The Trumplestiltskin Era

Ed Raymond

Practically everyone in the United States knows the essentials of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “Rumplestiltskin” where the poor miller’s daughter with the beautiful, long blonde hair, with the help of a mysterious imp, spins straw into gold. Her father has told the King his daughter is capable of this magnificent act. After the daughter and the imp spin straw into gold for the third time, the king asks her to be his queen. The problem is she has had to promise the imp her first-born child to get his help. If you don’t remember the rest of the story, read the fairytale.

‘Tis rumored that our Great leader Donald Trump takes some drug that promotes the growth of his long gold blonde locks--so noticeable wherever he is. There is nary a stray grey hair above his marmalade-colored face—which some say is caused by the hair drug he takes. His hair—so prominent and visible in a man of 70 years--seems to be very important to him. So now we have another political fairytale—this time about Trumplestiltskin, who is going to spin gold out of trickled-on straw and make all coal miners and all billionaires richer.

I worked for a concessions company one summer, selling foot-long hotdogs and ice cream bars on the carnival midway. I have heard the cries of the carnival barkers hundreds of times, trying to get the local rubes attending county and state fairs to view the naked lady with a long beard, exotic animals, or peek-a-boo gals of the night. King Donald reminds me of a barker. He is a salesman with a presence—and with some cunning. But in real life he is one of the most ignorant men I have ever been exposed to. His mind is like a black hole, perhaps petered out by his sexual predation.  He knows no American or world history and none of the social graces necessary in a society. In eleven months the New York City-village idiot has made China great—again. In eleven months of trying to spin gold out of his hair the New York Times says he has lied 1,628 times since he lied about his inaugural crowd being “the greatest ever.” 

Trump: A Toddler With A Full Diaper

King Donald is so wrapped in “ME” he has no moral compass. He is illiterate and knows only two adjectives: “incredible” and “fantastic.”  His speech rants, brain farts, and tweets reveal he is as “goddam dumb” as one of his business school teachers said he was. But he is a dangerous president because he acts like a toddler irritated by a full diaper in his exchanges with foreign leaders and Congress. He reacts to every insult and every truth directed at him. He can’t seem to recognize what his audiences already know. In that, he is one level below wild chimps. Research by Science Advances has proven that wild chimps in Uganda change their vocal communications to fit their chimp audience. Too bad white evangelicals, frantic coal miners, and the greedy superrich voted for The Donald instead of a chimp. We would be much further ahead. Trump’s long blonde hair will never be full enough to satisfy his personal lust for gold. He will be forever acting in Trumplestiltskin.

Will We Last Longer Than 250 Years?

After studying the life span of important civilizations in world history, historians have concluded that most are powerful for about 300 years and then decline. Wealth inequality is usually the main reason for the decline. We currently have three white men, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, who collectively have more wealth and assets than the 165 million Americans in the bottom half of the of our population. The Forbes list of the wealthiest 400 Americans indicates they have more wealth than 64% of our total population. Our country has been completely polarized by the transfer of huge sums of money over the last two decades from the middle class to the top One Percent. And when in 2010 the conservative Republican Supreme Court in the Citizens United case removed the limits of campaign cash going from the superrich to a greedy political class, it may have sounded the death knell of our democracy, We are now witnessing government by plutocrats for plutocrats only—funded by plutocrats. Now Trumplestiltskin, the Republican Party, and The Best Congress Money Can Buy is trying to pass tax cuts that will turn us into a polarized, feudal, third world country in short order. The song “Organized Crime” by Ethan Miller and Kate Boverman outlines the essential problem, using a quote from 19th Century French writer Honore’ de Balzac: “Behind every great fortune, there is a crime.” Just a couple of stanzas:

“So raise up your hands now if you’ve got a job
Making shit wages working until your head throbs 
They’re making a profit by robbing you blind 
They say it’s just business but its organized crime 

And the more the rich get the more the rich get
While everyone else lives on toil and sweat
The boss makes ten dollars, you just make a dime
It’s not fair compensation, it’s organized crime

While We Lead The World
In Income Inequality…..

• We allow 40,000 of our countrymen to die each year of treatable illnesses because the plutocrats say health care is a privilege not a right.

• American infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate at such a rate we maim millions of children across the land with water tainted by lead, turning brains and bodies to mush. We don’t fix our roads, bridges, airports, and harbors.

• We lead the world in mass murder by flooding the country with poverty and guns, killing and wounding 135,000 citizens a year, thus costing the economy about $300 billion each year in costs and productivity.

• Even after eight years of a mulatto president who was calm, cool, and collected, the first eleven month’s rule of a fascist malignant narcissist  has turned us into a country of mass hatred and immorality, with the color of skin becoming an important issue in politics.

• We are only 5% of the world’s population but are one of the leading polluters in the world, and  now, after Syria’s signing of the Paris agreement, the only country to deny that the climate is changing because of human action. This while Miami Beach residents have to park their cars inland so they are not flooded by high tides--and every section of the country has enhanced hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and forest fires.

• We lead the world in the incarceration of its citizens with one out of every 32 citizens in jail (2.2 million) or under supervision of parole officers.

• State and federal support for higher education is so poor college students currently owe $1.5 trillion in student debt. Even with good jobs after college graduates cannot buy homes, cars, and other consumables because much of their salary has to go to pay debt for years. Most live at home with their parents. In the latest tax bill passed by the Republican House, graduate students teaching and working at universities will no longer be able to deduct student loan interest from their taxes. If they receive free tuition for working, they will have to count it as income, as much as $50,000, on their income taxes.

• And finally for this section, shouldn’t we try to figure out why Americans consume 75% of the drug prescriptions written in the world?

And How Are Things In Billionaire’s Paradise?

   While Oracle Corporation’s billionaire CEO Larry Ellison has a choice of living in one of the 33 homes he owns, his home state leads the nation in homeless people with an average of 118,000 each night. Our Great Leader’s New York City is second in the nation with 86,000 each night. Ultra-high-net-worth Americans now average nine homes and 19 cars each, and are pleading with the Republicans for a huge tax cut.

   Here are some other signs that income inequality is getting worse in the United States:

• Of the 73,110 ultra-high-net-worth individuals who grace Tiffany and Nieman-Marcus, a whopping group of 400 millionaires have sent a letter to Congress urging Republican lawmakers not to cut their taxes. Evidently the other 72,710 think they have earned a big tax cut. The 400 who signed the “Responsible Wealth” letter say the government should invest in education, research, and infrastructure that would benefit everybody.

• Some very,very,very high-net-worth tycoon with a huuuuge bigly ego, just bought what some art experts have said is Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for $450.3 million at a Christie’s auction. The dark, gloomy painting of Christ at one time was called a fake by some. Frankly, as a patron of thrift stores, I have seen better paintings in better shape with a $3.99 price tag. A Russian oligarch had bought the painting years ago for $127 million. I hope somebody discovers it’s a fake.

• A bottle of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon recently sold for $350,000 at an auction for the Emeril Foundation’s Carnivale du Vin. That’s way above my pay grade. As an old bartender I’m actually a graduate of the California Wine Institute but I guess I missed tasting wine of the vintage.
• The Tiffany Corporation is evidently trying to capture some of the high-end market for the ultra-high-net-worth class by offering  these “everyday” objects for the Christian 

Christmas season:

1. How about a sterling silver and walnut yo-yo for your child? It’s yours for $300.

2. Want some class for that desk where you write all of your checks for charity? How about a sterling silver and vermeil pen holder for a cool $1,000?

3. Dental retainers are such a pain and look so cheap. How about a solid gold retainer for $18,000? You could melt it down later.

4. This item will really turn you on. Instead of the average tampon, how about a 100% organic, naturally sourced tampon made of alpaca and rabbit hair that are packaged by the half-dozen in a cherry-teak box? Tiffany says they are competitively priced at $1,400 a box.

5. The famous glassblower Dale Chihuly will make a Tiffany Tupperware lunch bucket for your young student that will satisfy your creative desires for only $12,000.

6. Maybe Trumplestiltskin will buy this imported broom from South Africa made with bristles  of the thinnest gold for his present wife. The blue handle comes with the Tiffany trademark and will look terrific by your marble fireplace. It’s yours for $70,000.

7. This last item tops them all. Wouldn’t your billionaire love a 200-pound chain-link cardigan sweater made of 100% platinum for the holidays? It will keep you in your Lazyboy—but it has great style!

Conclusion: As Trumplestiltskin with the golden hair attempts to make himself great--again, the Republican Party with its tax cuts will turn a once-great America into a third world country. We should be raising taxes to fund the safety net, all education levels, and all infrasructure, not lowering taxes to fill the coffers of tax havens and billionaires.

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