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...the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised."
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Rich People Things
Chris Lehmann is married to Ana Marie Cox, I've been a fan of hers for a long time. I've followed her on twitter for a long time too but I've lost her in TweetDeck, drat it. I came across this by accident and was quite surprised. If Tweetdeck wasn't hosed I would have known. In any case, it's also on my list. It's comes as an ebook by the way. $10.
It’s never easy being rich: endless tax avoidance, the Sisyphean search for reliable domestic staff, the never-ending burden of surly stares from the Great Sea of the Unwashed as one goes about one’s rightful business. Toughest of all is simply keeping track of everything one owns. There’s so much of it. And personal possessions are just the beginning.
You must keep a gimlet eye, too, on the myriad people and institutions that safeguard your gilded status: politicians, newspapers, financial instruments, branches of government. They all belong to you. But staying on top of what they’re up to is a full time job. What’s an overstretched gazillionaire to do?
Now, with the publication of Rich People Things, the problems of our over-classes are, well, over. In a concise, easy-to-use guide, Chris Lehmann catalogs the fortifications that shelter the opulent from the resentments of the hoi polloi. From ideological stanchions such as the Free Market and the Prosperity Gospel, through the castellation of media, including The New York Times, Wired Magazine and Reality Television, to burly gatekeepers such as David Brooks, Steve Forbes and Alan Greenspan, the well-to-do will find, in these pages, a comforting and comprehensive array of the protections that allow them to sleep sound at night.
For the rest of us, Lehmann’s sparkling prose, at the same time pointed and whimsical, together with the clever, teasing illustrations of Peter Arkle, can at least provide a diverting glimpse into how the top one percent maintains an iron grip on almost half of America’s financial wealth.
"Since strange fate and television have transformed me from an ORDINARY WRITER into a DERANGED MILLIONAIRE, I can tell you that Chris Lehmann is NO ORDINARY WRITER. Indeed, he captures here, with rare and devastating wit, precisely why and how the rich (by which I mean: ME) are so different from me and you (by which I mean: YOU). If this book were plated in platinum and larded with a million designer labels, I WOULD BUY IT." —John Hodgman
"What a delight it is to have—finally!—an entire book in which Chris Lehmann gives the mountebanks and plutocrats of this world the drubbing they deserve—in delicious detail and at satisfying length. His scoffing is a tonic." —Tom Frank
"This book made me laugh and cry. And wish I were a plutocrat. Chris Lehmann is an amazing writer. I will read his books until i die." —Gary Shteyngart