Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I don’t pretend to fully understand the occupy Wall Street movement, but I see it as more than the attack upon capitalism that you have been portraying it as in your recent columns.
According to the Bulletin just the other day in an article about a report from the Congressional Budget Office, between 1979 and 2007, the richest 1% of our fellow citizens saw their wealth increase by 275%, while the rest of us saw an increase of 18% to 40% during that same period.
Some 400 Americans, many of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer funded bailout of 2008, now have as much wealth, stock, and real property as the combined assets of 155,000,000 Americans, half of our population. This imbalance in the sharing of wealth in the country hasn’t been this great since the 1920s.
The Wall Street corporations, the banks, and the Fortune 500, who, with the help of our elected officials whom they have bought and paid for, now run this Republic, and they are running it into the ground. The CEOs and the top 1% created this mortgage crisis and the ensuing recession, and are still making money hand over fist in the wake of this tragedy. Furthermore, the majority of them don’t pay their fair share of taxes on the wealth that they have compiled. GE had $14.2 billion in profits in 2010 and paid zero in taxes.
The “capitalists” gave up on this country years ago when they saw an opportunity, perhaps with the advent of the computer, to go global. They began moving the money and jobs out of the United States, first to Mexico, and then to China or some other Third World market, and watched their profits soar. As a result, the majority of us have experienced a betrayal of the American Dream, stripped of our assets, home equity, savings, 401(k) value, and now find ourselves financially insecure, in debt, unemployed, in foreclosure, and sometimes homeless. I for one fear that this is what the new American economy looks like.
There is a class war in progress in this country, a war waged by the rich upon the middle class. If left unopposed, we will become a nation of “haves” and “have nothings”.
Oct. 31, 2011