No C-Section?! YOU Try Pushing For Three Hours!

You’ll hear plenty of moms complain about their C-sections, but you’ll never hear THIS Babe complain.  I asked them for a zipper in case I decided to go again. But now, doctors want to take this away.  They want women in the midst of the most horrendous pain some will ever experience to enjoy a few more hours of it. They’re calling for us to push for at least three hours before considering a C-section. Holy Christmas!

Here’s what Dr. Oz has to say about what three hours of pushing can do:
“Take a genetic predisposition, add a 9-pound baby and 3 hours of pushing … something is going to give.”

And lots of women are AGREEING with the “push longer” dudes!:
“With an epidural there is really little reason to rush anything. I slept through the worst of it with my first- 17 hours of labor…” (comment on NPR C-section article)

I’d happily Jimmy Cagney-grapefruit that babe right in her kisser.

(Let’s All Pretend This Isn’t Sexist.)

I really get…(deep breath)…irritated when women assume that because THEIR menstrual cramps feel a certain way or THEIR labor pains felt a certain way, that EVERY WOMAN’S cramps or labor pains  must.  be.  exactly.  like.  hers. (Worse when men spout know-it-all sh#t about women’s experiences.)

With my firstborn, a vag delivery, I had only 17 hours of labor–fairly average.  In my case, fourteen of those hours were filled with viciously agonizing 1-minute back-to-back contractions.  

Had there been a loaded gun next to the bed, I would have killed myself gratefully–without one thought for my baby.  No, I am not exaggerating, and this was WITH an epidural.  

I was out of my mind with pain.  I had 20 seconds of each 60 to try to breathe through barely-tolerable pain before a 10-second torture crescendo up to please-God-let-me-die.  The epidural meds had worn off almost immediately, and I couldn’t have more because my blood pressure had plummeted to the point that my teeth were chattering.

Classic. Always Gets a Laugh. I Was Definitely Hysterical At the Time.

Even though my entire body clenched every 60 seconds, my doctor and nurses told me that the pains were FIVE minutes apart.  How could these experts know my pain intervals better than I?  Because a magic belt they’d velcro’d around my middle told them so.   It was only when a nurse accidentally used her eyes on ME instead of on the belt that the discrepancy was explained.

“Oh.”, she said, moving the belt six inches lower.  “You’re one of those non-productive laborers.”  “What does THAT mean?” I gasped out.  “Your uterus contracts at the BOTTOM, pushing the baby IN instead of OUT.  The belt was missing all those low contractions.”

S’Okay. I’m Cool.

Suddenly, the experts agreed with the patient. Everybody starting rushing around to get me to the delivery room.  Too bad that now there wasn’t one available…  Two hours later, we did finally get one, after only another 120 cycles of agony.

By now, the baby had been squeezed by my baby-hating uterus for all those hours, and I had no energy left to push. None. The vaginal delivery of my son was accomplished by the grace of a nurse bearing down on my belly, squeezing him out like toothpaste, and my doctor attaching a silicone yarmulke to his head and sucking him out like a tapioca pearl.

Yes. It Looked EXACTLY Like This.

There was quite a long and tense time getting him to breathe–why do you think THAT would be? As for me, my last resources gone, I was aware of my new baby for only seconds before I passed out.

Yes.  Mine, At 1 5 Days Old.

Yes. He’s mine. 5 days old.

After that single vaginal delivery, it took six weeks until I could sit normally, without cringing. I needed surgery for a partial prolapse of the uterus, a vaginal tear, and a rectocele. A couple of years later, I needed the same again. And then a THIRD time. (Lupus is a connective tissue disease. Once my parts are broken, even if they’re re-glued, they don’t always stay stuck together very well.)

Insert Part A Into Part B and Cross Fingers.

Intl Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics on causes of rectoceles:
“Increased labor duration and weight of the fetus directly influence perineal damage and denervation of the pelvic floor. This neuropathy can lead to weakening of pelvic floor muscles and development of a rectocele.”
Fast forward a year to my second delivery. At the hospital at 7:30, delivered by 8:30, happily nuzzling my new son–both of us wide-awake and pain-free. I felt so terrific that, when no nurse responded to the call button that night, I got out of my own bed and moved the furniture in the room because it felt too cramped. (I popped a couple of the surgical staples. Who cares if my scar’s a wee bit “off”?) The incision hurt a little, but I could sit and bend and take better care of myself than after my vag delivery. No tearing, no prolapse, no aching every time I had to use the john.

Yes.  Mine Also.  2 Days Old.

Yes. Mine also. 2 days old.

Is it coincidence that the new guidelines come out just as the pendulum is swinging toward more accountability of costs for hospitals? Could C-sections be more expensive for them?

My dears, we don’t live in the effing dark ages. In pain? Worried about the effect of drugs on your baby? Worry about the effect of your pain’s STRESS on the baby! Hellish, unproductive labor, or hours of pushing? Think about the stress and physical damage these might cause. Possibly even long-term. (Google “epigenetics”.)

“Saves time. Saves wear and tear. Gives me a place to put my keys afterward.”

What the Heck is a “Rectocele”?

A rectocele big enough to matter is when your vaginal/rectal wall gets so stretched (usually from childbirth trauma) that when you try to poop, instead of going down and out, the poop bulges forward inside your vaginal canal (tube). You might have to reach up your vagina with a finger and push backward to push the poop down and out. Totally gross. Surgery can fix it, if you can afford your share of costs (another way single and divorced women get f’d). If it isn’t fixed, it can turn into a fistula, which is when the wall tears, and poop comes out your vagina. Talk about gross.

Belly Sexism?
An ob surgeon later told me that my cut had been done higher than anyone else’s she’d ever seen (almost to my navel). (Outside cut: horizontal; Inside cut: vertical.) Afterward, my abdomen felt “floppy”, and no amount of exercise would hold it in. She said this was because my ob/gyn had not sewn my muscles back together–that this was common practice! But women ob/gyns who had C-sections got THEIRS sewn back together! (If you’re saying “What the frick?!” you should be.) So: Get it in writing that if you have a C-section, your doc will rejoin ALL your abdominal fascia muscles.

‘Fess-Up Time:
Baby #2 had been only 2 lbs. when he was supposed to be 4 1/2 lbs.–my lupus (or Behcet’s) had inflamed and narrowed the umbilical cord–so I’d been experiencing his pregnancy laying on my left side like a lazy seal. I was therefore not in peak physical condition when son #1, especially joyful to see me one day, jumped up on me and broke two ribs. Laying even more still afterward, I got pneumonia. When son #2 was plucked from my body, the combined lung/ribs pain relief was so huge, my C-section was no biggie.

So since no biggie for me–MUST be no biggie for ALL women, yeah?

Not Mine, But Perfect Also

2014-03-10–shrank pics; page takin’ too long to load.
2014-03-01–added rectocele definition; shuffled last paragraphs around.

The Robber Baron Revival

“Apple has become one of the best-known, most admired and most imitated companies on earth, in part through an unrelenting mastery of global operations. Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee…”

There was a New York Times article today about Apple and its outsourcing overseas–you may have seen it the article.  But there were some issues the article tripped past just a wee bit too lightly.

Per the article, Apple employs 763,000 workers, of whom 43,000 are U.S. employees, giving a total of only 5% U.S. employees.

“Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that ‘Made in the U.S.A.’  is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.”

If this is true, I can see why a business would prefer to set up operations overseas. If you owned a business, wouldn’t you? Unless there were some sort of advantages to being an American business…Like benefits America bestows on corporations or to their employees…hmmm… Any tax breaks given to American businesses which are not given to those of other countries? How about access to the American market for its goods and services, free of import tariffs?

It’s too bad our government is currently allowing equal access to our American market to both American companies and to foreign companies such as Apple.  What, Apple?  You say you’re ARE an American company?  What makes you one?  Your employees are foreigners.  Your operations are performed overseas.  How are you different from a foreign company?  Oh–that’s right:  You are getting American company breaks.]

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option.”

Their only option? Really? Their collective backs are against the wall? Does this mean their company is about to fail and their shareholders are at their throats? I mean, I’m just thinking of that $400,000 profit per employee, now. And the fact that they’re reaping the tax benefits of being an American corporation although they are not one, and have been reaping these for quite some time. And that their top level employees—their actual, rather than virtual American employees—have been enjoying the American lifestyle at the top of the food chain over here.  I’m just not so clear on what Apple means by “their only option”.

Couldn’t some of that $400,000 per employee have been shaved off to go into apprenticeships to talented highschool and college students here? In America? Or even untalented ones who tested well for the vocational/industrial aptitude skills needed to run efficient Apple factories here?

Could it be that this is your “only option” if your company’s only motivation is profit untempered by morals, and you have no scruples about eating the hand that is allowing you to feed upon it?

“One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves.  Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul.


New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight. (A foreperson) …immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories…each…was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames.” 

Said an Apple executive:  “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking…There’s no American plant that can match that.”

So, let me get this really clear:
Apple has taken its firm back to the days of the great robber-baron industrialists, with company dormitories, and the 12-hour workday—and Apple is proud of it. Boasting about it:  How they can depend upon being able to roust their human machines from their Company beds in the middle of the night and prime these pumps for a 12-hour run with just hot tea and a cracker. How is a real human being to respond?  Let me try: 

None of the top-echelon Apple employees would consider this to be appropriate treatment for an adult child of their own, or anyone else they cared about.  The fact that they consider it perfectly acceptable treatment for brown-skinned foreigners whom they never intend to see is dashed disturbing.   (Oh, but it’s perfectly all right, because a higher standard of living is brought to those they serve–perhaps like the British served the Indians?)

Think I’ll Eat About 99% of This.”


At the end of the NYT article was this:

“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared.  Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

WHOAA!!!  This is the department that is supposed to be helping American workers??!!  Betsey’s viewpoint comes through as skewed toward the business end.  She refers to Company dormitories, and tea and cracker fuel, as “efficiency”.   She considers normal humane treatment of employees to be “generosity”.  I’m sure she’s a very lovely person, but she has been working with the barons too long.  Probably without her being aware of it, their perspective has polluted her thinking.

Apparently, google and Wikipedia also need re-education.  The Wikipedia entry for “robber baron” is entitled “robber baron (industrialist)”.  And if you enter “robber barons” into google’s search box, google asks you if want “robber barons or captains of industry”.

Which Is It?

We should be far past the days when we had cause to consider all these terms equivalent.

2014-03–Deleted an entire paragraph. Post was too nerdy wordy.
2014-02–Replaced an illustration that had been removed from the web.

You Make Yourselves PO-lice

Yesterday, there was just one more story about the wrong person arrested. This post excerpts and resequences its details to emphasize the all-too-typical Blue Line behavior that makes me scared of ever having anything to do with any policeperson.

"Your Name Here", If You're Not Careful

This sentence of NYT reporter Mr. Dwyer’s tells you the gist of what happened:

He wound up arrested one afternoon at gunpoint, taken to the 34th Precinct station house, held for several hours and accused of lying about a crime that he not only had nothing to do with, but that hadn’t even taken place.

[Outlier: Here it is from the perspective of the poor innocent, a Mr. Vansintjan, a young student here in Manhattan from Canada:]

“Someone ran at me with a gun drawn, screamed at me to get down to the ground, pushed me onto my knees, and then put my face in the ground.”

[Outlier: Those were the POLICE doing that to him. And was he suspected of murder, that he should be handled so aggressively? Violent battery? Rape? Pedophilia??!!]

Moments earlier, the police had received a report of a burglary in an apartment across from (Fort Tryon) park. A man said that two intruders had just left his apartment. “He pointed to an individual running…and identified him as one of the intruders,” said (a police spokesman). The chase led to Mr. Vansintjan.

That'll Teach YOU to Jump That Turnstile!

As he was being held on the street, he said, “(the police) told me someone had reported the theft of a Macy’s bag.” He protested that he had been shopping.

Shopping Is a Crime

Don’t Let the NYPD Catch YOU With a Macy’s Bag!

The friends waiting for him were astonished to see (him) surrounded by eight police officers. “They came over and the police told them to get back,” he said. “I said, ‘Those are my friends.’ An officer asked me, ‘Oh, are they your accomplices?’”

Just before he was loaded into the police car, (Mr. Vansintjan) said, one of the officers looked at him. “He said, ‘I’m embarrassed,’”…

The man who reported the break-in…identified him as a burglar. At the station house, Mr. Vansintjan was unshackled and taken to an interrogation room. He said he was not told of his right to a lawyer, or to remain silent.

“After I told him what had happened, the detective said, ‘You know, what the other guy is saying doesn’t match up with your story,’ ” an old ruse used to trick people into admissions. “I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ ”

While this was going on, the man who reported the burglary told the police that there had been no break-in, and that people were out to get him, according to Mr. Browne. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital…  

Mr. Vansintjan knew nothing of this until [the reporter] told him on Tuesday.

[Outlier: Let’s stop here a minute. The arrest happened Christmas week. The reporter spoke with Mr. Vansintjan on January 9th.

The police NEVER INTENDED to let Mr. V. know that there had NEVER BEEN a burglary. If the reporter hadn’t shown up to interview him, Mr. Vansintjan may NEVER have found out.

Well, one can hardly blame the cops, considering all the fun times they’d shared: Abuse, illegalities, innocent man.

If Mr. Vansintjan were to make a public fuss, there would be consequences. And now, after that NYT piece, there still may be:

Quite a lot of “Tsk”-“Tsk”-ing from police officials.  Perhaps even a mild head shake at those naughty officers and detectives.]

Tsk. At Least He's Too Canadian To Make a Fuss

Just before he was released the evening of Dec. 22, Mr. Vansin–

[Outlier: WHOA!!!–“the evening of?”–Sorry for all the interruptions, folks, but let me see if I have this straight:

It was during Mr. V.’s afternoon interview (he was arrested “one afternoon”) that the police learned that their witness against him was a nutter.  But, instead of apologizing to him like human beings, they put him in jail (to punish him for not being intimidated by them?  “Uppity Canadian!”) and continued to hold him there until that evening.  

Now, remember, this could be you.]

Just before he was released the evening of Dec. 22, Mr. Vansintjan said that a sergeant told him that an antique pocketknife he had been carrying “was a problem.”

“I knew it was legal,” the student said. “He said they were going to give me a break, so it wouldn’t go on my record…”

"Just See That You Don't Do Anything Legal Again!"

[Outlier: To the honest and true police out there who suffer from all the others, I am so sorry for insulting and offending you by lumping you in with your False Blue brothers and sisters, but you are so hard to see hidden in there among them.

Thank you for doing your best by the job and by us, in most difficult times, without the public admiration that you deserve.]

What Starts With “Peep”, And Ends With “Bang”?

A birthday invite? Oh, what fun!
Some ice-cream! cake! A prize!
Yes, birthday parties can be fun,
As long as no one dies.


Fritz and his wife Lorita had invited us to their teeniest daughter’s birthday party.  I was grateful and happy.  Grateful, because we were so socially isolated by this point, forced by my abusive spouse Joe to live in the most dangerous of the Los Angeles slums.  Happy  for Justin and Jonah, 3 and 2 years old. 

Don’t They Look Full of the Dickens? (click to expand two mischievous faces)

They didn’t have any opportunities to make friends with the children of our immediate neighbors.  Not unless I wanted them to be shaken down for their ice-cream-truck money by the other little kiddies, some of whom literally carried knives in their socks.

When we arrived at Fritz and Lorita’s, both Joe and I reeled a moment:  The tiny back yard was crammed overfull with people speaking only Spanish in extremely loud voices. A few men appeared to be drunk.

In the middle of the happy, noisy melee, a bunch of baby chicks had been released as entertainment. (It was Easter time.)  Lemon-yellow puffballs were peep-peep-peeping and darting about in the narrow spaces between peoples’ feet.  A dozen excited small children screamed as they chased and grabbed.
Moments after we got there the inevitable happened:  One of the chicks was stomped on and killed–instantly, thank God.

There was a surprisingly-large amount of blood left behind on the grass, and, for a moment, relative quiet.

I suffered severe culture shock upon realizing that the other attendees, including our friends and hosts, weren’t bothered at all by what had happened.  Meanwhile, Jonah and Justin had turned to me with twin faces of shocked distress and asked “Why was the little baby stepped on?”, and “Why was everyone chasing the poor little chicks?”

What was I supposed to say to them?  The truth?  That I had no respect for the cultural values that would consider newborn birds to be disposable party favors?

Come On, Cock-Fight Fans. You Gonna Tell Me You Really Believe God Wants You to Hurt Animals for FUN?

I was temporarily repulsed by everyone around me, and had to make a conscious effort to reset my cultural dial off “stunned” as I comforted my sad little boys. Happily, I soon managed to crack my mind open again, and we began to enjoy ourselves.

The boys played “Under the Sea” games (it was a “Little Mermaid” party) and I attempted to socialize with our friends, and with their friends through use of my extremely out-of-date highschool S-pan-yole. Things were going just fine–until the boys had to use the bathroom.

Some parents among you might think I was remiss because I sent my two toddlers off to the powder room alone.  I have this to say in response:  It was only number 1 (I asked), they were always extremely neat (yes—really), there were two of them for added safety against stranger danger, and…come on, it was a friend’s home, not a moonlit truckstop. But you parents who think that I was remiss are entirely right.

I Felt It

I hadn’t thought to check ahead for weapons.

“Mommy,” whispered a wide-eyed Justin, as they hurried back, “there’s a gun in the bathroom!”

Any Parents of Toddlers Out There?

Thank goodness our sons had good sense.  Because not only was there a gun; there was a LOADED gun in the bathroom.  A semi-automatic, lying on the floor, under the sink to make it more easily accessible by those of short stature.  With its safety off, yet. Lorita’s brother’s gun, as it turned out.

“I’m a pizza delivery guy, and I have to carry a lot of cash.  I took it out of my pocket when I changed my slacks in there, and must’ve forgotten to put it away.  I’m really sorry!”

You’re sorry.  Well, that makes it okay.

Darn Straight.

Parents, what lessons have we learned today? 

1)  Don’t let your babies grow up to be pizza delivery guys.
2)  Don’t ever let your babies go anywhere. Ever. Keep them home.

Unless you have taught them basic gun safety.

It is possible that our sons had good sense that day because we never forbade them from playing with toy guns. If a toy gun looked realistic–if it wasn’t a Nerf gun or a ray gun–the boys had to follow the Real-Gun Rules. Our boys had been taught from the start that real guns were to be treated seriously. Maybe that is what saved them from what could have been a tragedy.

Even if you think it’s unloaded,

  • 1. Don’t Ever Point A Gun At Anyone or Anything You Don’t Want It To Shoot.
  • (Which meant, our sons’ case, they couldn’t point a real-looking gun at any people, ever.)

    Corollary: Don’t point a gun at anything you do want to shoot that has a thing behind or beyond it you don’t want to shoot.

    If our boys were downstairs carrying their Disney Kentucky rifles, the barrels had to point down (in case a stray round of virtual ammunition fired up through the ceiling), and if the boys were upstairs, the barrels had to point up–and if any flying rodents in our attic suffered virtual cobateral damage from two boys, who cares?

    Why Is Everybody Always Picking On Me?

    This rule is more typically taught as “Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction”. That is too non-specific–especially for kids (who knows what “safe” means to a kid?). I think the way we said it was better.

  • 2. Put Guns Away Properly
  • . Don’t leave them lying around like last night’s socks (yes, you, sock-dropper—you know you do it). When the boys put their rifles away, they had to put them UP–long guns stood up in a corner.

    How the Big Boys Do It

    (Wherever YOU put one or hide one, assume that other hands can reach it or find it. Little hands, or big bad-guy hands. Careful2…)

    Inexperienced and Thinking About Getting a Gun?

    If you are not used to guns, and you’re going to buy one, please talk to your local NRA chapter or a licensed gun dealer about options for locking and storing and transporting your gun, and what the law requires and allows.  If for home defense, it must be secured from children and thieves, but it must also be loaded and ready immediately if you need it RIGHT THEN to protect yourself or your family.

    Before buying, use a firing range to try out the model you’re considering–don’t just follow the someone’s advice. You need to feel that a gun works for YOU. And please get at least a few practice sessions in.

    Semi-Auto, Revolver, Rifle, or Shotgun?


    1) Loading ammo into magazines (a.k.a. “clips”) can be very difficult for some people (like me);

    2) Loaded magazines should not sit around in a drawer or box for very long periods (months or years) waiting for emergencies, because they use spring tension. The tension can fail to pop up the next round properly just when you need it;

    3) A certain degree of wrist strength and firmness is needed to prevent firing jams. Some people, more often women, are not culturally-conditioned to use their arm and hand as one aligned unit, or they lack sufficient strength for the required grip, or they aren’t going to get in enough practice, and thus may have a jam at the worst moment.

    Some Gun Jams, However, Are Delicious

    4) If (when) a jam does happen, you must be able to clear the round out of the gun safely. This can be scary (or worse) if you’re not very familiar with and comfortable around guns.

    5) You must remember to flip the safety to “Fire” at the moment of highest adrenalin. Experienced folk–no problem. People who shoot less often? Could be a problem.

    6) Less experienced shooters can forget that there may still be a round in the gun even after the clip is removed. This can lead to unpleasant results. Even experienced shooters have done this.

    None of these objections apply to revolvers.

    But the Shorter the Barrel, the Steadier Your Aim or Closer Your Target Must Be

    They never jam, they have no magazines, they have no safeties, and they have no hidden rounds.

    They hold less ammo, but enough for someone coming through your door. They’re heavier to hold, but they make a nice doorstop in a pinch. (Oh, wait–I just broke Rule Number 2.)

    For some people, the “have no safety” feature of revolvers is a negative. I, who have difficulty thinking when calm, don’t want anything to figure out when in crisis mode, and I, who have had lupus arthritis since my twenties, don’t want any teeny-tiny toggle switches to have to push or poke before I get to save my own life.

    Close-up of Safety Switch--on a Sig, Ready to Fire--Makes It Look Enormous

    As for rifles and shotguns, I know about as much about them as handguns: Squat. Get a 22 for fun target practice. They make a nice “plink” sound when the rounds hit metal targets, and the ammo’s inexpensive.

    Rumor has it that a shotgun is nice for home defense, because sometimes all you have to do is jack a round in and the bad guy will hear that “chuck-chuck” sound and go running away in fear. But me, I don’t want to have to take the time to jack a round or swing a long gun’s barrel. Give me a loaded revolver, ready to point and shoot.

    Gun Control Soapbox

    I believe I have the moral and legal right to carry a gun with me at all times, wherever I go, to protect my life and liberty against those who might deprive me of either. And I am more than willing to carry a concealed handgun upon my person in contradiction of laws I consider illegal–i.e. contrary to the Constitution–in order to maintain my own protection and that of my loved ones (or the children of strangers).

    I am not necessarily saying concealed-carry laws are unconstitutional, but because open-carry is illegally prohibited, one is forced to go the other route in order to preserve one’s safety and rights. However, I am forgetful, as well as clumsy, and could too easily be as lethally careless as Lorita’s brother. This is why I do not always carry.


    For those of you are against any private gun ownership, turn poor overnight and move into my old neighborhood, where gangs rule and the L.A.P.D. doesn’t deign to respond. Tell me you’re not going to get a gun then.

    “I’d move away instead,” you say? The Free Housing Fairy is a good friend, is she?

    "Yes--Let Them Live Under The Largest Buttercup in the Western Meadow"


    These could go on for days, with so many sites pro and con. Here’s the latest, which has some of the usual stats likely clouded by gang-involved families, but also has some stats scary to me, a supporter of private gun ownership:

    Mother Jones Pro Gun Myths Fact Check

    The safety switch photo came from Thanks, guys. Interesting site. (Maybe they’ll write and fix everything I got wrong in this post!)

    The Fox video (yeah, Fox–I know) shows ONE approach to securing guns at home. Ask gun store folk about others.

    You Tricky One-Percenters, You!

    Today’s New York Times op-ed piece (link at bottom) was a real spirit-raiser, authored by two very clever 1%-ers. What a crack-up!  You funny, funny rich people!  Who knew you had it in you?


    Other Tricky Things Masquerading as Something They Are Not


    A tip of the top hat to you!

    It proposes a switch to the Brandeis method to reform taxes on our rich. 

    Instead of using rates that rise rapidly at the higher income end (like a ski:)

    Ski Icon

    Leaning Over to Smell the Money

    …a Brandeis tax would work like this:

    “Tax the rich just like the rest of us until they make ‘this’ many times more than the average person’s income. Any extra above that is taken for taxes.  (We’re talking the “median” average: The income that half of us make more than, and half of us less than.

    As the op ed piece points out: When the economy does well, everyone can make more money.  The gap between rich and middle-class never again increases.

    “Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income…it only caps inequality. Billionaires could double their current income without the tax kicking in — as long as the median income also doubles… Indeed, the tax gives job creators an extra reason to make sure that corporate wealth does in fact trickle down.”

    At Least, the Wealth They Know About:
    Never Neglect to Tithe, My Dears...To Yourself. That is What Linings and Deep Pockets Are For!

    The appeal of the stop-the-Gap-Growth is undeniably seductive.   But here is the article’s hidden humor agenda:

    Today, the 1% are making 36 times more income (!) than the average income of the 99%.

    Not thirty-six percent more than you. Thirty-six TIMES more than you.

    So, if you’re the average, and you’re making $27,000, your very bestest friend, Bitsy Carnegie, is pulling down less than a million bucks a year, the poor thing: She’s making only $972,000 annually.  (You’d think she could at least pick up the tab for your Starbucks once in a while, the cheapskate.) 

    When Reagan was president, the 1% made only 12 times what the 99% did. Betsy really WAS poor, then (at only $324,000 a year, none of the other Carnegies would even speak to her).

    The reason the op ed piece is so funny is because its authors, who are rich guys themselves, are proposing to do NOTHING to get things back closer to that 12 times again. This is what they’re saying:

    “Hey!–And while we’re revising the tax code to protect you 99-percenters, here’s a great idea:  Let’s write the new tax code to make TODAY’S gap between the haves and have-nots PERMANENT!  Keep today’s HUGE gap  forever and EVER!”

    Ain’t they a hoot?


    And why should we want to keep the outrageous status quo, rather than introduce some graduated adjustments to get things back to a more reasonable pre-economic-rape balance (and perhaps apply the monies gained in a productive manner:   Infrastructure, anyone)?

    “Umm…’cause that’s the size of the gap right now, and…uh…’cause we rich folk really like the money we have right now…”

    Well, I know I’m convinced.  How about you?

    "You Think I'm Sexy...You Want to Kiss Me..." (Maybe 1%-ers Like Their Money a Little TOO Much)

    Tsk, tsk, you bad canines.  You little woofies hiding behind lambskin.  You won’t catch us out with tricks like this helpful proposal.  We-all can hear your coins chinking a mile off–but you did have this lambikins bleating away with the giggles.

    Careful, Woofies--We 99% Aren't Too Happy With Tricky 1%-ers Right Now, Even If They Do Make Us Giggle

    The Op-Ed Piece

    Seriously, the NYT piece’s authors deserve kudos for their concept, and I don’t really think they were trying to pull the outer portion of their disguises over our sheepy eyes.  It may be, however, that when they suggested keeping the current 36-times gap, they did so not only to help reduce opposition to their new approach, but also because their vision was unconsciously clouded by their Nieman Marcus money-colored glasses.  SO hard to see clearly out of those!


    Note that an alternate for the Brandeis tax method is to, instead of basing the tax on the median average, to base it on the income of the lowest earners.

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