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Tue Jul 31, 2012, 01:16 PM

Our Marie Antoinettes are getting a little bit nervous

Our Marie Antoinettes are getting a little bit nervous

by digby

For years I've been writing that the wealthy are "begging for pitchforks" with their royalist behavior in the wake of economic crisis that seems to come straight out of the French aristocracy. (I would guess that only in America do they they simultaneously claim they are "middle class".) The smugness and entitlement of these "job creators" has been something to behold, particular among the Masters of the Universe who are largely responsible for the recent crash.

.......................................

Until now. This article in New York Magazine about billionaire Jeff Greene indicates that our betters are getting nervous:

Greene gazes across the bay at the multi-million-dollar houses peeking from behind the trees. I assume he’s quietly contemplating acquiring even more of the shoreline, but then he says something surprising. “If somebody wanted to go after a rich person,” he observes, “they have got their pick of the litter out here.”

It’s strange to imagine someone like Greene, who counts Mike Tyson as a close friend, and who has a streak that caused the L.A. party girls to refer to him as “Mean Jeff Greene,” feeling vulnerable. It’s hard to think of any superrich person as vulnerable, just as it’s hard to think that a bear with outstretched claws and giant teeth is more afraid than you are. But over the past few months, it’s become clear that rich people are very, very afraid. Sometimes it feels like this was the main accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street: a whole lot of tightened sphincters. It’s not a stretch to say many residents of Park Avenue harbor vivid fears of a populist revolt like the one seen in The Dark Knight Rises, in which they cower miserably under their sideboards while ragged hordes plunder the silver.

“This is my fear, and it’s a real, legitimate fear,” Greene says, revving up the engine. “You have this huge, huge class of people who are impoverished. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we will build a class of poor people that will take over this country, and the country will not look like what it does today. It will be a different economy, rights, all that stuff will be different.”

..............................

Greene, a registered Democrat, isn’t buying this school of thought. “It is kind of a problem in America that so many Americans believe if they elect a different president, everything is going to be fine. This whole idea of American exceptionalism, that we’re the greatest, when people don’t have health insurance, don’t have housing,” he says, swinging past the guesthouse, which has 360-degree views of the bay, and the staff house, which does not. “There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,” he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,” he says. “At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a Hollande. A Chávez.”


MORE:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/our-marie-antoinettes-are-getting.html

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 01:30 PM

1. They are heartless, mean, and beyond greedy, but they are generally not stupid. (Rmoney excluded).

 

Just like anyone that pays attention, they see that it is coming, and it is coming faster than we care to admit.

Once again, the gatekeepers (richish but still has to work) will bear the brunt of the backlash while their masters flee the country.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 01:34 PM

2. Maybe. But, the certainly are getting richer.

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:09 PM

3. Good time for a little Phil Ochs



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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:17 PM

4. If the people have no bread, let them eat Chick-Fil-A

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:18 PM

5. At least he is perceptive enough to realize the historial perspective involved.

There is tipping point reached when the vast majority are doing without, and the wealth of a nation is concentrated in a minority.

Each society then decides at what degree of pain, enough is enough.

Violence ensues, every time.

Hungry, hopeless people have little to lose.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:22 PM

6. I can't wait. nt

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:32 PM

7. As well they should.

All the information they've tried so hard to suppress is coming out.

$21 trillion in offshore accounts
Largest wealth gap since the depression
Most gains over the last decades all went to those at the top
Those at the bottom keep falling further and further behind

This stuff is now not only no longer so easy to suppress, it's now being shared in easy to understand, highly effective graphics that aren't so easy to dismiss with catchy PR soundbites.

They're working on eliminating the middle class, but it is only the middle class that shields them.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:34 PM

8. Paging Madame Lafarge!!

 

The time for tumbrels and the National Razor is now.

They think Francois Hollande is a Hugo Chavez? How much more deluded could these worthless asswipes be?

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 04:39 PM

14. Anything to the left of Bill Clinton might as well be Marx himself with these guys.

Even when they do have a sense of perspective it's flawed.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:37 PM

9. This reads more like "cover our ass" than "do the right thing"

But given the people he is supposed to be getting through to, probably needed to be written with that slant.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 04:15 PM

10. This is ridiculous. We are not the unwashed masses, we just want some equality in our system.

They have gamed the system, thanks to Bush and his predecessors. And we want economic opportunity.. NOT handouts, not revenge, not violence. We just want our American Dream back. Because most of the uber wealthy got that way by doing it on the backs of their American brethren. People like Romney and Gates made their money by sending jobs to other countries, leaving their fellow Countrymen in the dust.

No one is grabbing torches. We just want the laws and taxes BACK the way they were even in the 80s!! We want the Koch Brothers and people like them to get rich the old fashioned way, by hard work, not by gaming the system and screwing everyone else in America.

Frankly, the people who pave your roads, or worked on your roof, or do day care, work a hell of a lot HARDER than those people ever did. This ruse that we're after them and they're afraid of the commoners, is totally bullshit.. and is exactly the same brainwashing shit that the Right does to the low info voters who are afraid of people in colors other than their own.

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Response to progressivebydesign (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 04:27 PM

11. Actually- I want the sideboard, and everything inside it.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 04:31 PM

12. bullshit on the rich being very, very afraid. they ain't.

 

Greene is an exception. He's smart and he's a dem. He grasps the basic concept of enlightened self-interest. I bet the vast majority of the wealthy are more like Romney than Greene- or Pelosi for that matter.

Edited to add: Greene is clearly not a Marie Antoinette. Kind of the opposite. duh. I dislike stupid. I dislike sensationalist. And Digby just isn't all that.

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Response to cali (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 04:35 PM

13. Correct. This is just silly posturing.

 

We aren't that dumb.

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