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The New Gilded Age in One Story

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Important journalism coming from the Times.

Where is the revolution?

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  • Lordy, the people in this article are flat out begging to be put up against a wall:

    Joel Treisman, a family wealth coach who leads a monthly group for Tiger 21, an investment club for people with more than $10 million, said he had been left to surmise his family’s wealth on his own. He is a descendant of the Cullman family, whose wealth came from Philip Morris tobacco, and also the Lehman banking family.

    “Despite a Stanford degree and a Yale M.B.A. with all these financial management courses, I was totally unprepared to be an inheritor — and that was in my 40s,” Mr. Treisman said. “There was no family preparation. It was delegated to the family trust-and-estate lawyer to send me a letter on my 21st birthday to talk to me about wealth that was going to revert to me outright.”

    Didn’t we start this country to get away from hereditary dolts running things? Jebus.

    • Warren Terra

      Oh, the plangent reverberations of his tale of woe. Cue the violins. The expensive, expensive violins.

    • UserGoogol

      Well I mean, no. Nothing like that is in the Declaration of Independence, nor would we expect Thomas Jefferson (in particular) to have very much of a problem with people inheriting large estates.

      • Mellano

        And yet, Thomas Jefferson had a hell of a problem trying to get a person to inherit his estate.

        • sigaba

          but we know he had children, what was the problem?

      • Origami Isopod

        Well I mean, no.

        You may be reading Charlie’s remark a bit too literally.

        • UserGoogol

          It’s a rhetorical flourish to be sure, but that sort of thing annoys me. It’s all well and good to focus on the egalitarian side of the founding of the United States, but when you phrase it that way it just gets into nationalistic mythologizing, and also just exaggerates the ideological differences between the United Kingdom and the United States. (Whether in 1776 or later.)

    • mombrava

      Of all people, it seems like a family wealth coach would be prepared how to handle family wealth.

    • twbb

      Inheritors losing their fortune is a feature, not a bug. Gets the money back out into the economy, into more capable hands.

      • Dennis Orphen

        If those hands were truly capable they would have done a better job choosing their parents.

  • Origami Isopod

    Mic drop:

    Man, if you find that hard wait til the time comes when you have to tell them a severed head can stay conscious for up to thirty seconds.

  • Dennis Orphen

    Perhaps someone will find the revolution inside the couch when they’re digging out some change from beneath the cushions.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    I’m sure the kids would just prefer they put the money in a brown paper bag and hand it to them without a word.

  • ArchTeryx

    You know, on first blush this actually could be a good thing: Parents talking to their kids about how to responsibly use that money, the debt they owe society for allowing their parents to make it, etc. To do some GOOD with it. A few of our Billionaire Class actually have just that talk with their heirs.

    But of course, this is about wealth preservation and other such Gilded Age fooferah. Because FTFNYT Business.

  • Todd

    Description of a wealth coach and a Porter Goss reference. I need a shower.

    There’s a Will Ferrell film in that article somewhere.

  • N__B

    Many wealthy parents find it hard to talk to their kids about the millions of dollars they’ll inherit

    Solution: give the money to me, and I promise to make appropriate noises of wonder.

    • sonamib

      Hell, give me the money and I’ll send Christmas cards every year!

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    FWIW, I had a GF in college who had no idea her parents were wealthy (they owned a chain of banks) until she turned 18 and they let her know she had a trust fund. It kind of screwed her up.

    • Hells Littlest Angel

      She didn’t know they owned a chain of banks, or she didn’t know that owning a chain of banks is a pretty good indicator of being wealthy?

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        #2 – she grew up feeling like they were upper-middle class, but not trust-fund rich.

        • LosGatosCA

          Isn’t that the myth in America: lower middle class see themselves as solid middle class and the top 25% less the top 1% see themselves as upper middle class?

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            Yes -IIRC Miss Manners put it as, “There are 3 economic classes in America: working class, middle class and upper-middle class.”

            • My wife and I have a good friend who was born to wealth and who grew up a little socially tone-deaf in consequence. At one of his parties twenty years ago, early in our acquaintance, he brought someone of like income bracket over to us, saying to him “Hey, Tom, I want you to meet my educated lower-middle class friends.” He’s a first-rate guy, actually, with a generous heart, but he never had to develop those patterns of discretion and tact that were useful in my circles as I grew up.

        • The Politicizer

          I can see this, though. If the parents weren’t ostentatious about their wealth, then she wouldn’t have had much reason to think about it much. And even thinking that she’s “upper middle class” is a decent bit of self-awareness – it shows that she didn’t socialize exclusively with rich assholes and think she was poor or something.

    • farin

      I grew up earnestly believing my family was working-class until I applied to college and couldn’t get a dime in financial aid (Turns out that pretending you’re poor when you’re not is a great way to grow your savings.), so I can kinda sympathize with the sense of shock. That said, the first thing they should learn about being rich is to shut the hell up about it.

      • Dennis Orphen

        People often come to me for advice about a variety of things and if the question is ‘what should I do if x?, most of the time the first thing out of my mouth is ‘don’t tell anyone about it, ever!”. This is especially true if the advice solicited from me is financial in nature.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    It’s a nice change of pace from the Times’ articles about the unacceptable quality of housing to be had for less than five million dollars.

  • blister

    Nah, this is just a newspaper feature-page article about handing down the dough, how it hits some New York dufuses. Take out the New York rich-guys angle and it is exactly in line with my own experience as a not-too-rich backwoods white guy sorting out various small-time inheritances, except there is more money involved. You ask me, it’s an example of Mr. Loomis perhaps going a little overboard on his self-designated role as a caller-out of privilege.

    I think you guys should slack back on stuff like this, not get so easily outraged. Yeah, they rich, we poor, but on the other hand not every beer can be the beer you thought you wanted but is just some brew they drink in Brazil, the fools; not every taco comes with the approved-by-eric sauce; and not every rich asshole has nothing but nothing to say about his daughters’ inheritance sensibilities. Or something. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t figured this out. Except you guys got lots of motes in your eyes. Or logs, or whatever.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      …it is exactly in line with my own experience as a not-too-rich backwoods white guy sorting out various small-time inheritances, except there is more money involved.

      Right. Nice try, Thurston.

      I didn’t realize that you and Lovey managed to get off the island. Welcome back to civilization!

      • blister

        ???

      • Chetsky

        Huh. I read this guy as attempting humor, and not quite pulling it off. The tell to me was

        except there is more money involved.

        B/c … uh ….. that “except” is the entire point.

        But he might be trolling, I guess. Inept, either way.

        • blister

          So, you, Chetsky, are following the money. Good on you, Chetsky! You are nothing but ept. You follow that money right down into the pit, mon. You onto sompin here, bro.

          • ColBatGuano

            You are a real bright light huh?

      • Dennis Orphen

        The Howell’s have more class than children. Thurston may be a greedy bastard, but he really knows how to garnish a drink.

    • Dennis Orphen

      I’d have to agree with your first point. I haven’t had those talks with my parents yet. But I also have my own finances to manage, my own income to worry about. They provided a sane and loving environment for me for the first 18 years of my life. After that, it’s been up to me to do that for myself, for the most part.

      Recently, some of my friends turned me on to the Classic Arts Showcase television channel. A wealthy person created it and funded it with their estate. That’s the kind of thing people who die with assets should do with them. Yo dawg, I heard you like class acts…..

      • blister

        Well, I guess my point is yeah, we have these problems, but let’s not get twisted around to pointing to the New York Times feature pages as a picture onto a new gilded age. I’m 70 fucking years old and was treated like an infant when my father stroked out twenty years ago, and the old folks could have sorted that out better.

        Good to know the New York Times is on the job, lends an ear to the rich assholes who buy subscriptions. It’s just that Eric picking some fluffy piece out of the Times and attacking it is not much more productive than Hannity picking out a substantial piece and turning it into a wing-nut crusade. Eric should do better. attack the ketchup bund or something.

        • Chetsky

          rich assholes who buy subscriptions

          OK, so you -are- just trolling.

          • blister

            Why even say that? What the fuck is trolling, and why is it important to identify a comment as trolling? Trolling, forsooth! As I think I mentioned, I’m pretty old and all I know is people assing off to one another, I don’t understand trolling. Although, muchas gracias for the reply.

            • ColBatGuano

              Did you escape the home and get on the library computer? Make sure your bathrobe sash is tight.

        • Maybe I’m deaf to the nuances here, or maybe it’s a generational thing—I’m close to blister’s age—but I’m not seeing the trolling here.

          • Hob

            Gee, why would anyone think this guy is trying to stir shit rather than commenting in good faith. Sure, innocent 70-year-olds who’ve never heard the word “trolling” are always just randomly wandering onto a blog where they’ve never been seen, posting a contrarian opinion, and then immediately responding to everyone who doesn’t like it with weirdly chummy hostility and following up with rants about what’s wrong with the whole blog.

  • science_goy

    As far as I’m concerned, nothing has yet managed to top the WSJ’s serious, serious infographic about the dejected family living off just $650,000 per year.

    Oh wait, I’m sorry, $453,717 after taxes. How insensitive of me.

  • XerMom

    This reminds me of a couple I know who inherited a bit of money. She said, “let’s buy health insurance.” He said, “no, let’s buy a boat.” They ended up buying a divorce.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    Of course, the Times does sometimes demonstrate it has the common touch:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/science/urine-swimming-pools.html?contentCollection=smarter-living

    Front-page news.

    • Warren Terra

      Well, I enjoyed the story. I don’t care about the degree of pool and hot tub contamination so very much, but the method used was clever.

      • Hells Littlest Angel

        Think of the homeopathic healing powers of that super-diluted urine.

        • Warren Terra

          Are you saying more swimming would cure my of my tendency to take the piss?

    • Chetsky

      Awwwwwwww hell, if they had any balls, they’d go measure the urine content of NYHRC pools. I remember the one down in the Wall Street area was …. filthy. I once made the mistake of letting the water into my mouth …. ugh. I switched to the YMCA posthaste.

      P.S. NYHRC is (or was) a decent-but-not-posh health club in Manhattan. I used to see the guy who played Frank Costanza in the midtown location regularly, so I doubt it was completely prole. Notwithstanding, the Upper West Side Y was much, much cleaner.

    • Dennis Orphen

      ‘We don’t swim in your toilet. Please don’t pee in our pool.”

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      So there’s urea in your sweat?

      Well shit. Or piss, rather.

    • N__B

      Combining the two articles has me breaking into song:

      Urine the money
      Urine the money
      You’ve peed a lot of what it takes to get along

    • Pseudonym
      • Dennis Orphen

        Cryptofascist.

        • N__B

          Cryptofascists deliver their rabble-rousing speeches from cryptoportici.

          • Dennis Orphen

            I learn so much here.

  • I guess things are tough all over.

    • science_goy

      Some people are trapped in an unrelenting vortex of debt, imprisonment, addiction, and poverty. Others are trying to figure out how to have a slightly awkward conversation with their kids. Brothers in arms are we.

      • Chetsky

        Hey, maybe they’re just afraid the kids’ll go all Menendez on their ass.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    For a modest fee, I will explain their wealth to their children.

    But I can offer an even better service: I will remove the burden of anxiety caused by that wealth altogether. They can simply deposit their surplus wealth into my bank account. I am willing to take on this terrible burden because I am such a nice person.

    • I like the way you think.

    • veleda_k

      Your nobility is an inspiration to us all.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        “Nobility”? “NOBILITY”?!!! *sniff* That’s not voice of nobility, or even minor aristocracy *sniff*. That is clearly the voice of a social climber, or a “bounder”, as it’s known by those in the know *sniff*.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Nothing a 93% top marginal tax rate wouldn’t fix.

    • Chetsky

      Damn straight.

    • guthrie

      If the rich would just shut up and pay the 40% rate without trying to hide it all, there wouldn’t be so many problems here in the UK.

    • Anna in PDX

      Yeah I hate read these articles mostly as intelligence in the class war.

  • geep9

    Think of all the avocado toast

    • Pseudonym

      But does that count as a sandwich (of the open-faced variety)?

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Are you talking about an avocado pizza?

    • wjts

      Could one of you do me a favor and google why everybody is so het up about avocado toast all of a sudden and report back?

  • ASV

    As Yglesias points out, this is almost cartoonishly obvious clickbait.

    • Mellano

      Clickbait would be a slideshow on a generically named website with no reporting: “Here are ten people you’ve never heard of, and their amazing homes/yachts/vacation spots!”

      The Times is in earnest about this. They’re not ogling, they’re reciting dogma. The writer of the article, Paul Sullivan, literally writes this same piece about the psychological burdens of inheriting wealth once or twice a year, in between writing other articles about personal wealth management strategies.

      The Times is laying off other staffers, but they have a full time beat devoted to the principle that asset protection is a worthy calling around which professionals should build careers. I remain a subscriber because I respect a lot of what the newsroom does, but this stuff pisses me off almost as much as false equivalency political horse race coverage.

    • guthrie

      Fortunately with it being summarised here, we don’t need to click through to the ‘story’.

  • blister

    Aw, shit. Here is a guy, Eric, who wants to put his whole life on the line, except he doesn’t know how to do that so he goes out on the internets and posts stuff, which sometimes turns out to be bogus shit, or bogus, or otherwise shit, and all you can think to do is snark back and forth in his comments section, without listening to what he is trying to say and/or maybe tipping him off to he’s working a dry hole. You say, yeah, good post, and commence to utterances about this that and the other anecdote that you think supports your understanding of how everything works. Right here we have Eric bitching about a meaningless lifestyle post from the NYT, and you clowns dip in with one-liners that you picked up from some goddamn place like maybe the movies.

    There may be not harm in you, as a commentariat, because after all we are just random fools commenting, each one a troll unto himself, pushing an agenda. But if you all immediately jump into line to reinforce whatever the dude says, then you are not much help at all, and why even bother? This Eric, he is thin-skinned and can’t handle criticism, but all that means is that you need to either force his nose down into his occasional errors or reinvent yourselves into the sorts of diplomatic disputants who might turn him onto a more productive path. The guy has potential value, and the way to exploit that value may be not to suck up to him in the comments section but to engage him on his weird edges.

    For example, I have long thought that Eric’s fascistic impulses about hamburger condiments, and his weird beer fetishes as applied to his denigration of South American cultures, might provide a weak spot where more liberal minds might find a way to worm into his consciousness. I felt that, for example, someone who didn’t mind drinking a watery beer on a beach in Brazil or who didn’t mind choking down a fascist hot-dog at a ball-game might be able to get Eric to calm the fuck down about everything in the USA that he finds uncomfortable.

    But you guys, you are right there, with statistics you pulled out of Reader’s Digest, or wherever. You are like a chorus of the nutless, adding nothing but assent. “Damn straight,” says Chetly. “Me too me too I already thought of that” says Warrren Terra. Look, this guy doesn’t need your affirmation, he is already over the edge and sometimes running a little wild.

    No offense to the commentariat or to professor Eric. You guys wouldn’t be what you are if the world didn’t need cluesless assholes willing to spout whatever popped into their heads, and Eric wouldn’t be around if all we needed was cheerleaders.

    • Hells Littlest Angel

      Tell us about how you used to wear an onion on your belt.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        I think that blister kept the onion firmly up his ass — and still does. (By the way, dude, time to change your onion!)

    • veleda_k

      You know, I don’t think Loomis is using us mindless sycophants to his full advantage. Dream big, Loomis!

    • sosaysyou

      QFT:

      This Eric, he is thin-skinned and can’t handle criticism, but all that means is that you need to either force his nose down into his occasional errors or reinvent yourselves into the sorts of diplomatic disputants who might turn him onto a more productive path. The guy has potential value, and the way to exploit that value may be not to suck up to him in the comments section but to engage him on his weird edges.

      Nice work Freddie!. You might have added; Plus he has a goofy hairstyle, wears ill-fitted jeans and stretched out and faded tee-shirts. The chip on his shoulder often blinds him to his rude and dismissing commentary that sometimes fails to consider opposing views. His supposed indifference is juvenile and transparent.
      But he is hella prolific and a valuable source on varied subjects – not just his academic specialty.
      He also is well suited to the blogging format and works out ideas on the fly while showing his work or rationale. He makes this site an essential go to in an ever diminishing internet of interesting ideas. A good editor would have him curtail the condiments critiques and pop culture reviews (harmless as they may be – we all think we have discerning taste). But this would be a less essential visit without him. Three cheers for Erik!!!

    • Dr. Acula

      Impressive how you managed to misspell Erik’s name seven times in one post.

      • Joseph Slater

        I took that to be the most obvious “I’m trolling” tell. Even better than claiming not to know what trolling is.

    • Jordan

      delete this grandpa

    • Linnaeus

      The guy has potential value, and the way to exploit that value may be not to suck up to him in the comments section but to engage him on his weird edges.

      If you think that this doesn’t happen, well, you haven’t been reading here very long.

  • ColBatGuano

    So, a new troll huh. Better vocabulary, but obviously unstable.

    • Chetsky

      Eric’s fascistic impulses about hamburger condiments

      Nah. He’s just weak. Probably drinks near-beer.

      • Chetsky

        “He” obv. refers to the humor-challenged troll.

    • veleda_k

      He really wants us damn kids to get off his lawn.

  • [email protected]

    I think you are missing the true significance of this story, which is awful journalism, no doubt. I’m no expert on the gilded age, but I believe wealthy people, in their own mind at least, were more clearly separated from the non-wealthy. So conversations such as those described in the article would have been redundant. Of course we’re rich and are going to inherit! Today, we are witnessing the emergence of huge economic gaps in a society that is much more committed to denying this situation. This denial is much more emotional and conceptual than factual. That makes inequality harder to fight.

  • sigaba

    So Frank Capra once made a movie, and it was called “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”…

  • AMK

    The failure of the Democratic Party to make the estate tax an issue–when Donald Trump is president–continues to boggle the mind.

    • Dennis Orphen

      The issue does not resonate with the teeming masses of temporarily embarrassed millionaires who are just a scratch-off ticket or a long-lost recently deceases relative (not the Native American ones) away from reclaiming their true birthright.

      See Also: .com, Ancestry

      PS: Any ideas why they are all so obsessed with their supposed Native American ancestry? Like most all of their worldview, it baffles me.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Something to do with their seeming noble, especially since they’re dead/conquered, or not living in a neighborhood just across the tracks from yours. Certain kinds of folks love to get all sentimental about the suffering of those who got crushed… once the coast is very, very clear.

        Those are my guesses.

        Now give me two bees for a quarter! Over in Shelbyville, they don’t eat any root marm!

        • BiloSagdiyev

          P.S.

          “Ah, Ziggy, will you ever win?”

          – C. Montgomery Burns, reading the comics

        • Ellie1789

          My reply keeps getting eaten by the system! I’m starting to think I’ve been blocked for some reason?

          What I wanted to say was (at longer, more eloquent length): also, settler colonialism. Claiming Native ancestry allows settlers to legitimize their presence and disavow their complicity in the genocidal displacement of indigenous peoples.

          • N__B

            Three or more links will get your post held in moderation, usually forever.

            • Ellie1789

              The reply had only had one link, but maybe that was it.

              (ETA: I just tried to post the link by itself, and that reply also disappeared. Maybe the system doesn’t like that particular link.)

              • N__B

                In that case, I have no idea. Maybe the LGM installation of WordPress has achieved sentience and is hoarding selected comments.

              • Ellie1789

                Okay, The LGM System really really doesn’t like the link, embedded or not (more settler colonial denial of Native voices?).

                Interested readers can just Google Adrienne Keene’s Native Appropriations blog.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  Thanks for the reply. If this were some version of To Tell the Truth, I would probably pick your answer over any others

                  ETA: I just tried to add your link and failed. The comment went to limbo.

  • MacK

    Funnily enough, I have a cousin who worked for a while for a reputation management company – and was assigned to deal with wealthy families. Many of those families employed them to keep the family’s wealth quiet, to ensure they were NEVER EVER included in rich-lists, to keep their wealth very very discreet. She never disclosed anything, but she did say that in several instances it was apparent that their children knew they were ‘comfortable,’ Volvo-drivers, from the suburbs’ but no idea that they were filthy rich.

    A few of the tech people I know who made big money were equally quiet about it. I remember one, who is remarkably scruffy (he got thrown out of a Porsche dealership that thought he was a vagrant) being deposed. He is a very nice guy, an engineer, who used most of it to set up an educational trust for poor kids. Understand the lawyer taking the depo was a very arrogant little prick who had not done his homework, and he depondnt had a nondescript title but was a founder who’d lived on beans for 15 years:

    Question: “so does you company give you any options”

    Answer: “ja”

    Question: “are they valuable”

    Answer: “ja, I think so”

    Question: “so how much are your options worth, 100,00 – 200,000”

    Answer: “I don’t really know, I don’t look much, I don’t care a lot”

    Question: “well estimate”

    Answer: “the last time they told me 1 billion”

    Question: “gulp, one bbbbillion ddddddolars”

    Answer: “no, Euros”. (The €/$ exchange rate was very positive for the Euro)

    What’s also important to know is that he has given the bulk away and he’s still pretty young. He’s a scientist.

  • James B. Shearer

    Gotta agree a little with blister. This article (and others like it) are what is sometimes called “wealth porn” reflecting the fact that many people who aren’t super rich enjoy imagining what it would be like. And people who get too indignant about this can come across a bit like people who get too indignant about regular porn.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      “Too indignant”? I estimate that it took Loomis probably 90-120 seconds to write this item and post it. About the same amount of time as it took for you to write your comment, and less time than Blister took to write his/her comment. Heh, indeedy.

      • Hob

        Certainly less time than Blister’s totally non-indignant follow-up piece about how Eric is a clueless asshole and all the commenters are a “chorus of the nutless”.

        (Also, the difference between this article and regular “wealth porn” is that the latter isn’t dressed up in somber reportage about family dynamics. Just show people some shiny stuff and talk about how nice it is – fine. If this piece were regular porn porn, the movie would not depict any sex but would just be about porn stars complaining that all this ecstasy is more trouble than it’s worth.)

        • James B. Shearer

          (Also, the difference between this article and regular “wealth porn” is that the latter isn’t dressed up in somber reportage about family dynamics. …

          This is the NYT after all so a veneer of redeeming social value is to be expected.

      • James B. Shearer

        “… I estimate that it took Loomis probably 90-120 seconds to write this item and post it. …”

        This isn’t the first post along these general lines to appear on this blog.

    • Chetsky

      Let’s rewrite that to be clearer: “Lotta poor folks are taken in by the con. The FTFNYT is just goin’ with the flow; after all, there are rubes to be hoodwinked, and the con-artists throw quarters our way every now and then. And this is all good.”

  • LosGatosCA

    It would be great if the media could put full disclosure/rationale on each piece. That way the reader would not only know how to classify what they are reading but also where to place that entity along various dimensions: political, integrity, competence, etc.

    It could work like the movie rating system

    1. C – Click bait article written to maximize readership to increase advertising rates/revenue.
    – Sensational headline, content easily understood at the 3rd grade level, information content negligible or repetitive, asserted without any supporting facts necessary. Reader can make up their own mind on the veracity, usefulness of the story.
    2. F – Factual news article written to objectively inform all readers on newsworthy situation.
    – to the extent possible every point, assertion, numerical representation has been fact checked and found to be fact conforming. Reader should be better informed about subject and encouraged to read more if the article’s points conflicts with the readers prior view.
    3. P – propaganda article written to burnish the reputation of the newspaper in the eyes of the likely reader. Panders to both siderism, piece slanted to satisfy RWNJ’s, glibertarians, preserve government/political access, etc.
    4. L – intended for local audiences only. Does not conform to national standards of newsworthiness yet keeps the media property relevant to the local demographic most likely to support the business model for the property.
    5. BS – straight up prejudicial content published to conform to the media property owners agenda. Constant war, minority disrespect, entitlement cuts, political endorsements, etc.
    6. G – gossip. Most Living and Sports articles get this designation. Sports ball statistics get an ‘F’, likewise movie box office grosses but every thing else gets a ‘G’ including how uppity NBA stars pursue the most lucrative contracts or best chance of winning.

    This Times article for instance would be labeled ‘L’ and instead of blaming the Times, the locals should be savaged. While Fox News labeling everything they do as ‘F’ rather than ‘P’ or ‘C’ would be an obvious way to discredit them as an objective media source.

    It would also simplify the whole public editor job or savaging of them when they don’t do their job correctly. Instead of having to reverse engineer every bit of content, assertion, or editorial analysis a sample discussion could be how could you rate that item an ‘F’ instead of a ‘P’?

    And articles would start conforming to standards. Throwing some ‘P’ content into an ‘F’ article would not pass the ‘F’ grade.

    Anyway, I’m sure the model could be greatly improved but that’s my proposal at the moment.

    • Chetsky

      Hm. I get your goals here, but I don’t think that even local readership could possibly be the right category. I lived in NYC for 5yr, and even the “upper middle class” doesn’t have the kind of bling to be worrying about their kids being surprised to inherit. I mean, “eventually we get Mom’s apartment”. But that’s not millions — oh, perhaps 1-2m at most.

      [just to be clear: even for these upper-middle-class, these are rich persons’ problems — the people who *service* these folks, take buses-to-trains into the City, and -their- lives are the ones that need improving, but still …]

      The mere fact that we’re talking about (let’s say) a minimum of $10m in total bequest) seems to argue that this is a vanishingly small population, even in Manhattan, no?

      So at best, isn’t this really a case of the FTFNYT kowtowing to their advertiser base? *at best*? And heading downhill towards plausibility, maybe kowtowing to the people the Sulzbergers view as their peer group? (yeah, $10m is chump change to ’em, but it goes up from there).

      I’m saying, I don’t believe there’s a reasonable economic motive, other than “keeping up with the patricians”.

  • Julia Grey

    Outrage porn. We love to be disgusted with both these rich snots AND The Times.

    And then there are the follow-on fascinations of folks who are multiply-postal about us enjoying our outrage porn.

    You can always count on Loomis to create a great meta critique thread.

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