Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Old Money

It’s ironic to me that Ponce de Leon stumbled onto Florida while searching for the fountain of youth. My experience of the state has been a place where old people get fleeced by a workforce that exists solely for that purpose. Case in point: when my stepgrandmother died years ago, she left a strip of her property to the nice man next door who had looked after her place. Unfortunately, that strip was the driveway, which made it hard to sell the property to anyone but the nice man next door. Meanwhile, her stock certificates had disappeared from her safe deposit box. That history probably predisposed me against Marco Rubio’s speech, and to be evenhanded I now turn to the unseemly relationship between Robert Menendez, the Democratic senator from New Jersey, and Salomon Melgen, a Palm Beach eye-surgeon-cum-venture capitalist, who seems to have done very well by the elderly. Maybe too well, as the government wants to recover $8.9 million it calls fraudulent Medicare billings. Melgen is also the largest contributor to Menendez, the next chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and coincidentally the doctor is trying to secure a contract to supply drug-screening equipment to the Dominican Republic that could pay him $500 million over 20 years. Such investments require flying your important friends to see them on your private jet, and I am happy to report that the senator recently reimbursed the doctor $58,500 for two trips he made in 2010 but had inadvertently forgotten.

Pretty Yende

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