Sunday, June 12, 2011


Just accept it, America: we'll never get back to anything resembling full employment again, because business owners simply don't have any intention of ever hiring Americans again. So we all just have to face the fact that the middle class is going to disappear and the only job opportunities in the future are going to center on catering to the delusional self-images of the wealthy:

Don't call her a guard dog.

When she costs $230,000, as Julia did, the preferred title is "executive protection dog." This 3-year-old German shepherd, who commutes by private jet between a Minnesota estate and a home in Arizona, belongs to a canine caste that combines exalted pedigree, child-friendly cuddliness and arm-lacerating ferocity.

Julia and her ilk have some of the same tracking and fighting skills as the dogs used in elite military units like Navy Seal Team 6....

In fact, Julia was sold by a trainer, Harrison Prather, who used to supply dogs to Seal Team 6 and the British special forces. But then Mr. Prather switched to a more lucrative market.

... Moguls and celebrities now routinely pay $40,000 to $60,000 for a well-bred German shepherd that is certified as an expert in the sport of Schutzhund, which means "protection dog." The price can go much higher if a dog does well at an international championship, as Julia did....

"She's a top deal," Julia's owner, John Johnson, said as she escorted him around the grounds of his 15-acre estate outside Minneapolis. "She's won awards. She looks at you, she's got the most beautiful face."

But $230,000?

"It’s a lot of money," he said matter-of-factly. "It's the speed, the smartness, the quickness -- and you would not believe the roughness that she has inside. She's like a little pit bull when she bites. She has that model face, and then opens the gums up and lets you have it." ...

When you read this, don't you think you're looking at the future of the U.S. economy? Catering to the whims of people who have this kind of money to toss around?

And what kind of tax structure are we going to have in the future? What kind of social safety net? Herman Cain wants to eliminate the capital gains tax and slash other taxes for rich people and corporations; he seems like an uninformed, hopeless fringe candidate, but he's the toast of Fox News. Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty is supposed to be one of the "serious," "electable" GOP candidates -- but his plan is barely distinguishable from Cain's, and it made the Wall Street Journal editorial page plotz.

Given the "long war" strategy of the right, and especially given Citizens United and the various voter-restriction efforts of the GOP, which could reduce voting by non-conservatives now and for decades to come, don't you think we're eventually going to have a tax structure very much like this? Don't you think we'll have to blow a few massive holes in the social safety net when all this dries up revenue?

And what will that leave us with? Basically, America will be a tax-shelter nation for the rich. The best jobs will be providing services for the rich. What will we be? We'll basically be like the native citizens of an island that free-spending tourists regard as a "tropical paradise."

America will be the Cayman Islands with nuclear weapons.

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