Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Columns

February 6, 2014

Is it guillotine time for the rich?

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote that the rich are different from us. To which Hemingway indirectly snorted, “Yes, they have more money.”

And now seems like a good time to offer up a few words of sympathy for the rich. Because our wealthy brothers and sisters are going through some tough times. Not financially. No, no, no. They’re doing pretty good on that end. Last year the stock market shot higher than the 4:20 break at a Denver pot dispensary on Jerry Garcia’s birthday.

The fortunate among us are comfortable alright, but becoming increasingly uncomfortable, if you catch my drift. It’s us nasty poor people. Again. It appears that we’re picking on them. You know. Whining. Complaining. Jealous. Hungry. Rather than pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps like they did when their daddies left them all that money.

Cries of financial inequity have been so alarming lately that venture capitalist Thomas Perkins felt compelled to compare America’s poor to the Nazis. He wrote that while Germany’s 1 percent were the Jews, America’s 1 percent are the well-heeled. And did it in a letter to The Wall Street Journal. No surprise there. Where did you think he’d get it published? The San Francisco Chronicle? The Progressive magazine? Rachel Maddow’s blog?

Sporting a Richard Mille watch, which lists for $330,000, Perkins later apologized for using the term “Nazi,” but doubled down on his assertion that the rich are being demonized. The bellyaching billionaire: a uniquely American phenomenon. Pretty sure the Romanovs expressed similar sentiments. The Marie Antoinette Bakery has reopened and is proud to be serving day-old cake.

Apparently, acute affluence causes the outer epidermis to shrink profoundly. Causing the prosperous to exhibit super-sensitivity to the slings and arrows tossed at their outrageous fortune. To say that reaction was loud and swift is akin to implying that Mt. Everest slopes. Many malcontents called for the Perkins to have his analogy completed by tattooing a serial number onto his arm.

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