Here I am, up late for me. I have my headphones on. I have to tell you, they’re Bose and OMG I love them, yes I do, they send a thrill right up my splintered, materialistic spine. See, my dirty little secret is out. I like my things. They’re mine, no one else may use them. I bought them, with my money, for me. I’d let my husband use them if he happened to be ill I suppose, no, really, it would be okay, if he were sick. So there, another shameful secret, sometimes I’m selfish and territorial. Sometimes I do not want to share. I don’t expect people to share their stuff with me. I respect hard work and the right to keep what you earn.
The problem is not with people who have earned or even inherited wealth. The problem lies with exploiting other human beings for personal or corporate gain. For the record, I am opposed to the inheritance tax on money that has been taxed previously, before the decedent expired. The inheritance tax seems a bit like double jeopardy to me; however, it is an area I’m not familiar with. Perhaps, I’d feel differently if I were better informed.
Most Americans are not opposed to wealthy people by definition. OWS is not about “Give me what you worked your tail off for because I don’t have an inclination to work for my own.” It’s about a double standard and a class of people who are above the law while the rest of us drag our tired carcasses to work every day to work twice as hard for half as much. I’m here to tell you I have worked for some people who are just plain rich. We have a continuing business relationship with people who have about $89M. When the economy tanked they called us, worried that we might need work to make it through the thin times, willing to contract busy work so we’d have income. These same people bent over backward wanting to contribute financially when my brother broke his neck and became completely paralyzed in a matter of seconds. In both situations, we appreciated their good intentions but we were able to manage on our own without assistance, better that they help someone who is in desperate need. The point is not all wealthy people are bad, not all of them exploit people, some of them are sweet and kind and generous.
I have conversations with lots of people from diverse backgrounds every day. None of them are pleased by what is happening in this country. All of them empathize with the frustration expressed by the OWS protesters, all of them are relieved to see a public display of discontent, to see fellow Americans showing up. Sometimes that’s all unity is, showing up. It’s what we do for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, baby showers and funerals, we show up, we may not know what to do but we’re there.
Most of us do not covet what we did not earn. By the same token, we’re not going to fork over what we have to someone who does not deserve it. Wall St., the Fed (the ultimate secret society) and government with it’s quasi non-federal agencies i.e., FannieMae and FreddieMac have taken what we earned and we want it back, we’re sick of sharing the little bit that we have. It scares me to consider the social upheaval that seems destined to happen here. We will all suffer and sacrifice, in ways that are unimaginable, to defend ourselves against exploitation that is unacceptable. I’m not giving any more of what’s mine to thieves who’ve stolen the future of an entire country, if not the whole world.