Oy, My People Have Too Much Money (Ct’ed)

US Politics
on 10 Comments


–Eliot Spitzer grew up on Park Avenue, I gather, the son of a real estate guy. Maybe we’re in a recession, but he could drop $5000 on regular assignations, allegedly.

–William Kristol’s column yesterday included the statement, "the bad housing and job market reports at the end of last week were politically chilling."

Politically chilling? What about plain old chilling? Kristol’s comment is revealing. The truth is that the recession is chiefly concerning to him as a political development. And that makes sense. He’s rich. Allan Bloom once said that his
relationship with Bill Kristol’s father Irving got “easier” once Bloom,
like Kristol, had wealth (a
s Jacob Heilbrunn reported in They Knew They Were Right).

On a journalistic note, it would be helpful if one or two columnists at the Times regarded the recession as personally concerning. It would give the Times rapport with a large body of the public at a time when the gap between rich and poor is yawning.

And on a socioreligious note, yes, I am nostalgic for Sholom Aleichem, I.B. Singer, and Michael Gold, a time when my people’s actual living values were closer to the American average.

10 Responses

  1. Jim Haygood
    March 11, 2008, 10:31 am

    "On a journalistic note, it would be helpful if one or two columnists at the Times regarded the recession as personally concerning." – Phil Weiss

    Wow, you ARE an idealist, aren't you? The whole raison d'etre of the NYC-based media is to pimp an acquisitive lust for upscale "aspirational" goods and services, to an indebted middle class who really can't afford them.

    Last year, the Slimes lost nearly ten percent of its ad revenues. But by waving the surrender flag and hollering "Hunker down; recession's here, and it's a bad one!" it would probably lose another 20 percent this year from disgruntled advertisers. They're the journalist's ultimate employer, Phil — sad to say. No wonder blogging is so attractive by comparison.

    Some day I'll cure you of the parochial New Yorker's delusion that the Slimes is the fount of all wisdom, truth and knowledge. But breaking a lifelong cult indoctrination is no overnight task.

  2. Oarwell
    March 11, 2008, 10:38 am

    "On a journalistic note, it would be helpful if one or two columnists at the Times regarded the recession as personally concerning."

    They could always bring back Jayson Blair.

    I've wondered what would have been the result if Blair had been assigned to the Iraq desk. Would his fabricated-from-whole-cloth stories have been more accurate than those the Times did turn out, as it faithfully fulfilled its propaganda mission?

    Probably. They couldn't have been much more wrong.

    As for Spitzer: hung (hanged? well-hung?) by his own petard.

  3. Michael Blaine
    March 11, 2008, 10:41 am

    Thank you for another excellent post, Phil.

    But it's not just "your people," Phil, that have too much money, but all the chattering political class.

    The country's elites have de-coupled from the national reality. Thus, the economic hard times that have descended are viewed almost always through an investing or political lense, and hardly ever from the point of view of the street. It's all about numbers, either pertaining to the stock or housing market or the political polls, not people and their mundane reality.

    That's why for decades our media have covered politics with the maddening perspective of what policy proposal will APPEAL to and draw the votes of this or that demographic segment, not via a discussion of what concrete policies our nation might actually need and benefit from.

    Michael Blaine

  4. Richard Witty
    March 11, 2008, 10:45 am

    Do you have too much money?

    Do you think that I do?

    Who is the "my people" that you are speaking of?

  5. Oarwell
    March 11, 2008, 11:04 am

    Richard's right, why on earth is this a Jewish issue? Remember the joke 'The Aristocrats,' and what it really conveys.

    Wasn't it Warhol who said the reason men seek fame and wealth is so they can have sex with beautiful women?

    That wasn't just soup he was peddling.

  6. Charles Keating
    March 11, 2008, 11:19 am

    Due to an accounting error or a human error typing in a piece of code, my former employer, a wealthy international corporation, set me up with an income for life as if I had still been working. When the first check came in the mail, my eyes popped out of my head. Being a lawyer, I calculated that I could keep getting such gigantic checks quarterly through the rest of my life–by doing nothing but cashing the checks. The system was set up, running, I could take full advantage of the tiny human slip that so rewarded me. I calculated that even if one day some accounting or technological double-check audit finally inadvertenly tracked down the discrepancy, although I would have to pay back the principal given with each check over however many years, I could do so, claiming ignorance (in the easy manner are politicos do, and with a lot more credibility), and I still would have kept all the interest earned. What did I do?

  7. Charles Keating
    March 11, 2008, 5:13 pm

    Phil, In the last few days, somebody has been posting, using my real name as the source. Please look into this–you can search my computer source address. I think its the sword of you know who, also known as you know who.

  8. Charles Keating
    March 11, 2008, 5:20 pm

    Phil, and everybody posting on this blog. Please note that somebody in the last week has been using my name to post comments. My best guess is that he is the self-described sword of historical you know who.

  9. Charles Keating
    March 11, 2008, 5:29 pm

    I told Phil's blog commenters that somebody has been posting in my name, and that I think it's the sword of you know who. I tried to say this, but, as per the the NO message, "We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as a potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author."

    Phil, please look into this. You can check the location of my home computer. Compare it with the source of recent posts in my name.

  10. Glenn Condell
    March 11, 2008, 10:53 pm

    They're doing it to Ed as well. It might look simply juvenile on the surface, but it speaks of panic, desperation, fear. Plus it's easier than arguing the merits.

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