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Heh: Income Distribution, Property Rights Battles Roil 'Occupy' Mob

This irony tree's fruit is so low-hanging, I can't resist the urge to pluck it and share.  First, recall the reason this hapless collection hippies, misfits, and communists supposedly gathered in the first place:  To protest the "unjust" distribution of wealth in modern American society.  (Incidentally, yet another new study suggests the much-hyped income gap hasn't been nearly as devastating to the middle and lower classes as we've been led to believe).  With that raison detre in mind, enjoy:


Occupy Wall Street’s Finance Committee has nearly $500,000 in the bank, and donations continue to pour in -- but its reluctance to share the wealth with other protesters is fraying tempers. Some drummers -- incensed they got no money to replace or safeguard their drums after a midnight vandal destroyed their instruments Wednesday -- are threatening to splinter off.

“F--k Finance. I hope Mayor Bloomberg gets an injunction and demands to see the movement’s books. We need to know how much money we really have and where it’s going,” said a frustrated Bryan Smith, 45, who joined OWS in Lower Manhattan nearly three weeks ago from Los Angeles, where he works in TV production.  Smith is a member of the Comfort Working Group -- one of about 30 small collectives that have sprung up within OWS. The Comfort group is charged with finding out what basic necessities campers need, like thermal underwear, and then raising money by soliciting donations on the street.

“The other day, I took in $2,000. I kept $650 for my group, and gave the rest to Finance. Then I went to them with a request -- so many people need things, and they should not be going without basic comfort items -- and I was told to fill out paperwork. Paperwork! Are they the government now?” Smith fumed, even as he cajoled the passing crowd for more cash.  The Finance Committee dives on whatever dollars are raised by all the OWS working groups, said Smith, and doesn’t give it back.


A sharp email correspondent who alerted me to this story summarizes it nicely:
Imagine this (if you can): Individual committees raise money from their own hard work (in this case, begging).  These committees then give that money to a central authority for the good of the larger group.  The central authority decides to only give a fraction of the money collected back to that individual committee.  The members of that committee get indignant, because..."Wait, that's OUR MONEY! We worked for it!"  The irony is so wonderfully thick.

Indeed.  If the aforementioned Mr. Smith has a good think about his predicament, it might dawn on him that he ought to abandon OWS and join the Tea Party.  For bonus chuckles, check out this story about the plight of Occupy's little drummer boys.  We have no tips to bring, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum:

The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting."

Be sure to read the whole thing, lest you miss out on an insightful quote from someone named "Zonkers."  Parting thoughts:  In addition to the revelation that Barack Obama is doing the Scrooge McDuck backstroke through mountains of Wall Street cash heading into 2012, we now learn that the vast majority of "one-percenters" have amassed their evil fortunes without even working in the maligned financial sector:


It turns out the finance sector only makes up 14% of the top 1% of American earners, says this CNN Money report. Executives in other industries make up more than 30% of America's richest cohort. Medical professionals compose close to 16% and lawyers are 8% of the top 1%.

Meanwhile, no one is immune to the weak economy. The threshold to make it into the 1% club was over $424,00 in 2007. Today, it's $343,927. That's in large part due to the stock market crash. The number of bankers in the elite echelon might also shrink thanks to lousy earnings on Wall Street this year. Lots of bankers, traders and hedge fund managers will still take home big six figure paychecks, but for many it will likely be less than they earned the prior year. Bonuses on Wall Street may fall as much as 40% from a year ago, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Wow!  So a lot of those selfish "one-percenters" are earning generous salaries after dedicating years of their lives and investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into earning advanced degrees in business, law, and medicine.  How...fair.  And Wall Street bonuses are plummeting as the "recovery" worsens?  Funny, that.  Alas, these facts won't deter the "Occupy" goons, some of whom happen to be the geniuses who crafted a "maximum salary" scheme in which government workers would earn higher wages than surgeons.  But we mustn't trouble these people with reality.  Drum away, my friends.  Drum like you've never drummed before.


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