Published May 15, 2023 by Nan Mykel

“Let them eat cake” is the most famous quote attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. As the story goes, it was the queen’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread. Because cake is more expensive than bread, the anecdote has been cited as an example of Marie-Antoinette’s obliviousness to the conditions and daily lives of ordinary people. But did she ever actually utter those words? Probably not.  From <>HOWEVER, obviously the anecdote matched the feelings of many or it would not have trickled down to us.

The quote came to mind when reading about the jazza-ma-tazz of splurges in a number of high-rises, as revealed and commented upon by  The Nation earlier this year:  “Absurdly opulent offices defy the market’s gloom.” …Or would that  be deny  the market’s gloom?

“Take a look inside the most expensive home in the country, a penthouse in New York City’s Central Park Tower that is listed at $250 million.”  While you’re at it you might like a nice purse at $10,200 dollars.  You don’t have to bother with the battle against the homeless in downtown San Francisco or the  attempt by the poor in New York to ban evictions (The Nation, April 2023).  It all depends on where you look, where your attention is drawn, your own backyard.

If you look at the salaries of those lucky enough to have found a job, then the increase per hour might seem encouraging.  On the other hand, if you’re looking at the homeless and others without work and impoverished education who  compete with burgeoning technology,  the situation is alarming/horrifying/sobering/grim.  Free counseling from A.I. will never make up the shortfall.

Does every American have a right to a job?  Since might makes right, it’s questionable in practice.  Certainly the statement is  not popular with most of the wealthy.  The vision, however, is that a federal job guarantee could be transformational for our country.  “The concept is about much more than just providing work and an income for people who are unemployed, as important as that is. A job guarantee will help us rebuild our country, go a long way toward ending economic insecurity, improve mental health, and create a stronger sense of community.  It will create a much healthier and happier America.”  Perhaps you guessed that the words are from Bernie Sanders in The Nation March, 2023.  (Of course, undoing the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling which changed corporations  into people  and permitted the massive buying of elections.  One corporation against Mr. or Mrs. John Q. Public?  Unspeakable and destructive, as we’re seeing and feeling it today.


Gun deaths among American children rose 50 percent between 2019 and 2021, from 1,732 to 2,590, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.  Gun deaths among all Americans rose 23 percent during that period.  Male castration fears continue to rule in most states, at the cost of neighbors’ lives.

In many states will forced childbirth not replace them, population-wise?  Excuse my bitterness.  I’m not sure but I may have homeschooled if my young’uns were school age now.


Why don’t conservatives want children to be upset about the world they live in?  A 63-year old psychology teacher in Florida gave his 11th and 12th grade students an assignment to write their own obituary in order to inspire reflection on how they want to move forward with their lives.  A super idea, in my opinion. Did his assignment result in more mature students able to contribute to our world?  Are you kidding?  He was fired. (The Week April 21, 2023)


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