for them.

But the Bushite troops reported for duty on The Hill, and fought. They declared that since the rich pay more in taxes they deserve more in tax cuts and that anyone who said otherwise was just trying to appeal to petty jealousy of the rich and were just pathetic class warfare inciters. And, they asured us there would be a payback. They said the rich would not just hoard their tax savings, but reinvest them, creating jobs for the rest of us. Right?

Well, not exactly. Jobs remain scarce and wages low. But those tax savings have shown up – in the form of lifestyle excess only a Pharaoh could appreciate.

According to the Wall Street Journal the super yacht business is booming. Rich boaters are engaged in a “mine is bigger than yours’ race to see who can buy or build the biggest and most ostentatious floating castle. Boaters once satisfied with a 150-footer are now racing to build 250 and 300 footers. So far Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, is winning. He replaced his old 350 footer with a shiny new 414-foot mega yacht. The boat carries its own 75-foot sailboat tucked away in the cargo hold has two helicopter pads and its own submarine. His tax dollars at work.

Mega yachts are not the only doodads the Bush-bucks are funding. Orders are way up for super cars too. The Maybach (German built) ultra-luxury sedan goes for $450,000. Nevertheless the company says it cannot keep up with orders. Bugatti is introducing a $1 million carriage this year and the orders are pouring in. And no, Bugatti’s are not made in Detroit. But Italy. (By the way, how is your heap running?)

Rolex is selling its $200,000 watches as fast as they can make them and will introduce a million dollar version next year.

And when was the last time you stayed at a Five Star hotel? (Okay, walked by one without getting arrested?) Well five stars are not enough for the newly flush wealthy. All those extra Bush Bucks have sparked star inflation. Plush hotels are adding a sixth star level for the super-picky super-rich. A night’s stay average’s a cool grand. Nevertheless the mangers of these Six Star mangers report 80% occupancy year round. For all that money guests get a room the size of a small house, a butler (of course) and personal chefs are on call 24 hours a day.

So, that’s the picture from the winning side of the Class War. How are things going for the losers?

Not so good.

The papers today report that more and more companies are dropping pension plans that include medical benefits for retired workers. With private health insurance far too expensive for anyone living on Social Security retirees will either have to rely on the failing Medicare system or continue working for as long as they can drag their geriatric bones out of bed in the morning.

Speaking of work, competition from cheap offshore labor continues driving wages down for US workers. Middleclass Americans (soon to be former middleclass Americans) have been using credit cards and home equity to maintain lifestyles once funded by their salaries with some left over. Personal bankruptcies are up -- way up. The end is near.

The Return of Serfdom
So, there you are. There really was class warfare. The only trouble is our side was not fighting. Instead we let the Republicans snooker us again by shaming us into silence. We didn't want to look jealous or resentful of the wealthy. And we certainly did not want to appear like we were itching for class warfare. So we shut up about it. And, with us cowering in our trenches Bushites marched right in without firing a shot, pillaging our futures and the futures of our children and grand kids.

So, welcome to the 21st century version of serfdom boys and girls. Can’t find work? Well maybe you can offer to swab the deck of a nearby mega-yacht or change the satin sheets at a local Six Star hotel. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a little something left over from dinner in the kitchen the nice rich people will let you take home. (They hate leftovers.)

But no Bush-Bucks for G.I.s

Oh, and if you think the Bush tax cuts screwed you, look at what they have done to our troops in Iraq. While Gov. Arnold’s houseboys wax his 8 Hummers, our troops in Iraq are getting their asses blown up every day in poorly armored Hummers.

Why is that? Well because the government does not have the money to pay the cost of armoring up all the vehicles there that need it. It’s not, as Rummy likes to say, a matter of “physics,” but money. He assured the un-curious George that he could fight that war on the cheap, so it would be okay to blow $1.6 trillion on tax cuts.

George, say hello to reality. The war is now costing us nearly $4 billion A WEEK, with no end in sight. Next year alone the war will cost us nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars, and that’s if things get better, not worse.

And where will we get that money? Borrow it, of course.

Oh and then there are those old folks who will now have no medical insurance.. Medicare will have to be funded to make sure our city sidewalks don’t start looking like Calcutta. And of course we all know Social Security needs to be fixed too. Cost – around $2 trillion. Borrow it, of course. Borrow and spend, borrow and spend.

God forbid we should ask the Paul Allen’s of America to chip in – especially since they now have those big (European built) yachts to maintain. (Paul’s yacht costs him $10 million a year just to keep the toilets clean and the engines running.)

Class warfare indeed! They won. We lost. Simple as that folks. Better start training your kids how to survive and act in the post class warfare world.

  • "Yes, ma’am, I’ll tell the chef.”
  • “I’m sorry sir, it won’t happen again.”
  • “You look stunning today, my lady.”
Oh, and of course the old standby in times like these:
  • “Hey, buddy, can you spare a dime?”

Maybe, just maybe it’s not too late. That is of course, if the Democrats start shooting back.

Class warfare is real.

So, what say you guys and gals find your backbones and get real too? We're dying out here.

New letters from you guys out there are posted daily HERE.

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