Perhaps one of the most controversial topics as of late is the Occupy Wall Street movement. For those unfamiliar with the demonstration, it has its roots with the Canadian activist group Adbusters. In June of 2011, Adbusters registered the domain name “occupywallstreet.org”. Three months later, on September 17, protesters inspired by the Tahir Squate Uprising in Egypt march on Wall Street in New York City. Although the movement claims that its aim is to advocate democracy and end “corporate greed”, this does not appear to be absolutely true. Although this seems to be the only coherent goal (save feeding and sheltering the homeless in certain cities) many of the protesters have not actually specified this as their personal aim or even opinion. Quite literally, they’re there just to be there in many cases.
Typically, I would have no problem with this. In this case, however, I have a few major issues with the movement.
1. An Inconsistent Movement is a Failing Movement: My first point is as simple as this: if the supposed aims of your movement and its participants is inconsistent, your movement is bound to fail. Granted, it may get a message across; that message will be: “Hey guess what?! We don’t know what the >:XX we’re doing!” The reason I cite this as a major concern is because so many of these protesters think that they will accomplish something notable with this. I’m talking 100,000 people JUST IN THE UNITED STATES! That’s 100,000 people who are demonstrating the already well-known fact that a good part of America is made of hippies who fried their brains with pot in their teens, college activists who spend their days ranting about how they don’t “buy into the system” as they smoke some Grandmaster Kush. All in all, a grand spectacle of idiots who think they’re the next John Locke.
2. Putting your money where your mouth is: My second problem with OWS is their claim that the rich should pay more. Allow me to show you some statistics before I present my argument: In the year of 2008 — the top 1% of America (Bill Gates and those like him) payed 38.02% of the total income taxes. The top 5% payed 58.72% of the total income tax. This includes the corporate companies and the very wealthiest of us. The top 10% payed 69.94% of the total income taxes in the United States of America. The top 25% pays 86.34%. The top 50% payes 97.30%. The remaining bottom 50% pays 2.7%. This is my source for these statistics: http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html Now, as for the argument, it is very simple. It goes like this. Those who claim that the rich should pay more income taxes are actually paying substantially less than them. When taking the top 10% (what we’ll consider the whole of the upper class in the US), the rest of us pay 31.06% of the total federal income tax. In other words, the rich are actually paying by far the most of anyone else, and are thus cushioning the nation’s economy. Therefore, their claims that the wealthy should be paying more is completely unfounded.