A tear wells up in Jacqueline Siegel’s eye as she tells her story to a Wall Street Journal reporter.
She is in danger of losing her dream home. Siegel along with husband David got in over their heads when real estate went south. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He started out as a TV repairman and worked hard to climb the ladder.
Now the bank demands they either pay the loan balance on the home or sell it.
Before you start shedding crocodile tears you may want to know that the Siegels are part of the scorned 1 percent. The house they are about to lose is the largest in America at 90,000 square feet. It is a work in progress that was stopped due to the economic slowdown. She stresses on how the family is being forced to make do with their current house with a ballroom that is a tight fit when 400 folks drop by. The new home would have a ballroom accommodating 500 people comfortably.
The house - the size of 17 of Manteca’s biggest McMansions combined - has 10 Segways that are used by the couple and their eight children to get around.
The rich are different than you and I.
But so are the most of the Occupy Wall Street folks who lump themsleves in with the other 99 percent.
Listen to them closely. Many despise capitalism. They want income redistribution on an even grander scale than the most liberal politician in Congress. They pine for imposing the old Soviet Union collective approach as a matter of fairness.
And they do it all while using the latest social media and accessing wireless Internet.
They forget one little detail. The iPhone they cherish wouldn’t have been possible if Steve Jobs and company didn’t want to make money.
There is no overriding basic need for all of the wonders that Apple and a host of other high-tech firms have made accessible to much of the masses.
It isn’t in the best interest of those who want to control things - such as collective government - to have such devices in the hands of the 99 percent. The very type of collective government they strive for has the lowest human rights standards on the planet. Can anyone say China?
Rest assured there could be no Occupy Beijing movement. Any tweeting about it would be blocked. Internet sites would be taken down. And police wouldn’t be keeping an arm’s length. Instead they’d be hauling dissenters off to the bowels of some state detention facility for re-education.
Capitalism isn’t perfect. And it certainly isn’t in the grotesque deformation that has evolved when pure greed meets the anti-Mr. Smith Goes to Washington crowd.
But it is capitalism - and the freedom to amass wealth - that has prompted some of the greatest inventions we take for granted. They run the gamut from better medical care and more plentiful food to devices we find we can’t live without such as anything with an “i” in front of it when in reality we could very easily live without them.
The math the Occupy Wall Street folks employ is a tad too simplistic. There is the 1 percent whining over a slowdown in their hording of ultimate McMansions and accompanying toys. Then they are the 2 percent or so who embrace the Occupy Wall Street folks without reservations. Then there is everyone else who is struggling to make a living - and in way too many cases find a job - while paying taxes.
Taxes, by the way, that underwrite services that the Occupy Wall Street folks are exploiting including precious police manpower.
But what do they care? In their blind hatred or envy - take your pick - of the rich they are making everyone else pay the cost.