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June 29, 2012 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Jon Ronson (whose book The Psychopath Test was the basis of a This American Life episode ) interviews folks living in America at several varied levels of income in: GQ - Amber Waves of Green.
posted by 1f2frfbf (39 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only thing that didn't depress me about this article was the Nick Hanauer section:
"So if the rich don't create the jobs," I ask, "who does?"

"The middle classes!" Nick roars. "A huge middle class will produce an unbelievable opportunity for capitalists."
Damn right.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:27 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would never have guessed there was still so much money in journalism that Jon Ronson was pulling down $250K a year (but I'm happy to hear it.)
posted by escabeche at 10:26 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Journalism is like many other professions, where a minority of people earn outsized salaries. Ronson's salary is not even at the top end of the range. His is a mid-level salary, but it is, as he writes, one on which it is easy to live comfortably.
posted by dfriedman at 10:46 PM on June 29, 2012


The article talks a lot about how poor people reconcile themselves to not being rich; they assume that if they were rich, they'd fall prey to temptation, or they wouldn't be respected for who they were.

My own personal rationalization is that I don't want to be the kind of person I'd need to be to become wealthy.

I don't know very many rich people, granted, but the ones I do know have to spend an awful lot of energy justifying the choices they had to make to become or remain rich. They have to face every day knowing that their wealth is unimaginable to the rest of the world. They never know if the people in their lives are there for them, or for their money. I don't believe that everyone who's rich has to screw people over to be or become rich, I can only assume some people have done so while being nice folks, but I can't think of any examples. I'm sure there are some. But it seems like the path to riches almost always involves bulldozing the dreams of many, many people along the way.

Even if I did want to be rich, I'd be up against massive income inequality and a staggering lack of social mobility, of course. The American dream is a long-dead joke by now. But even if I had a chance to move up, I'd like to think that I'd choose not to.

Because rich people are dicks.
posted by MrVisible at 11:00 PM on June 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Damn that was bleak.
posted by Kloryne at 11:03 PM on June 29, 2012


Is 250K really a "mid-level" salary for a journalist? I really, really doubt that. Maybe you meant "mid-level for the minority making the outsized salaries?"

I also simply do not understand how the uber rich cannot see how having a large, comfortable middle class can only make them wealthier. It's fucking psychopathic--maybe the answer is that.
posted by maxwelton at 11:25 PM on June 29, 2012


"Barely gets by on $900 a week."

.. I don't understand this. That's twice (at LEAST) what the average person in my area makes. Maybe LA?

I mean $900 for a couple.. even if your rent is $1000 a month, that leaves soooo much money for utilities and food, etc.
posted by Malice at 11:43 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aww, the rich man is sad because some people (who, barring moral objections, he could easily afford to pay a decent wage just to be quiet) think he's a jerk? That makes him public enemy number one? He's not, but he should be.

Some people somewhere scowl at him and all of his obscene wealth and self-centered justification are vindicated because they're so cruel and unfair. Like any part of his current status isn't cruel and unfair to fucking everyone else.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:45 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is 250K really a "mid-level" salary for a journalist? I really, really doubt that. Maybe you meant "mid-level for the minority making the outsized salaries?"

The average salary for all newspaper journalists in the UK is £24,500 (US$38,260).
posted by rory at 12:00 AM on June 30, 2012


Jon Ronson is a journalist, columnist, documentary maker (Wikipedia lists 17 documentaries, most of them for Channel 4), radio presenter and 6-times published author - and one of those books became a hollywood film. It's not surprising that he earns more than the average salary for a newspaper journalist.
posted by simonw at 12:10 AM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I read this with Jon Ronson's salary foremost in my mind, too. I think that proves a point. He's that step up in wealth from me, so it's that that bothers me. Not to mention the fact that I know so much of his inner life, because that's what he writes about, and it's similar to mine.

Given that GQ is written for people in my income bracket who want to be made jealous, I can't help but admire how he's written an article true to himself, and true to the editorial slant of the magazine.
posted by ambrosen at 1:40 AM on June 30, 2012


I liked the article and would echo those who thought Jon Ronson was brave to disclose his own income on the scale (but not, I believe his tax rate). Why the title "Amber Waves of Green"?
posted by rongorongo at 3:16 AM on June 30, 2012


Amber waves of green is a pun from America The Beautiful's lyrics.
posted by ambrosen at 3:58 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also simply do not understand how the uber rich cannot see how having a large, comfortable middle class can only make them wealthier. It's fucking psychopathic--maybe the answer is that.

True, but it makes good servants more expensive and difficult to find.
posted by srboisvert at 5:51 AM on June 30, 2012


I mean $900 for a couple.. even if your rent is $1000 a month, that leaves soooo much money for utilities and food, etc.

They lose more than half of it to taxes and health insurance. If their rent is 1000 bucks, that's half their monthly income and they have two kids.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:55 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you think about what the day to day consciousness of the billionaire must be like after hearing what he has to say, you realize how little he gets for his riches. He still has to be that guy.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:56 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like Jon Ronson, but I do not understand why some i's in the article have been mysteriously replaced by l's ("offlce," "difflcult"). Ligatures gone awry? Bad OCR?
posted by greatgefilte at 6:27 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's astonishing about this article is that the top four of the six categories possess a wealth the vast majority of North Americans can only fantasize about.
posted by Catchfire at 7:21 AM on June 30, 2012


Because rich people are dicks.

That's just as inaccurate a statement as "Because poor people are lazy."

Most of the wealthiest people in the world didn't become so by being dicks, most started what we all tout as "small businesses" that got larger and larger until they became the giant corporations they are today. Many executives make a shitload of money doing things that are shady and/or not worth their salaries, but most rich people in the world didn't get to be so by being executives. They started companies and ran them well and the companies kept growing, which they are either in charge of (most businesses in the world are "family businesses," which most of us think of as small, but in reality, are quite large) or have passed down to their kids.

Reading the article, the first billionaire started by opening storage units. STORAGE UNITS! I mean, I guess I could see him as an asshole of the highest order who takes advantage of people by renting out space for their stuff and kept doing so well beyond the point where he needed to keep himself comfortable, but that's not the way our economy works.

I agree that income inequality is a huge problem in this country, but the simplification of it is what makes it easy for those at the top to casually dismiss such ideas as the Occupy Movement, and that doesn't do anyone any good.
posted by xingcat at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Poor people don't self-select to be poor. Rich people make a series of decisions which result in them getting to be, or remaining, rich. They have to remain focused on making profits, and will have to make decisions which put profit ahead of the welfare of their fellow human beings. The wealthier they are, the more frequently they have to be dicks.

That first billionaire, the one who got rich by opening STORAGE UNITS, got richer by getting his clients to purchase completely worthless insurance policies from front companies that Public Storage Inc. owned.

Saying rich people are dicks is a generalization, sure. Like I said, I'm sure there are exceptions. But I also believe that professional basketball players are, usually, tall and athletic. I believe that accountants are, for the most part, good with numbers. I believe these things because the people involved have self-selected to be in a group that requires these traits. And they've put a lot of effort into becoming part of that group.

Poor people can be poor because they're born into environments where there's no opportunity for economic mobility (see the article I linked above), because they had a health care crisis, because they got laid off from an apparently stable job, because the economy tanked around them, because family obligations keep them in an economically disadvantaged area, because they got screwed over by some rich person on the way to the top. There's not a lot that you can generalize about there, realistically.

To be rich, you pretty much have to be a dick.
posted by MrVisible at 8:50 AM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Most of the wealthiest people in the world didn't become so by being dicks, most started what we all tout as "small businesses" that got larger and larger until they became the giant corporations they are today.

This is myopic and wrong. May I introduce you to, say, the entire House of Saud? Making it big with a small business is not how most of the wealthiest people in the world did it. In fact, that is probably a seriously rare situation in a world of inherited wealth and generations of exploitation building on one another to create insane amounts of class immobility.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:56 AM on June 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I mean $900 for a couple.. even if your rent is $1000 a month, that leaves soooo much money for utilities and food, etc.

Big emphasis on the fact that they have two kids.

Here's where I am on this spectrum: I'm in my mid-20's and make slightly less than that per week in a more expensive city, and I live like a goddamned king compared to them. Yeah, I live in an old house with a bunch of roommates and drive an older car, but I can go out to nice-ish restaurants and bars, concerts, movies, go to the beach for the weekend, take a flight somewhere once a year - without really having to worry TOO much about my finances and even save a good chunk of money for emergencies. I would like to one day move into/buy my own modest place with an SO and be in a dual-income home.

It's a good life for the most part, and of course, like Jon Ronson mentioned, I too sometimes get anxious about my career and if it could all go away at any moment. But I still feel extremely blessed and privileged. I wouldn't mind continuing the sort of lifestyle that I have with a future partner, and hopefully even improving it bit by bit over the years with a mix of more financial security and enjoying our money with more random leisure activities.

That said. I try to keep in mind that if I had kids, NONE of this could continue. That is why having children in America utterly horrifies me. Yes it sounds selfish, but this idea of being the dude sitting at the kitchen table with the calculator and the bills trying to figure out if we can afford something or other for our kid and how are we gonna pay for their healthcare and we're going to have to cut the beach this year and also get "creative" for our 5-year anniversary...is wildly unappealing to me.

So I figure: I don't have to be one of those struggling families if I don't have a family. And it sucks, because as a kid, I knew I wanted to grow up and have kids of my own one day. I suspect I'm not the only "millennial" who has recently realized this now might not happen.

I joke with my parents that they'll never see grandkids from me until I either magically make my first million dollars, or the US starts providing both free quality healthcare, childcare, and college education. Whatever happens first. Part of me is not really joking.

And by the way, I'm not saying it's stupid to have kids, or if someone has kids it's "their fault" they're struggling. I'm saying that it really fucking sucks to be in a country where having kids and wanting a family as a middle class person means either sacrificing basically everything nice and/or making yourself incredibly vulnerable to extreme levels of financial struggle (usually both). I suspect a lot of the middle class people from my generation are going to opt out of having kids. I think it's sadly the only way we can really hold on to our purchasing power as a class.
posted by windbox at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


That This American Life segment on Chainsaw Al Dunlap is riveting. I had forgotten the bit about Sunbeam's stock price skyrocketing while Dunlap was firing every possible employee. That is like a touchstone moment in American history.

maxwelton:

I also simply do not understand how the uber rich cannot see how having a large, comfortable middle class can only make them wealthier.

Alan Greenspan once explained this in testimony to congress.

MrVisible:

To be rich, you pretty much have to be a dick.

Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld:

"Ben (the son of) Zoma said, who is wise? He who learns from all people, as it is said: 'From all those who taught me I gained understanding' (Psalms 119:99). Who is strong? He who conquers his evil inclination, as it is said: 'Better is one slow to anger than a strong man, and one who rules over his spirit than a conqueror of a city' (Proverbs 16:32). Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot, as it is said: 'When you eat the toil of your hands you are fortunate and it is good for you' (Psalms 128:2). 'You are fortunate' -- in this world; 'and it is good for you' -- in the World to Come.

(The italics in the Rabbi's paragraph are my own.)
posted by bukvich at 9:08 AM on June 30, 2012


Also today I learned that the correct pronunciation of psychopathy has emphasis on the second syllable. I am sure I have heard people mispronounce that every single time with an N > 20. I have seen the word in print 1000's 1000's times and always mispronounced it in my mind's ear.
posted by bukvich at 9:15 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is a great conversation to be having; wealth disparity is a winning issue for any politician brave enough to walk away from PAC money.

I get that wealthy people feel that they've earned their money. And certainly, nearly all of them *did* put a lot of hard work in to get where they are. But the thing that doesn't get through to them in their gated communities, their kids' private schools, and their echo chamber news shows, is that the conditions that *allowed* them to get rich in the 70s, 80s, and 90s no longer exist. My parents, while I was a child, were able to pay $175 per semester and got themselves a decent college education at a California state school taking night classes. They had health care provided by their employer that essentially cost them nothing, even when hospitalized for child birth and cancer treatment. They were able to buy a house in California for about 1x their annual salary.

I'm all for people getting rich. I fucking love Amazon, hooray for Bezos. History has shown that it is in fact possible to pay a reasonable tax rate and own a private plane concurrently. But having large portions of the population barely subsisting on low paying jobs, at risk of bankruptcy and homelessness by the roll of the dice, with meager public support that maybe does a little to prevent starvation, but never ensures opportunity to rise above, this is bad, bad, bad for the economy, and bad for security, and ultimately is bad for upper and middle class people.

When rich people, usually people who were beneficiaries of things like public education, secure communities, and cheap healthcare, take this idea and twist into "Oh, *I'm* the enemy of the state now??!" and they shed a tear like the Don't Pollute Indian over their lost democracy because "OMG the socialist state wants me to pay more than my fair 15% tax!" -- well, these are the guys who are creating class warfare. More than anything else, these people are anti-democracy, and Unamerican and need to be called out as such, and often, until it sticks in people's minds.

I'm upper middle class, not quite 1% upper middle class, but comfortable. I have 2 children and a good education, and own my own house. I feel that I'm at the tail end of the generation that benefitted from a functioning democracy and when I think about the future security and prosperity of my children, it really is the actions of the ultra rich who stand in the way of that. It's time to turn their own rhetoric against them -- contributing to the overall good is the Christian, Patriotic thing to do.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:34 AM on June 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


I joke with my parents that they'll never see grandkids from me until I either magically make my first million dollars, or the US starts providing both free quality healthcare, childcare, and college education. Whatever happens first. Part of me is not really joking.

But in order to achieve all of these "free" services, people like you would have to pay a significantly larger amount in taxes, to the point where you wouldn't be able to enjoy all of the things you enjoy about your life now. So, maybe not you, but people like you will fight tooth and nail to hold onto those luxuries. This is how people much higher than you on the food chain have systematically demolished the political consensus (the Reagan revolution) behind the "welfare state."
posted by ennui.bz at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2012


But in order to achieve all of these "free" services, people like you would have to pay a significantly larger amount in taxes, to the point where you wouldn't be able to enjoy all of the things you enjoy about your life now.

I like to imagine a bulk of what we spend on things like defense and military could be shifted into things like schools and public health, on top of taxing the top 1% at substantially higher rates than the middle class so that we can keep a majority of our discretionary income/purchasing power to sustain our modest lifestyles. But again, that's about as likely as lucking my way into a million dollars.
posted by windbox at 10:52 AM on June 30, 2012


The richest person in the list makes 25 times more than someone who pays someone a $100K salary to run errands. He makes 125 times more than someone who doesn't know if he'll make 250K next year or half a mill. He makes 625 times more -- 625 times more! -- than someone who can't afford to drive across state once a year for fun.

It doesn't matter how much you reallyreallyreally don't like child cancer: to be anywhere in the top four of that list (including Mr. Ronson, whom I adore) you've got to be a fair bit dickish.
posted by Catchfire at 10:56 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great article. I'm tempted to complain how a cross-section of people using a straight 5x multiplier of income completely distorts the picture, but on the other hand it still gives an interesting perspective.

Reading about Wayne also reminded me of a line from a Studs Terkel book about how people who become rich after starting very poor tend to have much less sympathy for poor people than people who have always been rich, because they see themselves as having worked harder and being the product of a meritocratic system.

The meritocratic interpretation of wealth is obviously problematic because of the luck component. But it's also problematic because of systemic factors: simply put, a system can exist in which anyone can be filthy rich, but it can't exist in which everyone can be filthy rich. This is obviously true because being filthy rich is relative, but it's also true because Wayne can eat at restaurants that pay shit wages and pay shit wages to construction crews that build his storage facilities.

If you think about capitalism in terms of creating a system for increased broad-based prosperity (and all but the most hardcore libertarians will justify their system this way on some level), it's straightforward. People need to be rewarded for creating things that are useful for the rest of society. But when those rewards begin to threaten that very base of prosperity, the means become ends in themselves and we invent fictional deities out of aggregated social pressures to justify the state of the world.

Redistribution (taxes and transfer payments) is one answer. Laws and their enforcement (minimum wage, collective bargaining rights) are another. But there are other structural factors as well, like international capital mobility greatly outpacing labor mobility, and changing technologies.
posted by ropeladder at 11:21 AM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


This was interesting.

Having a decent income and living in a country where basic living expenses are ridiculously low compared to my home country, I quickly adopted a "don't look at what it costs - if you want it, why not?" sort of outlook.

It has been, and still is, enormously liberating and stress reducing. It hasn't made me much happier overall, but it has made for a much less worrisome and more flexible - free, even - day-to-day existence.

Baselines of happiness (I think) are more or less hormonally set for individuals (hence the speaking of people being "light hearted", etc). Even large changes have short-lived effects on an individual's happiness level. (For people with children or other dependents, however, I realise it would be different.)

But people have a knack for getting used to any- and everything. Taking for granted the good things and spinning bad circumstances into necessary ones. Coping is a double-edged sword ("It could be worse"), but so is assuming your privileged life and the trajectory it took is normal and achievable by most people, which prompts you to question why others haven't. Most will assume laziness or ineptitude, falling back on a belief in the innate fairness of the market.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I do hope the middle class resurfaces. It's a happy medium.
posted by flippant at 11:40 AM on June 30, 2012


Online sociopath test.
posted by bukvich at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2012


They lose more than half of it to taxes and health insurance.

I seriously doubt that. I went without health insurance my entire adult life until this year, so I am now one of the incredibly lucky people who get to have health insurance. You don't lose 'half to taxes and insurance' unless your insurance company happens to be terrible, which is possible. But, the article quoted $900 per week. I'd guess that's after taxes and insurance anyway. I live on less than half what he makes for the same rent I quoted above, and I pay taxes and health insurance for two adults.

For sure they lose more having two children, but I don't think they fall into struggling. Unless, of course, they live in a very expensive place where food and rent is twice (or triple) the average price anywhere else.

$900 per week = $1800 per two weeks = $3600 per month.

Assuming rent is maybe $1000, that leaves you with $2600
Let's give about $300 to electricity, and $100 to water/sewer services, you now have $2200
Maybe they have expensive cell phone service. Minus another $300. Now it's $1900.
We've already hit luxuries, so let's assume he pays $175 for cable TV & internet. $1725
I'll stop at cable, phone and internet addons. That's the minimum of what most people who can afford it, pay for.
So now, and this is hypothetical of course, they have $1725 to live on for the month.

The only way they'd be 'scraping by' is if they blew a lot of money on things they don't need.

In reality, I think they just think they're scraping by, the same way some rich people actually think they're middle class (and believe me, I have SEEN this.)

But, without knowing what their bills really are I can't know that any of this is fact. It's only what I'm deducing from the article.

There are scenarios where you scrape by making that kind of money, for sure. I'm not saying they 100% aren't.. I'm just saying the phrase "scraping by on $900 per week" is a loaded one with no explanation as to exactly why that is scraping by.

If he said "scraping by on $4000 a month" I'm sure that would have made a few people scoff. It's all in how you word things.
posted by Malice at 2:02 PM on June 30, 2012


Windbox: Your points are well taken. Let me add that you don't have to have kids to fuck up your comfort bubble. Develop Multiple Myeloma (or any of the other expensive and debilitating maladies) and watch your comfort level evaporate along with everything in which you've gained equity. Unless you rise above the typical wage-earner's income profile, you are pretty much walking on thin ice.

My wife and I live quite well on about $1000.00 per week. But the kids are all grown and I have a great health care plan, with full coverage for me and about 90% for my wife. That, and I'm too old to and boogered up to indulge in expensive hobbies. I was lucky in that respect. My working life was always blue-collar, but I spent enough time in military service to earn a medical pension. I'm alive today because Multiple Myeloma happens to be an Agent Orange event that's covered by the VA...I could never have had a stem cell transplant otherwise, and I would have died about five years ago.

Poor and middle-class people die because they can't pay for stuff the wealthy can afford to buy.

Anyhow, as for the propositions that rich people are all dicks, and (I'll throw this one in for free) money can't buy happiness:

The latter's true only if you don't consider being alive as an aspect of happiness. I have to admit that the former is pretty unlikely, on account of, well, the syllogism speaks for itself. Like anything else, the 90%ers give the rest a bad name. Conclusions about who pays for what and to whom are up for grabs.
posted by mule98J at 2:11 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


As I sink deeper into middle-age cynicism part of me feels suspicious of these stories. I think that Wayne is probably (selectively) forgetting a great deal in his rags-to-riches story. Why wouldn't he? It's the same thing that causes me to tell MY version of the story of how I went from Printing to I.T. It's not that I am trying to lie to you but I don't really like to remember the traumatic crap floating around in there. We all edit ourselves in order to justify the choices we make, small and large.

I just gorged on popcorn. But it's okay because that could be my dinner. Yes, that's what I tell myself. And I believe it too.

I suppose my point is that all of the stories are probably mostly true. But am I getting the full story in each case? Probably not. Because Wayne can't help himself. Neither can Frantz or anyone else on the list. And besides, reality is infinitely more complex than an article in GQ.
posted by tcv at 2:38 PM on June 30, 2012


$900 per week = $1800 per two weeks = $3600 per month.

Assuming rent is maybe $1000, that leaves you with $2600
Let's give about $300 to electricity, and $100 to water/sewer services, you now have $2200
Maybe they have expensive cell phone service. Minus another $300. Now it's $1900.
We've already hit luxuries, so let's assume he pays $175 for cable TV & internet. $1725
I'll stop at cable, phone and internet addons. That's the minimum of what most people who can afford it, pay for.
So now, and this is hypothetical of course, they have $1725 to live on for the month.


Um, you forgot the $1110 that Don and Rebecca say in the article that they pay in taxes and health insurance premiums.

Not to mention the fact that they probably have a payment on a car they have to insure.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:03 PM on June 30, 2012


But, the article quoted $900 per week. I'd guess that's after taxes and insurance anyway.

Okay, so, this is where we disagree. The $900/week figure is definitely their gross, not their net. It's hard to follow because of the way the photos are associated with the text, but here is the premise of the article:

I'd worked out that there are six degrees of economic separation between a guy making ten bucks an hour and a Forbes billionaire, if you multiply each person's income by five. So I decided to journey across America to meet one representative of each multiple. By connecting these income brackets to actual people, I hoped to understand how money shapes their lives—and the life of the country—at a moment when the gap between rich and poor is such a combustible issue. Everyone in this story, then, makes roughly five times more than the last person makes.


One of the most egregious things about Frantz's situation is that he never receives a paystub (!), so he has no idea how much he's making before taxes, if the restaurant is even withholding on his behalf (seems doubtful based on his working conditions, but that's another animal all together). $200 per week is $10,400 per year. (The article can't take into account Frantz's pre-tax income, because no one actually knows if he pays any taxes; it treats his net and his gross as interchangeable.) The premise of the article is that each interview subject makes about five times as much as the person below them on the ladder. Dennis and Rebecca are the second rung; Ronson himself, at $250,000, is the third rung. Both of those figures put Dennis and Rebecca at $50,000 before taxes, which is about $1000 per week, or, since Dennis gets paid twice a month, $1800. Then they lose $110 to taxes and $375 to health insurance. It's $2600/month, not $4000.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:25 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not to be pedantic, but I read it as the tax/health figures were per fortnightly paycheck.
In any case, Malice, if you are arguing that you have a reasonably good quality of life on a lower income, so they are "not scraping by", you really need to look again.
It is this sort of comment that warms the hearts of the oligarchs. I have little doubt that the family cited could save a few dollars here and there, and I am grateful you have managed to scrape by without medical disaster in the years you didn't have insurance, but the issue here isn't about whether the poorest and second poorest featured are truly poor enough for our sympathy, but whether the rest of society at the rich end of the scale wants to remain part of that society.
posted by bystander at 1:35 AM on July 1, 2012


As a native Eastern Iowan, the most difficult part of this article was imagining why anyone would want to drive to Eastern Iowa for their honeymoon, honestly.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:36 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I sometimes get deluded into thinking that if people who are poor just learned all the breaks the rich get, in a myriad of ways, that it would change everything. That if they saw how the rules do not apply, that it would change things. It's not a thought that hasn't been discussed here many a time, but I seem to have a problem remembering just how ingrained it is that the poor just want to get rich too, and above the rules, and pay low taxes.
posted by cashman at 10:07 AM on July 8, 2012


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