Thursday, July 14, 2011

Those who take the meat from the table

As Brecht said, ruling is too difficult for ordinary men.

This from The Newark Star Ledger's guest blog (h/t Jesse)

Ryan and his companions occupied the table directly across from us, and soon after arriving, they ordered two bottles of the most expensive wine on the menu, a $350 French grand cru Burgundy. At first we joked about it: What could you buy with $700? But thinking a little more about it raised uncomfortable questions about how many hours a person would have to work at different salary levels to earn $700 in a week.


One of Ryan’s dinner companions, economist and hedge fund manager Clifford Asness (whom I did not recognize at the time), shouted that he had ordered the wine (which was true) and that he intended to pay for it. I asked Asness if he was a lobbyist, since members of Congress are not permitted to accept expensive meals and gifts from lobbyists. As it turned out, Asness was not a lobbyist, but as a hedge fund manager, he had access to high-ranking political decision-makers such as Ryan. Being confronted about the wine purchase enraged Asness, who subsequently shouted obscenities at me.

Read the rest here.

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