On February 5, MLive posted a series of photos detailing Sue Snyder’s birthday cake. For those who aren’t aware, Sue Snyder is the wife of Michigan governor Rick Snyder.
Considering the state’s declining income levels and climbing poverty rates, its crumbling schools and failing infrastructure, not to mention the Flint water crisis, the cake is a grotesque display of luxury and opulence that has many Michigan residents fuming.
According to MLive, it took 30 hours for local cake designer Heather Anne Leavitt to create the cake, which features a bag from Chanel, a box from Tiffany & Co., a diamond necklace, a box from Nordstrom, and a designer handbag bearing the Michael Kors logo.
Leavitt refused to disclose the cost of the cake, saying only that her customers include ‘a lot of high end clients.’
In December, the U.S. Census Bureau released its most recent five year report on the status of Michigan residents.
The data showed that poverty rates increased by nearly 20 percent under the leadership of Governor Rick Snyder. Two-thirds of the Michigan communities saw the number of people living at or below the federal poverty line increase between 2010 and 2014.
Snyder was elected Governor of Michigan in 2010. He was reelected for a second term in 2014.
During the same five year period, the median adjusted household income for Michigan citizens declined by 8.7 percent. Some areas of the state were hit harder than others.
Among the state’s largest cities as counted in the 2010 census, median household income fell 20 percent in Detroit, 8 percent in Grand Rapids, 15 percent in Warren, 11 percent in Sterling Heights and 14 percent in Lansing.
In Ann Arbor, one of the few areas of the state that did not see a decline in median household income, the increase was a whopping 1 percent.
According to the 2010 – 2014 Census data, more than one in six Michigan residents now lives in poverty.
It’s not just the rising poverty rate or declining household incomes that Michigan citizens are struggling with under the leadership of Rick Snyder.
Snyder’s austerity cuts have gutted vital services for the state’s largest cities, including Detroit and Flint.
As if that isn’t bad enough, 100,000 Flint residents have no access to clean, safe water, thanks to decisions made Governor Rick Snyder. In that city, 200 children under the age of six are confirmed to have irreversible lead poisoning. Another 9,000 are awaiting tests.
At least 87 people have been sickened from exposure to waterborne bacteria. Ten of those people died from Legionnaires disease, an illness contracted by breathing in particles of contaminated water.
It is grotesquely inappropriate for the governor and his wife to be dining on cake shaped like shopping bags, designer handbags and diamond jewelry, while the citizens of their state struggle to deal with the real life consequences of Snyder’s destructive austerity policies.
Not since the French revolution has a piece of cake been so symbolic of so many things.
Featured image from MLive