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Showing posts tagged class warfare


Small Business Still Manages To Mistreat Workers Like Large Corporate Chain

Just a quick reminder from America’s finest news source that small business owners can be just as much of the problem as the large ones.

 


The rich got so goddamn rich, in other words, because the signature policies of the Great Right Turn were designed to make them rich. And, as the world knows, these policies weren’t limited to Republicans; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama—plus, of course, their resident economists and cabinet members—all more or less endorsed the basic tenets of the free-market faith. They are all implicated.

So inequality, now that we’re having a “conversation” about it, must of course turn out to be massively complicated, something no one could possibly have seen coming — sort of like the 2008 financial crisis, come to think of it. Furthermore, it must be seen as another technical problem, a matter for the experts to solve, like the budget deficit or entitlement spending.

Thomas Frank, “Paul Krugman Won’t Save Us: We Need a New Conversation About Inequality”

I like this piece a lot. It sums up a bit of the annoyance I have with a lot of liberal commentary that I like in general, but which also reframes class struggle as an academic debate over various technocratic policy choices. The rich have been waging class warfare against us since they took over from the aristocracy as the dominant class. We need to look beyond diagnosing a problem and contemplating how to fix it. What we need to look at is how to seize power, real power, ourselves.



The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary passion soon appeased.


Why does the New York Times Real Estate section exist? This sort of fawning over anyone with money to blow on Manhattan real estate can’t actually appeal to actual people. And it’s not like they’re handing it out to us proles to foment class warfare. You know what, I’ll just go and quote the whole thing in full in the hopes that it demonstrates the need to just expropriate these fuckers and build a better world for the rest of us. You can go here to verify that I’m just quoting them exactly, and not writing some sort of parody or something. Also, it’s got pictures, and I totally understand loving pictures of insanely expensive apartments while hating the whole capitalist system that makes them a thing. But, anyways, here’s the NYT on “how New York’s young millionaires live”:

n the universe of ultraluxury real estate, much attention has been lavished on foreign investors who pay record prices for glassy Midtown condominiums, and the wave of previously staunch uptown residents suddenly spending big to embrace unlikely neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan.

Now get ready for a new group of well-to-do buyers who are quickly gaining momentum: under-40 multimillionaires.

Such buyers care less about status and amenities than quality, character and privacy. They eschew Park Avenue for Canal Street, and prefer bespoke kitchens by the British designer Smallbone of Devizes to the typical Sub-Zero style. The young wealthy elite is split between entrepreneurs, who have made their fortunes in technology and business, and those who have family money. But nearly all prefer homes downtown, and they almost always pay all cash.

“They have a completely different DNA from the rest of us,” said Robert Dankner, the president of Prime Manhattan Residential, a brokerage that represents young tech millionaires. “They like to stay under the radar, and the time and energy others spend to conform, these people spend forging their own path. What is important to them is to have something that is not like what everyone else has.”

Buildings that have been currying favor among this set include the Sterling Mason in TriBeCa, 200 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea and 285 Lafayette Street in SoHo. “In my experience smaller is better than bigger, buildings like One57 and 15 CPW are not their thing,” Mr. Dankner said.

Take 471 Washington Street, which began sales in 2010 and sold out before construction was completed. It is on the corner of Canal Street bordering SoHo and northern TriBeCa. Each of the nine apartments in the nine-story building, blocks from where the cityDepartment of Sanitation is erecting an enormous garage and salt shed, boasts outdoor space, a private keyed elevator and 11-foot ceilings. At least four of the buyers in the building are under 40, including Sasha Bikoff, 26, an interior designer. Ms. Bikoff, who grew up in Manhattan, has furnished homes that include Judy Garland’s former apartment at the Dakota on the Upper West Side, a former Hunnewell estate in Dover, Mass., and homes in Montauk, Amagansett and Hudson, N.Y.

She bought a sprawling one-bedroom at 471 Washington that has three levels, a 650-square-foot backyard and a large basement intended as storage, which has been transformed into an office, with tiled floors and walls painted royal blue. The main level has a kitchen and entertainment area where she exhibits her artwork, while the top floor houses her living space. Adjoining Ms. Bikoff’s bedroom is an enormous walk-in-closet reminiscent of the one that Mr. Big built for an awed Carrie Bradshaw in the “Sex and the City” movie; the space is a reinvention, first built as a second bedroom.

“Everything is totally private and separate from each other, sort of like a townhouse within the building,” said Ariel Dagan, 25, an associate broker at Keller Williams New York City who represents Ms. Bikoff, having known her since both were children on the Upper East Side.

Before buying, Ms. Bikoff was renting a one-bedroom with a terrace in Chelsea. “But she likes to entertain and it just wasn’t large enough,” Mr. Dagan said, “plus she wanted something with the feeling of Old New York — something super, super unique.”

To find the perfect home, Ms. Bikoff and Mr. Dagan visited several listings from Chelsea all the way to the southern tip of TriBeCa. “I am the type of person that will walk into Barney’s in my sweatpants, I don’t care,” Ms. Bikoff said. “But at the same time, I am a serious buyer, and I think we went into some of these listings and they didn’t take me seriously. That changed after we did the walk-throughs and they saw my comments and knowledge.”

When Ms. Bikoff first visited 471 Washington Street, it was still under construction. “Sasha walked in and from the first moment, looking at just four cement walls, she was like, ‘This is it, this is what I want.’ ” Mr. Dagan recalled. “And I was like, ‘What? I have no idea what we are even looking at.’ But she had vision and the space gave her inspiration.”

Other residents of 471 Washington include two young brothers who each own large apartments and a stylish 30-something couple, Harsh and Purvi Padia. The Padias — he runs a hedge fund and she has an interior-design business — paid more than $17 million for the penthouse. The couple, who have a child, were featured in an episode of “Million Dollar Listing,” a reality show on Bravo, expressing concern that the 4,200-square-foot unit, which comes with 4,000 square feet of outdoor space and a rooftop pool, was too small for the family of three. They ended up combining the apartment with the unit below, creating a 7,200-square-foot home.

“The whole building is filled with rich young millionaires,” said John Gomes, a broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who oversaw the sales at 471 Washington Street with his partner Fredrik Eklund.

Walker Tower, a 47-unit conversion on West 18th Street where a penthouse recently sold for a record-breaking $50.9 million and a two-bedroom recently went into contract for $4.2 million, has also seen an influx of young buyers. “It used to be that if you were dealing with a buyer who was under 40, it wasn’t really in the luxury market,” said Vickey Barron, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman and the director of sales at Walker Tower. “They were looking for a perfectly lovely apartment, but not really luxury. Now I’ll see someone walk through the door and assume it is a 37-year-old broker, but it is actually a buyer, and they are looking at a listing that costs $14 million.”

Among the young buyers at Walker Tower is a 30-something owner of a tech company who recently bought a two-bedroom; another resident, a 30-year-old lawyer and entrepreneur, bought a three-bedroom.

Buildings like Walker Tower and 471 Washington Street lack many of the flashier amenities often featured in larger buildings, like golf simulators, giant screening rooms or basketball courts. But that is just fine. “These younger, successful individuals, they are almost too intelligent to go for the bells-and-whistles sales pitch,” Ms. Barron said. “Instead they want substance, they want something that is a good investment and is nice to live in.”

The architect Cary Tamarkin is seeing a similar trend at two boutique condominiums he is developing in West Chelsea. The buildings, 456 West 19th Street and 508 West 24th Street, have pared down amenities and elevated prices — the cheapest unit at 508 West 24th Street is $4.15 million — and seem to be interesting buyers who are executives at technology and new-media companies.

“The mind-set of wildly successful people who are under 40, if you think about what made them that kind of money, it is a pioneering, creative spirit,” Mr. Tamarkin said. “They have a lot of self-confidence — they aren’t relying on an address or someone’s name to give them that cachet, but rather they are going on their spirit.”



Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! Before succumbing to the intoxicating warmth of that promise, it’s critical to ask, “Who, exactly, benefits from making work feel like non-work?” “Why should workers feel as if they aren’t working when they are?” Historian Mario Liverani reminds us that “ideology has the function of presenting exploitation in a favorable light to the exploited, as advantageous to the disadvantaged.”

Miya Tokumitsu, “In the Name of Love

You should read this essay. We really need to fight against perpetuating attitudes among the working class that glorify our own exploitation.

(Source: ninjabikeslut)





Seemingly lost on a GOP desperate to not seem heartless is that income inequality is unrelentingly beautiful, signals increased abundance to be enjoyed by all, and it tautologically signals a great leveling of the lifestyle gap. Republicans were once the Party of up-from-nothing, entrepreneurial achievement, and income inequality signals just that. It’s a sign that enterprise is being rewarded, that investment is reaching the talented over the politically connected, and it also signals that major unmet market needs are being met; hence the rising net worth of successful entrepreneurs.
Some jackass writing at Forbes. I couldn’t even read the whole thing, it was just such fucking inane bullshit. Maybe someone else can give it a try. Seriously, what is up with having a whole section of our media telling the world’s richest people what amazing special snowflakes they are and how the rest of us are ungrateful beneficiaries of their brilliance?


Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins, venture capitalist who once commissioned a $300 million yacht, and whose passion for yacht racing has already killed one person, in a letter to the editor that The Wall Street Journal decided to publish.

Author of romance novels Danielle Steel, who’s criticism by the San Francisco Chronicle he apparently considers on par with the work of Julius Streicher, is his ex-wife.



Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, explaining why the poor ought to just make do with less: “It also means something more profound, it means building a leaner, more efficient state.  We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.

I mean, it’s just so perfect that they look like such posh motherfuckers while they discuss permanent austerity for the British working class.



I’m convinced of my disagreement with the counterrevolution, imperialism, fascism, religions, stupidity, capitalism and the whole gamut of bourgeoisie tricks. I wish to cooperate with the Revolution in transforming the world into a classless one so that we can attain a better rhythm for the oppressed class.

- Frida Kahlo

(Source: lisawallerrogers.files.wordpress.com)



sambwmn:

IWW

I love old Wobbly propaganda.

sambwmn:

IWW

I love old Wobbly propaganda.

(Source: class-struggle-anarchism)

34 notes

Posted at 7:47pm
Reblogged (Photo reblogged from sambwmn)
Tagged comics class warfare IWW

 


Image on top is a screenshot of NY Times editorial criticizing AIG paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to its top executives after the US government bailed out the company to the tune of $170 billion.

Image on the bottom is the body of Emmett Till, a black teenager beaten to death for whistling at a white woman in 1955.

You might not see much of a connection between the two, but current AIG CEO Robert Benmosche went whining to the Wall Street Journal recently, saying:

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitchforks and their hangman nooses, and all that — sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.”

I really have no words for this. A man who got a 24% raise to an income of $13 million last year compares the negative publicity his company received after an unprecedentedly colossal failure to the history of terroristic violence that enforced a centuries-long culture of white supremacy. His statement just sits there like a massive turd, where simply beholding it is to marvel at its grotesqueness. It resists all attempts at parody, the verbatim statement already being itself too over-the-top to be funny. It may be impossible to plumb the depths of offensive idiocy Mr. Benmosche has descended to, but Matt Taibbi is willing to take a stab at it.



Don’t buy Twinkies. The whole bankruptcy thing was just a way to screw over the workers and divert money from labor to capital.

(Graphic from Pro Labor Alliance)



cyclopean:

Picket line at insomnia cookies in Harvard square. Right now.

I hadn’t heard about this. It’s pretty awesome. Some of my friends delivered for them, but I think they all hated it and have gone by now. Seems like a shitty place to work, so it’s great to see them have some unruly employees to deal with. Hope they get everything they ask for.

For anyone else interested, here’s some background, and a link if anyone can donate to the strike fund.



Courtesy of Mike Konczal, a quick look at the 1%’s share of national income, based on the newest numbers from Emmanuel Saez. We’re reliving the Coolidge administration years. Next stop, the Gilded Age!