Showing posts with label F. Scott Fitzgerald. Show all posts
Showing posts with label F. Scott Fitzgerald. Show all posts

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Nostalgic Road Trip


I usually post something about our travels.  This one is way overdue as in late September we took a 2,400 mile road trip catching up with old friends and revisiting favorite places, but also experiencing some very delightful times, unique to this trip.

We started out by having a dinner in Savannah with friends who we first met while boating in Connecticut, Suzanne and George, reminiscing about old times and philosophical discussions about the randomness of life which brought us to Florida and they to Savannah.  In spite of changes, health challenges we’ve managed to stay in touch and to be emotionally close.

This was an overnight stop on the way to our initial destination, Asheville, NC; staying first at a condo we once rented 15 or 16 years ago in the Asheville Racquet Club.  Very neat and clean, we shopped a little for breakfast stuff as we were very familiar with the whole neighborhood.  But where there was once a cow pasture opposite the condo there are now apartments.  In fact, the entire area south of Asheville has been built up, new neighborhoods and condos galore.  Traffic was a nightmare, although we were there before the peak fall season.

We called our old friends Irene and Pete who live in Flatrock to confirm lunch sometime during the week.  We spent our first Sunday walking all over downtown Asheville, grabbing a bite at Early Girl Cafe, having a cappuccino in our favorite bookstore, Malaprop, and just enjoying a town we had come to love. It’s become even more gentrified on the one hand, with pricey shops, restaurants, and an arts district, but still a destination for a hippie population of young people, reminding me of my days in the East Village of NY.

I’ve always made it a point when we’re in Asheville to buy a hardcover book from Malaprop, usually a signed edition, this time Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte.  The problem with purchasing a signed hardcover with a jacket is trying to keep it in pristine condition, so no notations and careful handling to preserve the cover in its original condition.  It’s the publisher in me that appreciates the physical attributes of a book, but not the book reviewer.  Nonetheless, I’ll have something to say about it as I make my way through it.  So many interruptions now, as I am finally getting things back together after the summer.

One day we took a familiar drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway up into the Pisgah National Forest and enjoyed a delicious luncheon at the Pisgah Inn with breathtaking views.  Everyone who has ever visited us while we rented previous years here, George and Suzanne and our son, Jon, were all treated to the views and food here. 

Vacations often allow us a special treat, like going to the movies!  So one afternoon, we found a nearby theatre, so close in fact; we could have walked there to see the newly released movie, Downton Abbey.  We’ve been stalwart devotees of the series and we totally loved a movie that seemed to tie up some loose ends.  We were in a comfortable condo, so between dinners at some of Asheville’s “hot” restaurants, we ran out for soups, sandwiches and salads sometimes.  We were very “homey”.

Time, time, time, what has it done to us?  We met our friends Irene and Peter for lunch mid week and unfortunately Pete has neuropathy in both feet and can no longer walk without a cane and aid.  Irene thankfully is in good health and had hardly changed.  We picked right up where we left off.  We saw them again our last night in Asheville at a fabulous Greek Restaurant right on the grounds of our hotel, The Golden Fleece in Grovewood Village (more on that site below).

It may seem strange that after our condo stay, we packed up and departed for a nearby hotel which we originally booked when we conjured up this road trip.  But this isn’t just any Hotel.  It is the iconic Grove Park Inn, where we have talked about staying during our other visits to Asheville.  Although it was 9:00AM in the morning when we checked in, luckily they had our room ready for us.  There was a method to our madness as on no other occasion would we show up so early and expect to check in.  No it was because Ann had her heart set on spending the day in their world class Spa and in order to do that, we needed to show up, together and ready to enter the Spa at 10:00AM to purchase the very scarce Spa Day Passes. 

Lucked out again, getting our passes and changing into our suits and with spa robes and slippers met in the pool area.  Nothing electronic is allowed, only a book or magazine and library voices.  We swam in the mineral pools, sat under waterfalls, went outside on a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed an enormous heated pool with jets, lounged on the chaises, enjoyed lobster salads al fresco in front of a roaring fireplace while Ann drank icy Prosecco.  We swam and relaxed and were there the entire day.  By the time we showered, shampooed and dressed, we were totally waterlogged!  Then we rested a bit as our dinner wasn’t until 8:15PM on the magnificent Terrace Restaurant overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountain Range.  Ann had a fantastic piece of Chilean Sea bass cooked to perfection.

The next morning, upon awakening in such an historic and magnificent Hotel, where 10 Presidents going back to Calvin Coolidge have stayed, including Obama, who visited twice in fact, plus thousands of luminaries from famous writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, inventors like Edison, artists, actors, industrialists, athletes  etc., we decided to spend a good part of the day simply exploring the hotel and all the historical artifacts, portraits and photographs, many of the actual excavation and construction of this unusual stone edifice.

In fact, that weekend the Hotel was honoring F. Scott Fitzgerald who occupied rooms 441 and 443 in the original Inn during two summers while his wife Zelda was convalescing in Asheville.  Those rooms were opened to the public, with memorabilia appropriate for those years, imagining how it might have looked, his desk, his bed, but the view out the window and down the hall are of course the same.  Fitzgerald thought he’d pick up enough gossip at the Inn to write a number of short stories, but he mostly lounged and drank.  He even invited “women of the night” to his rooms, while the Inn made an unsuccessful effort to cut off his drinking and even philandering, all to no avail.  Fitzgerald, the charmer, was a generous tipper so the help managed to smuggle in all the gin and other things he wanted.

The next morning, we agreed to experience something very extravagant and special, the Grove Park Inn famous Blue Ridge Breakfast Buffet.  It is almost impossible to describe the cavernous rooms with an enormous variety of breakfast food of every description, including an omelet/waffle station and 15 or 20 heated casseroles containing eggs and meats of every description including a spinach frittata.  There was an enormous array of homemade breads and pastries, southern biscuits, pots of fresh whipped butter and jams and jellies. Tons of gravlax and lox and smoked fish with bagels and all the accoutrements plus of course every hot cereal imaginable as well as an entire area devoted to cold cereals with fresh fruits and a large variety of yogurts and sauces. 

We had a table next to large beautiful windows overlooking the exquisite grounds as well as the omnipresent majestic mountain range.  Our waiter, Stan, an actual Ashevillian, continually refilled our coffee cups every 30 seconds.   Totally self indulgent.  We waddled away.  The best part, we skipped lunch.

Frequently overlooked is one of Asheville's hidden gems, which is adjacent to the Grove Park Inn: Grovewood Village, an historic site which once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries.  Here we spent an entire afternoon touring working artist studios, the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum, a very large gift shop filled with unimaginably beautiful hand crafts from woven goods to jewelry to large pieces of furniture, all hand rendered.  And then there was Asheville’s only antique car museum, which had a wide range of antique cars (although, some, cars of my youth).   We were lucky enough to have a docent lead us around and even admit us into the cavernous building which once, long ago, housed the looming business, not set up for visitors but I appreciated the way it once was, the way it was left. 

Their website explains the fascinating history: “Biltmore Industries, a noteworthy enterprise in the history of American Craft and textiles founded by Edith Vanderbilt and two inspired teachers, Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale.  At the height of its success in the late 1920s – under the direction of Fred Loring Seely – Biltmore Industries had a total of 40 looms in steady operation producing bolts of some of the finest hand-woven wool fabric in the country.  Orders were shipped as far as China and Uruguay, and customers such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, and several U.S. presidents and first ladies.”

At this point, I need to introduce some serendipity.  Ann’s lovely friend, Joyce, has a daughter Terri, who Ann met once briefly.  She, along with husband Bryan, built a contemporary house up a steep mountainside in a little town just on the outskirts of Asheville.  When Joyce heard we were going there for nine days, she told Terri who immediately invited us to dinner.  How awfully nice to have total strangers over for dinner!

Terri is a professional “food stylist” – those lovely pictures you see in gourmet magazines don’t happen by accident.  She is also a French trained cook and she and her husband have lived in Tuscany (did I mention Bryan is fluent in a number of languages?), and her other guests, a gay couple who have a house in walking distance on the same mountain and a condo in downtown Asheville contributed exotic hors d'oeuvres.

It was a long, festive night, with a delicious dinner and homemade chocolate chip cookies to end a perfect meal and when time came to leave, the wisdom of my-forward-thinking when we first arrived paid off.  When we drove up the narrow mountain road and squeezed into their driveway, I thought there is no way I would be able to turn around in the dark to go back down the mountain, unless I back into the driveway while I can still see it.  So, as we emerged into the blackness of the night, I was feeling pretty good about the decision until I realized that one could hardly find the car.  Their neighborhood association has a no light policy at night so those beautiful dark skies squeeze out every drop of starlight and/or moon light, but the moon was not up.  So we carefully made our way to our car until I heard one of our hosts say, “if you hear a sound, it’s probably one of the bears in the area” (seriously).  It was as if we had rockets on our shoes from that moment to get into the car.  Mountain living would appeal to me, but this old salt is shipwrecked at water’s edge.

We left Asheville for an overnight in Cary, NC, near one of my best friends, Ron.  He and Barbara, like Ann and I, come from publishing roots.  Ron and I worked together since 1986 when the company he was working for, Praeger, was acquired by mine, Greenwood Publishing Group.  He and I forged a strong professional and personal bond.  When later he received an offer to run the Naval Institute Press I advised him to take it, knowing full well the loss to us and to me personally not seeing him day to day. Barbara had worked for Oxford University Press and Ann before becoming a Mom in her mid thirties, worked for a division of Academic Press, so we all have a professional life in common as well as similar politics, interest in travel, and let’s not forget food as Barbara made a delicious salmon dinner, our second homemade meal.  It was so welcome to spend a night with good friends, and not at a restaurant.

Ron, like me, was a baseball player as a kid.  And he’s a lefty too, so I promised to bring my mitt which I stuck in the car before we left.  I last threw a baseball with my elderly neighbor (who in the 1950s faced Herb Score in high school, and got a hit!) but it’s been years.  So the questions were a) could these septuagenarians still throw a ball and b) could they do so without having their arms in slings afterwards?  I’ve always wondered watching old timer games, seeing ex MLB pitchers having trouble even getting the ball to home plate from the mound.  Well, Ron and I found we could still bring it.  We probably threw for about 20 minutes, tosses of course, not heat (no heat left), but we felt pretty good about it and the next day nothing hurt.  Now that NY has lost the ALCS, I’m not expecting an immediate call up, but maybe for spring training?

The next morning we left for the Jane Austen Society of North America’s annual conference, this one “200 Years of Northanger Abbey: ‘Real, Solemn History,’” which fittingly took place in our nation’s colonial capital, Williamsburg, VA.  Now in the interests of full disclosure this is one Jane Austen novel I’ve never read (Ann has and it is her least favorite).  But that did not ruin it for us as between the plenary and breakout sessions there was lots of lively talk and presentations from scholars all over the world.  As Jane said “My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”

The conference allowed us to see other old friends, including Betty and her daughter Claudia, both Janites, who drove down from Connecticut.  We shared a dinner on our one free night.  Also, the evening of the ball is always fun, many dressed in their finest costumes of the Regency Period.

The best part was the location.  We wanted to take in Colonial Williamsburg and scheduled two whole days of sightseeing before the Conference officially began.  However, the weather was uncooperative, 98 degrees with a heat index of 107.  Yikes!  Also, our hotel was a couple of miles away from the conference center, and a long walk into town.  There is a bus which circles the area, every ten or fifteen minutes for which we bought a pass. 

How we could have put a visit to Williamsburg on the back burner all these years traveling between Florida and Connecticut is unconscionable, and I tried to make up for that one morning, striking out on my own, by foot and taking in every bit of history I could.

One of my main objectives was to visit the campus of William and Mary the oldest university in the American South and the alma mater of Thomas Jefferson.  It is right at the base of the Duke of Gloucester Street which is the main street.  I walked much of the W&M campus, classes were changing and I walked among the students, so different than when I went to college holding books and notebooks under my arm.  Now, there are just small knapsacks to hold one’s notebook computer or iPad, and snacks.  I guess they looked at me as one of the old professors, or didn’t notice me at all.  That’s ok.  I drank in every bit of architecture and greenery I could, having gone to a city school which had none of those attributes. 

I thought much of my friend Ron, who I had just visited and thrown a ball with.  W&M is his alma mater and it made me feel closer to him on the one hand and wistful on the other as unlike his father who encouraged him to go there, I had a family who just wanted me to go into the army and the Signal Corps to learn photography and then join my father’s photography business.  No, this campus life was never meant to be for me.

As you probably know, this is a pedestrian only area and people in the town are dressed as they would have been in the 18th century, practicing their trades in real time.  We took in the printer and bindery, the courthouse, the wig maker, the weaver, the shoemaker, among other sites.  At the peak of the hottest day we visited their beautiful Art Museum, which is being expanded, showcasing furniture, weapons, silver, ceramics, paintings, toys, & folk art.  They also have a nice little restaurant.

And, needless to say, we had to have a colonial meal at King’s Arms Tavern where Ann had their house specialty, the peanut soup.  This is made from peanut butter and has the consistency of pea soup.  Delicious.

On the streets we saw ministers of the time, and even George and Martha Washington riding by.  Town’s people dressed in 18th century costumes were moving up and down the streets.  One could spend a week here and not see everything.  We will come back, but maybe in the spring, not summer!

So, after five days and nights there we drove home, made an overnight stop for sleep as a 14 hour straight drive with pit stops would have been too much. Finally, home once again and as usual, trying to catch up!




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nostalgic Tour


Once again we are preparing to leave our boat after an abbreviated summer in the Northeast, one that was mostly hot and humid.  This is our thirteenth summer living on our boat and given that time, combined with the countless weekends during the score of summers preceding retirement we spent on board our boats, not to mention vacations during that same time we’ve probably lived almost six years on the water.  Could that be? As I type this, the water is slapping on the hull, a sound we’ve become inured to, but one I will surely miss one day.

A couple of weeks ago our friends, Harry and Susan, visited.  It was a hot day, the wind not exactly right for going out to our mooring, so instead we toured our old homes and haunts in Westport, Weston, and East Norwalk, sandwiched between lunch at our club house and then dinner in Westport (why does everything seem to be centered around food as one ages?).

Our first stop was the home on the Norwalk River where we lived before relocating to Florida.  We had renovated the old cape, adding a master suite to the top floor.  It was certainly Ann's favorite home, and mine for the view and nautical feel, but when the Nor'easters came, so did the river and on several occasions the home was surrounded by water.  As the burden of manning the pumps fell on me, I was not sorry to bid the home goodbye.  The house  has been renovated still again, the guts of it torn apart and even the top floor which we had so meticulously planned and built redone as well, but at least the house was recognizable.

Next stop was the town of Westport. When we arrived there in 1970 it was a quaint town of shops, a movie theatre, a bank, some venerable restaurants, a nice New England feel. It has morphed into an outdoor mall of Brooks Brothers, the Gap, Coach, Crate and Barrel, Talbots, etc.,  those stores replacing Klein’s, the Remarkable Bookstore, Acorn’s Pharmacy, etc. The character of the town has changed; the only remaining stores I recognized being the Westport Pizzeria, and Oscar’s Deli.  That’s it!

From there we went up North Main to Fillow Street which becomes Ford Road, passing the Saugatuck River on the left and the entrance to the Glendinning complex  an office building now occupied by Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world.

The Saugatuck River has a waterfall there and we used to swim in the pond above the waterfall, cool, clear mountain water so refreshing. Now it has been fenced off, another casual freedom lost.  Turning onto Sipperly's Hill Road, where we had first rented a small chauffeur's cottage on a nine acre estate (now parceled off with huge homes built on the property), we arrived at our first home on Rabbit Hill Road.

The house we bought in 1972 was set on two acres bordering a pine forest.  Over the last 40 years  the subsequent owners have rebuilt parts of it, adding a small second story, although the footprint has not  changed that much.  We drove up the narrow driveway, feeling a little ill at ease doing that, and sure enough someone came out of the house and got into her car and proceeded down the driveway.  We had to back out.  We rolled down the window and said we used to live there forty years ago and, remarkably, she invited us in.  She had bought the house in 1992. 

It is still a modest home, and some of what we did to the house remains, such as adding a small dining room off the tiny kitchen, but the bookshelves I built around the fireplace are gone, although the fireplace and mantel still stand.  The original detached one car garage remains, probably built when the house went up in 1925, just large enough for a model T! Outside the house the new owners cut back part of the pine forest and they now have a beautiful expansive lawn before the forest begins.  Actually, it is no longer a forest as one can see other new houses beyond.  When we lived there, Rabbit Hill itself – the subject of the Robert Lawson children’s book -- was indeed an uninhabited hill except for the few small homes clustered around the entry road.

From there, we drove up Weston Road to the home we lived in for twenty five years near Weston Center.  Ridge Road / Lane, was almost unrecognizable, many of the old homes torn down or lots sold off to build huge homes, the size of which astounds me.

We bought our Weston home in 1975, a small ranch, which we added onto, but retaining the character of the home.  Our old home is now gone and a “McMansion” has been built in its place.  Although it sits well on the property in the front, the back of this “palace” is almost on the road, its towers and turrets in one’s face and – I thought -- inappropriate for the sylvan nature of the setting.  Sad to see.

So the day was one of nostalgia, and now there is another sense of melancholy as our summer on the boat is winding down and soon we'll be flying to Copenhagen to meet a ship that will be returning to NYC via the northern Atlantic route, with multiple stops in Norway, Ireland, Scotland, and stops as well in Iceland and Greenland.  Ann has organized tours at each port and I hope to post some interesting photographs and a narrative of our trip sometime in October.

I’m loading up a few novels to read, but meanwhile I’m trying to finish Blake Bailey’s massive biography of Richard Yates, A Tragic Honesty, probably the best literary biography I’ve read since Carol Sklenicka's biography, Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life  It is a breathtakingly detailed biography of a much under-appreciated artist, Richard Yates.

Until reading Bailey’s account, I was never fully aware of the extremely biographical nature of Yates’ fiction. His characters are from his life experiences.  And I never fully realized the extent of his asceticism, an anti-materialism that manifested itself in the most austere living conditions, almost a stereotype of the dark, brooding artist.  (One of his apartments was a seven story walk-up on 26th Street, off of 5th Avenue in NYC.  Bailey describes it as “a long studio with a few random sticks of furniture – an orange sofa bed where he slept, a wobbly table in the narrow sit-down kitchen, two or three chairs and a desk by the plaid-curtained window; also he installed a bookshelf where he mostly kept the work of friends and students, as well as a handful of novels he couldn’t do without.”)  Cockroaches frequently were his companions in these run-down apartments.

His self-destructive alcoholism (which naturally he denied), his militant, compulsive smoking (4 packs a day, even after he was diagnosed with TB), and his need to be with a woman who would support him emotionally, is in many ways reminiscent of Raymond Carver’s life, a writer who he apparently met only once.

Yates worshiped the works of Flaubert, Hemingway and then Fitzgerald, always feeling inferior to the latter or any writer who was Ivy-League schooled.   Although Yates taught fiction at the graduate level, he never went to college himself.  Nonetheless, Yates felt he had a lot in common with both Hemingway and Fitzgerald and even tried to emulate the latter in his dress from Brooks Brothers, not to mention living in Paris during his formative years.

Between his bouts with mental illness and compulsive drinking, his marriages, affairs, children, and peripatetic teaching positions, it is a wonder that he wrote such classics as Revolutionary Road and Easter Parade, two of my favorite novels, as well as other novels and short story collections.  He was the writer’s writer, respected by all but loathed for his lifestyle.

I was saddened to see that Bailey quotes what someone said about the edition of Revolutionary Road I had republished, lamenting that it “languishes in a grim (and expensive) hardcover edition published by a reprint house (Greenwood Press).”   This particular edition was reprinted for college libraries and had to be manufactured to the “grim” standards acceptable for library use.  It was not a consumer edition but at least the classic was kept in print.

Perhaps I’ll write more about this superb biography sometime in the future.  I first have to finish it!

In the meantime, we bid adieu to our boat and friends and family in the Northeast as when we return from our cruise we'll begin our drive back to Florida.  Until then……







Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Politics of Entitlement

Mitt Romney calls it the "politics of envy." "The rich are different than you and me" to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, but, let me assure you, contrary to Hemingway's rejoinder, it isn't just because they have more money. There is a sense of entitlement, something one (they) can "talk about in quiet rooms" but never in public because the rabble might grumble. The full quote from Fitzgerald's, The Rich Boy, beautifully tells about this kind of wealth: Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Romney's campaign headquarters, advisors pouring over his tax returns trying to determine if they should be released, and, if so, when, how many, in what detail, and what explanations (spin) should accompany them. Bring on the Madison Avenue types to brand and package his wealth as a sort of "Romney Success Cereal." I am "successful" (i.e. "rich"). Vote for me, and you can be like me with a nice looking Father-Knows-Best family thrown in for good measure!

His tax returns are probably hundreds of pages and there may be multiple returns depending on how he has set up Family Limited Partnerships, etc. They probably reflect some form of tithing as by "Commandment of God" Mormons are expected to pay 10% of their gross income to the church -- including income from trust funds and food stamps (no chance of the latter) to be a member of the church "in good standing" and therefore receive its "blessings."

While religion should not be an issue in this or any election, and I will vote for any candidate I think best suited for the job, no matter what the religion, even (gasp!) an atheist, undoubtedly this is an issue for the American electorate (which would never elect an atheist), and therefore what is revealed in Romney's tax return may have a bearing.

But, mostly, it will be about how his tax handlers may have manipulated the issue of earned vs. unearned income. And this cannot be determined by one year's return. When asked about his intentions to release multiple years' tax returns at a recent Republican "debate" he chortled with his patented disingenuous laugh, "maybe." In fact, every time his wealth comes up as an issue he looks like a deer in the headlights, trying to portray himself as having lived "real streets of America" and having come from modest means (father, president of American Motors, and later Governor of Michigan).

The greater the wealth the greater the opportunity to shift income between "earned" (taxed up to the maximum 35%) to "unearned" (income from investments and in private equity, "the carry" which is taxed at 15%) It was not long ago when those figures were approximately in equilibrium, but the Bush era changed all of that and Wall Street would like to keep it that way. Masters of the Universe, unite! A reasonable measure of economic equality has become a corpse of the American Dream.

This election year is conjuring up the most virulent politics in history, Super PACs having contributed to this, something that should be abolished. Here, in Florida, we are now being besieged by them on the airways, Romney having a presence in political advertising even weeks before. The Republicans would like us to believe that calling to roll back the Bush "temporary" tax cuts is the "politics of envy" and that "class warfare" is actually a tactic in an overarching strategy by Obama to make a "welfare class" dependent on the Federal government and therefore more likely to vote Democrat. Talk about conspiracy theories. Might as bring up the issue of his birth certificate again.

Ironically, if I had to hold my nose and vote for just one of the remaining Republicans, my default candidate would be Romney. But as much as I find wanting in President Obama, he has the right idea when he said "don't compare me to the Almighty; compare me to the alternative."


Jan. 24 Follow-Up: "The" Return was released -- as expected, hundreds of pages but everything legal and above board, an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent. Romney also contributed what would be expected to the Mormon Church, so, on both counts he is absolved of any wrong doing. But if there was ever a clarion call for a more sensible tax code, this is it. I've written repeatedly over the years about the issue of economic inequality and just clicking that label at the bottom of this entry will bring most of them up, so no sense going into great detail.

However, I will say the following fearing this point gets lost in all the rhetoric about what motivates people to work: the Republicans argue that lowering the tax rate for everyone (Gingrich proposes a zero tax rate for capital gains) will magically create jobs, economic growth, and therefore the necessary revenue for the Federal Government to do its job, albeit at a reduced level (with cuts in just about every area of social welfare as everyone would "then" be working). But if their theory is wrong, we will be right back onto the same economic precipice at the end of the Bush Presidency.

Romney says his success was due to "working hard." Did he do so because of an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent? At the end of the Reagan Presidency my effective rate was 33 percent. Did I work "less hard" as president of a publishing company than Romney did in private equity? My mistake was to work for a W-2 rather than for carried interest. This kind of tax code games the system so, indeed, the rich can only get richer while everyone else is mired in economic limbo at best.

Jobs do not "happen" because of the tax code alone. They come from education, a passion for working, jobs being valued by society no matter what they are, entrepreneurial vision, a host of other, more relevant, factors.