This week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine offers up a long, sumptuous feature about high-end private jets. It’s great fun if you like to ogle the perks of the top 0.0001 percent. You almost expect to hear the theme song of that gaudy old TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous playing the background while you read along. It really is airplane porn.
The story focuses on the premier private jet broker based on London, Steve Vardano, since no owners or buyers of such planes wanted to be identified in the story (except for Tony Robbins). But I played a hunch and decided to look at the comments from Times readers. And I was not disappointed in my expectations. A very high number of the comments expressed open hatred and resentment at the wealthy who procure such travel for themselves. Samples:
I would like a copy of Mr. Vardano’s client list. It will facilitate the Second French Revolution and its public executions. . .
We should ALL be aware who these .00000001% people are. They control our future, and we need to have the pitchforks ready. . .
These people make me sick. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Lest we forget, all wealth is built on the back of labor. . .
Stories like this make me long for a 21st century Bastille Day moment. . .
This brings to mind the French Revolution when the balance of wealth was in need of bloody adjustment. . .
Articles like this make me want to go to war. . .
I can’t even read this. The photo and headline are enough. Have none of these people studied history? Read about the French revolution, among many others? Inequality like this is not sustainable. . .
Funny how so many commenters long to repeat a history that ended in mass bloodshed and tyranny. But don’t forget climate change!
In the midst of (1) a terrible climate crisis triggered by human combustion of fossil fuels, and (2) the endless feting of the obscenely wealthy, most recently through a tax overhaul paid for by those least able to afford it…. the NYT is waxing lyrical about the .ooo1 percent purchasing jets? At a slick customized storefront in London staffed by a silver fox?! What is wrong with you?Such luxury aircraft leave a huge carbon footprint, which everybody rich and poor have a share in.
Such luxury aircraft leave a huge carbon footprint, which everybody rich and poor have a share in. . .
Private planes like this show their owners to be predators of the environment, willing to waste untold gallons of jet fuel for their private convenience. . .
Such an enormous weight of airborne luxury must leave a very heavy carbon footprint, that we will all ultimately get our free share in. . .
All of this should be illegal. The carbon footprint of private jets is dinosauric. . .
By the way, I just figured out how to get my own private jet. I’m going to invest in pitchfork futures:
After reading this well written and fascinating article, I realized my best opportunity to join the ranks of uber-wealthy private jet owners is to open an online store selling pitchforks. Mr. Varsano, I’ll drop by next week. . .
Capitalist pornography courtesy of the Grey Lady. Now where did I put my pitchfork? Looks like I’m going to need it soon. . .
just because you are rich and can afford to spend this kind of money on a flight, doesn’t mean you are smart. i treat this population for any number of psychiatric concerns, and from where i sit, many of them are desperately unhappy. underneath the glitz is sometimes fool’s gold. . .
I’d rather travel by shank’s mare. . .
We should eat the rich. . .
I think I just became a socialist. . .
This is how the machine stays running: the media writes gushing articles about how wonderful it is to be in the 0.0001 percent. The remaining 99.9999 percent of us think “that could be me one day!”, and go buy a lottery ticket while continuing to be complicit in our own exploitation. . .
The best advertisement for redistribution I’ve seen in a long time. . .
thank you for this article; I was worried I wouldn’t vomit until I was hollow today, but this piece made me do it. . .
Does the flight come with pills that make their BM’s smell like roses. The super wealthy will not know what hit them when their reckoning comes. . .
I couldn’t get past the second paragraph. The whole story of “wealth gone mad” is revolting, and it doesn’t go unnoticed that our very own current president is at the center of attention. Absolutely revolting. . .
There’s lots more like this, but this is enough signaled virtue to put every lighthouse in the country in the shade. Here’s one of the few sensible comments:
99.9999 percent of the reason people are concerned about inequality and the wealth of the 0.0001 percent is jealousy and envy, not concern for the poor 0.0001 percent at the other end of the spectrum. Otherwise, you would be spending just as much time reading about the poor. Clearly, ogling the rich is much better than helping the poor.
For the record, I have flown on a private jet twice. It is the crack cocaine of flying.