Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dear Wall Street Protesters: You are Not "the 99%." We Surround You!

The Occupy Wall Street protesters keep saying that they are "The 99%," setting them apart from "The 1%" aka the wealthy people in America (who pay 38% of the taxes). I'm sorry, but you are not the 99%.  We, the 53% of Americans who pay taxes, are not a part of your group.

I am one of those 53%.  I go to work and earn my paycheck.  I have entered into a contract with my employer wherein I sell them 40 hours of my time each week to perform professional business services, in exchange for which I receive a paycheck.  That paycheck is based upon a salary which we agreed upon at the beginning of my employment.  That amount was not based upon some idealistic sense of "fairness."  It was an agreement reached that fit two criteria:  The amount of money my employers were willing to invest in retaining my employment in exchange for a certain expected fiscal benefit above and beyond the cost too keep me employed; and two, an amount for which I was willing to sell 40 hours each week of my time.  This was our agreement.  I keep up my end of the contract, they keep up their end.  Each year, we sit down to discuss whether or not I have exceeded my previous expectations and thus am deserving of a raise.

To be qualified to do my job, I went to college.  I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the State University of New York's College at Brockport.  That degree gives me skills that are in demand.  If you have a degree in English Literature or Basket Weaving and can't find a job, perhaps this is the reason why you aren't as successful as I am in finding gameful employment in your field?  My ability to find a good paying job is a (positive) consequence of my choice of college major.

I, too, have a college loan from one of those "evil" Wall Street banks. And you know what?  I don't have a problem with paying it back.  You know why?  Because I agreed to take that loan and pay it back!  The bank didn't give me that loan to be nice to me or because they had the money.  It was a contract between us that I am fulfilling.  I got an education for my loan investment and now I'm paying for it.  That's what happens with loans!

I don't have a mortgage, but I hope to someday.  My parents have a mortgage though.  You know why their home ISN'T being repossessed?  They are paying their mortgage payments!  They are fulfilling their contract with the bank on the mortgage.  If you or someone you know is seeing their house repossessed, it's not because the Bank is evil.  It's because you or the homeowner you know breeched the contract with the bank!  See, that's how loans work.  You have to pay for it.  It's not a gift from the bank. It's a contract.  If you've lost your home, that's not the bank's fault.  It's your own fault.  You're the one who failed to pay your mortgage!

Most importantly, my friends, you are not the majority.  You call yourself the 99%, but considering you're primarily liberals, that would mean you're actually at best the 20%.  Remember, Gallup said as of last year that only 20% of Americans are liberals.  Now those of us who are conservatives, we're 42% of Americans (1).  So we've got twice as many in our group than you. 

My friends who Occupy Wall Street, we surround you.  There are 53% of us who pay taxes.  (There's also 42% of us who are conservative.)  It's OUR money you're demanding be spent for things that we can't afford, and we're not going to give our fiscal property to you because you demand it. 

As much as you may ideally like the idea of "free" healthcare and "free" college, neither things are free.  You have to get the money from somewhere, and that would be coming from US, the 53% who pay our taxes.  We don't owe you a darn thing, and we surround you.

We haven't stolen anything from you, wether we make $30,000 per year or have $30 Billion in wealth.  Whatever we have we've earned on our own.  It's not yours.  No matter how much you wish it was yours, it's not.  You are not entitled to my money.  I've earned it, and I will use it how I see fit.  We surround you.

That means giving it to the charities I choose and directing HOW I will fulfill the Christian requirement to provide for the needy.  We in the Church of Jesus Christ will take care of the needy through  our churches and other charitable organizations.  Those of other faiths than mine are willing and able to do the same. Those churches and charities can do a better job of it than government can.  We surround you.

We, the 53% who pay taxes, don't owe you anything.  We are already paying more than our "fair share" because just over half of us pay for 100% of the population.  You who don't pay a cent have absolutely no right to complain that those of us who do pay taxes aren't paying our "fair share."  If you want better for yourself, get up off your rear end and make something of yourself.  Earn it, just like I have.  We surround you.

You, my friends, aren't the 99%.  You're the 20%.  The whiny 20% who wants what doesn't belong to them because you think you're entitled to it and the spoiled 20% who think you're entitled to someone else's property simply because they have a lot of it. I'm hear to tell you that you aren't entitled to a thing I have.  I'm not a wealthy man.  I'm a hardworking middle class man who has earned everything I have.  It belongs to me, not you.  No amount of whining and complaining about how life isn't fair will make my property rightfully yours. I'm sorry I have to be the one to tell you this, considering your parents should have told you a long time ago, but life isn't fair.

You are not the 99%, Occupy Wall Street protesters.  We are the 53% of Americans who pay taxes, and we surround you!

(1) In 2010, Conservatives Still Outnumber Moderates, Liberals

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