culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Friday, January 17, 2003
Update your plutocracy vocabulary. Plutocracy, or government by the wealthy, was a common word back in the Gilded Age of a century ago. Many people have commented that we are entering a new Gilded Age brought about by two major tax reduction proposals by the current administration, both of which severely favor the interests of the wealthy above everyone else and above even the national interest.

During the old Gilded Age a number of words entered the American vocabulary, including plutolatry (the worship of wealth), plutology (the scientific study of wealth), and plutomania (the abnormal or excessive desire for wealth). These are all due for a comeback in our age of The Millionaire Next Door.

But the millionaires are not next door. They are elsewhere. Today's subscription-requiring
Wall Street Journal includes an article titled "Never Mind Pesky Scandals — Execs See Home Values Soar":
there once was a CEO from nantucketOne has seen the value of his island getaway quadruple since he built it. Another just sold his Aspen "cottage" for $10 million -- more than five times what he paid for it. And then there's former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who may have lost his $16.8 million Manhattan co-op, but can still relax at his $5.7 million Nantucket estate [shown] -- or at homes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Beaver Creek, Colo.

Judging by the headlines, 2002 was a pretty bad year for America's chief executive officers, from the debacles of WorldCom and Enron to a host of embarrassing Chapter 11 filings. But judging by the current values of their homes, many of them have made some pretty good investments. Indeed, while ordinary Americans watched their home prices grow an average 6% in 2002, some of the more newsworthy CEOs did far better, with the home values of a handful growing more than 40% in 12 months.
What's the word for hatred of the rich? Or, rather, hatred of the abusive behavior of the rich toward the people that help enrich them? Email me suggestions.

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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