The OccupyWallStreet movement gained recognition in early September as common citizens, the bourgeoisie of today, protested the continued rise of income and greed that the wealthiest people in the country have come to enjoy. This one percent of the US is represented by corporate America, the epitome of which is found with the six hundred dollar suit-and-tie businessmen in Wall Street in the Lower East Side of NY. The other 99 percent represent the voice of the majority of America, who are fueled with anger by the lack of hand-outs given to them by the government, and abundance of said to the thriving one percent; their experience with the aftermath of all the reckless activities and trouble Wall Street businessmen had gotten themselves into over the years, only to be pulled out with their shoulders dusted off, while the less fortunate had to clean up the mess. Their rage has influenced people in many other regions, initiating an influx of Occupy movements in other regions, such as OccupyAlbany. The movements have also set off a domino effect in implementing other Occupy movements for various other causes.
The problem is that that particular one percent of America also happens to own the country, and therefore decides what information can be shared with the general public. The activists in Wall Street are standing up for those of us who suffer, but are also subject to false accusations, ridicule, humiliation, and misrepresentation. The sad truth is that most people believe the mainstream media conveys the truth, which is not the case. The only thing that can settle the dispute on whether or not the occupiers are in the right or wrong, or the one percent are actually not as villainous as they appear, are stone cold facts.
So what exactly are the facts? Let’s take a look at a recent New York Times article:
The total population of America is about 307 million.
The top .01% of the US make an average of about 31 million dollars a year-these include people like fashion designers [Ralph Lauren] and bank CEOs [Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase]
The top .90$ average about 1.35 million dollars a year, by people such as Vikram Pandit, of Citigroup-yet another banking company.
The top ten percent of the country average about $167,000 yearly-such people are Jay H. Walder, formerly of the MTA, and Raymond Kelly, NYPD police commissioner, who makes over two hundred grand a year.
What does that leave? The bottom ninety percent. Important careers such as school teachers, police officers, sanitation workers-their annual salaries average only $36,000 a year.
These are facts.
Sure, the protestors on Wall Street may have stretched the truth-they present the 90 percent after all, instead of the 99 percent. That still leaves 276,300,000 Americans to be accounted for.
In Wall Street’s defense, they make a good point in that during their golden era, everyone can rejoice. When the business was booming, they claim everyone profited: “we left 35 percent tips at our business dinners.” Representatives say that they run the market, and while it flourished, the economy thrived, but the second it crashes, the government runs around looking for a scapegoat, and its’ eye lands on Wall Street-as do the eyes of the rest of the country. They work their behinds off with no breaks, no pensions, no unions, yet the people disregard all that, the so-called common people with their four month breaks, pensions at the age of fifty, 9-5 jobs.
However, in a rush to victimize themselves, they neglect to mention the benefits they reap from all their hard work. In addition to making big bucks, they save a lot too: for instance, it was discovered that General Electric avoided paying taxes in the last year, and in fact gained a 3.2 BILLION dollar tax benefit.
I feel I am not alone when I say that many of the ninety percent would give up their unions and pensions any day for that kind of benefit.
In a bizarre scenario, let us say that the Occupiers were actually wrong, and they were in fact behaving like angry little kids who had their toys taken away. If we reap the benefits while the top ten percent thrive, where are our benefits now? The economy did collapse, but according to your salaries, it seems like it was simply a bump in the road. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continues to decline, and the average salary in the US decreased by nearly two percent.
Corporations shall prosper at the fate of the common people. We are merely the cogs in an ever running engine controlled by the rich and powerful.