Friday, October 28, 2011

We are the 98%?

In today's column, Eugene Robinson is writing about the income gap between the top 1% and everyone else:

Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what's been happening might be theft.

Pretty strong words. The thing is, entry into the top 1% is fairly low. $400,000 qualifies you. I don't know how much Mr. Robinson makes but you would think that a nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner would pull down at least that much.

So, Mr. Robinson, what made you decide to start stealing from the 99%?

Then there is Michael Moore who insists that he is not one of the 1%. He seems to be saying that the studios do not allow him to make any money. Moore's last movie (Capitalism) grossed $34 million. The one before that (Sicko) grossed $69 million and only cost $9 million to make. His top-grossing movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed $222 million on a budget of $6 million. In addition to that, he has written some best-sellers. Moore lives in a multi-million dollar condo on Central Park. His kids attend an exclusive private school. According to IMDB, he travels by chauffered limo. In what world is he not part of the rich?

I won't even go into the Hollywood stars who express support for the Occupy movement. Or the multimillionaires at Apple who sell OWS their expensive toys.

It is possible that these people really don't see themselves as being rich. More likely, they distinguish between deserved and undeserved wealth. Or they distinguish by attitude. Wealth is ok as long as you support redistribution. The big question is if they support having their own money redistributed? Since Michael Moore insists that he is not in the 1% and talks about how little money he gets, I am betting that he does not want to see the government take most of it away.

Let us not forget the bottom 1%. The cooks at OWS got tired of preparing food for the homeless - the people who have no money - and decided to have a few days of brown rice. Presumably the protestors will go buy their meals at the restaurants while using the rest rooms there. How's this for a new slogan for OWS: "99% of the population controls 100% of the money. Screw the homeless. I am the 99%."

So we have the 98% who want the top 1%'s money but don't want to share with the bottom 1%. Plus people who are in the top 1% but still seem envious of the top 0.1%.

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