#OWS and the 53%

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Tim Sackett sent me a link and asked, “Did you see this article?

Hm. I had not. My fat ass was occupying the couch and watching TV.

Apparently, 53% of Americans pay taxes. This guy wrote a poem about it.

He works hard. He pays his rent. He pays taxes. And he doesn’t support #OccupyWallStreet.

That’s cool. I love America. But I’m here to tell you a few things.

  1. Americans are math-illiterate. You may think you pay taxes but you probably don’t. In fact, I agree with one CEO on TV who argued that the 1% pay income tax and the rest of us just think we pay income tax.
  2. What we pay in taxes is often disproportionately small to what we spend. If you live in the developed world — and if you wake up in a community that is somewhat safe and secure — you are not paying enough to cover the cost of your security. Freedom ain’t free. Neither is your subsidized coffee, electricity, and drinking water supply.
  3. We all struggle. Life is hard. Very few of us have it easy. We make weird assumptions about other people. Your ‘noble fight’ doesn’t give you the right to judge another person’s struggle. You really have no idea if someone is lazy, unlucky, or simply unqualified to work in this changing economy.
  4. It’s never wise to tell someone to get a job. Unless you’re talking about one of my family members, it is never safe to assume that someone is lazy.  There are four job seekers for every job in America. I know you are bad at math because of all the public education cuts that Reagan implemented in the 1980s so let me break it down for you: there are too many unemployed people and not enough jobs. Being judgy doesn’t fix that.
  5. If you hate unemployment AND mass laziness, be a shining example of success. The most prosperous among us are college graduates. If you have a degree, get off your ass and help some young kid get his degree. Mentor. Volunteer. Teach. Lead a boy scout troop. Teach girls how to do math. Get kids excited about engineering and science.

No offense, but I am really sick of hearing about your personal challenges. You whine more than Susan Sarandon and Jane Fonda at a PLO meeting.

[NOTE: THIS IS A JOKE. DUDE. JESUS. BUT IF THOSE TWO WOMEN WERE AT A PLO MEETING, THEY WOULD BE WHINY. I LIKE BOTH WOMEN BUT IT’S TRUE.]

Please don’t hold up a piece of paper and whine about your tough life. Don’t try to put your work ethic up against mine. And don’t tell me that you speak for people who worked hard, went to school, didn’t take out a ton of student loans, struggled, and still made good choices in life.

Please. You sound like a teen-age girl. Nothing but drama. Are you an American adult or are you Selena Gomez?

I can’t take you seriously when you ask me to cry you a river. Talk to me about solutions. Use your inside voice. Tell me what you are doing to make sure your struggle ends with you. Then we can have an adult conversation.

It’s as simple as that.

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