Occupy Wall Street – you are the top 1%


We need economic change, but are we

prepared for it?

occupy wall street poster

Occupy Wall Street. We want change, but dare we go through with it?

There is no doubt that the western economies are in a mess. We are right to want change, and occupying the financial centres is probably as good a way as any, of getting the politicians to listen to us. After all the money, the debt, the profits, the hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies and banks ultimately belong to us. They should really do what we want, shouldn’t they?

Protesters in Wall Street

We are the 99%, but actually they probably aren't.

However, if we start to unravel the system where will it end? We want to make the world a fairer place….really? Those in Wall Street who claim to represent the 99% majority, the ones suffering from the evil grip of capitalism really ought to look a little further afield. The truth is that the top 1% have always dominated and manipulated circumstances and events in their favour. And up to now most of us haven’t complained. Most of us have accepted it as natural and logical. Most of us have benefitted from it. Because many of us in the west are in the top 1%.  According to globalrichlist.com, you have to earn £25,800 a year to be in the top 1% of earners in the world. That’s not so much is it? If you earn £475 a year, you still scrape into the top 50%. If we really want to make the world a fairer place, we are going to have to take a drastic reduction in our standard of living.

I doubt the protesters want to go that far. They just want the world to be fairer to them. Hardly any of us complained when our corporations were pillaging the third worlds of Africa, Asia and Latin America, applying economic pressure and dictating terms down the barrel of a gun. Now the third world have become the emerging economic powers and are more able to resist, the bankers and corporates are merely applying their tactics closer to home. All of a sudden, it isn’t fair.




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One Response to Occupy Wall Street – you are the top 1%

  1. Dick Petulant says:

    ‘All left-wing parties are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to struggle against something which they do not really wish to destroy… [they speak of] ‘starving in the midst of plenty’… because they ignore the fearful poverty of Africa and Asia.’ – George Orwell.

    Orwell went on to remark that the real hope for the world was to radically increase production without which a redistribution of existing wealth merely meant misery for everybody (but a small governing elite…). He didn’t have long to wait; the 1950s weren’t the decade when power passed from British to American hands for no reason. Perhaps British Imperialists, drawn from a culture whose ideal was the country gentleman, allowed their colonial possessions to remain pastoral a little too long. After the second world war, the USA, whose ideal was a business that made products for money, enjoyed an economic boom so long and so gigantic that it is utterly unique in history and all our experiences and expectations are to some degree products of it; Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm called it the only real social revolution of the 20th century, and serious efforts were made in the USSR and its satellites to emulate it.

    Unfortunately industrial production – which is now the method by which the world’s precarious and profoundly unequal food security is maintained – is utterly reliant on fuel oil. No diesel, no tractor, no dinner. As a result the increase in food production required to feed the growing millions of Africa and Asia demands greater investment of fuels to produce and run farm machinery, to transport, process, store and sell produce, to manufacture artificial fertilizers and so forth; as more fuel oil is burned more environmental damage is done and less productive farmland is available, to feed more, ever-more-fractious people.

    Meanwhile alternatives to oil remain at the dock-leaf pasty stage in most cases and their enthusiastic proponents frequently ignore the energy required to produce solar panels etc in the first place, just as proponents of nuclear power achieve impressive efficiency figures by ignoring clean-up costs. No politician can be elected by saying he will reduce living standards, so during his campaign for office Obama promised that Democrats’ concern for green energy alternatives would allow Americans to retain their way of life; in fact this is hard to imagine since it is so in demand and so fuel-expensive. As a result even politicians who are themselves relatively honest and responsible are unable to speak honestly or act responsibly about energy needs without being ejected from mainstream political discourse by voter fury, and the debate comes to be about ‘issues’ that are comprehensible in terms of local interests and party ideology; it’s seals vs. SUVs in the battle for the arctic oil! Watch as Sarah Palin battles the Penguin Army [penguins live at the South Pole but whatever] while John McCain calls in airstrikes! Tactics may be debated endlessly; strategy is not up for discussion.

    Time to buy a rifle?

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