Monday, November 14, 2011

The Other Side of "Occupy"

For those who may be unaware - there is a backlash towards the "Occupy (enter your city here)street" movement that isn't getting the same amount of press as it's counterpart.

They've called themselves "The 53%", in reference to the fact that, according to The Tax Policy Center in the US (a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, neither of which is a low-tax or Conservative advocacy group though they will likely be branded as such by those who disagree with them) only 53% of Americans are actually paying income tax.

I read through their stories here, and to be honest - I found them far more compelling; at times inspiring and at others, heartbreaking. More so, in fact, than the tales of woe being told by the people taking time from work (if they're working at all in the first place) to complain about capitalism while listening to their iPods and posting on Facebook and Twitter from their laptops during their "protest".

I've attached one such example in the picture - and since the print is too small, I've retyped it below. No matter what side of the fence you might be on - take a moment to get some perspective of the side less publicized.

"I was a NYC EMT. I was there when it all went down 10 years ago.

When my service was done, I moved to Arizona to pursue a dream on my own - not a guarantee or an entitlement - just a dream of what I wanted my future to be.

I met my wife and started a business. I bought my first home and a new car.

Every quarter I write a check to cover my taxes; sometimes its a big check, sometimes its a small check, but it's mine and it represents what I earn, not what is given to me.

I have never accepted government assistance, I have never taken a social handout.

Some months are good, others are terrible. Some nights I sleep well, others not so much.

These are my choices, and I fight for them everyday, good or bad, right or wrong.

Corporate greed sucks, and I agree that politicians are all shysters. But you won't see me sitting in a park participating in a drum circle - I have too much work to do, and I have people that depend on me.

I am the 53% (#Iamthe53)"


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