Income Inequality

What about my incentive?

I just spent an hour in traffic listening to Nick Hanauer tell me the pitchforks are coming out. Yup, the guy whose TED talk was banned wrote a piece last week on Politico and now the left-leaning NPR has him on delineating the evils of income inequality.

But only the converted will hear it. He gets no play on Fox, never mind CNN, because those are owned by giant corporations supported by rich advertisers and anything that undermines their comfortable wealth is prohibited. So most people never hear the truth. That the rich are getting richer and your odds of succeeding are close to nil.

Pretty depressing, isn’t it?

Kind of like the music business.

You see a lot of job listings for the labels and concert companies? Of course not! Because the titans have to make millions and they don’t want to share the wealth. Talk to an underling at a label, he makes bupkes and works ’round the clock thrilled that he’s in show business, not knowing his ass will soon get fired and he’ll have nothing to put on his resume.

It’s even worse for the acts. You know why you’re poor? Because your potential fans don’t have any money! They can’t come see you live because they paid a scalper hundreds of dollars to see the superstar, they’ve got nothing left over.

And sure, there have always been rich musicians, but as a friend who managed a household name act in the seventies which said he ripped them off…THERE IS NO MONEY, THEY SPENT IT ALL, TICKETS WERE FOUR, FIVE AND SIX DOLLARS AND THEY STAYED AT THE BEST HOTELS AND DID TONS OF DOPE!

That’s a musician. Entitled and stupid, no matter how successful.

But most are not successful, but they’re still stupid.

Come on, does anybody take music lessons with a desire to become a working stiff, someone who plays in a wedding band? No, what keeps most people going is the dream of becoming rich and famous. But that dream went down the drain and ain’t coming back.

At least in reality TV the people know it’s about the fame, that there is no back end.

But in music everybody’s Facebooking and tweeting and believing they’re just one step away from the brass ring.

Ain’t that a laugh.

And those that break through leave the rest of us behind. Yup, the rappers have had it right for decades, telling us they’re richer and having better sex than us. We’ve got no chance. Oh, you can dress up like a gangster, but if you think that’ll get you laid you consider McDonald’s fine dining.

We built this country, we sustain it, yet the rich and powerful have us duped into believing they’re the engine of success.

Stop buying tickets to the show, watch how fast Rihanna, Jay Z and Beyonce disappear. Or stop watching their videos on YouTube. They’re gonna kick and scream the same way big corporations do when they’re confronted by union demands.

But the union is the enemy, all hail the corporation! The union fights for the little guy, the worker, but now we’re all entrepreneurs, on our own, on the way to zillions! Ain’t that a bunch of hogwash.

So you’ve got the disinformation campaign of the wealthy, telling us if they have to pay more taxes, they’ll have no incentive to create these wonderful jobs we’re working at minimum wage with split shifts. Well, forgetting that their effective tax rate is much lower than mine, how about my incentive? Living with cancer in a rental unit without a family, having sacrificed everything for my so-called career. I was willing to starve and sacrifice while banks raped and pillaged, while governments cozied up to corporations, while the rich got richer and they kept pulling the carrot from my reach, saying I could make it but hoping I wouldn’t, because they want all the spoils for themselves.

And if I broke through thirty or forty years ago, I’d be as rich as anybody. Yup, not only musicians were kings, but writers too. But now writers are pawns in the game as business titans like Jeff Bezos and the faceless people at Hachette move us around the board in an effort to get even more wealthy. Because the writer doesn’t make the money, the man does. And even if you’re successful, you can’t live in a gated community and fly private. That’s for the financial wizards.

But at least I’m educated, I understand all this. But most people can’t grasp the facts, never mind the concepts. If they go to college at all, it’s to learn a trade, study business or publicity or some other worker bee subject, because you don’t go to school to enrich your mind, but to get a job, and those are scarce, so you’d better buckle down.

So it’s poor on poor crime.

You hate Ticketmaster not realizing the acts are the problem, that Fred Rosen created the paradigm to exclude fees from the dividable pot, since acts want it all.

And you hate the band that gets the gig you don’t.

You don’t realize that until we band together and fight the powers that be, we’re screwed.

Yup, you want paperless ticketing, so the rich don’t get all the good seats.

You want low ticket prices, so not only can you go, but they can come to see you.

And you want the end of income inequality so not only can you get a leg up, but so the working and middle classes have money to spend, making us all more healthy and wise.

So what is end game?

Are the pitchforks coming out?

Is Hanauer the canary in the coalmine, like those analysts who called the mortgage crisis? One thing we learned there is the edifice topples very fast.

I don’t know, but I’m stuck at the bottom with you, and I don’t like it.

“The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats”

“Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer ‘Rich people don’t create jobs'”

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