Things are looking up for nemo. For weeks now, he has been submerged in a Stygian gloom, ground down by incessant murmurs of hopelessly inane non-facts and wishful thinking from his tormentors, his holiday spirit helpless to escape the shroud of negativism and nonsense that enveloped him. But the light has broken through, in the form of just a few tiny shards of hope that what passes for reality in a fabulous world might finally reassert itself.
For reasons that will shortly (on this blog, not in this post) become apparent, we recently found ourselves in front of the Ft. Lauderdale city hall. In its public plaza were two card tables staffed by four people who projected a kind of pallid hopelessness unavailable outside of Melville. Over them waved a banner: “Occupy Ft. Lauderdale.” It seemed pretty pointless, actually: if there is one thing that has without question happened in Ft. Lauderdale, it is occupation. Judging from the almost contingent series of highrises on its coast, it must have a population density rivaling Hong Kong.
Next to the card tables, passed out on a bench, was a gentleman of leisure. A poignant scene, too be sure, but binding the whole image together was a hand-letttered sign leaning up against the card table, doubtlessly created with something very different in mind, yet acting as a wondrous caption to the entire tableau:
“This is what democracy looks like.”
* * * *
The New York Times, to its credit, announced in an article today that the share of national income collected by “”the 1%” declined from 23% in 2007 to 17% in 2009. That’s a pretty serious pay cut, and while we will not quarrel with the notion that 17% of everything still a remarkable amount of wealth for 1% to collect, it does make one pause. And what makes “one” pause is the fact that tax receipts have been smashed flatter than a communion wafer, leaving the 99% to wonder who will make up the shortfall. And if you think, “Why, the same 1%, of course,” consider this:
That 1% paid 37% of all income taxes in New York City last year. Increase it to the “10%”, and they paid almost 70%. Try telling them they’re not doing their “fair share.”
* * * *
We would like to see some form of “income redistribution” that would actually reflect some degree of fairness, as our friend Butler Adams advocates, but we understandably reject proposals that do nothing in this regard other than punish “the rich.” Redirecting revenue from its producers to politicians will not accomplish anything. Google “Larry Seabrook,” and you will understand. When we catch one cockroach, and even he survives, imagine the magnitude of the thieves lurking behind the baseboard.