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19 Oct 2011

Occupy THIS!

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               In times of economic crisis, people are frustrated, tensions are high and chaos often follows. Over the course of our nations history we have seen numerous economic rebellions. Rebellions such as The Boston Tea Party or Shay’s Rebellion are historical examples of when the economy is down people go to extreme measures for change. The condition for protest is just right as jobs are scarce, the economy is suffering and hope is dwindling. However, I don’t agree with many of the protesters down on Wall Street. Yes, Freedom of Speech is our given right, but when innocent hard working men and women who earn their salaries are being badgered for the amount of money they make and even our own NYPD officers are being attacked, well that’s crossing the line.
              There have been many gut wrenching details released about what some CEO’S of major banks did with the bail out money they received from Federal Reserve, most notably AIG and its complete catastrophe. Those incidents are ample reason for protest but that’s not what most of these protesters are protesting about. They’re complaining about lack of jobs and small wages, which obviously justifies being distraught but don’t complain about what other people are making. Nobody has the right to tell someone that they are making to much money and then have the nerve to go say “live comfortably so we can comfortably live.” The amount of income tax upper middle class people pay is already ridiculously high let alone corporate tax rate. The corporate tax rate is 35%, highest in the world. That is why major corporations are outsourcing to other countries because it is way to expensive to run a business here.
              President Obama and arguably most of the protesters involved in “Occupy Wall Street” believe in “spreading the wealth.” Definitely a good concept but by raising taxes and targeting upper middle class to upper classes families isn’t the proper way to do so. Obama classifies a household making $250k as “rich,” therefore, they should have to pay even more in tax because obviously they are able to right? Wrong. How can a set number define what being “rich” is, it is simply preposterous to even consider such a thing. I believe that the income tax rate should be equal across the board. Just because a person or family makes a certain amount of money per year shouldn’t mean they have to pay a greater tax rate. It is a slap in the face to hard working Americans everywhere who have a high paying job.  America was made on grounds of Capitalism. Work hard, work long, be persistent and you will be successful. Our ancestors came over here to have a better life, they came here because of freedom and because they’re potential was limitless. Now its almost as if were saying ok good you made it to where you want to be, you make this much amount of money now give even more back. WHY? One can say todays society has the mentality that everything should be given to them, that they don’t have to work hard to make a lot of money, no instead we’ll just tax the upper class and they’ll support us. If an individual wants to live a modest life with a modest income that’s fine, but don’t make the individual who wants more for his or herself and for his or her family suffer because they strive for more. Our country was not brought up this way and we are going away from our Capitalistic values.
              Wall Street banks and their employees work extremely hard and they deserve every penny they get. Yes, mistakes were made in the past but we cant blame them for that now. Appropriate actions were taken and ethics is now stressed. We should not be complaining about the money certain people make, rather try and make the money they make, if of course that’s what you want.  Standing on a street heckling innocent bankers on the way to work and abusing police officers is not the answer to solving this economic crisis.  No, I say if you want to change your life, if you want to start making good money, work for it. Society as a whole is becoming more and more lazy and it seems as if we are better at pointing our fingers rather than using them. Besides if your reason for protesting Wall Street is lack of jobs I’m afraid you are at the wrong street. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC is where you should be.


Daniel Soares
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