Rich People in the Occupy Movement
So I read this propaganda piece (not-so-cleverly disguised as a news article) that condemned the Occupy Wall Street Movement because *gasp* some of the protestors are either 1%ers themselves or are their college-age children. The article included facts and figures and statistics, some of which might even be accurate, to prove their claim that a fairly good number of the Occupy Movement's members are rich - okay, that's cool, I'll buy that - but then, based on the fact that some of the movement's members are rich, drew an absolutely ridiculous conclusion. Since some of the protestors are themselves rich, the article said, the Occupy Movement is not a middle class movement at all. And since it's not a middle class movement, it is therefore invalid.
Which is like saying that, because some of the people who took part in the Civil Rights Movement were white, the Civil Rights Movement was invalid.
Ridiculous, right? Utterly. So ridiculous it doesn't even merit a counter-argument. Or, for that matter, further comment.
Still, it does bring up the topic of rich people and of their role in movements such as the Occupy Movement. It makes one wonder why some of them choose to get involved (at least why they choose to get involved on the "opposing team"), and what they expect to get out of it. And while I won't pretend I know what their motivations might be, I would imagine they are pretty much the same kinds of motivations other people have: a desire for justice; concern about the widening economic gaps between rich, middle class, and poor; anger about the greed that has caused the current economic crisis; concern about the future of the United States and, therefore, the futures of their children and grandchildren. In other words, there are rich people who possess the wisdom, foresight, and common sense to know that things have got to change if we and our nation are to survive and are to have a prosperous future.
And I for one am grateful for them because, like it or not, wealthy people in our nation (and this is not unique to our nation or to our time in history) have a much greater voice in our media and in our government than the rest of us do. When Warren Buffet says it's shameful that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary does, it makes national and international news and is quoted by the president and other world leaders; if his secretary had said the same thing (and there's a good chance she did), none of us would ever have heard about it.
So I say to the rich people who have been involving themselves in or supporting the Occupy Movement: "Thanks and welcome. It's your America, too."
Hmm. Now that I think about it, I have to admit that article had one thing right: The Occupy Movement really isn't a middle class movement at all.
-Greg, November 2011