As usual, the hardest hit group of all has received the least media attention: the preposterously affluent.
Heart wrenching tales of sacrifice abound, from ordering well drinks at restaurants to sitting rear mezzanine at the theater, to selling off underperforming sports franchises and slashing porn site memberships.
And things are likely to get worse.
“$500,000 as the top pay for execs? How about training wheels for my Ferrari?” Bellowed Dale Denarii, a recently toppled Master of the Universe.
He calculates that three kids in private school, plus the phalanx of private tutors each needs cause he and his wife are too busy accumulating to help, can run nearly $200,000, yearly. “And that’s before money spent expunging shoplifting misdemeanors and DWI’s.”
His wife, Linda, has been too distracted to focus on her edible candle business. “One vacation a year will devastate the children. Thank god our beachfront in the Hamptons is secure. I know friends who will be swimming at public beaches this summer. Can you imagine?”
To protect his identity, their youngest child spoke to us through a distortion modulator. “The days of buying your kids into school are long feggin’ gone. With my allowance halved, I can’t bribe a proxy to take the SAT’s for me, much less get the test ahead of time.”
Edward Whiteschew was blindsided by a more intangible obstacle. “I’ve been ostracized for not having lost money with Madoff,” said Ed, who admits to now playing 9 holes instead of 18. He’s lost millions elsewhere, he explains to close friends in Greenwich that he adamantly dislikes, but it’s not the same. “I have several pots to piss in– some are family heirlooms– but I don’t go around waving them at parties.”
Linda Proudfist, a high-end event planner and recreational cocaine user, has seen orders in her industry plummet. “No more A-list talent for bar mitzvahs, which is a pity. In this economy, I could book The Jonas Brothers for less than $50k. But all my Hebrew nizzles aren’t pissing green like they once did.”
One Upper West Side couple requesting anonymity for fear of paying any taxes whatsoever is Mr. and Mrs. Ira Goldsachs. They were forced at year-end to sell a series of Warhol prints. “I thought they were awful they day I bought them,” ranted Ira. “Really. A soup can? But it impressed people, so I left them up.” The lithographs, acquired for $17 million in the 80’s, sold for a paltry $13.5.
“It’s not so much the demotion in tax once recently, after letting one of our drivers go, but with
“It’s not so much the demotion in tax brackets… that’s esoteric, really. But my day to day is no longer the same. I was recently forced to take the subway, we’ve let a few of our drivers go– I mean, I hadn’t been down one of those filth holes in thirty years. Now, with all these stupid automated machines, you basically need a computer degree to get a metro card.”
Fontina, Ida’s quarter-sister, encountered another hurdle. As a board member of multiple charities, she’s responsible for presenting fellowships at black-tie events. “A gown from a name designer can run me between $10 and $15k before alterations. The thought of wearing the same thing at three Galas in one season drains me of all motivation to help. Why fucking bother?”
In a tragic Greek twist of fate, her former CFO spouse suffered a nervous breakdown only to be admitted to the Intensive Care wing he himself donated at Sloan Kettering. “I mentioned the possibility of moving to Brooklyn or Jersey and he starts twitching and gagging and… well, flatulating uncontrollably,” said Fontina. “I felt so bad for him. This was the year he was going to put solar panels on our schooner.”
A survey from the National Center of Urban Bitching & Whining estimates that it takes a Manhattanite roughly $3,147,000 yearly to enjoy the same upper middle-class life as someone earning $50,000 in Austin, Texas.
Real estate mogul, Tina Spinellini-Facaccia, can’t even find solace in her four-year old French Mastiff, Bently. “Between doggie mani/pedi’s, grass-fed beef, and his canine analyst, I’m spending upwards of $75,000 a year. If I cut back at this point, it’s basically cruelty to animals, isn’t it? Um… hypothetical…”
Mats Vyndersburger, Austrian psychotherapist and published dentist, concluded this way. “Everything has been put into perspective. The question now has suddenly become: how do you prove you’re better than someone if you can’t outspend them?”
For many, the answer might be as simple as, having them beaten physically. But how much it will cost, and who is going to pay, remains anyone’s guess.