Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Buy More Yachts
AJ Robinson

Over the last year or two, I’ve seen plenty of articles that made me mad, but I generally let them go. I didn’t see the point in writing to an editor or whomever. What would it matter? Well, a recent article, about how the rich buying yachts, how it’s good for the economy, was the last straw for me.

So, let’s talk about yachts. The writer was right; a lot of components and parts go into one yacht bought by one rich person or couple. Yes, if someone is rich enough to buy a yacht, doing so will help the economy, a little. However, we should ask the following question: what serves the economy better, one person buying one yacht, or twenty to thirty people buying cars? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that one.

I remember seeing the old movie, “The Bishop’s Wife,” with David Niven as the bishop and Cary Grant as the angel, Dudley. There was one point in the story where Dudley looks at a painting of a huge cathedral, which the bishop wants to build. Dudley asks if, perhaps, it isn’t too much, which I found so amazing: an angel suggesting not to build that big church! Holy cow, couldn’t he get into big trouble with “The Boss?” Then Dudley said something that made sense. He suggested that many little houses, for people who needed them, would be a greater glory to God.

Made a lot of sense to me, and I was only eight at the time.

I don’t have anything against the rich, but, today, we face incredible economic hardships and everyone needs to pitch in. We ask government employees to take a pay freeze or give up pensions after retirement; the unemployed must take any job they can, no extension of benefits, and unions are giving g up certain benefits. So, is it such a burden to ask the rich to shoulder even a tiny iota of the load? If the Bush Era tax cuts were to end, the highest tax rate would go up 3%. Do the math, that’s an extra $30,000 for every million dollars a person earns, not factoring in any deductions. I don’t know about any of you, dear readers, but I don’t earn $30,000 in a year! Asking someone who’s making a million, minimum, to kick in such a pittance to ease budget shortfalls is reasonable.

Yes, I know the argument: the rich create all the jobs! Funny, I don’t recall them creating all that many in the previous ten years of these tax cuts. What, they’ve been biding their time?

I just have a real problem with politicians slashing taxes for the wealthy and then turning around, saying, “Oh, we don’t have any money, we have to slash all services for the poor, needy, elderly, children, and what’s left of the middle class.”

I have a problem with cuts to education, while at the same time keeping farm and industry subsidies; let the oil companies pay their own way.

I have a problem with slashing money for infrastructure, and then people whining about the snow on their street.

If the rich are concerned about their precious luxury items, they can make do with a slightly smaller yacht. After all, the same components that go into a big yacht go into a small one. Remember, we all have to make sacrifices. I’ll take a fifty percent cut in salary, an end to my health insurance, and take a menial job to support my family – the rich can “suffer” through their month long Caribbean vacation in a thirty-foot yacht instead of fifty.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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