Friday, April 6, 2007

Warner Warning

Walking by Ty Warner's various sea-front properties in Montecito last week, I witnessed an army of laborers building, renovating, beautifying. An economic apologist might piously point out how many jobs "Ty" is creating, how much money he's pumping into the local economy (though I wonder how much of the reported hundreds of million actually stays in the local economy and how much goes to imported luxuary items and materials). But to me, the significant fact is that so much capital and so much human labor, skilled and unskilled, lower class and lower middle class, is being devoted to the exclusive benefit of rich people.

Consider the Warner properties, not including his multi-lot bluff-top estate, and not including the cost of actual purchase:

  • Biltmore Hotel, recently renovated for a cool $240 million (for 233 rooms). Rooms "start at $550" a night.
  • San Ysidro Ranch, recently renovated for $130 million (for 40 cottages and suites), plus an additional $25 million for the Stonehouse restaurant. Accommodations available for $800-$4,000 a night.
  • Coral Casino, currently undergoing a $35 million renovation. Membership cost unavailable on the Internet.
  • Montecito Country Club, renovation plans in the works, with Jack Nicklaus designing the golf course. Membership, $10,000.
  • Sandpiper Golf Course, $124-$144 for a round of golf.
  • Rancho San Marcos, currently a relative upper-middle-class bargain at $65-$85 for a round of golf, though changes are expected.
Apologists might point to the $1.5 million he donated to the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf or the $40,000 to renovate the path in front of his bluff-top estate. Please! He invests hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps as much as a billion dollars, in properties that benefit exclusively rich people and gives two local donations worth a fraction of 1% of his other local investments, just barely enough to get his highly visible name on a highly visible public building, plus, of course, the aesthetic satisfaction of beatifying the view from his estate (even changing the color of the Sea Center).

Ty Warner epitomizes the worst of contemporary capitalism. He makes a fortune selling frivolous beanie babies to kids and crazed collectors, then invests that fortune in luxurious playpens for the rich and super-rich. His idea of public spirit, his contribution to making the world a better place, begins with personal aesthetics and ends with public relations. The saddest part is that he is typical, more successful than the run-of-the-mill millionaire, but still playing the same game of individual aggrandizement with little or no sense of larger purpose.


Trekking Left said...

There was a great article in the News-Press (back when it was good) saying that SB is turning into a "geriatric ghetto" where the only residents will be rich people and those who serve them.

Queen Whackamole said...

I heard the walls were insulated with homeless beanies... so sad...

Anonymous said...

wow, good post. i concur.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post for the most part. Make known that the only reason he reworked the path behind his estate was to lower the grade, improving his view and solidifying his privacy.

Just a side note. If you are going to put numbers in your posting i.e. donation amounts, make sure they are accurate. The numbers noted are somewhat inaccurate and weaken your point.

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting how to [b]Buy Viagra per pill[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=][b]Buy Viagra per pill[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also you can find on our sites.
Generic [url=]buy generic viagra online in canada[/url] is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b]viagra empty stomach
canadian pharamacy viagra
Viagra Altitude
Viagra Dizziness
tiesto viagra
Viagra Site Erowidorg
viagra rapid tab
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.

Anonymous said...

lost your money at the [url=]casino[/url] ?over 21 and looking where to [url=]buy viagra online[/url]? or even how to buy [url=]adult toys[/url]? well you can try this websites and [url=]buy viagra[/url]. [url=]sildenafil[/url] and [url=]generic viagra[/url] online. you can also buy [url=]viagra[/url] online.
so for [url=]sex toys[/url] and [url=]viagra online[/url] check us ! for great [url=]viagra[/url] deals check us now!

eXTReMe Tracker