Final Word

By Jeff Girod

0
Posted October 21, 2011 in News

Down with Wall Street! Boo the rich! Somebody find a guy with pinstripes and suspenders and shake him upside down until a gold brick falls out!
 
The Occupy Wall Street movement marked its one-month anniversary this week, with demonstrators in Lower Manhattan decrying economic inequality, corporate greed and the last five Adam Sandler movies.
 
Yes, the masses are finally taking the fight to the privileged—or taking the fight to a park safely across the street from the lobby of the privileged. (Hand it to those privileged, they have imposing doormen.)
 
Since its inception on Sept. 17, Occupy protests have spread from New York to include 70 major U.S. cities and five continents. Closer to home, protestors have demonstrated in Riverside, Temecula, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego. I also yelled at a cashier in Dairy Queen.
 
So what do these thousands of protesters have in common? Body odor. (Hey you try sleeping on the street for a month.) But other than that: Rage.
 
“We are the 99 percent!” they shouted at a Denver rally.
 
It’s become a mantra for the Occupy movement, and refers to the statistic that one-third of our nation’s wealth is controlled by the upper one percent of society. Also controlled by the upper one percent: Monocles and top hats.
 
Recession shmecession. Everybody’s getting rich around here except you and me, Bubbie. I guess we’re just not corrupt enough.
 
Citigroup recently reported a net profit of $3.8 billion, up 74 percent from 2010. It received $45 billion in tax-funded bailouts and was partially owned by the U.S. government until just last December. J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon earned approximately $20.8 million in 2010 (that’s 443 times the average yearly income). J.P. Morgan also received $25 billion in bailouts and pays its 26,615 employees an average of $289,611 annually.
 
Now I’m no “mathematician,” but I’m guessing most Occupy protestors could get by on $286,611 a year. The Inland Empire’s unemployment rate is 14 percent, which works out to a salary of (carry the one) $0 a year.
 
Just last week, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor compared the Occupy protesters to “angry mobs.” But on Sunday, Cantor told Fox News that Republicans agree that there is “too much” income disparity: “More important than my use of the word [‘angry mobs’] is that there is a growing frustration out there . . . Too many people are out of work.”
 
Cantor added, “Is there anything else you would like me to read off of this piece of paper?” Then he looked directly into the TV camera and begged voters to re-elect him and all his millionaire chums so that they wouldn’t have to get real jobs.
 
The rallies show Americans want a “financial system that works,” said David Axelrod, chief campaign strategist for President Obama. And once Americans find a financial system that works, Axelrod requests that they please email it to Axelrod, Democrats and Obama.
 
Do I think the Occupy protests are a good idea? Sure, why not? Scream hard enough and maybe somebody will listen. Or at the very least we’ll all feel better afterward for screaming. Our country is broken and things aren’t getting better. Things sucked last year. They sucked the year before. And I’m no economic forecaster, but I’m going to predict that they’ll suck for most of 2012 (minus the 120 minutes I’m watching Batman 3).
 
Here’s the message Republicans and Democrats should get: We don’t want your damn sympathy. We don’t want your rhetoric. We’re not stupid. Try to placate us all you want with speeches and promises and talks of government assistance, but at the end of the day we’re worse off than we’ve ever been. And it’s because of insider trading, backroom bribery and stock market manipulation that has literally ruined lives and altered the course of generations.
 
Stop talking about the “American spirit,” or how resilient we all are. Get off your coddled rich asses and do something. Sue somebody. Fire somebody. Throw somebody in front of a judge. Hell, throw everybody. And if the judges won’t convict, throw them in jail, too.
 
We’re not going away, Wall Street. We’re just getting bigger, more pissed off and more organized. See, we have a lot of free time these days—because most of us are unemployed.

 

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.com.


0 Comments



Be the first to comment!


You must be logged in to post a comment.