Open Letter to the 53%


Article originally published on Technorati as Open Letter to the 53%

From the 53% home page:99 percent lady

Those of us who pay for those of you who whine about all of that… or that… or whatever.”

It seems your movement has formed in rebuttal to the 99% movement. Your name derives from the percentage of Americans who are in a taxable income bracket. (I am a public safety professional and homeowner, and am in that taxable 53%.) Your position appears to be that you are carrying the poor, who do not contribute, nor wish to contribute, to society. Your premise is that you do not agree to finance those lower down on the socioeconomic ladder than yourselves.

The 99% crowd derives its name from the fact that 1% of the population owns 50% of the money in the American economy. They believe the middle class is nearing extinction due to rampant greed on the part of the wealthiest 1%. Their premise is that they do not wish to finance those at the very top of the socioeconomic ladder.

Nobody disputes that 1% of the population owns 50% of the money, or that 47% of the population falls below the federal income tax bracket. Everyone seems to agree that times are very hard for middle and working-class Americans. There doesn’t appear to be any debate about the distribution of income, only where the blame should be laid, and who should be asked to contribute more.

For those of us old enough to remember Reagan’s candidacy, trickle-down economics was an agreement; we would cut taxes on the wealthiest, who would then re-invest in the community, i.e., the money would trickle back down. Since the 1980s, 80% of all income has gone to the wealthiest 1%. Bill Maher offered a pizza analogy: It’s like 100 people pitch in on a pizza with 100 slices. Then when they open the box, the first guy takes 80 pieces.

The math on the 53% is more complicated; while the poorest 47% don’t meet the minimums for federal income taxation, they do still pay property, payroll, and sales taxes. Being below the minimum income tax rate does not automatically imply unemployment or receipt of government benefits. Most Wal-Mart and fast food employees remain below the minimum tax rate, and are not eligible for healthcare benefits though they work one or more jobs. Many military families qualify for food stamps.

Does it make sense to snatch crumbs from the mouths of minimum-wage workers while Paris Hilton discards a Thanksgiving feast every day of her life? If we were to squeeze the very last nickel out of the working poor, we would have far less money in our coffers than if we brought the tax rates on the wealthy back up to where they were when we were all prosperous.

Why stomp on ants while elephants roam the halls?

Computer systems are normally designed with fail-safes and multiple servers. The concept of not having all one’s eggs in the same basket is well understood by everyone from financial planners to electrical engineers. At this point, half of America’s eggs are in a single, tiny basket. The center cannot hold.

As I see it, the tide has already turned. I know, most people feel it’s too early to call. I will stake my reputation, please mark the date and quote me: Occupy Wall Street will dramatically change America. That’s not hubris, or political bias. It’s based on math, science, and common sense. The pendulum has gone all the way to one end, and now it will swing back to the center.

There is a huge irony in the making, and that is why this letter is addressed to the 53%.

When this movement effects real change the difference will be obvious, especially to the middle class and the working poor. We will have found new ways of conducting the business of politics, and the game will be changed forever.

Do you really think thousands of people in the streets of every city in America will have no effect as we approach the election? What if OWS forces the breakup of too big to fail banks? The destruction of the Federal Reserve? What if the groundswell is such that we move to direct democracy instead of an electoral college? Overcome Citizens United?  Will you learn to acknowledge the contributions of others when they literally reclaim your voice as a voter?

You who rail against the “arrogance” of the 99% who count you in their ranks though you refuse to support them, will you ever recognize that most of the people in the streets are in your same tax bracket?  Do you really believe you are in the majority, and that your contribution is the only one that counts?

You who blame, deride and ridicule the poor, you who have felt the need to put your faces and stories on the 53% site, have taken a stand against the majority of citizens in order to row for the 1% who rob us all.

You saw the battle lines being drawn, and chose not to contribute your time, effort or money to the solution. You mocked the ones doing the heavy lifting as they built a better world for you to share.You who believe the poor are poor because they are too lazy and unwilling to help themselves sat back and let others work and sacrifice to make your lives better.  And you mocked them while they did it.  No wonder you think the poor are abusing you.

Remember the scorn and ridicule you heaped on those who you wrongly identified as not pulling their weight. Every time you look in the mirror please direct that same derision at the real free rider.You felt righteous about it when you made the decision. After you prosper due to the productivity of others, remember that you chose not to help yourself.   You felt entitled to be dead weight.

Fortunately most people are aware that there will always be some people who think only of themselves and do not care to be contributing members of society. Those of us who will find ourselves on the winning side of history, the majority of taxpayers in the 99% movement, are very clear that it is you.

Note:  NOT XAVIER ONASSIS IN THE PICTURE.

If you liked this article, please help get the word out –  “Stumble Upon,” Tweet, share on Facebook, subscribe, etc.   Thanks! — Xavier

About Artnunymiss


26 responses to “Open Letter to the 53%

  • condottiero

    “Does it make sense to snatch crumbs from the mouths of minimum-wage workers while Paris Hilton discards a Thanksgiving feast every day of her life?” It doesn’t makes sense to me; however, that doesn’t allow me to force her to stop doing with her money as many fool and ridiculous things as she does.

    The real problem is not who get what amount of $ and who doesn’t. The real problem to be attacked and denounced is that there are many immoral things going on in our governments and institutions. We need to reclaim the right to pursue happiness as we wish; even if we waste our money in foolish parties or investing our savings in building a business that satisfies the needs of consumers.

    • Xavier Onassis, EMT-P

      Thanks for commenting.

      I don’t really care what people do with their money once they get it. I’m speaking specifically to the 53%, who believe that the sacrifices should be made by those below them on the socioeconomic ladder rather than those above them.

      The real problem is not who get what amount

      of $ and who doesn’t. The real problem to be attacked and denounced is that there are many immoral things going on in our governments and institutions.

      Can you be more specific? I cover a lot of government corruption and waste issues in this blog. I agree that government should be more responsible. But I don’t see wasteful spending as the main problem causing the income disparity. Can you elaborate?

      • Mike Gleason

        I can’t speak for this guy but I will elaborate in a direction I think he is going.

        The major problem for the disparity between the top 1% and the other 99% is that the 1% are practically married to the government and they get to pretty much write up the legislation that will be passed and make up the rules to stifle competition. Even if legislation actually ends up hurting them while killing their competitors (the 53%), they’ll just dip their hands in tax money and still come out on top.

        The legislation seems to stick it to the 1%, and we all want to support it. I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to see these ultra-rich who rob us blind take a hit. I want them to understand how hard it is for us who live pay to pay and sometimes end up short before the next one. However, I know that as long as there is a government, nothing will change. Taxes will be collected, the poor, and lower classes might get a bone thrown to them but in the end their children and taxes they pay will be sacrificed to the military industrial complex, the corporations will still grab their share plus the share the 99% put in.

        The only way forward, in my opinion, is the peaceful end of governance, where power is returned to the individual to decide their own life how they wish to live it and a hard boycott of every major corporation to it’s extinction, where a competitor steps up to fill it’s shoes to do a better job.

    • sekanblogger

      Please look at the page linked here:
      http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10?op=1

      Even if you disagree with the OWS movement, it’s a great place to study-up for debate.

  • roguemutt

    Gee if either of those pictures were you I’d have been really freaked out.

  • thegoodlife

    Thank you for saying what I felt but couldn’t put into words.

  • jean

    Please, pay no heed to what the “53%” may say. It is just another Koch brothers et al backed group. The spokesman, Mr. Erickson, is the CEO of Redstate. He, the Koch brothers & friends, should all just jump into a lake, never to surface again. I am tired of them, fed up with them, and very bored with all of them.

    • Xavier Onassis, EMT-P

      “The spokesman, Mr. Erickson, is the CEO of Redstate.”

      Yes ma’am, I found it incredibly mockable, the picture of him in his undershirt with that look of grim determination, the first thing on his paper “I work three jobs.” As if he’s a firefighter who works two different construction jobs on his off days just to make ends meet. One of his jobs is, uh, commenter on CNN! He spends all day slaving over a hot keyboard, only to get carried around to TV studies in a limo, after which he has to cash these enormous checks all by himself. What a tool.

      “He, the Koch brothers & friends, should all just jump into a lake, never to surface again. I am tired of them, fed up with them, and very bored with all of them.”

      Yes ma’am. Kinda made me want to show some people my pimp hand.

      XO

      • jean

        Dear Xavier,
        You are YOUNG and you are a MAN. YOU cannot show anyone your “pimp hand”. B U T….I am old. I am a woman. Point out whomever deserves that pimp hand & I will gladly do it.

      • Xavier Onassis, EMT-P

        Ma’am, I would never laugh at a good hearted person standing up for human rights.

        You’re right that I shouldn’t use a phrase that makes light of sexual exploitation. It also may have misled you about my age — I’m old enough to have voted against Reagan. But it is a term used by people younger than myself to describe a rebuke, like slapping someone in the face. My post was a rebuke of the 53% movement. And by all means, I support you in whatever rebuke you’d like to show them.

        Xavier Onassis

  • Rosemary Ollis Cain

    We need to read this and listen with our hearts and our brains. Realize what politicians and businesses have done to create that 1% since the early 1980′s. The “Trickle Down” theory was always a fairy tale–it never happened. It’s now proven these people/businesses kept all those tax advantage FOR THEMSELVES.

  • jean

    BTW, what is a “pimp hand”?….Just want to know in case I’m suppose to do it (whatever it is).
    Now, don’t fall over laughing at me……….

  • BatSheva Vaknin

    Is anyone reminding the 53% who underwrote their student loans? They all boast that they’ve never been on welfare but many were giving loans & scholarships, and I’m betting that includes government loans. Or for that matter, do they drive on highways? Take airplanes governed by the FAA? We can strip all money away from government and let the rich run wild, or we can fight… bravo, 99%-ers!

  • Sheena

    Thank you for writing this! I’ll be on Wall Street tomorrow evening quoting your post!

  • Marc Wilks

    The 99% ‘movement’ is a joke. These fools on Wall Street if they had any sense at all would take their sorry asses to Washington DC. That is the source of the insane policies that led to this crisis. Obama and his band of fools has done nothing but make this economy worse. Oh BTW, the elected messiah received MILLIONS of dollars from Wall St. the very people he has been demonizing as he panders to the anarchists in NYC. While they publicly defaecate and pollute Washington with their unwashed bodies, they could pay a visit to Freddy Mac and Fannie May. They are the Sodom and Gomorrah of the mortgage crisis. They should also look up Franklin Raines, the democrat supported and controlled head of Fannie May who nearly bankrupted the place then skated with no jail time AND millions of dollars that he looted from the company. Then they can head to Arkansas and visit Bill Clinton’s place. It was Clinton who relaxed the lending rules for mortgages and opened the Pandora’s Box of sub-prime lending. The cause of these issues can be laid at the feet of the democrat party. If these 99′ers really want to get real about the cause of these issues, they would take my advice and follow the money to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

    • Donnie

      Get over yourself buddy, those people are doing more to help than your lazy desktop activist ass ever could.

      You pointed out that Politicians receive a lot of money from the banks? Yeah that’s a problem but who’s giving the money and what for? In most other countries, large scale corporate donations are illegal. Why? Because government is supposed to be FOR the people, not vested corporate interest.

    • John

      Both political parties are disappointments but those who affiliate themselves fail to see the error of their own side. The situation we find ourselves is is not the fault of any one president or even any of the presidential administrations themselves, yes they had a part in it but the real cause is mass complacency and blindness from everyone involved.

      What we need to do is arm ourselves with knowledge and rather than blaming others come up with solutions ourselves. We live in a country where the average man or woman would never dream of holding government office, I’m only 18 so I do not know how far back the timeline goes but it seems like for the longest time we have been brainwashed into believing that only a certain type of person is fit to be a government official (ask random people if they would run for public office), and that if people protest unfairness they have an entitlement complex.

      Is it wrong for me to think that every american should have political aspirations? That rather than being a paid position, public offices should be a national service performed alongside an every day career and that campaigns should be broadcast on a TV station funded by tax dollars with a law against use of third party donations, can one not simply support their desired candidates by voting for them (I would have no problem paying taxes to such a station if it meant that corporations would be unable to buy our politicians)?

      Does anyone here think our founding fathers were lazy when they protested unequal representation in government? Britain was once a great empire but it’s major downfall was a corporation, the East India Company was like Britain’s pet but little did they know the thing was shitting in their yard and the yard of every nation within their empire. I am aware of the argument many of you will make about the British government being nothing like ours but if a corporation can undermine them for the sake of profit then what is to stop one (or many) from doing the same to us?

      We need to look at history (How many pop culture references can you count that make history seem boring and uncool? Corporations own TV stations right? Maybe there is a connection?), look at now, then look at history again all with an open mind; we must take these facts and compare them, look at what didn’t work in the past and come up with a different solution for the present, we need a government that rather than looking to the next election looks 1000 years back and 10-20 years forward with each decision it makes.

      The bottom line is that all parties are so concerned with the chance to be the next ones to spread their poison that none are capable of making decisions that are actually good for this nation.

      • Xavier Onassis, EMT-P

        John

        I edited your post only to add some hard returns to make it easier to read. I did that because I think your statement was so important, I wouldn’t want people to skim over it because it’s a block of text.

        It does my heart good to see such thought coming from an 18-year-old. When I was your age I voted against Reagan. I saw the same handwriting on the wall that you’re talking about here. So you can imagine after all those years how much heavier my heart is about all of this. How much more damage has been done to the ecosystem and the people of the world.

        The great thing is that a lot has changed for the better, too. We didn’t have the internet then, or cell phones. There were no blogs. While the corporate media wasn’t quite as vile as it is now, there was absolutely no way for a citizen to get on the mic. We’re about to win this, son. Rejoice.

        I hope you will subscribe to my blog, I have a few pieces that I’m holding to put out because I’m trying to get them published. I’m giving it a couple more days, then I’m blogging it out. And I think it will be excellent food for your mind.

        Keep on rockin in the free world.
        Xavier Onassis

  • Pandora

    Eloquent.

    Pity the self proclaimed 53%ers, they are terribly afraid. The social norms they have become accustomed to are no long there to support them. If the 99% includes the poor, the unemployed, underemployed and they receive recognition, it lessens the base upon which the 53% has to tower over, who then shall they look down upon and claim ‘I am better than they’. This is not meant as criticism, but simple observation of human behavior.

    The 53% forget that they received student loans and some of them could not pay and were able to file for bankruptcy protections, they forget that their careers began during an upswing in American prosperity, they forget that battles are fought on many fronts with many different weapons.

    The 53% keep up with events at a minimal level, because to observe more would be uncomfortable and would take time away from the fruits of their labor, yet feel they are well informed.

    What I don’t understand, will never understand is many of the 53% are near my own age…we had parents who were children during the depression of the 30′s, grandparents who’s stories of fear and hunger should be ringing in our ears, who should have had enough interest in the history to search it out and learn so we could help avoid such an event from ever happening again.

    The complacency and the apathy of the 53% is boundless, until they feel their superior position is threatened…For those who fought wars with guns so we could be here today, I thank them, some day some one will remember to thank the 99%ers for the battles they fought, even the ones they loose.

  • StephP

    Dictionary: OWS- see ‘delusion’

  • Pandora

    Dictionary: 53%-see ‘denial’

  • » Another article in the form of a letter to the 53% counter movement. Occupy Charleston WV

    [...] This is a letter written by:  Xavier Onassis in response to the formation of a counter group who claims that we are a bunch of poor people asking for a hand-out.  His argument is sound, and really shows that the media is driving the 53% group.  These 53% do not understand the whole picture because the information has been purposefully misconstrued.  Without further ado: http://medic343.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/open-letter-to-the-53/ [...]

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