At first, I was completely against the Occupy Movement because of what I saw in the media. However, after doing research, I appreciate their concepts even though I’m still against their actions. On their website, you see that they want equality, like every other American, but I don’t agree with their selective protesting and protesting in general. Their protests prevent people from going to work, thus forcing their beliefs on others. If they oppose the stock market, they should protest at the SEC for tougher regulations, not block bridges and ports. Those delivery trucks are just trying to do their jobs.
They also say they are against the top 1% earning all the money and controlling everything while not paying their fair share. This is not entirely accurate. According to Gene Epstein’s article in the April 9, 2012 issue of Barrons, the top 1% already pay their fair share. A Congressional Budget Office report shows that in 2007, the top 1% already paid 30% when you include their income taxes with their capital gains and other taxes. A majority of total taxes paid by the wealthy are capital gains taxes as their money grows through investments. These statistics today should be comparable to 2007.
The top 1% includes about 1.4 million people and their salaries are a minimum of $350,000. I believe the Occupy Movement should protest all of these people, not just the banks and politicians. If they boycott one, they should boycott all. If any protestors are sports fans, they should be against every athlete in MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL because their minimum salaries are above $350,000 (NFL will be in 2012). Personally, I love sports and I really don’t want the entertainment industry to fold. Can you imagine how miserable the world would be without sports or movies? I can pretty much guarantee that major movie stars are in the top 1% as well.
It’s also funny how many Occupiers you see in photos sitting in front of their tents with their iPads, iPods, and iPhones when Apple is worth more than some countries! There are a lot of people at Apple making more than $350,000. Of course, the Occupiers are probably using these devices to update their Facebook status…oh look that’s another member of the 1%! Funny how people capitalize on groups protesting capitalism!
Finally, I don’t believe it is right to blame the wealthy for our problems when we need them. The United States is a service economy with many nonprofits. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there were over 1.5 million nonprofit agencies in the US in 2009. The majority of funding for nonprofits comes from donations from the wealthy. These funds help create and sustain jobs. The Occupy movement itself also relies on donations.
I believe that we as the 99% should strive to become part of the top 1%. We have the same opportunities that the wealthy have had, unless you’re disabled and have the intolerable money restrictions. We have to realize that the only time we fail in this world is when we stop trying.
Continuing with the Apple example, in 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple with $1,300, which is about $5,140 in today’s economy. Although it may be a tough investment at first, it may be worth it. As of Wednesday, the market cap (value) of Apple was $568.7 Billion. I think they made their investment back!
You can still be an investor and do pretty well without coming up with the next “Apple.” Investing is no longer just available to the wealthy. For $500 you can open an account with an online broker and build your fortune. If you continue to invest, you can be in the future’s top 1%. The same opportunities exploited by the wealthy are available for all of us. We just have to do the work. We have so much more technology that wasn’t available in the past, so all we need is a little bit of ambition. Ambition built this country. Success is not handed to anyone…it is earned through ambition.
So, put the tent away, decide on a dream and GO FOR IT! You are the only person holding yourself back from achieving your dreams. Then you can give all your money to the rest of us if you want. That is how legacies are made and people get remembered. Nobody remembers people who just hold posters.
Just my thoughts…