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How Do America's Super-Rich Get Away With Acting Like 'Just Folks'?

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posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 02:57 AM
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How Do America's Super-Rich Get Away With Acting Like 'Just Folks'?


www.alternet.org

It has become a cliché to say that we live in a new Gilded Age. True enough, up to a point. Money, mostly new money, rules politics and culture. Corporations merge into ever larger corporations. You have to go back to before World War I to match today's levels of income and wealth inequality.

In some ways, the second Gilded Age is worse than the first. Sure, we live longer now, more of us can read and you don't have to be a white man to be able to vote. But to prove my point, consider two big parties, thrown 110 years apart.

In February 1897 elite lawyer Bradley Martin and his wife, Cornelia, threw a costume ball at the Waldorf. J.P. Morgan dressed as Molière, John Jacob Astor dressed as Henry of Navarre and brandished a sword covered in jewels, and fifty women dressed as Marie Antoinette. But the hosts were so nervous about "men of socialistic tendencies" that they surrounded the hotel with Pinkertons and had the first-floor windows nailed shut.

In February 2007 Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman threw himself a sixtieth birthday party for hundreds of his closest friends. Rod Stewart sang for about half an hour, earning a million for his efforts. The party was at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue -- just seventeen blocks north of the Waldorf. The building has a rich history. In the second half of the nineteenth century the Seventh Regiment, nominally a state National Guard unit, was a kind of private militia staffed by the men of New York's upper class; though they didn't like to fight much, they did put down a strike or two. And the armory itself -- decorations by Louis Tiffany -- was built at the end of the 1870s (with private funds) as part of an urban-fortress building boom driven by the need to suppress the restive working class. We had populists in the heartland, socialists in the cities and labor radicals everywhere, who wanted to subdue corporate power and redistribute some income. The confrontations were sharp and often violent -- but that history is largely forgotten. After the bomb-sniffing dogs had done their work, the biggest security challenge at Schwarzman's party seems to have been keeping the army of photographers safely penned up and nosy onlookers out. No worries about men with socialistic tendencies climbing in the windows to do their revolutionary mischief.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 02:57 AM
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C'mon now are these folks one of us...I think not.

www.alternet.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 08:54 AM
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Why does everyone seem to think that the "super-rich" aren't human? They do have a lot of things in common with us...that being said there are those in the super-rich category who are very snoody...and politicians are pretty much lying. However...there are millionaires out there that are pretty much just the average person. Look at Warren Buffet, he's lived in the same house (which isn't that extravagant) since he was young, eats cheeseburgers and lives in Omaha. Money effects people in different ways, but in the end, there are a few that are just "average folks." It's the politicians who play off as being an average person that we should be weary of.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 09:34 AM
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Hey its ok in my eyes to be human and a normal person but if you really want to show me you are down to earth and human then pay your employees like it then. The problem I have is a lot of these guys make 500x their average employee they run and to me this is sick. So if you arent going to take care of normal hardworking people then dont play it off like you are one be who you really are a snoot.




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