Ok, Occupy Wall Streeters, lets see what that would look like. You think the rich are evil and greedy and not paying their “fair share”, is that right? Even though the top 10% pay 70% of all taxes and 47% pay no taxes at all, you feel the “rich” still don’t pay enough. You want the Government to confiscate their wealth and redistribute it, correct? While you may see the gap between the rich and poor to be extreme, let me point out that the richer the country, the richer ALL the citizens. Our poor have a higher standard of living than the middle class of other countries. It seems as if you’d rather all poorer than some richer. Wealth begets wealth.
To give you something to think about while we examine this, if we took all the money in the world and gave each person an equal share, we’d each get about $14,000. Sound good to you?
Ok, if there were no rich, what would America look like? What would we no longer have? No private planes. Big Woop, right? It would also mean no private plane manufactures, no private pilots or flight attendants, no private airports, plane mechanics, etc. No yacht manufacturers, crews or marinas. No couture designers, fashion shows in New York, Paris and Milan, no fashion manufacturers, no knock-off manufacturer because no fashion to knock-off, no designer boutiques. No $600 pairs of shoes or their designers, manufacturers or retail sales. No expensive restaurants, chiefs or maitre d’s, wait staff, kitchen staff, valet parkers (Sizzlers would be all we common folk could afford). No expensive hotels or spas, or their staffs. No “high roller” suites in Las Vegas (what fun would it be to gamble if you couldn’t keep your winnings?). Probably little or no Las Vegas at all…or any of those jobs. No contractors building mansions, no landscapers designing gardens and pools and spas for the mansions. No expensive car manufacturers, dealers, mechanics, etc. No Tiffany or Neiman Marcus or other high end stores or their staffs & manufacturers. No Rodeo Drive. No private chiefs, nannies, housekeepers, maids, butlers, grounds keepers, security staff, chauffeurs, caterers, party planners, personal shoppers. No expensive hairdressers (Supercuts for us). There are literally millions of jobs that would no longer exist if there were no rich people.
Then, or course, there would be no businesses they built or employees they hired for them. And then you also have to realize the 53% of us who do pay taxes would have to pay the taxes they no longer pay.
For some reason you think there is a finite amount of money in the world and if some are rich it’s because they took more than their share and left less for the rest of us. That isn’t true. Everyone in this country, everyone, who is willing to work hard, has the ability to accumulate wealth. You too could work on Wall Street. You too could start a business or invent a new product. Personally, I aspire everyday to be one of the 1% and would be devastated if that opportunity no longer existed…..even if I never get there.
Pretend you invented a recipe for a cake and made them for friends and family. Then people started offering you money to make them one. Then restaurants started ordering them from you. You realize you could sell hundreds or thousands if you could invest some money to hire people and buy or build a commercial kitchen. So you mortgage your house, borrow money from your friends and family and start manufacturing them and selling thousands. Thousands of people want to buy what you are making and you make a million dollars. You just made money out of nothing. Who are you stealing from? You worked for years, until the wee hours, baking in your kitchen. You took a risk, borrowed money and built your business. You paid taxes and employed people who paid taxes. That helps the economy, helps your community and helps the people you employed. Explain to me how that is greedy or evil. Explain to me why any one of the Occupy Wall Street protesters is entitled to what you worked long and hard to earn. And what if your children helped you bake your cakes and build your business and they want to continue the business but you die and the Government sends a bill to your kids for 50% of the value of the business for the “Death Tax”. They would have to sell it or borrow money to keep a business they built. According to you, they don’t deserve to keep what they earned and have already paid taxes on.
I’ve heard some of the things you think the Government should do for you. You think the government should guarantee jobs for everyone with at least a $20.00 an hour minimum wage. How could that happen? The government would have to take over the entire economy and all the businesses. After all, businesses would no longer be in business to make money, they would be in business to provide jobs whether or not they needed them. Right now if you have a union job and they don’t need you, you have to sit in a room and do nothing all day. Sounds like fun. Do you think they could guarantee you the job you want or just a job? If the field you want to work in doesn’t need anymore workers (and the government will decide how many workers are needed for any job) you will have to take a job they need workers for. And what if you are a responsible worker and the people you work with aren’t? How will you feel about getting paid the same thing as your co-workers when you do a better job? Or what if your superior doesn’t like you? Right now if you aren’t happy with your job you can find another. If the government is in charge, that won’t be the case. In China in many towns the entire town works for one company. When a child becomes old enough to work one of their parents can stop working and the child takes over their parent’s job. Doesn’t matter if you want that job or not. That’s it. Once the rights of the individual are replaced by “common good” you become a number not an individual. What you want to do no longer matters.
Why are you mad at Wall Street? Why aren’t you mad at the government? You complain that Wall Street and banks shouldn’t have been bailed out. I agree. Why did they need to be bailed out? Because they were involved in very risky investments, right? Why were they? Because the government told the banks to make sub-prime loans to people who couldn’t afford to buy houses. Banks made the loans because the government guaranteed the loans through Fannie and Freddie. Banks wouldn’t have made the loans if the government hadn’t guaranteed them and Wall Street wouldn’t have had to bundled good loans with bad to minimize their exposure to loss. I’m not a Rhodes Scholar (Bill Clinton is and he signed the bill that created the loans) but I know loaning money to people who most likely won’t be able to pay it back will come back to bite you in the ass at some point. The sub-prime loans resulted in more home buyers which resulted in increases in the prices of homes. That is what caused the housing bubble. It was caused by the “Community Reinvestment Act”. It was Clinton’s bill. So, why are you mad at Wall Street and not the Government?
Republicans are the party of Wall Street, right? Obama is trying to fix it. He passed Dodd/Frank, didn’t he? Do any of you know what is in Dodd/Frank? It actually guarantees more bailouts and they are still making sub-prime loans. Obama may talk against the “Wall Street Fat Cats” but his administration is full of ex-Goldman/Sachs executives. You need to realize 80% of the money Wall Street donated to political campaigns was donated to Democrats. What incentive does Wall Street have to be responsible if the Government promises to bail them out? If you support Obama you support more Wall Street bailouts.
I’ve also heard Occupy Wall Street say student loans should be forgiven. Really? I’ve seen some of the “I am the 99%” postings that say they have $100,000 in student loans but can only get a job that pays $30,000 a year and don’t see how they can ever pay off their loan. Let me ask you this, why did you borrow $100,000 if, in the end, you couldn’t make enough to pay it back? Why is that the bank’s fault? You asked the bank for the loan and they said yes. So now you want the loans forgiven. Where does that leave the rest of us who paid back our student loans? We had to pay them but you don’t? Why?
I have some advice for all of you. Go home, take a shower, cut your hair, cover your tattoos, take out your nose/eyebrow rings, dress nicely and GET A JOB! Any job. It may not be a job you like but you never know who you’ll meet or what door will open if you are working. I’ve had more miserable jobs than I care to think about but one of the worst jobs got me the best job I ever had. The government never paid my bills or fed my children. I’ve never worked for a poor person and neither will you. Stop looking for others to take care of you and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You are adults, act like adults. GROW UP! You have as much chance of becoming one of the 1% as anyone does. GO FOR IT!