Christopher Wool is an artist in the NYC art scene, doing large, black-and-white “drawings” of an abstract nature. I am an artist and a retired art teacher, and I find his work interesting, rather provocative and probably honest, albeit not particularly earth-shaking.

A few months ago, one of his pieces sold for around $7 million. That buyer only kept it two months, selling it recently for more than $64 million. These quick turnovers represent what a French critic called, “The rich finding places to park their money.”

Was it nothing more than a “I can spend more than you” contest of the obscenely rich?

These rich are supposed to be job creators. Yes, they buy yachts, mansions, jewelry and so forth, and a handful of people will benefit. But let’s make an equation whereby the art purchaser’s money allows some family breadwinners to earn $5,000 more a year. How many families would benefit? Answer: 12,800.

Oh dear. I’m hinting at the chasm between the rich and the rest of us. Am I a socialist, one of those guys who wants society to flourish, with people having buying power? Do I want to see a healthy economy where all levels of income can participate? (And pay taxes). Oh dear. Am I talking about “redistribution of wealth,” as in money being earned, spent and circulating in a healthy economy? Am I implying that this would help us recover from the recession and allow us to work seriously at paying down the debt?

Do I simply want the old American Dream? Or should I be embracing today’s grotesque inequity and encouraging us to keep on pushing the conservative, European austerity route that is killing them over there? You tell me.

Abbott Meader, Oakland

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