I decided to look around the Hermes website earlier today for fun. And browsing through their products, I was actually more surprised when I saw some items that were sort-of-reasonably priced.
It’s not that I expect upscale design-house merch to be affordable to plebes like me. I expect some relationship between what the item costs and what it has to offer the consumer. And when I see an office wastebasket—doesn’t even have solid sides!—costing $8200, I just want to know: why does this shit even exist?
The question should not be: “Why does this apparently not-rich person want to buy a $395 belt?” A better question would be: “Why does a rich person want to buy a $395 belt?” Why does the $395 belt even exist? Why is anyone making a product that costs so much to do so little?
I don’t think it’s morally wrong to have lots of money. (Up to a point. There’s no good reason to be a billionaire in any currency approaching the value of USD.) I don’t think the emphasis should be on making sure no one is allowed to accumulate wealth. I just think, if it seems like a good idea to spend thousands of dollars on a thing of which the cheaper version works at least as well, and even the best version of the thing doesn’t do all that much? Then you’re doing something wrong. Pay your employees (especially including domestic help) more, or give more to charity, or your tax rate should be raised.
Come the revolution, the people in possession of $4500 desk blotters will be first against the wall.
For the wealthy people who were not in favor of the GOP tax bill AND who will get more money from the new tax structure, one way to protest the fiscal fuckery is to send lots of money downward.
If I had a few million dollars under my control, I’d use it to make my friends’ lives easier: pay off a mortgage, settle someone’s student debt, someone else’s credit card debt, pay someone’s legal fees, someone’s old medical bills, and on and on until all my peeps don’t have to spend valuable energy on trying to have enough money for the month.
For our “please raise my taxes” fellow citizens, I suggest doing something similar. Buy houses for low-income families. Pay off younger folks’ student loans. Set up a fund for medical coverage for poor children. Set up another fund to provide housing, meals, health care, incidentals, and counseling to homeless people. Keep on buying vacant houses and keep on giving it to the poorest people until there’s no one begging on your city’s streets anymore. Not because they’ve all been forced out to the suburbs, but because they’re not homeless anymore and they don’t need to beg.
And then in 2018, donate tons of money to the campaigns of Democratic challengers to current GOP legislators’ seats in Congress. Lest the pigs in charge say your generosity vindicates the myth of trickle-down economics, pull the financial rug out from under those fuckers. Donate every election cycle until every single shithead who voted Yes on the tax bill is out of office.
It looks like pretty soon, the rest of us won’t have as much money to spread around.