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Reading the papers lately I sometimes momentarily feel that I get a hint of a glimpse into the frustration behind the French or Bolshevik revolutions (though I know where my head would end up too).

Today’s New York Times has an article about the accoutrements that accrue to some museum directors: not just good pay but also apartments for free whose rent, paid by the museum, is not taxable, because they invoke some clause that says that, like university presidents, if they are required to live on (“near”) the premises, then their rental doesn’t count as income. Not all museums push this envelope, only the regulatorily edgier ones.

And there’s the constant stream of news about investigations into Congressman and Senators who play the system for money, dodging the rules they oversee. And the letters to the editor who pity the Congressman and Senators being investigated because they say that everyone does it and these few are being scapegoated.

This red fiber of entitlement is so deeply threaded through the fabric that no single law can disentangle and remove it. Probably it was always that way and I’ve just begun to notice it more.

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