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The June, 2018 issue of Mindful magazine was dedicated to optimism.  One of the articles relates the story of a woman whose cleaning service worker cut his finger on a broken coaster.  Her husband suggested she give the man some money, but said husband protested when the writer went further and called the service the next day to inquire about the man’s cut finger.  Apparently the cut was minor and a band-aid stopped the bleeding.

 

The husband worried that admitting error could bring legal charges, but our author claimed she was “optimistic” that the situation would resolve itself.

 

“Huh?” I wondered, after reading the article.  “These people must live in New York.”  The magazine is also based in New York.  How many regular Americans have cleaning services, I wondered.  Moreover, even if they have maids or help to clean their homes, how many Americans would worry about lawsuits from flesh wounds on index fingers?

 

This got me to thinking about how solipsistic New York is.  In many ways, New York dominates the world.  It is the publishing center, financial center, media center, entertainment center, and the advertising center of the world.  I lived there for two years in the mid-1970s, and there’s a lot to like about it, like the public transportation system.  But after two years, the noise, the dirt, the congestion, and the crowds got to me, so I escaped to the mountains of Colorado and re-captured my sense of balance.

 

Lately, though, I’ve become increasingly aware that New York provincialism has a far deeper impact than most people realize, and it’s not healthy.  These people don’t know where their food comes from or where their garbage goes.  They actually believe the propaganda they put out for the rest of the world to buy, consume, digest, and excrete.

 

It takes a lot of farm to feed a city, but the New York Whines and Gall Street Journal sneer at the rural rednecks who support New Yorker Donald Trump.  The New York Times, especially, seems almost deranged in its attempts to discredit the president and everything he touches, including those idiot evangelicals who are willing to overlook his licentious past and foul mouth.

 

While I also have issues with the president, my issues with New York itself are of longer duration and go far deeper.  New York has played a pivotal role in American history due, in part, to the machinations of the current Broadway hit Hamilton’s protagonist.  The darling of George Washington and of New York, Alexander Hamilton single-handedly did more to set the course of this nation than anyone else, except, perhaps, Benjamin Franklin. 

 

Hamilton was admittedly an Anglophile who hailed from the West Indies, a poor, illegitimate orphan who worked in his teen years for British mercantilist traders, including slave trading.  His trip to the North American continent was financed and subsidized by his employers, who paid for his upkeep in barrels of slave-produced sugar.  He attached himself to George Washington, but was a war agitator and enthusiast even before he left St. Croix.  The only military command he ever held, after badgering Washington for years, was at the battle of Yorktown, in which he demonstrated extraordinary bravery, if his apologist/biographer, author Ron Chernow is to be believed. 

 

Never mind that New York caved to the British three months after the Declaration of Independence was signed, on September 15, 1776, then remained in British hands for the next five years.  Never mind that at the secret Constitutional Convention—which was held on false pretenses—he drove off New York’s other two representatives, then heavily influenced proceedings, ultimately going to enormous effort to get the Constitution ratified. 

 

Hamilton planted the seeds for the thriving blood-sucking plant New York has become, so naturally he would be a hero in the Empire State.

 

It was Hamilton who linked government, the banking industry, and Wall Street in the enduring marriage so-called “capitalism” has become.  After caving to the British, and maintaining an active trade with the Brits during the Revolutionary War, in 1787, the city threatened to secede from the state if it didn’t ratify the Constitution of the newly formed federal government.  As it turned out, New York and Virginia were the last to ratify, thanks, in part to Hamilton’s barrage of anonymous newspaper articles collectively known as “The Federalist Papers.”  Then New York City became the nation’s first capitol.

 

It was Hamilton who pushed the first central bank through Congress, and as the first Treasury Secretary, provided loans via the Bank of New York (which he started) to pay George Washington’s and Congress’ salaries.  The first central bank, the First Bank of the United States, was 20% government and 80% privately owned, with most of the investors being foreigners.  Members of Congress also bought shares.  These two banks’ stocks were the among the first shares traded on the budding New York Stock Exchange and led to the first financial panic in US history, the Panic of 1792, thanks to wild debt-backed stock speculation by Hamilton’s erstwhile friend and Assistant Treasury Secretary, William Duer.   

 

Now we have a case in which the government, banks, and stock market are so inter-dependent that the lines blur.  Tax-deferred pension plans, largely public pension plans, IRAs, and 401(k)s are all invested on Wall Street, providing a major source of funding for fund managers, stock churners, and profiteers to gamble their way to riches on other people’s money. 

 

New York City and Donald Trump deserve each other.  Trump’s attitude is New York’s attitude, and it’s a gamble whether the nation will survive.

 

 

Comments

Flying Junior Added Sep 23, 2018 - 12:46am
I think it's okay to hate Donald Trump.  Is it just me?
Gerrilea Added Sep 23, 2018 - 12:47am
Interesting take on Hamilton's part in our history.  Our nation is a collaboration of ideas.  Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin & Madison.  The history that I know colors a different picture of those men.
 
Hamilton was one of the ghost writers of the Federalist Papers and Jefferson was behind the Anti-Federalist papers.
 
One faction supporting a strong central government while another faction supported decentralization and "self-rule" of each State and it's citizens.
 
Have you ever actually read Hamilton's words?  Federalist #84, written to the People Of New York where he argues AGAINST a Bill of Rights?
 
His fear and warnings are exactly what our nation has become.
 
You lay claim that he forced the ratification of the second treaty we entered into, commonly called the US Constitution. We The People, said we would tentatively agree to said ONLY IF it was amended to include a Bill of Rights. With clarification, NY, Virginia and 7 other States presented ratification documents with the specific orders that the newly created central government would amend said document.
 
While Hamilton lost the argument, I seriously question whether we ultimately lost the war for our freedom.
 
"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given,"
 
Might I strongly suggest you read the historical documents yourself, don't let anyone give you their opinion.  Find out what's in the Annals of Congress and the First Debates in our Congress. You might be surprised to find the history we've been fed isn't what they claim.
 
These issues aside, I must concur on what New York City represents to this nation and the world.  Isn't that why they attacked the Twin Towers?
 
I'm glad to hear that you left this State and found peace once again.  I've lived in Upstate NY my whole life and we know that NYC is not the whole of New York.
 
 
Flying Junior Added Sep 23, 2018 - 12:51am
I have only been to New York for one week in 2003.  Still it seems like kind of a rotten thing to say that New York City deserves the monster or to possibly blame his ascendancy on the greatest city in the world.  Surely he does not represent in any fashion what the Big Apple really stands for.  Entertainment?  He never contributed five minutes.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 23, 2018 - 1:24am
New York, New York. A city so great they had to name it twice. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 23, 2018 - 1:28am
Katharine, west slope or east slope? 
Neil Lock Added Sep 23, 2018 - 3:52am
Katharine: I've only been to New York once, and spent just one full day in the city. But I can appreciate what you say about noise, dirt, congestion and crowds. I don't think I could have lived there for long.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 23, 2018 - 5:08am
I've lived on the border to Harlem/Central park for about 4 weeks in 1982, and the only place I liked was - Harlem. I've gotten there first by mistake, missed some stations due to reading and got off too late. But I was never aggressed even in black bars. They just laughed at my accent and wondered. That's where I met the first blacks in my life. Preparation for Africa LOL
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 6:59am
 
Never forget Hamilton also gave us what would become The New York Post . . . . 
Jeff Jackson Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:36am
Nice article Katherine. I have no desire to go there, but I would like to visit MOMA. As for the rest of it, I am happy they like it, and it is all theirs. I much prefer the more verdant environment.
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 8:24am
Hamilton saw combat in the defense of New York City as a Field Artillery Captain and firing battery commander.  He commanded an Infantry Battalion at Yorktown, after serving as Washington's aid-de-camp.
 
In the 1790s, after he left the position of Secretary of the Treasury under a cloud, he briefly became Inspector General ("IG") of the Army with the rank of Major General and, between Washington's death in 1799 and 1800. he was briefly the Army's ranking officer (although not analogous to Chief of Staff of the Army).
 
Hamilton never served as a 2d or 1st Lieutenant, a Major, a Colonel or a Brigadier General.
 
Hamilton's battery is now D Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, a part of 1st Infantry Division Artillery.  It is the longest serving unit in the Army.   
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 8:27am
The smartest lawyer I know, like Hamilton, is from the USVI.  I always tell her if she doesn't go into politics and resists dueling, she'll continue to have a bright future.  
Dino Manalis Added Sep 23, 2018 - 8:28am
 If you can make it there, New York, you can make it anywhere!  
opher goodwin Added Sep 23, 2018 - 10:03am
FJ - no I think it's OK to despise Trump. That a sign of intelligence and sanity.
opher goodwin Added Sep 23, 2018 - 10:04am
Katharine - thank you for a very interesting article - full of interesting information and views.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 23, 2018 - 11:51am
It's the hub of the infamous bubble. I likewise have no use for it, city or state either one.
 
Hamilton!?  I refuse to accept payment of anything with a ten dollar nil, that rat bastard. Jefferson should have roasted him on a spit
George N Romey Added Sep 23, 2018 - 1:33pm
I lived in NYC for 16 years.  No the city is not full of Wall Street types. Most struggle financially and hate the elites as much as me.  The Founding Fathers were elites.  Even at that they saw the evil "elites" could do.  They understood the human damage that could be waged by bankers, corporations and a MIC (as we know it today).  Of course we've been too stupid to believe all the crap sold to us since 1776.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 23, 2018 - 3:12pm
FJ,
What good does it do to hate Donald Trump?  He is a genius at working a dysfunctional system and is showing it up for what it is.  Donald Trump is a product of the Big Apple, on which he cut his teeth.
 
Gerrilea,
Thanks for your comment.  I have formed my opinion and impressions from lots of divergent reading, and it is nothing like what we have been taught.  I was writing about the Constitution itself, and not about the Bill of Rights.  I might even agree with Hamilton that they were unnecessary, since he managed to do anything he wanted (with Washington's blessing) under the "implied powers" clauses.  Both Hamilton and Washington, and Madison, too, wanted a strong central government that eventually eroded states' autonomy. 
 
My impression of Hamilton was that he was much savvier than those around him, and as Treasury Secretary, he made good use of the Constitution to grab power for the federal government.
 
Jeffry,
West Slope, Telluride.  
 
Neil,
In my two years, I probably saw more of the city than most natives.  People love to visit you when you live there.  Seems I had company every weekend, and my sister lived with me both summers.  Public transportation was so quick and easy that I managed to explore all kinds of nooks and crannies.  
 
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 23, 2018 - 3:51pm
Stone-Eater,
I was never afraid in New York, even travelling on the subways late at night.  I spent some time in Spanish Harlem later, taking an ear acupuncture detox training course in the Bronx, and nobody ever bothered me.
 
I didn't go to bars there, though.
 
John Minehan,
You are absolutely right about Hamilton's role in New York City's defeat to the British.  Chernow says Washington was flailing his riding crop at incompetent officers as the Continental army fled, and Hamilton abandoned heavy artillery.  His actions make me wonder if the allegations about his being a British agent had merit.  
 
Thanks for the correction.  I'd forgotten about that and didn't know the rest.
 
Opher,
People seem to love Trump or hate him.  There's not much middle ground.  I think it's interesting that the stock market is such a driver.  While people are waking up to the banks' role in world affairs, the fact that the stock market has flourished under Trump's administration seems to help him a lot.
 
Burghal,
Indeed he was a genius manipulator.  I think Burr shot him because he'd indicated he would support Burr for President, then changed his mind.  Apparently he hated Burr even more than he hated Thomas Jefferson.  By the time Burr killed him, though, the damage had been done.
 
George,
No, they are not all Wall Street types, but I was shocked at how oblivious New Yorkers were to life outside the city, as though it doesn't exist or doesn't matter.  And because the US is so heavily influenced by the NYC-based media, publishing, entertainment, and advertising, there is the covert assumption that its glitzy facade is somehow normal or desirable.  No, New York does not represent the US, but that's what the world sees, and too many Americans buy into it, too.
 
George N Romey Added Sep 23, 2018 - 4:10pm
Katharine living in Manhattan was often like living in a small town. I’d meet people that thought Chicago was some kind of alien planet.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 23, 2018 - 4:15pm
George,
Yep.  The rest of the world is much more aware of NYC than NYC is of the rest of the world, although it presumes to be "worldly."  That's what I meant by calling it "solipsistic."  
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:31pm
There is a New Yorker cover that sums that up . . . . 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:35pm
John,
Surprisingly, I remember that cover well.  That issue came out when I was living there.
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:35pm
"You are absolutely right about Hamilton's role in New York City's defeat to the British.  Chernow says Washington was flailing his riding crop at incompetent officers as the Continental army fled, and Hamilton abandoned heavy artillery.  His actions make me wonder if the allegations about his being a British agent had merit."
 
Losing guns is frowned upon in Field Artillery circles.  But he did get two of his guns out. 
 
I can't imagine what it must of been like to have become a BC of a firing battery as your first job in the Field Artillery without going to the Artillery School of having been a Battery Officer (XO, FDO or Plt Ldr) as a LT.  .  
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:36pm
Tough gig, but Hamilton did not lack confidence,
Katharine Otto Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:56pm
John,
He was indeed a fascinating character.  I have to admire him, even though I despise what he did.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 23, 2018 - 8:40pm
West Slope, Telluride.  
 
Ah, quite the canyon you've boxed yourself into. Does the main drag still have the unusually pronounced crown in it? Ski the Plunge! 
 
James Travil Added Sep 23, 2018 - 9:09pm
Honestly when I think of New York city I think of the hard working people there, the NYPD, the arts community. Maybe people like Jimmy Fallon of the Tonight Show but not so much Trump. I've heard that, outside Wall Street circles, most New Yorkers don't care for Trump. I'm weird because I'm neutral regarding Trump. New York itself is too tense and stressful for me. I visited it for a few days back in the early 90's
 
And yeah, who has a cleaning service? I'm pretty well off but even I don't have that! I always thought your house had to have wings before you had a maid and a butler. 
Ric Wells Added Sep 23, 2018 - 9:48pm
Katharine, I lived in New York State in many locations for many many many many many  (get it) waaayyyy tooo many years. Been to the city several times and every time couldn't wait to gt out. Although the city is different than upstate politically it is the same in certain respects. Selfish greedy self centered and on and on. Being in the same industry President Trump was for lo tho many decades I certainly know that to be successful in the construction, finance and related businesses you do not succeed being ethical, moral, fair and all the other attributes one needs o succeed in that city and in those industries. One has to sell one's soul to the devil. His egotism is normal for on of that ilk. As far as the founders are concerned the words they put to paper have been lauded as masterpieces but it is the actions that followed that are telling and fall quite short of what was promised to the American people. We have inherited the lies that were purported at the time and are paying dearly for it. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 23, 2018 - 9:50pm
And yeah, who has a cleaning service?
 
My housekeeper and driver have been with me 19 years. Neither residences have wings and one only 100 sq m. 
 
A. Jones Added Sep 23, 2018 - 10:07pm
there’s a lot to like about it, like the public transportation system
 
The public transportation system is precisely what most New Yorkers hate about New York.
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2018 - 10:57pm
"I've heard that, outside Wall Street circles, most New Yorkers don't care for Trump."
 
I don't think the Big Machers on the Street care too much.
 
I've heard mixed things from Contractors, Subs and other Developers.  Some swear by him, some at him.  
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 24, 2018 - 1:50am
Hamilton wasn't so bad. In the days of the Revolution and years afterward, Congress and the federal government were powerless. 
 
Ex-soldiers actually took Congress hostage to get back pay in the years after the Revolution when the country was still under the Articles of Confederation. It was resolved peacefully, partly from Hamilton's persuasiveness.
 
(The Pennsylvania governor refused to protect the Congress even though Congress requested protection. Imagine being a delegate from your state to go off to Congress and getting taken hostage by armed soldiers.)

Hamilton wanted a revenue stream for the new country. The First Bank of the United States gave it that. Soldiers finally got paid. Foreign governments got paid back. The nation had a good credit domestically and overseas (which it needed in a few short years to purchase half of North America from Napoleon with the Louisiana Purchase. 
 
It's not Hamilton's fault, the government and the banks grew to be joined at the hip. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2018 - 1:40pm
Jeffry,
I haven't been back to Telluride since 2003.  When I was last there, you had to have special permits to park.  It had lost its earlier (1970s) spirit and had gone so commercial that I only stayed a few hours.  My old friends had pretty much moved away.
 
I never skied the Plunge.  My skiing career topped out when I hurt my knee on Coonskin.  
 
Not sure what you're referring to about the "unusually pronounced crown" on Main Street.
 
James Travail,
Whether New Yorkers like Trump or not, he is a product of New York and its superior attitude.  Yes, there are lots of hard-working people there and a broad diversity of ethnic enclaves which I liked.  I discovered lots of scrumptious ethnic food, like Brazilian food, for reasonable prices.  
George N Romey Added Sep 24, 2018 - 1:49pm
Remember New York was a very different animal to begin with. All other settlements were Brits in part escaping religious persecution.  They were puritans all the way. On other hand the Dutch settled New York City (or New Amsterdam at the time) because of the money possibility afforded by a great natural port.  The Dutch could have cared less about religion.  They were there to make money and along with it came all the vices.  
 
That spirit remains today.  I was there in the 1990s heydays of the massive clubs.  I can assure you I did many a thing I'd never want my mother to know about.  That used to be our joke in the clubs.  "Thank god my mother isn't here to see this."
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2018 - 1:52pm
Ric,
You've said a mouthful, and it's hard to respond succinctly, because you've touched on so much.  I know very little about the construction industry so will defer to your experience.  I don't understand Trump and what motivates him but he certainly has a way of getting attention, for better or worse.  
 
It's also hard to imagine how things were in the 18th century, but it seems money was as much of a driver then as now, for individuals and governments.  The underlying assumption then and now seems to be that it is right and proper to have a ruling class and social hierarchies. 
 
While Karl Marx blamed class struggle for all human ills, he was no better in advocating for a dictatorship of the proletariat.  Oh, and by the way, Marx wanted a strong central government, central bank, and progressive income tax.  
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2018 - 2:23pm
Jeffry,
Have you lived in Thailand 19 years?  I have never felt comfortable with servants.  Even as an employer, I didn't like having to supervise others.  But I was a good employee.  There's something to be said for not having to make decisions.
 
A. Jones,
I know New Yorkers complain about public transportation and may have more reason for complaining now, but I loved the ability to get just about anywhere in the city without a car.  Cars are a major hassle, according to me, and I wish I didn't need one now.
 
John Minehan,
Yes, very little middle ground, where the Prez is concerned, in New York and around the world.
 
Cullen,
This is a bigger-than-life topic for discussion, because everyone had their reasons for doing what they did.  Washington had promised more than he could deliver, and farmer-soldiers were losing their farms because they had left their farms to fight.  Meanwhile prices had gone up and states were demanding their taxes, and creditors also demanding payment.  That's what Shay's rebellion was all about.  The Constitutional Convention was largely a means for securing taxing power for the federal government, primarily to pay wealthy creditors, many of whom were British.
 
I would have to disagree that it was not Hamilton's "fault."  I believe it was Hamilton's intent from the get go.  Roger Morris, who started the first bank, the Bank of North America and signed both Declaration and Constitution, was his mentor.  Hamilton started the Bank of New York for his brother-in-law in 1784 and arranged to lend the federal government $50,000 from it the day after he was confirmed as Treasury Secretary.  Then he did some fancy footwork to get the first central bank started, after making sure the whiskey tax was in place to provide for perpetual interest on federal debt.  The whiskey tax was a slap in the face to the farmer-soldiers who had fought Washington's war for him, who were using whiskey as barter because they still hadn't been paid for their service.  That led to the Whiskey Rebellion.  Hamilton, who also argued strongly for federal assumption of state debts at the Constitutional Convention, also had emissaries travel through the South and West buying up IOUs and other debt at a discount.  He and his friends (like William Duer) made oodles of money on that scam.  Ultimately, Roger Morris died in debtor's prison, as did William Duer.
Ric Wells Added Sep 24, 2018 - 3:07pm
Katharine, Now you wish to put up or renovate or redo something in New York. You need environmental studies and have to pay off people to get favorable ones. Permitting, extra to expedite, that doesn't mean get permits faster that means just to get your plans looked at then extra to approve, zoning boards, variances, planning boards, union officials must be "pacified" even before contracts are negotiated, city hall, "bent noses", a system of graft greed and corruption up and down the line. For a businessman to be as "successful" as Trump says he is means his books can't be traced. The system of hiding these monies etal is extremely deep seated and deep seeded. When you become part of that system is to become part of that animal. Trying to circumvent the way things are done is to have our project disappear by accident, the workers you hired without the "proper" approvals are either scared off or worse. And in some cases you will end up in the East River. Welcome to New York.
Ric Wells Added Sep 24, 2018 - 3:09pm
By the way Hamilton strove for a strong controlling central government. That was the basis between the feud between Jefferson and Hamilton and put Adams in the middle. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2018 - 3:33pm
Ric,
New York may be the worst example, but other cities, such as Savannah, have certainly learned how to extract the most for the least, and they work it to all the insiders' advantages.  The people are just swept along, passively paying ever higher taxes for ever more government controls and interference.
 
Hamilton, Washington, and Madison were all for a strong central government.  I recently finished a book about Madison and his role in the Constitutional Convention.  John Adams was out of the country so didn't attend or sign the Constitution.   Same with Thomas Jefferson. 
 
Methinks the conspirators eased those two out of the country so they could pull the Convention off in (secret) peace.  I suspect Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had too much integrity for their tastes.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 24, 2018 - 3:47pm
 I suspect Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had too much integrity for their tastes.
 
ya think? :)
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 24, 2018 - 6:57pm
Not sure what you're referring to about the "unusually pronounced crown" on Main Street.
 
The crown of a road is intentionally making the middle of the road higher to facilitate water run off. In Telluride that crown was a couple of feet rather than the normal few inches. 
 
Have you lived in Thailand 19 years? I have never felt comfortable with servants. Even as an employer, I didn't like having to supervise others. 
 
Twenty years here last month. Thai staff can be a challenge but two of my staff have been exceptional. My long-term girlfriend and I are naturists so we've had some new staff adjustment issues at the beach house. Interestingly they get past the nudity pretty quickly but out here at the beach they need training for such subtleties as not scrubbing the non stick coating off the frying pans. My gf has been muttering about country girls for months now. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2018 - 12:29pm
Burghal,
By the standards of the time, yes.  They all seemed to operate under the assumption that they had a god (?) given right to rule over the people.  I know more about Jefferson than Adams.  For one thing, I think he saw through Hamilton.  He opposed the central bank and made sure we had a decimal system for money, even though Congress used the British system for weights and measures.  He inherited his slaves and lived in a time when, first, it was illegal to free them, and later, understood they would be predator bait if put out on their own.  Jefferson, more than Adams, opposed the strong central government.  He drew the particular ire of the British, who burned Monticello but left Mount Vernon alone.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2018 - 12:35pm
Jeffry,
I didn't know about the crown but I can understand why it would be necessary in a place like Telluride, where spring runoff can make streets particularly muddy and impassible.  I wish we had higher crowns here in the swamps of Savannah, where we have major problems with flooding, more lately.
 
Apparently those with servants spend lots of time complaining about them.  A friend from New York, who had some extremely wealthy friends, said when they got together, they all gossiped and complained about their "help."  I've always believed that if I want something done my way, it's easier to do it myself.  Lots of things don't get done at all, but at least they're not done wrong.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 25, 2018 - 12:44pm
I think the sum of Hamilton's life work was a manifestation of a HUGE underlying inferiority complex. I get an image of a man who could at times be bold, but at the root was a very insecure person.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2018 - 2:16pm
Burghal,
Absolutely agreed.  Moreover, I believe he was desperate to be accepted among those he admired, the rich and powerful.  Everything he did suggests he was trying to curry favor in elite circles, and he may have been financially obligated to his mentors, too.  I guess he didn't get rich off his activities but he undoubtedly made lots of other people rich(er), and made sure they would flourish over time.
George N Romey Added Sep 25, 2018 - 3:40pm
Katharine rich people seem to think those lesser to them have it easy. As in I can't understand why it's so difficult to scrub my toilet?  This is endemic to the rich.  Those below you must be dumber, lazier and less motivated than you or they would be as wealthy as you.  Even those born with a silver spoon in their mouth tend to feel that way.
wsucram15 Added Sep 25, 2018 - 6:48pm
Wow..I dont even know where to start with this one.    New York...and Trump.
Now I have family there and in Buffalo, one or two members in upstate New York.  I have been going there most of my life.  Some of the people I know are hard workers and dont have ridiculous amounts of money.   Some others do...and have cleaning people.  It is nice on occasion to have someone come in to assist you when you have more than one property with extraneous things.  Especially if you have GOOD help.  But admittedly, my family with money, made their money the hard way.. so if they have help, its because they are very busy and like a clean house. I dont think my cousin Ruth was ever home when she had the restaurants in the city.
That is a problem though..good help.  I think Trump is having that problem..lol.
None of the people I know in New York..like Trump and I have known them my entire life.  He has been a source of ridicule for years.
 
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2018 - 9:12pm
George,
You probably don't have to be rich to have an attitude.  Lots of people are rude to servants and employees, and possibly everyone else, too.  
 
What strikes me about New Yorkers--certainly not all of them, but a goodly portion--is they believe New York is superior to the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, too many people buy into the shallow values depicted on TV programming and advertising and believe this is desirable.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2018 - 9:17pm
Jeanne,
I don't condemn people for having maids or servants.  My mother had a maid, who was most loyal for many years, more like a friend.  It's just that I've never been comfortable having someone nosing through my stuff and cleaning up after me.  
 
My cleanliness standards leave something to be desired, though.  We all have our priorities.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:05am
Katharine New York is where I cut my teeth on understanding the super, super rich.  Since New York is a vibrant but expensive place to live it naturally attracts those born with as a trust fund baby (for that matter so is Miami, where I live now.) They believe they are superior and special to everyone lower than them and they never quite "get" the connection it was only the birth luck of the drawl they have it so good and so easy.
 
That being said there are a lot of New Yorkers that financially struggle working multiple jobs.  One reason I left is that you couldn't get a good quality of life making anything under $200K a year and I just didn't want to become a working robot slaving for a big paycheck.  Not to mention you are forced to become an asshole and spend most of your day around assholes. 
Ric Wells Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:09pm
Katharine I know from wence you speak. Those of us of the same ilk dub it. THE LIVED IN LOOK. LOL
Katharine Otto Added Sep 26, 2018 - 2:47pm
George,
I guess you've seen both sides of the coin now.  It strikes me as odd that those with the most want the governments or non-profits, or foundations (aka tax shelters) to help those with the least, while profiting from the trickle up factor governments create with costly programs and private contracts, funded through public debt and taxation.  People will tell you that the highest income people pay most of the taxes, but that's a lie.  Everyone pays sales taxes, excise taxes, including tariffs, and license/fee taxes, and anyone who works or employs people pays payroll taxes. 
 
Ric,
Yes, when I reach the "I can't stand it anymore" stage, it's time to bring out broom and cleaning materials, but even then I only clean a little at a time.   
 
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 2:55pm
Katharine we've been led to believe that money doesn't buy happiness.  Well it does, at least in some context. If your born privileged a lot of unpleasant facts will never touch you.  You will never know what its like to have your heart broken because your parents couldn't afford something you wanted.  You have family connections which take away unpleasant experiences like job hunting and working in menial positions.  The list goes on and on.  No surprise they have a distorted and untrue version of reality.
Ric Wells Added Sep 26, 2018 - 2:56pm
There's something to be said for pacing yourself. I do the same thing.
wsucram15 Added Sep 26, 2018 - 5:54pm
But George, with that distorted perception comes extreme expectation of performance, depending on the family I suspect.  I went to school with many kids who had everything, went not only to Europe but places I never heard of, along with top 20 educations.
Now I earned what I got, travel, and a top 20 scholarship.  But those kids I went to school with had a lifestyle to maintain or they would be cut off completely.   Me, I knew I wasnt ready and my family said ok.
Two of my uncles were furious..absolutely furious. One of them never spoke to me again except through his sisters..and all his kids went to very prestigious colleges.  Although the two boys run the golf course now.
But to make your point for you-The other uncle bugged and bribbed me to go to law school for years.  I didnt want to work at his firm with my other cousins.  His son is just a uncool mean guy. His daughter a little better but I dont know how either of them came from my Uncle and Aunt.  You know they both came from a poor family, my aunt from 11 brothers and sisters. My father was the eldest living and he helped put my aunts husband through law school.  They are millionaires but so are their children in their own right.   Just a different class of people.  My Aunt and Uncle are not flashy, except for their home.  My cousins have custom  or designer everything.
I just never wanted that attitude and I promise it is expected among peers and on the other side of my family definitely. I dont mind the wealth, its better to have than not, but the daily grind to maintain that is not for me.  I had my own business and it did well. Its just not for me.
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:37pm
George,
I think Jeanne has expressed it well.  Those rich kids you're referring to lead sheltered and (to me) suffocating lives.  It becomes evident when reading biographies like Titan, about John D. Rockefeller, or House of Morgan, about JP Morgan's family. I don't envy them at all.
 
Ric,
Pacing saves energy.  Think how much more dirt you can get if you wait to do the vacuuming.
Ric Wells Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:40pm
My sentiments exactly. 

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