09 Nov Top One Percenters – and the “WTF” Generation
I don’t know who is in charge of making up the generation titles, “Baby Boomers”, “Gen X”, and “Gen Y”, but if the powers that be came to me, your humble narrator, to name the current generation, this Gen-Xer I would have to go with the “WTF generation”. It’s all the kids talk about, “WTF, WTF, WTF”. It is like the world didn’t exist before Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook, the kids these days they just… (what, what was that? Oh… WTF is already an acronym?). Well, let’s move on, shall we?
When the whole OWS (Occupy Wall Street) thingy started it meant exactly jackus squatus to me. I have no problem with people protesting, I believe people should have the right to assemble. And, to be honest, I understand their beef. There is corruption on Wall Street, and those people should be held accountable.
Then they started in on the whole “we are the 99 percent” thing, I started to question their motives. It seemed to me the “hope and change” crowd turned into the “divide and conquer” crowd. The battle lines were clearly drawn to hate the rich. I wanted to know who the 1 percent I was supposed to hate was before being lumped into having these guys represent me. Especially since it seems the few legitimate protesters have been taken over by the drug addicted, rape legitimizing, anarchic, “when it’s okay to shoot “Fascist” Police Officers” left-wing choo-choos.
According to Kay Bell of bankrate.com Top 1 Percent: How Much Do They Earn? in order to be considered a member of the ultra elite/hated 1 percent you need to have a household income of $343,927. Now for the record, I’m DEFINITELY NOT a one percenter. And I don’t hate them, I’m not jealous of them, I’m envious of them. If I could come up with a good idea, work hard, and sell my goods or service and become a one percenter, I would be all over it. In fact if someone is willing to teach me, I’m all ears.
Three-hundred-thousand as a household income, although it is enough zeros to impress my accountant, doesn’t sound like that much money. Pretty much any celebrity, sports figure, anyone mildly famous, and…oh…roughly 44% of New York City residents in 2007 were in the top one percent of earners.
According to Kay Bell, “The 1.4 million Americans in the IRS’ top taxpayer category in 2009 reported nearly 17 percent of all the country’s taxable income. From those filers, the IRS collected $318 billion or almost 37 percent of all the individual taxes paid in 2009”. Obviously the top 1 percent aren’t all Wall Street tycoons. Now, I’m not excusing Wall Street at all, but after listening to some of the complaints it seems to me there is plenty of blame to go around: Congress, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and even the Universities, for those who are complaining about the cost of tuition.
For those complaining there aren’t any jobs, go make one. America is still the land of opportunity. Some five years ago Mark Zuckerberg was a poor college kid, today he is one of the riches men in the world. I’m not saying it’s easy. But if you have time to occupy a little piece of sidewalk for a month, you have time to lay the foundations for something meaningful.
Just for fun, let’s say we take the top 1 percent and we took ALL their money. Taxed every penny. Two things would happen. 1) it wouldn’t change the “parade candy” spending policies of Washington, it would just embolden them to spend more, 2) All you would have done is create a brand new top 1 percent. That is why whipping up the masses to grab their torches and pitchforks toward one group is less then clever. Besides, a mob doesn’t know when to stop. That was the difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution.
So, what should do we do? WTF just get involved. Let your kids, friends, co-workers, spouses, or life-partner-of-the-month know where you stand. WTF you don’t have to “be out there”, to get involved. Oh, and remember WTF is for Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook. Be educated on the facts and then be involved.