I am the 53 Percent




There’s a backlash of sorts against the Occupy Wall Street protests in U.S. cities. It’s called We Are The 53 Percent, a rebuke to the posters on the We Are The 99 Percent Web site. I submitted this picture, above, to the 53 Percent site. The site managers didn’t choose my entry that day, so I am posting it here.

The 99 Percenters’ gripe centers on their feelings of powerlessness. They claim only 1% of the US population controls the wealth and power, and the top income people are not paying their fair share of federal taxes.

Actually, the wealthiest, the top 1%, pay 37% of the U.S. income taxes, but apparently that’s not enough. Or the 99 Percenters don’t understand math. The undertone to their postings channels resentment, covetousness, and well, greed. The protesters are mostly young, at the start of adult life.

Almost half of America pays no federal income taxes while the other half, the 53%, does. This is supposed to be progressive and fair, but the 53%, don’t like paying the bills for everyone. The 53 Percenters know if ALL Americans paid income taxes, we would have a true ownership society. The 47 % want things — more government goodies — because they are free. ‘We Are The 53 Percent’ is about resentment, too, but towards people they consider freeloaders.

Resentment and anger, regardless of tax percentile, is destructive. I look at the youthful faces on the 99 percent site and see despair. I posted this entry because there is ALWAYS hope if you are optimistic and set a course for yourself. America is a remarkable place. There is so much opportunity here. My picture isn’t about fury at all. It’s about accomplishment.

When I was 23, I set my goals for family, health, wealth and career (in that order) and stayed to the plan. Things are good now. No dark clouds overhead.

Dear Occupy Wall Street protesters, imagine a happy future for yourself. Make a life plan. Be self-sufficient. Push aside silly things. Attain your destiny. Anger and fear lead to powerlessness. Do good works. And pay your taxes.

God bless you all.


Protesting Big Government, Spring, 2009


Last Spring thousands of angry Minnesotans protested at the doors of the state capitol. Most of the media ignored it. It was pretty fun — mostly laughing people of all walks of life. No freaks. No giant puppets. No drums. No ugly women. Just many speeches and lots of boos for Obama and Bush.

I know they were working people; it was mid-week and everyone left promptly after the last speech. They had to — it was a workday.


Yours Truly

There’s something happening here…


There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear

                                                                        Buffalo Springfield

I can feel it, the anxiety turning to anger. No longer are people afraid of only losing their fortune; they now fear the nation is slipping away. Big government, diminished hopes, broken promises. And fiscal immorality.

People are taking to the streets. Grandma hoists signs. Working people who have never written to a letter to the Op-Ed page are showing up. Yelling, too.

Our  effete media calls them a ‘mob.’ Anderson Cooper labels them with venal slurs. Barney Frank lashes out. None of them listen; none pay attention to the message. And so it escalates.

I read this week the ‘Tea Party’ is now more popular than either the Democrat or Republican parties.

For the first time in my life I attended a protest. Yes, me. I’ve always trusted the government. I never belonged to a party, Just a regular voter and taxpayer. That changed last spring.


We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down