A Single Receipt as a Metaphor for Global Capitalism

receipt 47k

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich spent $47,221 for lunch at the New York restaurant Nello’s on the afternoon of 30 October 2009. This was not a large party; this was a meal for just six people.

He then added an a $5,000 tip, in addition to the $7,328 gratuity. In all, he spent $52,221.09.

“Entrepreneurs” spend more money than the vast majority of people the world make in a year on a single lunch while every 3.6 seconds a person dies of starvation—usually a child under the age of 5.

And yet, instead of pointing out this inhumane incongruence, the Western corporate media lauds these “job-creators” for their obscene spending.

The bourgeois Washington Post writes

Is this shocking and abhorrent at a time when so many in the U.S. are losing their homes and jobs?

That is one way to look at it.

Another way is to thank him for being a one-man stimulus package. Beyond the lunch, I’m sure the Abramovich visit included plenty of shopping, hotels, drivers, nightclubs, and (perhaps) artwork at this week’s big auction nights.

This is the abhorrent absurdity and pusillanimity of the Western intelligentsia. They applaud the lavish spending of plutocrats as “stimulus packages”—without ever questioning where that stimulus money is going (into the hands of fellow rich people who own the restaurants and extravagant stores at which they shop), yet alone why a single person has such enormous wealth in the first place—while almost 1/2 of the world, 2.8 billion people, live on less than $2 per day (and roughly 1/5th of the world, 1.2 billion people, live on less than $1 per day).

Businessmen spend $35,000 on wine for lunch for six people while approximately 18,000 children die every day from hunger and malnutrition (completely preventable maladies) and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs, and the US commentariat shamelessly applaud them for it.

This is what global capitalism looks like. This is the kind of depravity it engenders.