One of the principal functions of the economy of the past few years has been to allow people on the lowest rungs of the 1 percent to live like their betters in the 0.1 percent — to provide drivers, cooks, personal assistants, cleaners, butlers, private jets and food delivery at the push of a button to anyone blessed with more wealth than time.
Now such push-button convenience has come to the business of special favors. Billionaires buy up senators and presidents and museum wings and endowed chairs. Single-digit millionaires, aiming to emulate their wealthier peers, engage in smaller but no-less-corrosive forms of graft, perhaps because they have become socialized to easing every hurdle through an app.
Because when you’re rich and you’re surrounded by a sea of not-rich, every problem shares the same solution: Who should I Venmo to fix this thing?