By Ed Raymond
15 July 2021
Looking Backward: 1887 to Brave New World, 632 After Ford
We currently have three billionaires spending billions to leave planet Earth.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the richest man in the world, will soon take a ride on his Blue Origin New Shepherd rocket with a passenger who paid $28 million to sit beside him. Jeff is working on putting huge cylindrical rings in space where millions of Earthians will live after escaping grilling on a hot planet.
Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is going to take his VSS Unity combination rocket-plane constructed by his Virgin Galactic to see whether passengers to space for $250,000 to $500,000 a ticket will make money. He already has 700 customers signed up. He also owns Virgin Orbit, which puts satellites in orbit.
Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, the second richest man in the world, hopes to land something livable on Mars by 2026, but now he wants to take passengers paying $55 million each to the International Space Station. Some of us on Earth look at the moon and see a cow jumping over it. Will we ever see these three billionaires jumping? Is there anyone in the Western World who has not recited the children’s poem “Hey Diddle Diddle?” It was first printed in 1765, but evidence suggests it has been around the world for a long time:
Hey, diddle diiddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
Some say the cow and dog represent constellations. Others say Egyptians placed the scarab beetle with the fiddle. Others say the cat and the fiddle referred to Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon. They didn’t get along. Maybe Earthlings will last long enough in the heat to see the billionaires jumping beside the cow.
Why Employees Want Bezos and Musk to Stay in Space
Millions of their employees say both should stay in space on their first attempts because of the ruthless, cruel, uncompromising way they treat them. I have not heard that Branson’s employees have reacted the same way -- yet.
Bezos and Musk are known for having the same amount of empathy but twice the brains of Donald Trump. They both go to Defcon 1 to keep unions out of facilities. Bezos has turned hiring and firing over to machines, robots, cameras, and algorithms.
Bezos monitors and spys on employees in his “fulfillment centers” and Sprint vehicles. Algorithms are mathematical applications of formulas to observe and catalog mechanical and supervisory procedures. Millions of Amazon “associates” have been fired without having an encounter with a human being. Bezos, with Trumpian efficiency and indecency, has determined that the Divided States of America has an inexhaustible supply of insecure and underpaid workers. He takes advantage. He does not want experienced workers. They cost too much. He depends on a stupid government to supply food stamps, healthcare, and other benefits.
I will use the experience of one fired Amazon worker to illustrate how this malevolent but very profitable system works, according to Bloomberg News. One morning 63-year-old Army veteran Stephen Normandin, an Amazon contract driver with ffour years racing around Phoenix delivering packages, received an e-mail from an automated robot machine informing him he was fired.
At Amazon, machines are the ultimate boss over overworked and underpaid workers. The machines are used to hire, rate, and fire with little or no human oversight. Stephen was fired because algorithms aren’t smart enough to judge traffic, locked doors, rainy and stormy days, changes of address, etc. Sometimes, in order to keep up with deliveries, Stephen peed in bottles and defecated in plastic bags he kept in his truck.
Robots and machines have made Bezos the richest and one of the most despised men in the world. An executive fired by Bezos summed up the Bezos attitude: “If you’re not good, Jeff will chew you up and spit you out. And if you’re good, he will jump on your back and ride you into the ground.” Empathy is his major problem. A heart just pumps blood. He has created a predatory octopus that has eight arms with tentacles grasping everything in sight.
I don’t have room to cover the labor sins of the mercurial and nutty Musk, who thinks he’s the smartest man on the planet. He’s not always right. Ninety-eight of his Tesla driverless cars have run into things on the road -- including humans. He is currently building a $7 billion Tesla car plant in Germany, loudly trying to override government environmental rules.
Two Revealing Predictions About America’s Future
In 1888 Edward Bellamy published “Looking Backward, 2000-1887,” a sort-of Rip Van Winkle story of a man who fell asleep in 1887 and woke up in 2000 to electrified cities, music broadcasts, and credit cards instead of cash. These were exciting technological predictions in 1888, but his political descriptions amazed readers and shocked politicians. He predicted 19th century capitalism would be replaced by a welfare state supporting universal education, guaranteed incomes, and beneficial retirement programs.
Promising other “portentous changes,” a Populist Party presidential candidate in 1892, on a Bellamy-inspired platform, won five states campaigning for a shortened workday, a graduated income tax, and direct election of senators.
No doubt Franklin Delano Roosevelt read every line of Bellamy’s book. He kept a copy on his desk and made sure it was later in a prominent spot in the White House library. Roosevelt published his own book outlining his plans for the future titled “Looking Forward,” in 1933.
In 1937 British writer Aldous Huxley published “Brave New World,” a “future” novel set in 632 AF (After Ford). (With temps of 120 degrees in British Columbia in 2021, it looks like Earthlings don’t have a chance of reaching 2600.) The world population is set at two billion by the benevolent dictatorship of ten world controllers, with society split into five pre-destined castes. Intellectually superior Alphas lead a society with four castes: Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, who do all of the menial work. All children are cloned in government hatcheries. Education is strictly controlled so that all castes are happy in their jobs, even those that do the menial scut work.
Knowledge of the past is banned (Sounds like Trumplican Critical Race Theory has survived. Henry Ford said “History is bunk!”) For the lower castes, all individuality is suppressed, and promiscuous sex is entertainment. Each fertile woman carries a belt of contraceptives for use at all times. No live births are allowed. There is no depth of feeling, no discussion of ideas, and no artistic creativity. There are only two goals for society: happiness and stability. If caste members feel unhappy, they take a “pleasure” drug called soma and go to the movies and experience “feelies” and “orgies.” They play sports called Obstacle Golf or Centrifugal Bumble-puppy. Bellamy and Huxley seem to have gotten lots of things about Homo sapiens right.
The Divided States Is Currently Battling Two Vicious Predators in the West
A deep drought in the West caused by climate change has resulted in massive swarms of grasshoppers eating up wild and domesticated cattle forage at an astounding average of 1,000 acres a day. In swarms so dense the ground seems to be moving, the vicious predators are costing farmers and ranchers tens of thousands of dollars per day in lost crops and brown pastures. Oregon and Montana have the greatest damage, but 13 other states are hosting grasshoppers.
There are other vicious predators meeting in the West, but in this case the world is the financial victim of their swarms. Many billionaire controllers of our destiny are meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho at their “summer camp” where they plan our brave new world by looking backward. Their private jets are so numerous they cover the grass at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey,15 miles away. The billionaires who own, lease, rent, and control local, state, and national politicians with “dark money” are limoed to Sun Valley, a town of 1,500. For one week it becomes the capital and capitol of a country of 335 million.
Abigail Disney is the benefactor of a huge trust fund at age 21 from her grandfather Roy Disney, so she has been observing the superrich for over 40 years. She has arrived at the following simple analysis: “My grandfather was a fervent believer that government is bad and cannot be trusted with money. Far better for the wealthy to keep as much of it as possible for themselves. He created generation-skipping trusts to end-run the IRS. What he did back then was so effective that most of it is illegal today. As time has passed, I have realized that the dynamics of wealth are similar to the dynamics of addiction. The more you have, the more you need. Whereas, as a single beer was enough to achieve a feeling of calm, now you find that you can’t stop at six. Likewise, if you move up from coach to business to first class, you won’t want to move back to coach. And once you have flown private, wild horses will never drag you through a public airport terminal again.”
Abigail is a member of Patriotic Millionaires, a club with a membership of 200 out of the 500,000 they consider wealthy, who think the rich should pay more taxes. The problem is, there are also 93,790 high-net worth households over $30 million who remain silent and won’t join their “revolution.”
While One in Four of Divided States Children Live in Poverty…
This is how many of the rich spend their money: $230 steak dinners, $2,200 sushi dinners, $1,500 cocktails, $300 shots of cognac, $100,000 watches, $1,600 I Phones, $565 shoes designed to look dirty, $570 T-shirts, $1,000 ties, $45,000 suits, $2,000-a-night hotel rooms, $2 million cars, $500 million superyachts, $995 volleyballs, $1,990 yoga mats, $650 Frisbees, $8,250 skateboards, $185 paper clips, and $100 million regular yachts.
Ron Burke is a billionaire who collects homes instead of knick-knacks. He was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal weekly special about mansions of the rich. I tried to add up the square feet, bedrooms, and bathrooms of the many mansions he owns in California, New York, London, and Montana.
I could not include several guest houses he owns on various estates, but his mansions alone include 63 bathrooms, 65 bedrooms, and 179,000 square feet of space. How many homeless could he guest? He admits he is addicted.
Robert Oesterlund has a $10 million mansion in the Bahamas, a $45.7 million mansion in Boca Raton, a $23 million penthouse in Toronto, a Cessna jet to jet to each, and a $30 million yacht to park in Florida or the Bahamas.
It will be interesting to see how many of the rich buy $94,995 tickets for a 21-day jet trip to four continents and nine major stops recently advertised in the WSJ as “Exploring Tradition and Innovation: A Journey by Private Jet.”
Let’s take a survey. Do you really think a person who spends $185 for a paper clip is sane?
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