That MoveOn.org petition you signed three times isn't going to make the Koch brothers crap the bidet. As economist Joseph Stiglitz noted last year, the real concern of the 0.00001% are that we'll finally realize that 308 million people are mightier than a few artfully placed ADT signs on a billionaire's lawn. Take it from self-made billionaire and registered Democrat Jeff Greene, who took New York Magazine on a tour of his 55-acre, $36 million Sag Harbor compound, which we could all totally overrun and live on when our rent goes up next month. "You're in Palm Beach, you're in the Hamptons, you think you're so secure," Green says. "Do you really think if you had 50,000 angry people coming across the river, you think you're safe?"
Really, Greene is concerned that those people in "Real America" will finally realize that the way they've been voting for the past 40 years has been against their economic interests.
“There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,” he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,” he says. “At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a Hollande. A Chávez.”
That "bizarre reason" is because every time a member of the middle class picks up a New York Magazine in their dentist's office and reads about Jeff Greene's Sag Harbor estate and Jeff Greene gabbing about the "American Dream," they want to be Jeff Greene. As professor Peter Edelman recently put it, "As long as people in the middle identify more with people on the top than with those on the bottom, we are doomed."
Greene, a former Congressional candidate in Florida, talks with apparent sincerity about giving the middle class a hand and about public school classrooms sharing one computer, but the man seems ultimately concerned that he'll wake up one day to find that he'll be somewhat less rich than he was before. And really, where else are the billionaires gonna go?
“People look at Occupy Wall Street as, This is just a little kind of a disorganized joke,” he said, raising his voice. “If we take another 10 percent of middle-class America’s income, who knows what kind of other social unrest could happen in this country and the changes that could happen to our way of life?”
The choice is clear: engage and inform the electorate to the point that we finally cast out the naked shills for the rich and the false prophets of change and elect sensible leaders who still remember what it's like to bounce a check, or start fighting over who gets the first rides on Jeff Greene's jet skis. We know which one sounds more fun.