culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The parallel economy. Recession, job contraction, dollar falling, subprime credit crisis — the whole economy's in the dump, right? Not if you are in the business of creating flying palaces (
For super-rich fliers in search of the ultimate status symbol, the big problem isn't plunking down $50 million to $250 million for a new, full-size jetliner from Boeing or Airbus. It's finding someone to turn that plane into a flying palace.

These purveyors of customized interiors, called "completion centers," are increasingly sold out for years to come as demand for transport-size personal aircraft has soared from a handful a year to dozens. That means lots more work designing and installing mother-of-pearl vanities, gilded ceilings, exotic wood cabinets, hand-made carpeting, multihead showers -- even throne rooms and gyms. Some vendors design the china, crystal and sterling silver that travel on board, and a few have installed missile defense systems on the aircraft.

"We have more work than we can handle," says Jon Buccola, chief executive officer of outfitter Greenpoint Technologies Inc. of Kirkland, Wash. Greenpoint, which specializes in interiors on new Boeing 737 business jets, has won $100 million in new business since the start of the year and is talking to a potential client who won't even get his or her new aircraft until 2014, he says.
"An increasing number of wealthy individuals and heads of state are buying commercial-sized planes and are spending even more to have them customized with everything from master suites to gymnasiums." And did you take note of the private missile defense systems?

The only growth area in the American economy is the enhancement of stratospheric status symbols — the equivalent of shoe polish for plutocrats.

In its creation of a stateless über-wealthy parallel universe, the pluto-Republican view of the economy is not a chicken in every pot. It's a gym in every jet. And woe to all of you who have no jet.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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