A friend sent me a link about 10 Things Wrong With Occupy Wall Street (OWS). It got me thinking so I decided to try to respond to all ten points with my esteemed two cents. (That’s a total of twenty cents for those keeping score.)
Here we go. I will now try to offer my customized and heartfelt rebuttal to the following list of things that are alleged to be “wrong” about OWS.
1. The whole we’re the 99% thing.
The author of the article says that OWS does not represent “the middle class, small business America, or people employed by corporate America.” Who said that is supposed to be who they are? By definition, if they claim to be the “99%” then that means they are not the 1%. And who is the 1%? It might just be me, but I think they mean the richest one-percent of Americans.
Who is the 1% if we look at it based on income?
In 2009, it took just $343,927 to join that elite group [of one-percenters], according to newly released statistics from the Internal Revenue Service.
Source: CNN Money
That’s so one-percent I don’t even think I’ve ever even met anyone in that group. I’d hazard a guess that includes most corporation CEOs, at least those in Fortune 500 companies.
If you make less than $344 super clams a year then you’re in the elite group known as the 99 percent. Also, if you’re in the bottom one-percent of that group then you’re known as a “99-percenter bottom dweller.” If you’re in that group all I have to say is, “Howdy, neighbor.”
2. Confusing targets.
I don’t think the target of OWS is confusing at all. I think the target is the system that results in the division of wealth and power in our society. It’s a belief that a gap that is too large has detrimental consequences for us all. When the gap is too large it weakens our society. (That’s just a pet theory of mine.)
Is a growing gap in wealth and power really the best thing for our country, or is that a line of bullshit that we’ve all been fed? For three or four decades now we’ve tried the “trickle down” approach of stimulating investment by easing taxes on the rich and where has it gotten us? An ever-growing wealth gap, high unemployment, an economic recession, a banking crisis, and a diminished middle class. I’m satisfied the trickle-down approach is dead wrong.
3. We need more legislation and regulation.
You want to come face to face with The Evil? See a human being and/or a for-profit company and/or a greedy corporation and see what actions they think are acceptable in the absence of regulation. When I hear folks say they are against regulation, what my filter bubble sends to my brain is, “We want impunity to do what we want and destroy and make others pay for it so we can have more of the green. And we shouldn’t have to pay for any of the destruction we cause. We don’t need to be regulated.”
Besides, I’m not sure legislation and regulation is what OWS wants at all. What they want is a change in the status quo. They want a system with more equity. The trick is figuring out how to get there.
4. Who’s to blame?
Do you have to assess blame to be desirous of change?
5. We don’t want to flip burgers.
Like Judge Smalls says famously in the movie Caddyshack, “Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too!” It’s easy to point a critical finger at someone who doesn’t want to flip burgers. The question remains, though, if there aren’t enough “middle class” jobs out there, someone has to work minimum wage jobs, and what is society supposed to do with those people? Are they simply supposed to exist and subsist until they keel over dead with no health insurance and limited access to care? I think the OWS movement wants to know what’s going to happen to people like my little buddy Mediocre Fred.
6. Corporate America and CEO pay.
Yes, it is out of whack. It may not be all CEOs but it is enough, especially when you compare something like $5 million to make Netflix suck with a minimum wage employee bringing home $16,500. I don’t know how you slice it to say that this guy is worth a fucking 300 times more than that guy.
7. The rich don’t pay their fair share.
Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard some variation of the statistic about the 1% paying 38% of taxes. That factoid, in and of itself, doesn’t mean anything. That isn’t some kind of proof that the system is hella good and things are fine and dandy. You need to bring more than that tired argument, at least if you want to take buying power and things like food, shelter and clothing from more of the 99%.
8. President Obama using the movement to promote his reelection campaign.
How does a politician doing what politicians do have anything to do with what OWS has right or wrong. I think the author is off base on this one.
9. The big banks aren’t actually on Wall Street.
Eh? Really? The author goes after a nitpicky technicality here? I think he better revise his top 10 list down to nine. He’s more than weak on this point.
10. We’re disgusted with both political parties.
Here I think the author was just groping for something – anything! – to complete his top 10 schtick. He admits that OWS is right on this score but that they were late to the party. So this actually isn’t anything wrong with OWS. Hopefully the author will re-title his piece a “Top 8 List.”