Today I am a bit depressed. First, Oakland raided its “Occupy” tent city, resulting in (among other things) critical injury to a two-time Iraq veteran. Then, I started reading more about the so-called 53% movement. (Note: it is not a coincidence that the Occupy protests took weeks to get some real attention from major news networks, but the 53% thing is already getting press. Anything to divide and distract.)
Those identifying as the 53%, which is the supposed number of Americans who pay income tax, are putting the dialogue in terms of Them (hippie freeloaders wanting my money) vs Me/Us (we who work hard and don’t complain and don’t expect special breaks).
It is, in my opinion, a damaging and false divide. It makes me feel physically sick to contemplate it, because it is so, so unnecessary. I truly believe that if we all sat down and talked reasonably, we (the 53% people and the 99% people) would realize that we can be, should be, and must be on the same side.
I am a free-market capitalist libertarian hippie. I’m not a socialist. I’m not a communist. I’m not against business. I’m not against rich people. I’m not against you keeping your money and me keeping mine. I don’t want government handouts. I don’t want or need special breaks. I just want Wall Street to stop getting handouts and special breaks. I want, as Matt Taibbi said in his most recent excellent article, a level playing field for all of us. ALL of us. All 100%. I want our government to end the disgusting and incestuous affair it’s been having with Wall Street for far, far too long.
How is that too much to ask? How?