Showing posts with label Economic Inequity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economic Inequity. Show all posts

October 17, 2017

It's Gazillions Baby!

So being a millionaire is no longer anything.

You're still considered sort of a poor schlub!

Even a billionaire is not such a big deal anymore. 

It takes at least $2 billion to make it unto the Forbes 400 Richest Americans List

Further, a recent episode of CNBC Filthy Rich Guide asks who will become the world's first trillionaire!

They say trillionaire as in a number with "4 commas"--never really thought of it that way.

...but it's definitely a big,(1) big,(2) big,(3) big,(4) big number.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon with $90 billion currently in the bank and growing fast is forecasted to be the one who will make it. 

So no longer are we betting on which mega corporation--Apple (with a current value of almost $830 billion)--will become the first trillion dollar company.

We are talking individuals with that much moolah too. 

So with the median net worth of Americans a measly $69 thousand dollars, it's no wonder that billionaires like Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank) calls more than one entreprenuer looking for an investment, a cockroach!

What's a shame is not only the complete social inequity and class system that we have and that continues to grow with those in McMansions and others homeless, but also that so many can't see that what's really important is not the beautiful pocketbook full of money, but the decent soul filled with good deeds! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 2, 2016

Some People Got Money


So we're in the mall, and right when you walk through the doors is a car in the entrance hall. 

This one is a lovely two-tone 2016 Rolls Royce. 

At just a measly $384,025!

Honestly, the car looked awesome. 

This was no Hyundai or Yugo.

The thing looked like a tank of art on wheels. 

What is amazing is that such an expensive car is on display in the mall...I mean who is the demographic they are trying to appeal to for this?

Well maybe it's not that bad, since another sign advertises a lease option for just $3,469 per month plus tax for 48 months with $30,000 due at signing...so that still runs you over $50K per year to drive this thing. 

Well I guess if you earnings millions, what's the big deal anyway!

And out of curiosity, as of 2009, almost a quarter million IRS filings (people and households) show earning of that much or more...nice for them, huh. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 10, 2016

Every Day Is Women's Day

My mother taught me well, every day is women's day!

Little did I know that March 8 is also designated International Women's Day.

Today is the 10th, but I still saw a lady on the Metro carrying a balloon down the escalator celebrating this special time. 

Overall, even in the 21st century, it is appalling to say that women are not only still under-appreciated, but highly disrespected, and worse physically and emotionally abused around the world

Just this week, I read about another horrible rape in India of a 16-year old girl who was then set on fire and burned alive over 95% of her body--what crazies out there do this to women?

In Afghanistan, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for being a girl and wanting to go to school.

In other places in the world, terror groups like ISIS and Boko Haram abduct and make sexual slaves of women

In Germany, migrants sexually assaulted literally hundreds of women on New Year's Eve. 

And in Brooklyn, New York, 4 out of 5 suspects in a rape of an 18-year girl in the park go free without bail

This doesn't even touch the more mundane matters of pay inequity and equal opportunity issues where women still only earn 84% of what men earn in the workplace.

As if any normal person should even need to be told this, I remember some progressive teacher in yeshiva telling us that women being disrespected or hurt could be your mother, sister, wife, or daughter, so DON'T do it or tolerate it!

While gender stereotypes still prevail about women being solely the homemaker and rearer of children, at least more men are now open to sharing or taking on these roles as well. 

I think for women, it's still a grossly sick and inequitable world out there and it's a true mark of shame on anyone who perpetuates these abuses. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 28, 2015

Social Inequality To Make You Sick

Here's a copy of the sticker price on the car in the lobby of the local mall in Florida here. 

Oh, it's just a 2016 Rolls Royce for a mere $362,225.00

The car was unbelievably gorgeous.

But the extravagance of it compared with the regular poor, hungry and homeless people on the streets as well as the vast majority of all the other everyday middle class people is enough to make you want to puke. 

Immediately after this, when we got back to the hotel, the maid was still in the room cleaning up.

I had the opportunity to see--really see--this lady--this person. 

She was overly respectful, calling me sir numerous times, unnecessarily. 

She was kind in finishing the room quickly and asking if their was anything else we needed.

But I also noticed that despite her labor-intensive job cleaning up other people's shit in the hotel rooms, she had a bum leg and had trouble walking and just getting around. 

I thought to myself why was it that this poor lady was destined to have to clean my and other people's hotel rooms for a grueling living.

The next day, I saw some mini shampoo and conditioner containers that had fallen to the side of the tiny garbage can in the bathroom (didn't make the shot).  

I looked down--I thought for a split second, that's what the hotel get's paid for to clean up and service the guests--but only for a SPLIT second.

Then I bent my own stupid ass over, and picked up the bottles and put them in the garbage where they belong. 

The lady coming to clean the room doesn't drive a Rolls Royce and definitely, neither do I. 

We are one under G-d, and may he bless us all in prosperity, health, and peace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 2, 2015

In Every World, The Haves And Have Nots

So no matter the time nor the society and their particular philosophical, economical, and social creed, there are ALWAYS the haves and the have nots. 

You have your upper caste and lower caste, your rich and poor, your religious elites and laypersons, your Harvard-educated and community college grads, your executive suite and your day laborers, you masters and your slaves, your ruling elite and your plebeians, your hunter and hunted, your VIPs and your Joe Shmoes.

In India, you still have an extensive caste system even today.  In Russia, you have the KGB, the Politburo, and the Oligarchs. In China, you have the Communist Party, the Military elite, and the venture capitalists/billionaires. In Europe, you still have The Queen and vestiges of the old guard monarchies, although gone are the Feudal lords and serfs, instead replaced by the Church and successful business and political elite. In America, ah...money and political power make the country go round. 

Last evening, I watched the movie, Elysium, taking place in a dsytopian future where the Earth has become overpopulated, polluted, and sick, but the elite are riding high on a large circling space habitat called Elysium, where everyone lives in a mansion with pool and lush grounds, eats exquisitely, and has the finest healthcare in machines that can cure everything from lymphoma to do full facial reconstruction in a matter of seconds. 

Whether in the future or the past, the only difference between the haves and have nots is how much the haves have, and how little have nots have not.

Is this societal makeup preordained or is their a way that we can raise the standard of living for everyone AND make it more equitable (unless you consider it necessary for Bill Gates to have $80,000,0000,000 and the homeless person on the street not a dime in his pocket)?

Over and over again, I read how the disparity between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, becomes ever more pronounced:  
- Now for example, CEOs generally earn 331 times (yeah last year it was 354) the amount average workers do and 774 times as much as minimum wage earners!
- Studies that show that Presidential and executive powers continue to expand with eleven reasons why.
- And the richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world.

In Elysium, after a lot of sci-fi thriller action and fighting, the protagonist manages to make EVERYONE a citizen of Elysium, so they can all partake of the largess, and at the end the med ships arrive to cure all the sick. 

That's the movies, but in real life, maybe we will see this only when the Messiah comes or there is a complete shift in the way we think and treat each other. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 22, 2014

Why We Expect Nothing

I took this photo of a sign at the Metro station to the Reagan National Airport by Washington, D.C. 

"Expect The Unexpected" is the warning.


Don't be complacent--anything can happen--be vigilant--is the message. 


It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry jokes about people going to the beach and hiding their wallets in their shoes.


Like, a criminal would never think to check your shoe!


Oh, push the wallet all the way down to the toes, under the tongue, that way the bad guys will never be able to get to it. 


Here, it's more a case of of why don't we expect the darn expected. 


Everybody knows that people "hide" their valuables at the beach in their shoes!


In modern times, we seem blind though to any expectations at all.


- Arab Spring and civil war spreading into Syria and Iraq--after Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, and more--who would've thought?


- Russia taking over Crimea and agitating in Eastern Ukraine--after their little excursions into Georgia and Chechnya--who would expect that?  


- Financial meltdowns and major recession after the dot com and housing bubbles--even my barber was talking about retiring and buying a mansion in the Caribbean--where are these coming from?


The question then is are we really unable to see past our noses or do we just hold steadfast to principle that ignorance is bliss?


Well let's just test the "expect nothing doctrine" that we seem to all be living by these days and see how you feel about these:

  • North Korea--they would never invade the South again.
  • Iran--sure, they are going to give up their nuclear weapons and their greater Middle Eastern Caliphate ambitions. 
  • China--Yeah, we'll just pin them in the South China Sea and they'll never get out.
  • The national deficit--it's not and will never be too big for us to handle because we're rich. 
  • Terrorism in a major American city--not after 9/11 and all that Homeland Security.
  • Environmental catastrophe--we will build a big bubble over ourselves, so no problem.
  • Economic inequity--the top 1% deserves to control 43% of the Nation's wealth and everyone else just sit down and shut up.
  • The Singularity--how could a machine ever be smarter than us; we've got all the technology fully under our control. 

Well, if you are blind or dumb enough to believe these, just keep putting your money in your shoes at the beach, because there is no reason to expect that anyone would ever think to look for it there. ;-)

Share/Save/Bookmark