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Friday, April 20, 2018

Staff Editorial

The Occupy movement has lost its focus


When the Occupy movement started out, it was focused on banks and Wall Street executives. It has now morphed into a class-focused movement that characterizes anyone who is not in the “99 percent” as someone who has exploited the system.

This is far from the truth. It is safe to say that the majority of the people who comprise the one percent worked hard to gain their wealth.

Although certain unfair policies may have made it easier for some of these people to accumulate their wealth, they were not the ones who created those policies.

The “99 percent” may look good on a poster, but it loses its appeal when you remove it from that piece of paper.

And while it may sound ridiculous to most people to defend the one percent, since “99 percent” sounds so inclusive, the majority of the one percent are far from jet-setting multi-millionaires. According to the IRS, someone qualifies for the top 1 percent if they make $380,354 a year.

People who are on the low end of the top 1 percent are top-ranking lawyers, engineers, doctors and small business owners.

While they make a lot of money, they are not the corporate fat-cats most people in the Occupy movement assume them to be. There is a big difference between someone who make $380,354 a year and someone who makes several millions of dollars a year. People in the Occupy movement need to internalize this distinction.

The Occupy movement has the potential to make serious change, but only if it stops alienating people who worked hard for their money. The movement would like to tell all people who are wealthy that they should be ashamed of their money, money that they undoubtedly worked very hard to accumulate.

Under the “99 percent” banner, the Occupy movement has lost its focus. They should stop attacking anyone who is in the 1 percent and start attacking the bankers, Wall Street executives and politicians who are responsible for the income disparity.

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