The blogger Tbogg, in his inimitable style, exposes the myth, propagated by some of the oligarchy’s media lackeys as part of their attempt to stave off the coming pitchfork revolt, that working class people admire the rich. They regale us with stories of how their own parents, though poor, were inspired by seeing ostentatious displays of wealth such as huge homes and multiple expensive cars.
All this, of course, is part of the propaganda effort to persuade us the funneling even more money to the wealthy is good economic policy.
Tbogg describes his own father’s disagreeable personal experiences with rich people who were so cheap that they would try to cheat a working man out of his money.
When I was a kid, my dad and his brothers had a dry cleaning business and, back in those days, they actually used to deliver dry cleaning to their customers homes. It sounds weird now but it’s true. My dad, being the youngest, used to make most of the deliveries (in fact, we were so poor that the delivery panel truck was also the family car) and he used to tell us how, when he went to deliver dry cleaning to the swells up the hill in La Jolla, often people would leave a note on the door or the gate asking him to leave their clothes because they wouldn’t be home. In those days most people would pay upon delivery, so my dad would knock on the door or ring the house anyway in an attempt to get paid which, at the time, was probably a couple of bucks tops back in those golden days when dimes and nickels weren’t just useless pocket weight. After getting no answer, my dad would leave the clothes to avoid a call to the shop wondering why they hadn’t been delivered which could only mean yet another trip back up the hill. More than a few times, after getting back in the truck, he would look back at the house only to see the curtains move because the occupants were checking to see if he had gone and whether it was safe to come out and collect their belongings.
All of this, of course, to get out of paying a $1.50 for services rendered which, by the way, the customer would invariably dispute the next time they dropped their clothes off if they weren’t outright trying get out of paying because of too much starch or maybe a missing button.
He used to tell us all about it over dinner.
But what my dad didn’t tell us was that those rich people who lived in those nice houses were the real hard workers in the world (unlike himself and his brothers) and if we worked as hard as those wealthy folks we could be just like them and live in a nice house, and not a $35 a month apartment, and we could drive a big car that we actually owned and maybe even someday have a color TV. Because, even at a very young age and before we had the appropriate words to describe them, he didn’t need to tell us what we instinctively knew about these people and how they got where they were.
They were assholes.
The kind of assholes who would try to screw some guy out of a couple of bucks because he was just a common working man with a family and he didn’t make his money the old fashioned way.
By inheriting it.
Of course, this is a generalization and I’m sure that there are some rich people who are not like this. But my own experience suggests that Tbogg’s story will strike a chord with many poor people whose lives have intersected those of the rich.