The Way We Live Now: Tip-top! "Wall Street on Track to Award Record Pay." Meanwhile, we're cutting the pay of non-Wall Streeters in half, and lowering the minimum wage. The rational market at work!

When you wake up in the morning and see a story about how Wall Street is all set to pay its employees $140 billion this year, which is more than ever before, the first thing you do is run check the calendar to make sure that the year you think it is is the year it actually is, because that story could lead one to believe that it is, in fact, a different year than you had suspected. The second thing you do is mentally review whether you took any drugs last night, and if so, how many and what type, and what sorts of hallucinations they could produce, in terms of visualizations of newspaper headlines. The third thing you do is look around your $56.5 million apartment, slap yourself, and say "Goddamn it's good to work on Wall Street!" The fourth thing you do is let yourself out quietly, because you don't actually own that apartment, and your presence there probably has something to do with all the drugs, but you're not sure what.

None of which is meant to obscure the fact that we're finally getting our national priorities back in order. We're keeping regular working-class people in their jobs, but we're finally cutting their outsized pay down to size—more pay cuts than there have been since the Great Depression. And for those workers who pay we can't cut, by law? We're lowering the god damn minimum wage. Take that, fiscal profligacy.

Real Americans appreciate this Thrift Encouragement Initiative, from the private sector. Getting our vast system of class-based income stratification back in order won't be accomplished by lazy government bureaucrats with fancy Harvard degrees; it'll be accomplished by hardworking small businesspersons like Wall Street CEOs taking their fair share. Even you can play a part. Stab your fellow American to prevent them from buying football tickets before you. It'll make you feel better. It'll stimulate the health care and corrections industries. And it'll send a strong signal to Wall Street: We, the lower classes, are "Keeping our eyes on the ball," so to speak. Carry on!
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