Important lessons await us in the strangest places.
Liesl and I have recently started watching the HGTV real estate show Selling New York.
I’ve read about income disparity, and how the distribution of wealth in this country is more skewed than it’s been since early in the 20th century.
But Selling New York makes it more real.
Here’s how HGTV describes the show:
They are assertive, razor-sharp and always compelling real estate brokers in the country’s most competitive market. In a city of over 8 million people, where the average sale price is over $2 million, the competition to seal the deal is stiff. Now, catch a rare glimpse into a world where a solid reputation at the top of the real estate food chain involves swimming with the sharks, going head-to-head with the best, and rubbing shoulders with the wealthiest and trendiest of New York’s social, political and artistic elite. This is Selling New York.
If you want to see footage of our own Gilded Age (happening right now, while the rest of us suffer from the Great Recession), this show will give you that. It’s mind-boggling.
Meanwhile in Madison, far from Madison Avenue, the Grand Old Party’s tax cuts have pushed Wisconsin into a fiscal crisis. The New York Times is not alone in wondering if the intent of those tax cuts was to create an opportunity for union busting.
A lot of people my age are cynical about politics. They say that both sides are crooked. Maybe there’s some truth to that.
But maybe it’s also true that there’s a small segment of our population that’s doing quite well, thank you very much. And they’d like us to stay cynical, to stay out of the fray, to stay home.
They’d like us to keep on ignoring the tax cuts going to people buying opulent $3 million dollar condos in LA–that they’ll use just a few weeks out of the year. They’d like us to lull us into believing that teachers, firefighters, police officers and factory workers are the real crooks–not those Wall Street credit swappers.
Rise up, people! Shrug off your cynicism and join the Prairie Populists. Study up on Gene Sharp and his 198 Methods of Non-Violent Action. Number 22 is “protest disrobings.” Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Almost as fun as the Wisconsin Democrats hiding in an undisclosed location!
Wahoo! Aren’t these interesting times?