We live in this country in two parallel universes. The households of the top 1% of our country’s wealth distribution live in one world. And the rest of us live in another world. This is why Phil Gramm and Cindy McCain can actually believe we are a nation of whiners. So for the benefit of the Top 1%. the New York Times spends more than the top half of the Sunday Style Section, giving tips on how to hitch a ride on a private jet. I have a fairly famous friend who is not quite wealthy enough to afford his own private jet, but wealthy enough to have a house in Sun Valley. He called himself a “jet whore” (I know it’s politically incorrect, I’m telling a story here!). Now the truly rich are upgrading to much bigger jets, so there will be more seats for the hitchhiking rich. The jet owner will write it all off as a business expense as he had to “have a meeting” with his friend on his way home from Sun Valley.
“The big trend is people upgrading to jumbo jets for private use,” said Douglas D. Gollan, the editor of Elite Traveler, the glossy journal that bills itself as the “private jet lifestyle magazine.”
People who once cruised comfortably in a 12-seat Gulfstream G450, Mr. Gollan said, now gaze covetously at a Boeing Business Jet, a 737 reconfigured to accommodate not 150 commercial passengers but 18 to 25 private ones. “In the land of high fliers,” Mr. Gollan said, the talk is of jumbo McMansions in the sky. “Airbus just signed six orders for private A350s,” at a Swiss trade show, he said, referring to a $180-million jet that in its commercial application accommodates 300 passengers.
People used to refer to jumbo yachts as “dick-measuring contests”. I guess that applies to planes too. I sure wish a few of these dickheads with Boeing 737’s would start giving away their money like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. This is nothing but a great ad for why we need to retain the Estate Tax as Gates and Buffet have urged. The last fourteen years since the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, the share if the nation’s wealth going to this top 1% has continued to grow.
I think it’s crucial that these extremes of weath inequality are meliorated. Obama needs to make this an issue.