Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Listen to wailing and gnashing of teeth:
They are startled and unsure how to react. "Terrifying," is how one banker put it.

Many in New York's business and financial elite, stung by the abrupt ascent of Bill de Blasio, an unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal, are fixated on a single question: What are we going to do?

The angst, emanating from charity galas and Park Avenue dinner tables, has created an unexpected political opening for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, whose once-sleepy candidacy is now viewed by players in both parties as their last, best hope for salvaging the business-friendly government of the Bloomberg era.

... fear was palpable last Tuesday evening in the soaring Art Deco ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria, where wealthy patrons gathered at a dinner for the National September 11 Memorial, the season’s first big charity gala, were agape at Mr. de Blasio's ascent.

The evening's honoree was Mr. Bloomberg, who was celebrated in a video screened for the audience. "Mayor Bloomberg should be the mayor forever!" one guest called out, and the room erupted in applause.
What do these people have their silk boxers in a twist? What's so terrifying? Well, de Blasio is proposing to fund universal full-day pre-kindergarten in New York by means of a tax increase on incomes over half a million dollars a year. How big a tax increase? A little more than half a percent -- .55%, to be exact.

Not quite a tumbrel, is it?

Oh, and the tax has to be approved at the state level, and many observers don't think that's likely. So the tax plan may be merely aspirational.

Of course, the rich aren't really "terrified." They're insulted. They've been the kings and queens of the last decade or two. They've come out of the economic downturn smelling like a rose; we now have levels of inequality not seen since the 1920s. And they feel entitled to more of the same. They think they deserve an exemption from criticism.

Salon's Blake Zeff says that's why Bloomberg lashed out at de Blasio in a New York magazine interview. I agree:
Michael Bloomberg is not enjoying de Blasio's campaign -- and there's a pretty good reason why: The Democrat's campaign represents one of the first sustained, publicly damaging attacks on his mayoralty that the billionaire has not been able to silence using an arsenal of personal relationships, political leverage and lots of money.
This is the same sense of entitlement that leads rich people to lash out at President Obama for remarks about themselves that have an inappropriate "tone" -- Obama, they say, is "villainizing success" -- even as success continues to be the default mode for the rich under Obama. They really don't believe anything should ever make them uncomfortable ever again. They really believe being shielded from discomfort is their right.


Victor said...

In case we "takers" get lucky, I'm keeping my wheelbarrow tire oiled, to use as a tumbrel.

But I'll keep my machete dull and rusty.
This way, I can take some rich "makers" quickly to my executioners block, but extend my enjoyment in their executions.

Some people just deserve more than one good clean whack!!!

I think...

The New York Crank said...

"Not quite a tumbrel, is it?"

Nope, but we can hope, can't we?

The irony is, after watching the rich get richer by declaring political and economic warfare on the middle, working and impoverished classes, Joe Lhota is whining and mewling in public about "class warfare" against the rich over a proposed half a percent tax increase. That's half a percent of city taxes, which are a mere fraction of a percent of Federal taxes.

Madame Defarge, haul out your knitting needles!

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Anonymous said...

At The New York Crank - no f'in kidding. I've got my needles in my purse and just looking for a good place to haul them out and start knittin' some names!

Ten Bears said...

History only repeats to those paying attention.

You know that canard about Banksters jumping from high rises on Black Tuesday? It's just that, a canard. They didn't jump. They were thrown. And ever has it been thus.

At the end of the book, the last paragraph, the last sentence, the animals couldn't tell the difference twixt the pigs and...

No fear.

Philo Vaihinger said...

They really believe keeping all they can lay their hands on, aside from what's necessary to pay for law enforcement and defense, is their right.

Redistribution and socialism are simply theft from those who have by those who have not.

That is what they believe.

Says so on their bumper stickers.

Dark Avenger said...

This is a great retort to wingnuts who moan and groan about welfare:

That's why I'll never say shit to people who have to live on welfare. I've been there, and it sucks. It beats the shit out of your pride and makes you feel like you're less than human, feeding on the scraps of "normal" people who will always see you as trash. But not taking that help is doom. You're taking an already disadvantaged situation and making it a thousand times harder than it has to be in order to escape. The assistance is there for a reason, and submitting to the moral that accepting it makes you weak is just plain dumb. Use it, get the hell out of that hole, and never look back.

Ten Bears said...

What was that question Bobby Dylan asked? "How does it feel!?"

Good catch DA.

No fear.