The flippant admonition to "let 'em eat cake" is attributed to Marie Antoinette, when told the poor had no bread to eat. Whether the lady actually said it or not, it has come to mean the disconnect the elite have with the lower classes.
We don’t have to look to France for our own elite who are disconnected from the reality of having little money.
Al Gore regales us with the stats he says show us how bad the environment is, and he worships at the altar of downsizing our energy consumption. Yet his own digs in Tennessee in the posh Belle Meade Nashville area consume more electricity in one month than most households consume in a year. His average electrical bill was over $1,359 per month. Aside from the gluttony of using that much energy, the amount he could afford to pay for energy for his mansion represents more than what many retirees on Social Security receive to live on per month. Gore paid nearly $30,000 total for electricity and natural gas for the mansion in 2006. (Numbers from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.) Again, $30,000 per year would be a welcome income for many in this country.
Gore received an Oscar for his film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, as the best documentary feature. Hollywood types love him. The inconvenient truth is that they arrived at the Oscars in very long air conditioned limos from their sprawling air conditioned estates, in many cases. If anybody should point this out, they could always take advantage of Gore’s convenient ploy of talking about his carbon footprint and how he mitigates his seemingly greedy consumption. The formula is a little complicated, but Gore says it is commendable and all those who can afford to pay $30,000 a year for energy can be assured that they are okay by Gore’s book.
Also, Al Gore wants us to understand he needs a big place because both he and Tipper work out of it. What a novel idea. That certainly puts him in a different category from the rest of us, doesn’t it?
In a “let ‘em eat cake” remark, Barbara Bush figured that Hurricane Katrina was an ill wind that blew some people good. After touring the hurricane relief centers in Houston with her husband, former President H.W. Bush, former president Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, and the current President Bush, Mrs. Bush remarked on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program that:
“Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we’re going to move to Houston” She added “What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality… And so many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them”. It was a good thing she pointed that out, because the people shown on TV surely did not look like “this” was working out well for them. Indeed, they all looked pretty miserable.
Democrats usually support Gore’s global warming theory and chastise those who drive big rigs such as SUVs. However, Senator Corzine was involved in an accident, riding in his own SUV. He wasn’t driving, but was a passenger. As such, he was not wearing a seat belt. In many states if you are caught not wearing a seat belt, you may be ticketed. His driver also was going over ninety miles an hour. This was not an emergency he was heading for, it was a meeting. It seems a real disconnect between the wealthy, (and we are told Corzine is very wealthy), and the rest of us, who cannot afford to disobey seat belt and speeding laws. Paying those tickets may just be the difference of paying one’s mortgage for the month or even health insurance, as some of these infractions carry stiff fines.
Corzine did insist on paying a $49 fine.
One of the most recent episodes of the disconnect of wealthy with reality is Paris Hilton, who seemed to be capable of almost any activity to get attention. However, Paris got in trouble with the law when she violated her parole and drove while drunk. She ended up in jail, sentenced to 45 days. She claimed she was treated unfairly and issued a statement taking responsibility for her actions, but ended with:
“However, my hope is that I will not be treated worse”. On that point, she may have a legitimate gripe. Go to any traffic court in a big city and you will see people who cannot speak English appearing before judges. Through interpreters, provided by taxpayers, they tell the judge:
“I couldn’t read the sign. I didn’t know there was a speed limit. I didn’t know you had to have a driver’s license……registration…..plates……insurance.” Some of these people have been before the judge three or four times. They are given little or no punishment. What’s a judge to do? They have no money, they say, and the jails are overflowing with those the judge deems more dangerous to society. They are not stopped until they badly injure or kill someone. So, Paris might have a case that she is not being given equal treatment. She needed to be taken off the streets as punishment, but so do these other menaces on the roads.
Teens tend to look up to anyone who is constantly in the news, such as Paris Hilton. By going to jail she may have inadvertently become a positive role model, for once, showing the results of bad behavior.
Millions of American workers have seen their jobs go overseas as the result of outsourcing. They should not complain, according to Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
He is quoted as saying that some unemployment shouldn’t produce “anecdotal politics and policies” and those affected should just “stop whining”.
Turning to another business elite who has lost touch, we remember Carly Fiorina, former CEO (1999-2005) and Chairman of the Board (2000-2005) of Hewlett-Packard. In February of 2005, Fiorina was dismissed from these posts. Hewlett-Packard’s stock jumped 7% at this news. One need not feel sorry for Fiorina, however. Hewlett-Packard’s severance package included $21 million in cash, which was 2.5 times her base annual salary. It was truly a golden parachute.
Before she was nudged out of Hewlett-Packard, however, she managed to insult the working class in a January 2004 meeting with Congressional members, by saying: “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation”.
This is from someone who knew she would never have to compete for a job that paid low wages. As it turned out, she would never have to compete at all, if she didn’t want to do so. Her severance deal would be enough to sustain most people for the rest of their lives.
Many of the elite, especially the liberals, are avid gun control advocates……just not for them, of course. A case in point is Rosie O’Donnell, who wants the rest of us to give up our right to own and carry a gun, all the while relying on her armed bodyguard to protect her.
Perhaps the most hypocritical advocate of tough gun laws was Carl Rowan, an influential newspaper columnist, now deceased. However, in 1998 Rowan was confronted with a teenager who was on his property illegally. Rowan used a gun and wounded the teenager. Rowan was charged with firing a gun he did not legally own. At his trial he claimed he had the right to use whatever means he had to protect himself and his family. Isn’t that the argument defenders of the Second Amendment use? It doesn’t impress the elite who think they will never have to do so themselves, but rely on hired bodyguards.
Our own royal family is headed by Senator Kennedy, who is an avid alternative energy proponent. However, he sure didn’t like the proposed environmentally friendly “wind farm” to be located off the coast of Massachusetts. One report noted that the Cape Wind Project’s erection of 130 windmills in Nantucket Sound could provide three-fourths of the power needed by Cape Cod and nearby islands. Coal-fired plants, (a real no-no to true environmentalists), now supply most of that energy.
However, in true NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) fashion, Kennedy objected, calling for further study of the project. Some observers say that privately Kennedy tried to get the study cancelled. Also, it has been reported that Robert Kennedy, Jr., who often appears on TV pleading the case for alternative sources of energy, noted that the project would be built in one of the family’s yachting and sailing places.
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.