R’S story is heartbreaking. But the story of Port Clinton over the last half-century — like the history of America over these decades — is not simply about the collapse of the working class but also about the birth of a new upper class. In the last two decades, just as the traditional economy of Port Clinton was collapsing, wealthy professionals from major cities in the Midwest have flocked to Port Clinton, building elaborate mansions in gated communities along Lake Erie and filling lagoons with their yachts. By 2011, the child poverty rate along the shore in upscale Catawba was only 1 percent, a fraction of the 51 percent rate only a few hundred yards inland. As the once thriving middle class disappeared, adjacent real estate listings in the Port Clinton News Herald advertised near-million-dollar mansions and dilapidated double-wides.
Is this the America most that the top 1% Americans want for their kids? Not at all. So how do we address issues of class?
In recent weeks, Tracy Gary and I sat in convening with those who serve the top .0001% and the talk is about Dynasty and Flourishing Dynastic Families. The talk is about emmigrating to Paradise and how to avoid slipping back ever into the middle class, or going from "shirtsleeves to wealth back to shirtsleeves" in three generations, as if a blue collar made you shamefully inferior to your betters. As if this were Impirial Rome. As if this were France in the time of the Bourbons. As if this were England under King George III.
In our circles, Kim, you will be interested to know, that our Leader of Leaders, spoke of us, sitting in our tribal circle, as Secular Priests to Dynastic Families. A few wept as at a Royal wedding, but none laughed.
This is a mental health and moral health crisis inside the gated communities themselves. As a World Class Fool, I believe the best cure is laughter, as did my Mentor's Mentor, Democritus. Had I had the courage to laugh when addressed as Secular Priest, in the presence of my Fellow Fools, the circle might have burst out laughing too, and these Fools counsel tens upon tens of Billions, whose owners might soon laugh themselves and each other into self recognition. Which in turn might help their family, and the larger society too. I am just joking, of course. Only a Fool would expect laughter to change the world. But what else does a Fool have to offer his Betters?