The New York Times: They’re Just Like Us!

February 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm 2 comments

Or, you know, not.  This is one of the most obnoxious pieces the Times has published on the recession, and seems especially oblivious given that six hundred thousand people lost their jobs in January alone.  Read this, and tell me how much sympathy you feel for these poor, salary-capped executives:

Barbara Corcoran, a real estate executive, said that most well-to-do families take at least two vacations a year, a winter trip to the sun and a spring trip to the ski slopes.

Total minimum cost: $16,000.

A modest three-bedroom apartment, she said, which was purchased for $1.5 million, not the top of the market at all, carries a monthly mortgage of about $8,000 and a co-op maintenance fee of $8,000 a month. Total cost: $192,000. A summer house in Southampton that cost $4 million, again not the top of the market, carries annual mortgage payments of $240,000.

Many top executives have cars and drivers. A chauffeur’s pay is between $75,000 and $125,000 a year, the higher end for former police officers who can double as bodyguards, said a limousine driver who spoke anonymously because he does not want to alienate his society customers.

“Some of them want their drivers to have guns,” the driver said. “You get a cop and you have a driver.” To garage that car is about $700 a month.

A personal trainer at $80 an hour three times a week comes to about $12,000 a year.

The work in the gym pays off when one must don a formal gown for a charity gala. “Going to those parties,” said David Patrick Columbia, who is the editor of the New York Social Diary (newyorksocialdiary.com), “a woman can spend $10,000 or $15,000 on a dress. If she goes to three or four of those a year, she’s not going to wear the same dress.”

Total cost for three gowns: about $35,000.

How ever will they endure?  The title of the article alone- “You Try to Live on 500K in This Town” is ridiculous.  Most New York City households subsist on a tenth of that, and even in prime Manhattan neighborhoods the average is around $200,000 (still comfortably in the top 10% of the country, but still).

So tell me, Allen Salkin, is this article tongue-in-cheek?  Are you trying to inspire us to rise up against Wall Street with pitchforks and torches?  But wait, he ends the article with a quote from the woman responsible for Sex and the City!

Does this money buy a chief executive stockholders might prize, a well-to-do man with a certain sureness of stride, something that might be lost if the executive were crowding onto the PATH train every morning at Journal Square, his newspaper splayed against the back of a stranger’s head?

The man would certainly not feel like himself on that train, said Candace Bushnell, the author of “Sex and the City” and other books chronicling New York social mores.

“People inherently understand that if they are going to get ahead in whatever corporate culture they are involved in, they need to take on the appurtenances of what defines that culture,” she said. “So if you are in a culture where spending a lot of money is a sign of success, it’s like the same thing that goes back to high school peer pressure. It’s about fitting in.”

You know, I hadn’t thought of it that way.  The rest of us plebes who ride the subway are having our identities crushed every morning! We’re barely valuable as human beings!  I honestly don’t understand how this kind of article makes it to print, again and again, particularly when the New York Times is supposed to be the newspaper for bleeding heart liberal socialists everywhere.  Don’t they know that catering to the rich isn’t going to save print media?  The homeless have a longstanding history with newspapers.  Let’s try to be a little more inclusive, guys.

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Entry filed under: Betty, Miscellaneous Musings, Politics Palace. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. neekaps  |  February 19, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I’ll have to read the article.

    The affluent they’re talking about in this article remind me of the type of person I saw at this benefit at a gala dinner at the Waldorf when my uncle was playing a tribute concert to Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall.
    I wore an american apparel dress..
    HAHA
    Cringing thinking about it.

    I mean- the more these high society people are glamorized the more they’ll pay the new york times (which is going under).

    Reply
  • 2. Jacki  |  February 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

    omfg you are hilarious and so godamn right ❤

    Reply

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