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Thursday, September 22, 2011

From the Dept of Billionaires -- We are So Screwed

America is so screwed it's unbelievable. The news is full of the screwing this week. Let's start with the fluff: Two and a Half Men launched a new season with a new star replacing Charlie Sheen. Here's what those genius producers and writers came up with -- "Let's make the new guy a bumbling billionaire who gets laid more than Charlie did."

Oh boy. Now prime time has its very own tax-dodging, democracy-corrupting, sex-addict billionaire character.

I'm not a huge Ashton Kutcher fan and Charlie Sheen and his dad are both acquaintances of mine.)

Then, yesterday, the Forbes ranking of America's wealthiest elite was published. Not surprisingly, Bill Gates tops the list, controlling $59 billion.

Warren Buffett is number 2 on the list, though his worth dropped by $6 billion this year. Part of the reason for the drop in his personal worth, a TV news talker said, is because Buffett gave away $3 billion to "charity". 

What was that charity? Red Cross? United Way? St Jude's Children's Hospital? The widows and Orphans Fund?

Nope. None of those. Those are plebeian charities for us lesser mortals.

Warren Buffett donated $3 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates's determined worth includes the foundation, which he and his wife control. You read that right. The second richest man in the country transferred $3 billion to the richest man in the country, and it's called "charity" and Buffett got a tax write off for it.

It makes sense, though. If Buffett gave it away to a real charity, it might help some poor people. Can't have billionaire dollars getting in the hands of the needy, though. Better to keep it safe in another billionaire's tax dodge foundation

So, one of America's highest rated TV shows is now about a sex-crazed but supposedly lovable billionaire, and in real life the billionaires are transferring their money between themselves and the government is calling it a charitable donation.

The rest of us are screwed if we don't do something about it.

Bored? Out of work? Go to Wall Street and join the protests!

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