Hi, my name is failedProphet, and I am a one-percenter. I cringe a little, typing that, knowing how pretentious it sounds, but numbers don't lie...it
is what it is. I am, in point of fact, within the top one percent of all Americans in terms of both income and assets. (If its any consolation -- not
that it would be -- I'm very close to the bottom of the one percent). Of course, I have no way of proving this to you, this being an anonymous message
board, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Anyway, it shouldn't be that hard to believe. According to
the ATS admins,
there are 244,808 registered users here as of this writing, so it
shouldn't be so hard to imagine that there is a nonzero number of one-percenters here.
I will try to explain why I support (with some reservations and caveats - see below) the OWS movement, as follows. Before dishing out the hateraide, I
ask people to at least read this post. The main points are bolded, to assist the attention-span-impaired.
First off, I am not a trust-funder, a "limousine liberal," or a guilt-wracked self-hating rich guy.
In fact, I'm a registered Republican and a
supporter of Dr. Ron Paul. I grew up solidly middle-class suburban in the 1970s and 1980s. Dad was a local electrician and mom worked at the grocery
store. Nor am I a "pointy-headed intellectual" - actually, I dropped out of the rather mediocre college I half-heartedly attended after less than a
I made the money I have first in the tech boom, and then later by investing in real estate and getting out at the right moment. I worked hard, to be
sure, and I'd like to think I'm a fairly smart guy, but I ascribe a strong element of luck to my success. First, I had a good tech-related idea and
managed to sell it to a bigger guy for more than it was worth, at the height of the dotcom boom when money was flowing like champagne. If I had tried
to do so only a few years earlier or a few years later, I would have gotten less for it...if anything at all. Second, I took most of those proceeds
and invested them in what turned out to be one of the frothiest real estate markets in America. Again, I benefitted from good timing; if I had gotten
in and out in different years, my story would be very different.
Which brings me to my next major point: I believe that in the casino economy that America has become, luck plays as big a role as "hard work," if
Many one-percenters are lucky they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, while others such as myself may have worked hard, but
benefitted from luck based on timing or location. As I type this, I'm watching a landscaping guy tear up weeds across the street. I have no doubt this
man works as hard or harder than I ever did...but he is not likely to earn a fraction of what I have. So for the anti-OWS who say those who are
impoverished just need to "work harder," I would say the system is broken and distributes rewards unfairly. People are right to feel angry about
Next, let me state: I am not a communist, or a socialist. I staunchly support free market capitalism!
But guess what...What we have today in
America - especially in the financial system - is no longer capitalist!
If you are looking for socialist boogiemen, look no farther than Wall
Street, where the biggest welfare cases in history have been taking your and my tax money and awarding themselves record bonuses. If that isn't
socialism, I don't know what is! Meanwhile real business is being offshored and outsourced at a blistering pace, depriving people of the rich medly of
opporunuity that once defined the American business scene. I'm mad as hell about it...and you should be too! Pinstriped welfare cases are not what
America should be all about!
A popular objection around these parts is the claim that the protestors are really communists in disguise.
Well, I've been to protests in three
cities, and I have not seen more than a handful of people advocating socialism or communism. I see lots of those types in random youtube clips, or on
hysterical blogs or corporate-flunkie MSM news channels, but these people are a minority of what I have seen at the rallies themselves. Instead, I've
seen housewives, vets, and working people, along with the much-maligned students and recent grads who seem to be everyones's favorite punching bags
Respected, well-known conservative ATS member Misoir has a very good thread
this topic. I encourage all naysayers to have a look. Don't take Fox News at face value.
Basically, I don't see people advocating for Communism...I see people concerned about a system that is manifestly broken.
And this bothers me
because I want to live in a society that works, where people can pursue prosperity and comfort in a fair environment.
Your only choices
shouldn't be "be born to a banker or be poor forever." A society where wealth is only available to the few becomes unstable...thus, ultimately,
putting my own prosperity and well-being at risk!
I'm pleased and proud to see Americans waking up. Sure, its a little messy and the message is unfocused. And sure, my support for the movement is not
unqualified...It could spiral out of control, be co-opted, or head down a dark road, like the French Revolution. These are my caveats. -- my
support is seasoned with a healthy dose of skepticism.
But until I see strong evidence of things headed in such a direction, I will welcome a
movement to make things fairer for all Americans...no matter how much money they have.
OK, ATS. I've said my piece. Have at it. I'm going away from the computer for a while, but I will check back later.
edit on 10/17/2011 by FailedProphet because: Poor grammar