Super Rich Take Trees

Strangler fig being transported. Photo: Carmel Brantley (source)

In South Florida and elsewhere, extremely wealthy people have found a new hobby – buying trees they like and bringing them to their homes. For the price of a few hundred thousand dollars, the rich – mostly those in business and finance – can buy a tree from someplace else to plant in their home garden. And if the One Percent want it, they’ll get it. To transport a tree, it takes massive crews of workers, cranes, and flat bed trucks. Sometimes, these rich tree buyers want trees from abroad. In one case, a tree was transported from Tuscany in Italy to Northern California, then sent on a flat bed truck to Beverly Hills – with a hired security escort, of course! Who knows what sort of tree thieves may be lurking around the corner?

This is the sort of insane society we live in – where even as millions of people are in poverty or unemployed, even as millions starve, the rich can spend more money than most people make in a year to move a tree to their property! The rich are able to revel in their wealth to beautify just one of their likely numerous homes, yet hundreds of thousands of people are forced to sleep out on the street because this system can’t provide housing for all.

Capitalism produces insanities that shouldn’t exist in any rational society – but as long as we live in a system dedicated to private profit and the whims of the wealthy rather than human need, those insanities will exist.