price differentials are confusing. Especially if one is applying values to the actual value of things we purchase. The most conspicuous fact about prices is that most are too high for most people. And thereby hangs a charade. The charade is society as it is. Let me suggest that this is neither clever, original nor irrelevant.

You can eat much the same thing in Manhattan where I live for anything from the little pile in the illustration above, to the middle pile, to the mega pile. I am assuming that none of these piles relates to the cuisine of the true plutocrats.

When you have a staff of servants to create your meals your money is someone else's concern -- accountants, that sort of thing.


All I have done is to point out the obvious. The supper I get at Five Guys is multiplied five times at a mid-range establishment and may or may not succeed as a dish at a truly expensive place. Temperamental chefs are part of the cost of being rich. You cannot always depend on the capacity of the chef to reach the level of Five Guys. Apply the same thing to cars or to any product whatsoever and you will find that wiggle room grows as you move toward the stratosphere.

That is how the real world remains stratified. But there is a more confusing reality that lurks beneath all of this.

The world of our taxes and the Pentagon and spending for security and defense--the whole military-industrial kahuna--shows the paralysis of this entire mode of life. In our military-industrial imperial society, we make sure that the money (it is our money, our taxes) is dispensed at the highest of levels with profits guaranteed even when projects go nowhere.


The money that might eliminate poverty and enable universal health care and education is the basis of a Double Bind of massive proportions. We support our empire with the price of drowning out criticism. Criticism is suppressed and diverted to inessentials because we fail to grab the double bind by the hair and shake it roundly.

We could have a leveling policy tomorrow. I would call it a justice policy but I will concede to critics the probability that leveling is indeed a synonym for what would be truly just.

Those who are wealthy are likewise rendered silent. Some of these worthies can see very well what is going on. But they are sitting on inflated stock they cannot sell because they refuse to pay the capital gains tax. Tax policy has many guises but you can generally assume they correspond to the desires of the wealthiest and most militaristic.