In the old Soviet Union, the ruling elite shopped at different stores, lived in different areas, and enjoyed a life apart, one very different from the lives of ordinary citizens. America is all too rapidly going down the same path. We are at a peculiar moment in history where the top American political leadership excoriates the perquisites of private wealth and power -- the luxury retreats, the private jets -- while shamelessly helping themselves to unprecedented levels of the same levels of consumption, or more.
At the top, while America tightens its belt, President Obama jets off on his presidential 747 to take his bride out for Valentine's Day at a favorite Chicago restaurant. Executives may be scampering to cancel contracts for future private jets, but the 89th Airlift wing at Andrews Air Force Base, in charge of ferrying around political bigwigs, is as busy as a Vegas casino during the bubble.
Life at the top used to be good for everyone. These days, it pays to be what we still laughingly call a public servant.
12 March 2009
Don't Forget Who's Boss
And who you work for: