Friday Firesmith – Rich People

There’s a video out there where tennis great Steffi Graf is about to serve at a match when a man shouts, “Steffi! Marry me!” Graf is nonplussed and replies, “How much money do you have?” And the audience laughs. It’s funny, damn funny, but it also highlights the human species focus on money as the defining attribute for living, and respect from other humans. We laugh at the Bower Birds, a species of bird who decorate their nest with shiny shells and stones to attract a mate, yet we are dead serious about billionaires.

And it has gotten a lot worse in the last few years.

We’re living in an age where it is nearly impossible to be invisible. There are cameras everywhere now, and everything that is recorded on a device can be streamed live for all the world to see, instantly. We beginning to understand the depths of human depravity because right now, no one, not even rich people, can hide.

Sports figures, who once could and did prey on women with impunity and public immunity, are now being caught on video hitting and abusing women, and they’re losing money because of it; the ultimate punishment. Moreover, there are many rich people who recently were caught bribing officials at high-end universities, paying smart people to take tests for their rich kids, and more or less paying their way through what normal people have to work years to achieve.
Robert Kraft, a billionaire sports team owner, was snagged paying low-cost sex workers in a low-end brothel.

Hardly a day goes by without someone who has enough money to buy a small New England state is caught on camera behaving worse than a drunken frat boy who knows daddy will bail him out of anything and everything.

So, my question to you is this one: why is it we keep electing rich people to office?

The obvious, and false answer, is that only those who have money can afford to buy the advertising it takes to get their names out there. But we know this isn’t true. We know that the tech-savvy and walk-weary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used social media and a staggering amount of legwork, to upend an opponent entrenched in Congress for many years.
Historically, the rich have enthralled the American public. We believe their tales that they did it all through hard work, even though we know that over 95% of all wealth is inherited. We believe them when they tell us they’re supplying us with good jobs even though the average American CEO makes over 700% more than the workers who produce his wealth for him. We believe that Zuck will protect our data even after learning he’s been selling it to the highest bidder before FB took over the world.

Our water will continue to be poisoned. The air will become dirtier. Our food will become less safe. The streets will crumble and prescription drug prices will skyrocket. Education will be allowed only for those who can afford it, and women will be a tradeable commodity. As long as the laws are made by those with money, they will be made in deference of those who pay for them.

You voted for this.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


32 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Rich People”

  1. Be careful, though. Wealth envy is also destructive. Most powerful, rich people are silently behind the scenes, and without them the rest of our jobs start to disappear quick.

      • True. Most businesses are running on auto pilot. If every worker walked off their job, we would immediately notice. But if every rich person left, nobody would notice for quite some time.

        And the term wealthy envy is a made up term to hide the problem of the wealthy stealing from the average person.

  2. So much wrong with this article:
    1. AOC was a hired actor from 10,000 applicants. Her campaign was paid for and run by others. She is another empty suit. Legwork? Gimme a break. She’s a puppet for others.
    2. Your envy of CEO’s should be focused on becoming one, not criticizing them. Envy looks bad on you.
    3. Unless you’ve been to 3rd word countries, you have no idea what dirty air and water are. Visited Hanoi lately? Had water in Peru? I didn’t think so. USA’s resources are of the highest standard anywhere.
    4. People should pay for things they want, not have others pay for it. 3 rules to a successful life: a) stay in school b) don’t get pregnant until you’re married c) get a job. These alone will ensure you a 90% of success in life, with enough money to buy your own stuff.
    5. Liberal policies (which you espouse) are ruining our language, culture and borders. Seen SFO, Detroit, or Seattle lately?
    6. Stop whining.

    • F16 Guy – So much is wrong with your response…

      — If AOC is an actor – then she fits the bill for what we currently have in positions of power.

      — I don’t believe that Mike thinks that all CEO’s are bad – just the ones that feel they are entitled to the pedestal they (or their relatives) have placed under their butt. I certainly wouldn’t want Mike to change his outlook and let greed overshadow his real life — that’s not envy he’s displaying – it’s wisdom.

      — Stop by Michigan for a glass of (mostly) water. (Money drove that decision) Where are we dumping the “enhanced” water used for fracking?

      — Don’t get pregnant?? WTF? I’m of the belief that if men got pregnant – abortion would be unquestionably legal. (One of your rules only applies to half of the population). Get a job — work for “the man” til your job (and those of your co-workers) are off-shored. Repeat –repeat — repeat… until your town has all the features of the rust belt. I suspect you need to take off the Disney-provided glasses and rethink how you define a successful life.

      — It’s not wise to point to one group, side, or set of policies to place the blame. Things have been in flux for ages. U.S.A. still has no national language – our culture was to welcome all — the borders “issue” certainly isn’t an issue of national security.

      — Stop whining? Wasn’t that the phrase used by the Captain of the Titanic to the person who’d spotted an iceberg? I think whining falls into the “freedom of speech” category – and I applaud Mike for his ability to cohesively dump his thoughts and observations into electronic bits for all of us to enjoy.

    • F16 Guy,
      (1) Citation required.
      (2) I’m not at all envious of people destroying America to line their own pockets.
      (3) So we have to wait until things get as bad as Haiti before we start working to turn things around? No thanks.
      (4) Uh, if hard work was all it took then the people working in the fields gathering produce would be millionaires every year. But they aren’t, are they? They’re still broke. The corporations they’re harvesting for reap millions.
      (5) Lack of education is ruining our language. The death of our work ethic and the rise of the feeling of entitlement is ruining our culture. The fact that Americans are too lazy to work is what brings other people here. What’s a liberal policy? Show me this thing.
      (6) You first.

      • Citation for number one: “The Brains Behind AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” by Mr. Reagan. You can view it on YouTube.

  3. As much as I’ve disagreed with you in the past, you’re pretty spot-on with this one (I never believed Zuck would protect my data).

    As an aside, I’ve lived in SFO since the Clinton administration and the culture here has been declining for years — because of the influx of rich people. Plus: our best friends are moving to the Midwest next month because their asthma can’t take the air quality here — thanks to wildfires aided by the lack of regulation over PG&E (or their blatant disregard for it while they pay their executives millions in bonuses) — but I’d rather drink our tap water than Flint’s.

    • HJ, I’ve lived around poor people most of my life and still do. The poor are rarely bad neighbors. Rich people, on the other hand, are very dangerous creatures, hell, some of them anyway.

  4. Flyboy: actor? How about the fact that she graduated from Boston University, majoring in economics and international relations. For starters. Instead of uttering Fox News platitudes, maybe try doing some elemental research before spouting off.

  5. I’m voting for _____ because the other guy will take my money and give it to those ______ on welfare who are too lazy/crafty to work. Those deadbeat ______ just spend my money on drugs and cheap booze while I’m working to support them.
    Just fill in the blanks with whatever group is being vilified this week.

    Why in hell would rich people lie, cheat, and bribe to get their undeserving kid into the “right schools”? Because it’s first base and success always starts at first base. Then the wealthy people’s friends make sure the kid gets into the best internships, leading to the most prestigious jobs. The folks social connection get the kid into the right clubs and appointed to the board of the most high profile charities. Now the kid is ready for a corporate board of directors where just showing up for meetings is good enough to make the kid a candidate for CEO/CFO/COO. It doesn’t matter if he knows his ass from a hole in the ground because he’ll be surrounded by people who actually know how to run the business but can’t because the didn’t get to a prestigious first base.

    • Bruce, you just killed off, very nicely, the “hard work always wins” argument. Not that hard work cannot get you ahead, but having the right parents is always so much easier.

  6. If you want the average person to run for office, call your representatives to push for campaign finance reform and also help push for an amendment to negate the Citizen’s United ruling. (Hint: No Republican will do it)

        • One thousand times more than a conservative website, for sure.

          Difficult for cult followers to believe, but at least Snopes works with facts.

          • Snopes was founded by a husband-and-wife team, Barbara and David Mikkelson, who fabricated a nonexistent society. After their divorce, the husband embezzled $98,000 to use for prostitutes and hired his new wife, Elyssa Young, a former escort and porn actress as website administrator. Snopes had many secrets and nontransparencies, but it also had political leanings. Young, Mikkelson’s new-wife-turned-Snopes-administrator, had run for Congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004 on a “Dump Bush” platform. If an organization like Snopes feels it is OK to hire partisan employees who have run for public office on behalf of a particular political party and employ them as fact-checkers where they have a high likelihood of being asked to weigh in on material aligned with or contrary to their views, how can they reasonably be expected to act as neutral arbitrators of the truth?

                • So what? It has nothing to do with the fact that they provide sources. Their private lives have nothing to do with their sight. He can fuck monkeys for all I care, as long as his site provides facts to back up his conclusions then his site is more valid than whatever you assert.

                  Speaking of your failure to validate, you still have not provided any source to your assertion that he uses people with a bias to debunk stories that that align with their views.

                  Just to clarify what you need to produce I’ll help you narrow down what I don’t want: I don’t want any link to the owners personal lives; I don’t want any link to who he hires; I don’t want a link to what jobs those people had or have in addition to being researchers.

                  I want you to provide a legit source that specifically states that Snopes hands off stories only to people who have a bias on that story only so that they can utilize that bias to debunk it. And in doing so, you need to prove that the sources they provide are invalid, not because of who researched it, but that the actual source is a lie or misleading.

                • Oh and FYI, a Libertarian is just a Republican who wants to legalize prostitution and pot. So that pretty much casts aside your bias argument.

                • Pretty much what I figured… quick to disparage an individual, but unable to debunk their fact checking and sources.


  7. It’s Groundhog Day Politics..Same same same, whether there in the US here in Australia, or the UK and Europe. I’ve been reading a lot about meritocracy, most of us had it preached to us in primary school, but it doesn’t work in the majority of cases. Just the odd few, where luck and the gall to stop at nothing, may play a part.
    I think about our world say 30 years ago, could we have foreseen how we would be say now? I certainly could not have, maybe tho it was because I had a much busier lifestyle than this retired one. Picturing what it will be like in 30 years time? I wont be around, but what I can imagine with the estimated population growth, a thousand fold increase in poverty, there will be anarchy.


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