Doorman: “We would never get a tip from Mr. Koch”

For the last few days we’ve been featuring the saga of David Koch and two PBS films critical of him. The drama around the first film, described here …

David Koch & PBS self-censorship

… got the second film canceled …

How a PBS film about David Koch got another PBS film cancelled

The first film, the one that aired — and which became the source of all the consternation at WNET in New York, where David Koch lives — is called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream.

One of the least consequential scenes in terms of the analysis, but most consequential in terms of its portrait of David Koch the man, is this one. (The film is cued up at the point of the inner scene; replay to see the whole thing.)

Quoting the doorman:

“The cheapest person overall was David Koch. We’d load up his trucks, two vans usually, every weekend for the Hamptons, multiple trips, multiple guys, in and out, in and out, heavy bags — we would never get a tip from Mr. Koch…”

And I hope you caught that social deference — “Mr. Koch.” That by itself — knowing your place — is worth a tip, at least in your father’s U.S. of A.

The part we care about starts at 45:20 and ends at 46:00 (ish) — a really short segment. But man, what an indictment of the mean-spirited hyper-entitled hyper-rich this is.

Our betters, like Pete Peterson’s grandson

I’m reminded of this, a verbal portrait of billionare Social Security–hater (and friend–of–Bill Clinton) Peter G. Peterson’s grandson, via digby (my emphasis):

A Living Argument Against Aristocracy

I confess to being an intermittent fan of Bravo reality shows like Top Chef and Project Runway, so I sometimes tune into the network from time to time and catch one of their other shows.  I happened to see a couple of episodes of a show called NYC Prep when it aired last summer but was so sickened by the loathesome little Lord and Lady Fauntleroys featured in the show that I never watched it again.  The worst one by far was this guy:

Peter Cary “PC” Peterson, 18 years old and a senior at Dwight, is sitting at Philippe on the Upper East Side, talking about the way the world works, based on his extensive experience. “Everything in New York City is about connections,” he explains, his eyes glinting and head lolling back. “It’s who you know and how much money you have. It’s really sad. And I am not saying I’m like that. But that’s what New York is: money and power.”

He is like that, and worse.

I’m a little slow on the uptake, I guess, because I didn’t know that this little jerk is the grandson of Pete Peterson, scourge of the safety net.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a greater argument for an estate tax. A huge one.

My emphasis. A huge one. Here’s the little lad:


Wait until he gets old enough to feed. This class, these people, are what I mean when I say “Our Betters.” Do you doubt that they don’t doubt I’m right?

Tell your Tea Party–voting friends, this is who we all work for. I’m serious; I do this all the time. The right-wing Christian ex-Air Force tile installer I just worked with gets it, because I didn’t talk down to him, but across. They all hate the rich. De-tribalize them, say I.

Mes centimes detribalizées,


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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35 Responses to “Doorman: “We would never get a tip from Mr. Koch””

  1. caphillprof says:

    He’s not old enough to know anything than the entitlement he has.

  2. EdA says:

    Does any of this remind people of any differences in attitude between George Romney and his son Mr. Etch-A-Sketch and between Mr. Etch-A-Sketch and his son Trigger?

  3. lynchie says:

    Or if we had a President and Congress not on the take we could have done like Iceland and put the bank leaders in jail. They had banks forgive mortgage debt and the economy has rebounded. Instead we bailed out the banks and wall street and now want the elderly and poor to share the pain while the rich have multiple houses (some with car elevators). Oh fuck, who cares other than some of the 99%. It makes no difference to state the obvious and state the truth we have zero power to change and the decline continues and no one in Washington cares about unemployment.

  4. karmanot says:

    Welcome to the world of the adjunct professor and the feudal world of academe. :-o

  5. karmanot says:

    My experience with the wealthy is an immediate quid pro quo. The more poor you are the more quid they expect.

  6. karmanot says:

    Apparently you have never had to reach one of these arrogant, entitled little bastards.

  7. Fifi says:

    Or “piss-down-upon-the-proles economics” ?

  8. zorbear says:

    Thank you for sharing that — I loved it!

  9. BeccaM says:

    My biggest problem as an independent consultant is getting clients who will agree that a certain project will take X hours to complete, but who then complain that my hourly rate isn’t just two or three times minimum wage.

    Adjusting for inflation, I have clients who want to pay me — as a consultant with over three decades of experience — less than half the hourly rate I was hired at as a salaried dink straight out of college. And that job actually had a decent benefits package.

    Peon wages for professional work.

    In recent years, it’s been similar to the way it seems to be with rich people: The bigger the company, the greater the likelihood they’ll now be total d-nozzles about paying a fair rate and on time.

  10. Houndentenor says:

    I used to date a caterer. He folded his own business and went to work for a major hotel. His biggest problem as a business person? Rich people who would refuse to pay and then tell him to his face that if he told anyone they’d spread it around that they caught him stealing from him. This happened many times. Who didn’t do this? Professional people (doctors and lawyers). They understand what it means when they don’t get paid and then have to figure out how to make payroll. But the people who inherited money? never thought they should have to pay for anything.

  11. eahopp says:

    Don’t you mean “Tinkle-down Economics?”

  12. BeccaM says:

    And sadly, we can look to these plutocratic bastards’ kids to be even worse.

  13. samizdat says:

    Wow, successful deprogramming. I didn’t think it possible.

  14. Clevelandchick says:

    This 18 year old isn’t bucking his family’s philosophy…if he’s a pampered self absorbed privileged little prick at that age, what do you think he’s going to be like when he’s 50?

  15. Naja pallida says:

    I used to be a farmer, and I made a living fine,
    I had a little stretch of land along the Kansas City line
    But times were hard and though I tried, the money wasn’t there
    And the bankers came and took my land and told me “fair is fair”

    I looked for every kind of job, the answer always no
    “Hire you now?” they’d always laugh, “we just let twenty go!”
    The government, the promised me a measly little sum
    But I’ve got too much pride to end up just another bum.

    And it’s a heave-ho, hi-ho, comin’ down the plains
    Stealin’ wheat and barley and all the other grains
    It’s a ho-hey, hi-hey farmers bar yer doors
    When ya see the Jolly Roger on Topeka’s mighty shores.

    Your post just made me think of The Arrogant Worms – The Last Saskatchewan Pirate. You can listen to the actual song on YouTube. :)

  16. I call it “Trustfund Baby Protection Act” to tax estates at 90% above $20 million. To protect us AGAINST those assholes.

    Is there any conservative spoiled brat that ended up less harmful than his Dad?

  17. Indigo says:

    The little lad dresses like a preppy gone punk vampire.

  18. nicho says:

    And countries without strong central banks are doing so swimmingly well — Somalia comes to mind. I suppose we could do away with the Fed and then we could all survive by piracy — although that might be a little hard for people in Kansas.

  19. Naja pallida says:

    How dare you mock the Gospel of Ron Paul!

  20. nicho says:

    The feeling of entitlement starts very very young.

  21. nicho says:

    Please explain exactly how that works. Otherwise, you’re just repeating crap you read in the Libertarian Gazette.

  22. caphillprof says:

    I was with you until you picked on an 18-year-old. Go after the grandfather or the father and wait till junior is grown up.

  23. keirmeister says:

    It always amazes me how easily us regular folk fall for the same crap century after century: The rich and powerful throw red meat at “the masses,” hoping they will tear each other apart fighting for the scraps.

    The regular folk become so preoccupied attacking each other over purposefully limited resources and problems manufactured by the rich that they don’t realize who the real culprits are. Instead they blame each other…or a convenient outsider – someone the powerful put before them as something to fear and/or loathe.

    This cycle happens so often, and so successfully, that I’m inches away from believing there’s a formula that’s being used.

  24. dcinsider says:

    He seems like a nice boy.

  25. Zorba says:

    Exactly, Becc. Way too many of them are Leona Helmsley (remember her?). Or worse. :-(
    Privileged people with feelings of entitlement who are spoiled and lack any sense of empathy.

  26. BeccaM says:

    Waaaay back in my dinosaur days, I once had a job working for a pool company. They did installations, maintenance, repairs, you name it. Mostly I was office help, but occasionally we’d be shorthanded and I never shied away from hard work, so I was sometimes sent out to help.

    The WORST customers were the wealthiest ones. In my day, sometimes a middle class family would save their money and have an in-ground pool put in, and these folks are almost always kind and decent and would have realistic expectations. If I happened to be out helping the crew, these are the ones who’d make a tray of ice-cold lemonade and bring it out to the workers.

    The richer they were, the less likely they were to be reasonable. Or to care that it isn’t easy excavating a deep hole in rocky soil without disturbing flower beds that were installed right up next to the construction site. Or listen when we told them that the polymerized concrete needed a week to set up before filling the pool with water — and then complain bitterly when, as expected, the pool sprang leaks a month later, because the customer simply could NOT put off a pool party they wanted to throw.

    The common thread, I think, was the lack of empathy. A working-class or middle class family would still have it. They’d see these crews busting their humps to do a good job and empathize. Same thing with folks in the service industries. From my waitressing days, I knew that my best tips never came from people wearing expensive clothes, but from regular folks.

  27. BeccaM says:

    I’d add “and that expression on his face as well.”

  28. BeccaM says:

    No. How about instead we start with ‘Trickle-down Economics’ and the return to Robber Baron tax & deregulation policies.

    The Fed is just the tail and it’s not the one responsible for the wagging.

  29. Zorba says:

    Hahahahahahahaha! Thank you, NP. Very good.

  30. Naja pallida says:

    Because we all know, there was no income inequality before we had a Federal Reserve system.

  31. This reminds me of that article in the NY Times a while back about how all the rich foreigners that are buying up property in Manhattan rarely use it so the buildings sit mostly vacant and the doormen, etc. don’t get xmas bonuses or any other tips because the rich people come use it one week a year and then leave.

  32. guest1 says:

    Income inequality is very much related to Federal reserve activity

  33. nicho says:

    What makes me sad are the working-class kids who spend half their salary on overpriced clothes trying to look like him.

  34. samizdat says:

    Man, every piece of clothing this little turd is wearing screams ‘douchenozzle’.

  35. BrianG says:

    I show my working class friends from Illinois who became Tea Partiers the website Rich Kids of Instagram to make my point. After a dozen times they come to realize there is a class war going on and so called “welfare queens” aren’t the cause.

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