Hooray! Forbes Magazine – the magazine that celebrates the unbridled greed of the US capitalist class – just came out with this year’s list of the world’s richest people! You’ll be proud to know that, while over 30% of US citizens live at or below the poverty level – that’s over 100 million of your fellow wage-slaves, if you’re doing the math – there are 442 billionaires breathing the same polluted air as the rest of us in the US now! And the total NUMBER of billionaires in the US has actually RISEN in the past year – by a grand total of 27 people! Isn’t it great to be a worker who has lived long enough to see so many of your fellow Americans doing so well?
But that’s not all, fellow debt-peons! Get ready for this: the US still has more billionaires than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! WOO HOO! That’s right, WE’RE STILL NUMBER ONE IN AT LEAST ONE CATEGORY: MOST BILLIONAIRES! That’s billion, with a “B”, baby! This is indeed the greatest country in the world, where anything is possible if you work hard enough for long enough!
And to think that we at the Independent Workers Party of Chicago were – right up until the other day when we ran across this exciting news in the Chicago Tribune – going around talking about dumb shit like the need to overthrow capitalism in order to bring about a more egalitarian society! Egalitarianism shmalitarianism – in just under 500 years the US has gone from having NO billionaires to having 442! Hell, at that rate, in just about a couple of billion years from now we’ll have so many billionaires that no one will ever be homeless or hungry – all you’ll have to do is go down the street and knock on the door of the nearest billionaire and ask for a couple hundred thousand bucks! They’ll immediately give you enough money to pay the rent for the rest of your life. It’ll be awesome! The capitalists are right – capitalism IS evolving into socialism! All we have to do is wait about 2 billion years and every worker will be a millionaire and there’ll be hundreds of thousands of billionaires! (Of course, a gallon of milk will cost $10,000.00, but, hey, only ingrates like we used to be would complain about that).
So capitalism is steadily evolving into socialism! An egalitarian workers paradise will arrive right here in the capitalist US if we just hang on for the next 2 billion years, give or take a couple million! In the meantime, stop bitching about your crappy pay and your lack of health benefits and the cost of living increasing while your pay shrinks and the fact that you can’t even dream of buying a new car. Someone has to make a few sacrifices here and there in order for those hard-working 442 to amass over a billion dollars each – may as well be the 300 million of you! What are you, a playa-hater? Go back to your cold apartment, eat your government cheese and shut up already, you goddamned proto-commies! If you 300 million red-white-and-blue non-billionaires weren’t such a bunch of lazy, no good, drunken bums you’d all be billionaires too, like these hard-working people on Forbes’ list. You have no one to blame for your poverty but yourselves – remember that! Bunch of jealous bastards!
If for some reason you are having trouble paying your bills – most likely because you spent the very generous wages those 442 billionaire owners of the companies you work for give you every week for doing practically nothing on drugs or alcohol – here’s the list of Chicago’s billionaires. Look them up; give them a call, or just drop by their mansions to say hello and ask – nicely – for a hand UP (not a hand OUT – remember that). They all like to give money to the poor through the hundreds of charitable organizations that are constantly giving sumptuous banquets in honor of their God-like philanthropy. They are really a nice bunch of people! Look them up, go to their homes and just go right up and knock on their doors and tell them your story. We’re absolutely certain that they’ll take very good care of you – by calling the police and having you kicked off their fucking property, you no-good peasants! As Mitt Romney said: at least 47% of you aren’t worth the price of the very air you breathe – or words to that effect. Why don’t you go die already? If it wasn’t for your 300 million miserable existences, the US would be up to 443 or even 444 billionaires by now!
There are 17 of your fellow Chicagoans who haven’t spent their entire lives feeling sorry for themselves – they picked themselves up by the bootstraps and went out and made a goddamned billion dollars – just like that! Why haven’t YOU done that? Because you’re all lazy, good-for-nothing peasants who don’t even deserve the crumbs that fall off the billionaire’s tables that’s why! Especially all you non-white people! Oh, we can hear you now, whining: “why aren’t there any non-white people on this list?” Because your ancestors never worked as hard as J. Christopher Reyes’ ancestors, that’s why!
And don’t let’s hear you goddamned commies point out that, of Chicago’s 17 billionaires, 6 have the name of “Pritzker”, and 2 have the name of “Reyes”. They all earned every penny of their hard-inherited money! Goddamned commies! Go back to Russia! The Pritzkers have always been tremendously hardworking people, charitable people; the Reyes’ too – unlike YOUR ancestors! The Pritzkers and Reyes spread that money around… their own families! They take care of their own, like any good family does!
If you ask any of these people nicely enough, they will certainly be happy to pay your rent or at least put you up in one of the hotels or casinos they own. Get off your lazy ass for once and go out and do for yourselves! Before you go around dissing these rich bastards that have amassed billions while you are forced to spend 75% of your monthly income on rent, go to the Pritzkers and ask them for a job, at least! They love their fellow Chicagoans! They can’t sleep at night sometimes, they worry so much about the plight of the 35% of the Chicago population that lives at or below the poverty level. That’s why they give so much to charity – it helps these poor filthy rich people sleep at night!
Here are their names: we aren’t publishing their home addresses for you – you get off your asses and go find their addresses your own damn selves! And if you really need the help and aren’t just one of those fake “poor” people who actually drive a Mercedes-Benzs to your begging “job” every day – any one of these kind people will see to it that you get what you deserve! To help you choose which one of these fine fellow Americans to beg for money to pay your bills or student loans, we asked a well-connected Chicago socialite to provide commentary as to the personal qualities of each of Chicago’s billionaires. Her comments are in parentheses after each philanthropist’s name, job title and company.
1) Ken Griffin – CEO, Citadel (“Richest guy in Chicago, cheapest as well. Try him only if none of the others will come through”).
2) Sam Zell – Owner, Equity Residential REIT – (“Throws money away like a drunken sailor; if you are mediocre Latino baseball player, the sky is the limit”)
3) J. Christopher Reyes – Co-chairman of distributor Reyes Holdings (“Real first name is Ethelbert; in brilliant, headline-making deal in 2008 sold naming rights to first initial to J.C. Penney for a reported $1.75 million; known to give crisp 100 ruble notes from USSR to homeless beggars working expressway off-ramps from back seats of stretch limos. Thinks that’s a joke, apparently. On second thought, try other 16 first.”)
4) Jude Reyes – (“goddamned right there’s a relation, dummy!”) – Co-chairman of distributor Reyes Holdings (“Will not talk to you if you don’t address him as ‘M’lord’ “)
5) Jay Robert Pritzker – Runs private equity firm Pritzker Group (“Very nice guy and always an easy touch for a couple of bucks if you’re down on your luck – especially if you are young, attractive and female.”)
6) Ty Warner – Head of Ty, Inc., maker of stuffed toys (“Loves homeless children! Absolutely hates homeless adults. Bring a street urchin with you for best results.”)
7) Thomas Pritzker – Chairman of Hyatt Hotels (“Very few people know this, but any homeless person who goes to any Hyatt and can prove they’re homeless – bring a letter from your shelter – gets a free room if they have one available – try it! Wonderful humanitarian!”)
8) Neil Bluhm – Casino magnate (“Gives away millions in free food and drinks every year. Homeless families welcome at all his casinos.”)
9) Joe Mansueto – Founder and CEO of financial research firm Morningstar (“Working 24/7 on analysis, cure for poverty, very nice guy, soft touch”)
10) Jean (Gigi) Pritzker – Movie producer & film company owner (“Working on developing film about history of poverty in America, will be hiring 30,000,000 extras for slavery, tenement scenes in next film in naked bid for ‘Best Picture’ Oscar [tm]” )
11) Penny Pritzker – Businesswoman, philanthropist (“One of the geniuses behind scheme to shut down ‘underperforming’ Chicago Public Schools and de-unionize, privatize education in America – Chicago City Council, at Penny’s urging, passed law making it illegal for union members to come within 10,000 feet of her mansions. New law includes controversial proviso that Chicago Teachers Union members caught breaking it can be shot on sight by the Pritzkers’ private security guards”).
12) James Pritzker – CEO of private wealth firm Tawani Enterprises (“Don’t you wish by now that YOUR last name was Pritzker?”)
13) Patrick Ryan – Chairman, CEO of Ryan Specialty Group (“The closest this list comes to having an African-American on it now that Oprah Winfrey is a Californian”).
14) Michael Krasny – Founder, Computer Discount Warehouse (“Gives away free computers to poor if you beg convincingly enough. Bring a starving child with and there’s a very good chance you’ll walk away with a used Alienware laptop”).
15) Eric Lefkofsky – Groupon co-founder and executive chairman (“Move fast if you plan to ask him for money; may be in the next bed over from yours at Pacific Garden Mission by this time next year”)
16) Nicholas Pritzker II – Former head of Hyatt’s new hotel development efforts (“Fired for proposing Hyatt-brand chain of budget SROs for poor; very nice, tips very well, especially if you have large breasts”)
17) David Grainger – Former CEO of W.W. Grainger (“Alleged to have been implicated in scandal in which blood bank blood was used as magenta printer ink in fake HP printer cartridges sold at Grainger. My sources say he reached an out-of-court settlement in which he agreed to perform 10 hours of community service bussing tables at United Fund executive dining room”).