Forget global warming climate change. The real inconvenient truths are those that make liberals/Democrats react like Dracula to holy water. And for those of you who associate or sympathize with Occupy Wall Street, this one’s a doozy.*
If the OWS protesters are really serious about castigating the 1%’s alleged hoarding of wealth at the expense of the rest of us 99%, why are they only protesting Wall Street? Why are they not protesting the uber-rich Hollywood/celeb crowd, many of whose salaries make the average Wall Street financier look like a beggar? Why not six- or even seven-figured pro athletes? And let’s not forget about certain members of the public sector: public officials, public union bosses, educators, and administrators.
It’s time to shed light on who exactly is this 1% is.
It turns out, according to CNN Money—not exactly unfriendly toward OWS—that Wall Street workers make up only 14% of the eeeevil 1%!
Who Are the 1%?
by Tami Luhby @ CNN Money.
Think it takes a million bucks to make it into the Top 1% of American taxpayers?
Think again. In 2009, it took just $343,927 to join that elite group, according to newly released statistics from the Internal Revenue Service.
Occupy Wall Street protesters have been railing against the Top 1%, trying to raise anger and awareness of the growing economic gap between the rich and everybody else in America.
But just who are these fortunate folks at the top of the income ladder?
Well, there were just under 1.4 million households that qualified for entry. They earned nearly 17% of the nation's income and paid roughly 37% of its income tax. [Which means the eeeevil 1% actually don’t pay their fair share; they already pay more than twice their fair share. Yet, Marxist demagogues from President Hope&Change to Mass. Senate candidate Liz Warren to really fat cat Michael Moore to the increasingly dense NBC Today host Matt Lauer would have you think otherwise.] …
Many workers in the securities industry in New York likely qualify for the Top 1%.
These folks, many of whom work only blocks from where protesters are gathering in Zuccotti Park, made an average salary of just over $311,000 in 2009, according to the state Comptroller's Office. (This figure does not take into account certain income, losses and deductions that make up adjusted gross income.)
A separate study found that financial professionals made up about 14% of the top rank in 2005 [and probably a little less now].
Executives, managers and supervisors working outside of finance accounted for 31%, the largest share, according to an analysis by Jon Bakija of Williams College, Adam Cole of the Treasury Department and Bradley Heim of Indiana University. Medical professionals came in at 15.7%, while lawyers made up 8.4%.
Wait: 14% + 31% + 8.4% + 15.7% only comes to 69.1%. Who makes up the remaining 30.9%? Hollywood celebs? Surely they make the average Wall Street Banker look like a pauper. Amazingly, Obama is in Hollywood this week drumming up support and racketing up millions of bucks from these out-of-touch multi-millionaires.
This is why it is glaringly ridiculous when the likes of Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Kanye West, and Russell Simmons join these hapless tattooed and pierced lot of unemployable college graduates. It would be no more ridiculous if Dakota Fanning (or her younger sister, whatever her name is) picketed at the house of a town’s best paid preteen paperboy on the grounds he was making too much at the expense of other kids. I could just see it now, a bunch of jealous young thugs breaking into the garage and tearing the kid’s bike to pieces. The town’s local paper would report favorably about the mob, how they're "raising awareness" about the unfairness of it all and how the unruly mob of youngsters are justifiably expressing their anger and frustration ...
What about star athletes? Yup. In fact, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters looked up the salaries of this year’s World Series teams and learns that:
The average player on the St. Louis Cardinals makes $3.9 million a year. On the Texas Rangers it's $3.2 million.
Next, what about government fat cats in Washington, (not to mention many state capitals)? Last week it was reported that federal employee- and lawyer-heavy Washington, D.C. has become the nation’s richest metropolitan area. And according to this 2009 article at About.com:
The median personal wealth for members of Congress grew to $911,510 in 2009, up from $785,515 in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires. In FY2010 the Obamas made $1.8 million.
Read that again, friends: Nearly half of our taxpayer-funded Congressmen are millionaires, as is our president. And it’s supposed corporate greed people are rioting about? Why aren’t people protesting government greed? (Oh yeah, people have. They’re called the Tea Party. And the Democrat-media complex have been smearing them incessantly as extremist racists who don’t like the fact that a black man is in the White House!)
Finally, time to look seriously about Big Education. First, teacher union fat cats: Rishawn Biddle @ AmSpec writes:
The AFT alone collected $211 million a year in dues during its 2010-2011 fiscal year (most of it by force from the very teachers whose interests they proclaim to represent), while the far-larger NEA pulled in $397 million during its 2009-2010 fiscal year period. Each union, on their own, collects more dues than the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Service Employees International Union, or the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. When one adds in the revenues collected by their affiliates, the two unions are billion-dollar organizations with budgets that match their corporate peers.
The leaders of both unions are as well paid as most midsized corporate chief executives and leaders in the nonprofit arena. AFT President Weingarten, for example, collected $493,895 in 2010-2011, a 15 percent increase over the same period last year; Weingarten’s NEA counterpart, Dennis Van Roekel, collected $397,221 in the previous year. Their staffs are also well-compensated. Four hundred thirty-three of the NEA’s staffers earned at least $100,000 in annual compensation; the 193 AFT staffers collecting six-figure checks include David Dorn, the union’s director of international affairs (who was paid $223,965 last year), and Hartina Flournoy, a longtime Democratic Party operative who earns $231,337 a year as Weingarten’s assistant.
When you consider that teachers’ union leaders at all levels collect lucrative sums from their unions and and additional salaries from the school districts that are servile to them, the wealth they acquire at the expense of taxpayers is astounding. New York City, for example, will shell out $9 million to 1,500 AFT officials even though they spend almost no time teaching. One of those double-dippers is Tom Dromgoole, an AFT representative who will collect $100,049 from the city (on top of his $50,461 paycheck from the union) even though he will only teach English classes for two days during the school year. And when they retire, they also collect sweet pension checks long after they left the classroom. Former NEA President Reginald Weaver, for example, collects an “annual annuity of $242,657” from Illinois’ busted pension system, thanks to a state law that allows union bosses to base their final year’s salary off their unionizing work; he’s one of 119 union players who get the proverbial fat of the land.
True, the high $100k’s and $200k’s are not quite the 1% -- it’s in the top 5% though, and that’s sure close enough -- but they are paid with our taxpayer money! And they way they get this money is arguably unwarrented and undeserved. These people produce nothing.
But just as hypocritical as a Hollywood celeb at Wall Street is a tenured university full-time professor at Wall Street. Lo and behold, last week several University of Pennsylvania professors attended Occupy movements. UPenn’s newspaper even David Horowitz’ Freedom Center released an official solidarity statement!
Yet here are some … um, inconvenient truths:
In 2000-01 undergraduate enrollment at UPenn cost:
Tuition + Fees = a little over $25,000. Room/board = approx. $7,800.
In 2010-11 undergraduate enrollment at UPenn cost:
Tuition + Fees = about $40,500 Room/board = around $11,400.
Total: almost $52,000.
Why such a radical increase? Maybe because In 2000-01 the mean average salary for a full-time prof. at UPenn was $121,424. In 2010-11? $175,100.
This figure does not include health benefits and pension. Plus, consider that full professors do not work 9:00-5:00, 5 days a week. (I spent over half a decade in an Ivy League grad school. I know quite well what these full profs’ work weeks look like.)
But wait, there’s more. In 1998-99 UPenn's president made $555,000 in salary and benefits. In 2002-03 it was $845,474 + benefits, etc. and in 2009-10 UPenn President Amy Gutmann brought home a total compensation of over $1.3 million. Now that’s the top 1%!
Professors and administrators are paid by taxpayer money and/or students who are now drowning in debt. Besides, you tell me in what other area do people’s salaries increase 45% over 10-11 years (with very little to show for it if you ask me, given the complete economic ignorance of OWS protestors)?
So who is screwing whom? Not Wall Street Bankers. Do young adults drowning in college debt have something to be angry about? Absolutely. But the target should be their institutions of "higher" education! These socialist profs with the six-figure salaries for doing a total of about six months of work have no business being among the rioters!
The Marxist left who rule the Democrat-media complex have their convenient template. An eeeevil rich banker sure makes for a better villain to the Marxist left than a Hollywood actor, baseball pro, a nameless faceless university president, or even the president of the United States who happened to make $1.8 million last year! Wall Street is the best distraction Obama and the Democrats can dream of. It takes all the attention away from their miserable failures, including their own culpability for the current economic mess.
*For the record, I do have one liberal Facebook friend who sympathizes with OWS, but also has asked publicly why Hollywood and athletes get a pass. This act of intellectual honesty deserves mention.