The Way We Live Now: Going about this the wrong way. What is this, backwards day, economically speaking? You don't give the working class benefits and outrageous salaries, or bring poverty to the suburbs. Duh. Is it the Walgreens booze?

A shocking and offensive thing we've learned today is that the "movers and shakers" of New York are not closely reading this column and using its analyses and suggestions to guide their decisionmaking processes, because we already mentioned last week in this space a while ago the incontrovertible, forthright declaration that giving benefits to "nannies" and other lowly day laborers is nothing more than faux-populist claptrap, pandering to the lowest common denominator (nannies and other lowly day laborers), who unfortunately still have the vote here in this great country. Now comes the unnerving word that the bill to give workplace protection to these workers has not yet been pulled from the floor and burned, which we take as a personal insult, and one that will not be soon forgotten, particularly when we find out various state legislators are or have been homosexual.

What is next, sending the employees of Wal-Mart to college? Have we lost our commonsensical ability to distinguish good ideas for prestigious people from bad ideas for commoners? A new analysis shows that "Nearly 40 percent of MTA employees making more than $150,000 a year are rank-and-file workers." Do we really want to live in a world where only 60% of our most overpaid employees are soft-bellied management types? Think about it.

For crying out loud, the suburbs of Long Island are infested with poverty, which, yes, adds to the already ample prestige we've accrued for our analytical and predictive powers, but at the cost of defeating the very point of the suburbs. And nothing in America is more valuable than the suburbs, not even our own plaudits, richly deserved though they may be.

Is it any coincidence that all these poor decisions are piling up at exactly the same time that Walgreens started selling booze again? Of course not. When the uppermost tranche of U.S. deciders are not contemplating the provocative and dynamic theories they read here, they are browsing the aisles of Walgreens, hoping to find something intoxicating. Inhalants couldn't hold them forever. This was inevitable. Get out of America while you still can, fellow upper-crusters. Things are about to get ugly.