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In Conclusion, Any Increase in Marginal Tax Rates Is Grossly Immoral

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I wanted to alert LGM readers about an exciting real estate opportunity. You can buy property in a Manhattan high rise for as little as $158,000! Of course, that’s for the wine cellar. A three bedroom apartment will run you about nine grand a month…after you’ve paid $32 million for the property.

Fortunately, you can purchase a maid’s quarters for as little as $1.5 million. Start saving today!

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  • Davis X. Machina

    Who are we, fallible mortals all, even if assembled in parliaments and senates, to countermand His decisions how to bestow the outward signs of His election? Or to second-guess whom He has chosen from before the beginning of all time to number among the preterite damned?

    Progressive taxation — presumptuous at best, blasphemous at worst.

    • Peter Hovde

      Harrumph.

  • NonyNony

    Hey get your facts straight, Lemieux. That’s $158K for the bottom-end wine cellar. The top end is $378K. And clearly, only the basest peasant would store his wine in a chintzy $150K wine cellar.

  • Another Anonymous

    Seems to be a highly likely terrorist target. There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne ….

    • Manta

      I thought terrorists hated America.

      • Ken

        They do. Strangely, they hate exactly the same things Real Americans (TM) hate.

    • past contingent

      You’ll want that gold-plated door, to keep out the Lord’s burning rain.

      Not that it will help, even the servants.

      • karma gyurme

        Lovin’ the Sin City/ Flying Burrito Brothers reference.

  • JKTHs

    Meh, the apartments start on the 34th floor. Talk to me when they start on the 50th.

  • None

    So what’s on the lower 34 floors? Pitchfork storage for the mob of angry peasants?

    • I imagine it’s all zombie buffer.

    • NonyNony

      I would assume office space of some sort.

      Though I suppose 34 stories of parking garage space isn’t completely out of the question.

      • CD

        car elevators

    • commie atheist

      Servant’s quarters, at a ridiculously low price of $1 mil apiece.

      • commie atheist

        As Scott already pointed out. Nevuh mahnd.

        • NonyNony

          No, the servant’s quarters (or as I like to call them – “future kids’ bedrooms”, “future subletting money-making opportunities”, or possibly “an ‘inexpensive’ place to stash the mistress/boy-toy to keep her/him close at hand”) are only on the 28th & 29th floors.

          (Maids’ quarters? Seriously? Is that a thing in Manhattan?)

          • Malaclypse

            I’m assuming “maid” is a euphemism for “mistress.”

            • Warren Terra

              I was assuming it was an euphemism for “indentured servant whose documents you’ve confiscated, if they existed”

            • JKTHs

              Silly rubes. You would have your mistress live in the same building?

              • Hogan

                Saves on taxis. Plus, when you want to dump her you just change the locks.

                • JKTHs

                  Nah, you don’t need a taxi. Just have your maid drive you around.

              • Malaclypse

                Just get your wife on the drug regimen that left Laura Bush looking so lifelike, and she’ll never once complain. And if she does, well, 34 floors is a long way down.

              • NonyNony

                Hey the obscenely rich are weird. In general, they don’t think things through the same way normal people who have to suffer the consequences of their mistakes do. This leads them to make decisions that you or I would find mind-boggling, and leads to their lawyers always having work.

                • Another Anonymous

                  and leads to their lawyers always having work

                  Yes, bless their black little hearts!

            • somethingblue

              Everybody ought to have a menial,
              consistently congenial …

          • Murc

            Maids’ quarters? Seriously? Is that a thing in Manhattan?

            The 1% are willing to pay a LOT of money for live-in help. These days a “maid” is less “person who cleans” (they have services for that which are both cheaper and better than dedicated live-in help) and more likely to be the equivalent of an always on-call personal assistant, who will do things like make sure the apartment is appropriately decorated for company and handle all your personal correspondence and appointments (possibly in conjunction with your “work” assistant) and is trusted to do shopping, etc.

            Those people aren’t paid enough to live conveniently near their employers in Manhattan, and said employers don’t want to have to wait for people to schlep out from Queens or Brooklyn if they need something right NOW. Hence, maid’s quarters. The employee in question gets to live in Manhattan in exchange for living in what is the modern equivalent of below stairs in Downton Abbey.

            Such “quarters” are also convenient for professional nannies.

            • MAJeff

              I thought we called such people slaves.

              • Malaclypse

                19th-century paradigm. We now call them the non-contingent labor force.

            • NonyNony

              These days a “maid” is less “person who cleans” … and more likely to be the equivalent of an always on-call personal assistant, who will do things like make sure the apartment is appropriately decorated for company and handle all your personal correspondence and appointments (possibly in conjunction with your “work” assistant) and is trusted to do shopping, etc.

              Those people aren’t paid enough to live conveniently near their employers in Manhattan

              Seriously? Cheap-ass rich bastards DESERVE to have their money embezzled from them when they make bone-stupid decisions like that.

              But basically it sounds like the thing is to hire a personal “office manager” to run your house for you? I suppose I could see that – I’ve heard of stupider things to spend obscene amounts of money on (the “on-call” thing makes me want to kick somebody in the nuts though – if you’re going to pay someone to run your life for you and expect them to be on-call 24×7, you should pay them enough that they can afford their own apartment in Manhattan…)

  • For that kind of money, you would think they could do better for the design than a grid of Legos….

    Also, the top floors are NOT recommended for rich fucks with motion sickness.

    • Malaclypse

      Also, the top floors are NOT recommended for rich fucks with motion sickness.

      Bullshit. I hope they are filled with rich fucks with motion sickness. And vertigo.

    • NonyNony

      The top six stories are listed as “mechanical equipment” so I’ll just assume that in addition to the HVAC they also have a kryptonite-powered anti-motion machine to stop the building from moving.

      I mean, this IS going to be Lex Luthor’s primary abode when he’s in Manhattan, right?

      • Brandon

        (elevators, sorry to spoil the fun!)

      • a kryptonite-powered anti-motion machine

        It’s called a tuned-mass damper and they’ve been around since the 70s.

        • NonyNony

          Where do they get the kryptonite?

  • Paul Campos

    The fact that maids in this country can now afford to buy $1.5 to $3.7 million apartments is conveniently overlooked in this anti-Capitalist diatribe.

    • Hogan

      The maids don’t buy the apartments, silly. Rich people buy them and rent them out to the maids.

      • Malaclypse

        That’s 20-th century thinking. Rich people buy them, and graciously allow the maids to sleep in them, in a simple exchange involving the maid turning over her passport and a lifetime of unpaid labor.

      • Bill Murray

        The apartments are the 21st Century’s company store. Some day there will be an update of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s classic entitled “I Owe My Soul to the Millionaire’s Bed”

      • Scott Lemieux

        The maids don’t buy the apartments, silly. Rich people buy them and rent them out to the maids.

        Man, is your sarcasm detector ever fucked.

        • Hogan

          I was thinking “owe my sould to the company store.”

          • Mean Mister Mustard

            I was thinking ..

            cite?

            • Mr. Kettle

              Hah. Good one, Mr. Pot.

            • Malaclypse

              Yea, I don’t understand rules of citation either.

              • Mean Mister Mustard

                I dunno; maybe a warrant would suffice to require a cite.

                I had something more informal in mind. I guess you could call it curiosity on my part. No requirement to join in the curiosity of the times.

  • elm

    Actually, we can’t purchase a maid’s apartment. Only people who already own one of the ‘real’ apartments can purchase a studio on the 28th and 29th floors for their servants. Does reinforce the question asked above: what is on the first 33 floors? Two of them are given to servants, but what about the rest, particularly the 30-33 floors? Or are those left vacant to provide a buffer between the servants, with their various sounds and odors, and the real residents?

    • NonyNony

      I’m fairly certain that those floors are where Lex Luthor will house the labs working to build his kryptonite powered robots to finally crush the Man of Steel once and for all.

      Or kryptonite powered zombie army. Whatever works!

      • NonyNony

        You know, after reading the linked “Related article” to that graphic, I really would feel better about this whole thing if it WERE a cover for a supervillain building some kind of ridiculous scheme to take on Batman or something.

      • Rob

        Bullshit. Like he can be Governor of Florida and live in Manhattan at the same time.

    • Hogan

      Morlocks. Be sure to take the express elevator.

    • Warren Terra

      Kennels, from which to release the hounds.

    • Muggles holding the building up

  • Malaclypse

    As with many of these buildings, only about a quarter of the units will be occupied at any one time.

    So, literally billions of dollars on apartments that will be empty most of the time.

    I’m hoping the top six floors of “machinery” will be used for gibbets, myself.

    • Warren Terra

      There was a great article someplace (I found it via Longform) about one of these high rise masters-of-the-universe farms in London, that discussed in some detail how these people accumulate absurd properties they never use. Really, I think they should look into timeshares.

      • Yes, I read that. i can’t think of anything grimmer or more awful than to be the one or two real people (however wealthy) for whom this is your principle residence. In the article about London it basically said that certain areas and certain apartment complexes were basically two thirds empty at all times, or when occupied were occupied almost exclusively by foreigners (Russians) who used them only sporadically and didn’t shop or eat in the neighborhood or have kids in school.

  • bspencer

    Only 7 bathrooms? Sorry, I need at least 8.

    • NonyNony

      You suppose they have a maid who does nothing but cleans bathrooms?

      And how much extra to have the gold-plated fixtures installed?

      • bspencer

        My MIL works for a doctor who–I shit you not–had an “upstairs maid” as a child.

      • catclub

        extra over the solid gold fixtures for gold plating?

        • Warren Terra

          They gold-plate the solid gold fixtures so they’re less ostentatious.

    • Warren Terra

      You’re overlooking the ability to open a window and discharge your effluents on the people below. Metaphor made solid – or liquid.

    • Auguste

      There are also 2 half-baths. It’s a bit of a sacrifice, but I think you can swing it.

      • Njorl

        Half-baths?! Do they even have a cellist?

    • Auguste

      Just for the hell of it, I ran the mortgage calculator. No one’s borrowing 80% LTV at 3.5% for 30 years to buy a penthouse, but if they were…

      They’d have a monthly payment of $440,000. Add the common charge & property taxes, and you’re looking at a $500,000 a month house payment.

      Which means if your net income drops below $6 million a year, you can’t even afford to keep the lights on.

      I can’t wait for the inspiring “foreclosure fighters” stories about these people a decade from now.

      (I wish.)

      • JosephW

        If they’re paying $500K a month just for the place and they’ve got $6 million a year income, they really don’t need to worry about not paying the lights. I’d guess they need to figure out how to boost their income if they want to do such mundane things as pay their staff, pay their utility bills and eat.

    • Sometimes my poop just wants some strange, ya know?

  • If I read this right the “monthly common charge”, which I assume is like a condo fee, for a 3 bedroom apartment is $8,699 a month!

    • JKTHs

      It’s so hard to be obscenely rich in the city.

    • Todd

      No, the proceeds from that fee are used to keep “the common” away from your home.

      • Another Anonymous

        Ya train the hounds to crave human flesh, ya gotta provide them the proper diet. More expensive than you’d think.

  • R. Porrofatto

    For a little Wall Street perspective: the most expensive penthouse apartment in this building — currently under contract for $95 million — would cost hedge fund manager/Goldman Sachs puppetmaster John Paulson just under 2% of his $5 billion cash income in 2010.

    That would only leave him with $4,905,000,000 to furnish the place.

    • Imma gonna barf.

    • Malaclypse

      Oh, sure, quote pre-tax income. Poor man is probably barely making ends meet on the 3-4 billion he has left after Obama’s IRS were through with him.

      • JKTHs

        Probably closer to $4 billion, if not higher.

      • R. Porrofatto

        Poor man is probably barely making ends meet on the 3-4 billion he has left after Obama’s IRS were through with him.

        You’re right, forgive my lack of compassion. But his tax bill would be no more than 15% since it’s all capital gains or carried interest — and no payroll tax either. So he netted $4.25 billion and would only have $4.155 billion left to furnish the place. My mistake was the latter — he’d only have $4,155,000,000 left of his 2010 income to furnish the place. He’s more than made up the difference in years since, thank god.

        • Anthony

          Actually, because Paulson had to sell all of his position’s in order to take the Treasury job, all of his capital gains from the previous years were tax free.

          • R. Porrofatto

            Wrong Paulson, that’s Hank. But yay for him.

  • Heinously ugly building though. Makes that last one that we mocked mercilessly look like fucking genius.

    • Warren Terra

      You only care it’s ugly if you’re outside looking in, not if you’re inside looking out. Indeed, its ugliness is a point of pride, a giant middle finger upthrust on the New York skyline.

    • Njorl

      That’s just an optical illusion which those with ungodly wealth can see through.

  • As a slightly-more-serious note:

    Given the location (fairly central), I’ll give you odds that a fair number of those apartments are purchased by corporations (IBM and The Big C are nearby, and the late, lamented Brad “The Animal” Leslie could probably have hit the multiple JPMC HQs from one of those penthouses) and used as places to put up visiting executives.

    Which makes all of the costs tax-deductible to the firm.

    Those penthouse “owners” will be deducting more than Loomis’s annual salary.

    Proving once again that The Rich Are Different.

    • Just Dropping By

      I’m curious as to how what you just described leads to the conclusion “The Rich Are Different.” A mom & pop business that for some reason occasionally needs space for out-of-town travelers could purchase a $150K condo to use for that purpose and get a qualitatively identical tax deduction for business purposes. The only difference is the scale of expense at issue.

      • wengler

        The rich and poor alike are not allowed to sleep under overpasses, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Class Envy–the taproot of Marxism, as so brilliantly displayed here.

    • efgoldman

      Well, ya’ know JenBob, if they only did something to earn it.
      One of our local (Boston) sports yappers calls them “the lucky sperm club”, and with good reaspn.

      Now lets all go have a nice pancake supper.

    • bspencer

      Oh, this is silly. I could be happy with considerably less and in fact am pretty happy with what I’ve got. Honestly, I have *no* idea what I’d do with properties like this. Envy doesn’t enter into this at all.

    • Ya know, if everybody else was making a living wage and they weren’t offshoring jobs to Banglafuckingdesh I wouldn’t have a problem with these people being obscenely rich.

      • Anonymous

        How much do you think somebody should be paid to spin yarn?

        Next, what do you think that will do to the price of clothing?

        • Hogan

          How much do you think somebody should be paid to spin yarn?

          Enough to not live in poverty.

          • Enough to be able to afford the products they make.

            Even Henry Ford figured that out, and he was a Nazi sympathizer.

            • Ford may have figured it out in 1915 but he had totally forgotten it by 1935.

              • AmazingDepressing how having GM pass his business in gross and net made him rethink humane wages.

        • efgoldman

          In my lifetime, the yarn was spun. the fabric woven, and the clothing fabricated in the US. I didn’t notice too many nekkid people running around.
          Moar pancakes.

        • People spinning yarn seems like a vastly preferable thing to spend money on compared with spending it on the people who own stock in the company that the yarn spinners work for.

        • I guess if I was arguing that killing 1100 Bangladeshi garment workers was an acceptable price to keep Gap t-shirts cheap, I would opt to remain anonymous also.

    • Malaclypse

      How does boot-leather taste, anyway?

      • wjts

        As some wag here once noted, guys like this believe that if he keeps licking long enough and hard enough, one day he’ll get to BE the boot. Whereupon he’ll be allowed the privilege of being allowed to rent… well, not one of the maid’s apartments, obviously, but the Job Creators will surely be generous enough to allow him to pay to live in a cramped corner somewhere on the six floors of mechanical equipment.

  • efgoldman
  • bspencer

    Does anyone know where I could get a peek inside at one of these spaces?

    • Step one: get your favorite zombie architect an apartment rent in the building as a project.

      Step two: avoid having your branes eated.

      • Reno not rent. Bad autocorrect, worse attention paying.

      • I love this plan!

        • ummm… I can’t even figure out how to BEGIN working out a fee for someone who just paid 30 million dollars for a shell.

          • Charge too much. When asked why, scoff at the client.

            • I LOVE that plan!

              • It was the first half of FLW’s business plan. The second half was “Design all buildings for people under 5′-5″ tall.”

                • Vance Maverick

                  I was recently in the Schindler House in LA. It doesn’t seem to have been expensively built (even considering it’s 90 years old, it’s pretty run down for a monument), but it did adhere to that principle of height, learned evidently from Wright.

                • I don’t know how freakishly tall you folks are, but I am well above Wright’s height, and haven’t had any problems in the dozens of his buildings I have been in.

                  The only noticeable issue was that any balcony railings came up to slightly above mid-thigh for me.

                • The advantage to that is that I will be able to design each floor for two separate tenants, thus doubling my fees.

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