Occupy Wall Street is becoming an international movement that for some, they will see it as a revolution. I say, Viva la Revolución! There are many opinions as to what the Occupy Wall Street movement actually means, but here is how I see it. Americans are paying too much for the consequences of a corrupt Wall Street and the allegiance to the dollar that controls the elected officials in the U.S. Government. Since Wall Street controls so much of our nations wealth, our elected officials have sold out to only representing the people with money that contribute to their campaigns. By some reports, the top 1% wealthiest Americans control more than 42% of all assets in America and take in 1/4 of ALL income annually in the U.S. This leaves 99% of Americans with little or no voice in how our government controls our economy, while corporate America is able is skip a lot , if not all, of their taxes and it leave 99% also paying for policies that have hurt them and continue to hurt them economically. I am the 99% and everyone I know is the 99%.
I have tried for more than a year to get my member of the House of Representative and two Senator’s offices to listen to my issue. The E.R.I.S.A. law (Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) allows for the mistreatment of clients of insurance companies. The insurance company I am FIGHTING with earned $1,280,000,000 for 2010. That same year the very same insurance company I am FIGHTING to get less than $900/month in disability income insurance payments from, paid it’s retiring Chairman/CEO $110,000,000 in 2010 – plus he also gets a “healthy” pension plan. That amount did include his $18,000,000 executive compensation package for 2009. The ex-Chairman/CEO served those posts for 10 years; I lived and worked with my MS for 8 years before NEEDING the benefits I PAID for then being denied …. like there had been a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and there is a simple fix MS symptoms now. E.R.I.S.A. is a federal law and needs to be changed, but I cannot get any of my elected officials (or their staffs) to give me the time to talk about this. But I sure bet Mr. ex-CEO with a $110 million plus 2010 income for 20o9 would get time and maybe even a personal sit-down with his elected officials!
It takes so much to get the attention of leaders in our government unless you have a fleet of lobbyist or contribute heavily to their campaigns! So, now this movement is beginning to get the attention of many and I hope it still grows stronger. Maybe it will get the attention of the ones that can actually affect change here in the U.S. and the world and make things more fair for the less fortunate. There comes a point when being ignored becomes more of a problem than a temporary solution, now the backlash of being ignored so long may actually make this group of 99% impossible to ignore.
I feel great now there is a movement of people that think like me that says we, the 99%, cannot be ignored. BUT we in the United States are not alone, 951 cities in 82 countries had events planned not only to show support, but to affect change for them as well. If the wealthy were more socially conscious, the 99% would not be so outraged. Let’s be honest, the top 53% of the 99% does not care so much because they feel a little uncomfortable or maybe inconvenienced with this economic downturn, so it is really just us bottom 47% that have gone form discomfort to pain – we are HURTING in this economy! I do not even have guesses for what the numbers for the rest of the world could be, but on October 15, 2010, more than 100,000 gathered in Rome (where sadly things turned violent) and 60,000 people joined demonstrations in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and 20,000 marched through Seville making it 80,000 (or more) total in Spain.
Billionaire George Soros says, “The rich hurt their own long term interests by their opposition to paying more taxes.” While Warren Buffett (also a billionaire) has been saying for a while that the U.S. tax structure is unfair for middle and low income taxpayers and has said he feels he and billionaires like him should pay more in taxes. But such public figures that are also billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have remained quite. How much is enough for these people? They all “give” to charities but they are their own charitable foundations that also provide BIG tax benefits to protect the obscene amounts they do keep for themselves.
What is another reason the less fortunate are so angry? Maybe while so many in the U.S. are losing their homes through foreclosuree we see this numbnuts billionaire, David Tepper who buys a house for $43,500,000 from former Sen./Gov. Jon Corzine. Ok, I admit a billionaire buying an almost $50 million house may not be a big deal, but he bought it to tear it down to build what he wanted on the piece of land in Sagaponack, Long Island, New York. This is why we have little sympathy for their having to tighten their belts to pay more in taxes. Then there is this bonehead that is actually IN Congress, Rep. John Fleming (R) (I do not think I needed to identify him as a Republican) that complains that with $600,000 left after the expenses are paid from $6,300,000 in revenue, it is tough to get by and that after feeding his family he only has $400,000 left!! LOL (I know it is poor taste to add a “LOL” in an article, but I do laugh out loud every time I watch that video of this man that is IN Congress and has this kind of attitude. I will go volunteer for ANYONE that runs against him for re-election! Video is posted below). By this statement he spends $200,000 a year “feeding his family”…. so I would say his family is eating VERY good!
But just as the Occupy Wall Street movement has now expanded so has the reasons. Just as we have arrogant billionaires that say and do stupid things, this is the most extravagant, asininething I have seen. In India, yes the same India as from the movie Slumdog Millionaire comes Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man. He builds a $1,000,000,000 (no I did not add too many zeros…it is 1 billion) high-rise home that is 27 floors tall, over 400,000 square feet, a 168 space parking garage, pools, health club, private movie theater, 3 helipads, and what every home needs – an ice room to escape the heat (infused with man-made snow flurries) and all of this is for his family of 6! To make matters even worse – it is ugly! “None of the top 10 super-rich billionaires of India have given any substantial amount toward any charity or for human welfare the way (Warren) Buffett or (Bill and Melinda) Gates has,” said a recent article in the Hindu newspaper. He better run to one of his helipads if this movement comes to Mumbia, because he lives in a big target for the 99% of India to find him.
Uncle Ben told Peter Parker/Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”. I feel the only responsibility most wealthy today feel is protecting and growing their wealth; where as for the less fortunate are growing tired of protecting their little bit of money and assets FROM being taken by the wealthy. It is going to be interesting to see who proves to use their great power to take responsibility and improve more than their OWN lives with this Occupy Wall Street momentum and improve the world for EVERYONE!!
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