Why Not Feeling Rich is Not Being Poor, and Other Things Financial

From John Scalzi’s Whatever:

My “Being Poor” piece is has been getting a workout the last couple of days, because people were linking to it in response to a blog post by Todd Henderson, a law professor at the University of Chicago. Professor Henderson was kvetching about the possibility of Obama raising his taxes (or more accurately, Obama allowing the Bush era tax reductions to sunset) when he was just scraping by on a household income high enough for the president to have an interest in letting his tax cut expire — i.e., above $250,000, which puts his household in the top 1.5% or so of all income earners.

Henderson’s lament has since been taken down from its original blog — he appears to have been hurt and confused as to why so many commenters and other bloggers had a distinct lack of sympathy for him as he laid out how the change in the tax regime would affect his gardener and nanny and his childrens’ private schools — but economist Brad De Long rescued the piece from Google Cache, and you can see it here. De Long unsurprisingly also has some pungent thoughts on Henderson’s predicament elsewhere on his blog.

It’s pretty clear that Henderson either forgot or didn’t know that the problems of the well-off tend to be less than impressive to people whose own problems are not so nearly high-toned. Yes, it’s awful that you may have to cut back on your gardener and your housecleaner and your nanny, but do please understand that in airing such a lament, you establish that in fact you have a gardener, housecleaner and nanny. Which is an enviable trifecta of domestic hands on deck, to be sure. Such a loadout largely disqualifies you from sympathy from those who do without. Which is most people, many of whom would like to have a job right now, and a side order of health insurance to go along with it.

Stand By Me – Train Track Scene

I always wondered why the engineer never even attempted to brake. Then I remembered that the whole point of the boys’ trip was to find a dead body KILLED BY A TRAIN… This movie isn’t about a group of kids and their journey of self-discovery but of a serial killing train engineer who runs down prepubescent boys on railroad tracks. They’ve stumbled upon the Union Pacific Killer.