Fat Pets and Fatter Wallets

Posted on February 23, 2011


Now Husband Dan decided to ruin my day by sending me an article from the March/April issue of Mother Jones magazine. This article distracted me from my alarm at learning on TV that there is a Fat Pet Epidemic.  Half of all US cats and dogs are now considered obese. I immediately asked Miracle the Cat for her opinion about this, but she was preoccupied with staring at a blank wall to respond.  So my only recourse was to look at what NHD sent me.

 The article is titled, “How Rich Are the Superrich?”  It provides a handy pictorial chart showing the gross inequities of income in the US, rivaling the best of the banana republics.  The handy pictorials and graphs say it all.

Because of the downslide in the real estate market and my subsequent unawareness that there was a rebound in progress, my income this year might well be in the tiny pale blue, bordering on invisible, balloon at the bottom, the one that has clearly been around way past the end of the party.  All of the guests are long gone, the helium has continued to leak out (probably poisoning the air all around it) and the balloon is starting to make its inexorable sink to the ground.  You don’t want to throw it out because it still reminds you of that happy time, except you realize it’s making you more sad than happy and it keeps sinking down in front of your face when you are at the computer.

I used to live in the red balloon, just above it.  That was a great party, being in the top 10%.  I didn’t care that there were balloons bigger than mine.  My party might not have been held in a mansion, but it was pure luxury for someone whose parents didn’t own a car and who put herself through college.

Then there are the top two balloons.  The top .01% of the population get a huge, almost dayglo tangerine-colored balloon and make an average of $27,342,212 per year, which is exactly equivalent to the Gross National Product of the Kardashian Family.  The second balloon, a sort of happy peachy color, are people who average $3,238,386.

 Under the balloons is a line graph, showing the same income distribution.  If we think of these as heart monitors for patients on TV medical shows, we can clearly see that those with the highest incomes look strong and vibrant.  The rest of us are DOA.

I have a lot of questions about all this.  The first is what do the people who live in the big balloons do with that much money?  It’s tough to buy a country, because the people who own most of them aren’t selling.  Islands are OK, except you never know if the island you buy will be the one that has the Smoke Monster on it or some creepy virus that has been hibernating there since the Ice Age.  You could give the money away, and about 10 people in history have actually done that.  So what happens to the rest of it?

I’ve added up everything anyone could ever spend money on, including maintaining a private zoo and a serious coke habit, and I still come up with an enormous amount of money left over.  I realized I was starting to obsess about this, but I felt like there was all this money around that I couldn’t account for and it was really disturbing to me.

 While I was in turmoil about all of this, and checking how much someone would have spent on all the styles of Christian Louboutin shoes that are made, MTC strolled over, having clearly completed her latest Stare at the Wall Project.  This was a great relief to me, as I could finally stop worrying about rich people and get to the bottom of the Fat Pet Epidemic.

Posted in: humor, life, money, pets