What do they want?

If it's more fairness from government and Wall Street, we agree

  • Follow Editorials

We’re not exactly sure what the unhappy campers occupying Wall Street and other public places in America want. In some cases, neither do they, it seems.

Some are bizarrely railing against “the 1-percenters” – a cute new disparaging term for the top 1 percent of earners, who pay between 28 and 38 percent of all income taxes in this country, depending on which source you believe. Apparently that’s not enough, or perhaps they have too much political influence for the protesters’ taste. Some protesters are less obtuse, holding signs saying “Eat the rich.”

Some are oddly complaining about the student debt that they, themselves, agreed to take on in return for the privilege of a college education. What do they want? Less education, or someone else to pay for it? Or maybe they want their professors to earn less or maybe work more, or perhaps less-expensive campuses? Maybe they’d be happy with tents instead of lecture halls?

Are the protests a manifestation of the class warfare our president is waging? If so, did he ever dream his divisive rhetoric would sprout results so quickly?

It’s all just a little incoherent at this point. Regardless, the young protesters need to go into their civil disobedience with their eyes wide open. Despite the country’s newfound hardships, most of these kids still enjoy a lifestyle dwarfing that of 99 percent of the world’s population. Moreover, they need to be careful not to be made into useful tools for those who simply want to grow stifling government even more, and sap the lifeblood of the private sector; and, yes, there are those who only wish to bring down the very system that has provided that lifestyle.

Having said all that, if the focus of the protests is on corporate greed, they will have good company.

The truth is, even now the capitalists are giving capitalism a bad name.

Ordinary Americans are fed up to the gills with the old ways – of corporate excess, of fat-cat multimillion-dollar salaries and bonuses that go on even as wages stagnate or decrease, moms and dads work two jobs and others are laid off completely – and after taxpayers bailed out some of the country’s biggest, most irresponsible and unaccountable firms because they were “too big to fail.” People see the financial sector doing better, while their own cupboards are increasingly bare.

If protesters manage to mine that particular discontent and disgust that spans every sector of American society, then they will find a deep, rich vein indeed.

Yet, they need to understand that “eating the rich” is no solution.

First things first: It’s time for this government, and the Federal Reserve, to open up the books and show us precisely where all that bailout money went. It was our money; we have a fundamental right to know where it went.

Meanwhile, it’s time for the corporate world to start paying attention to the country’s burgeoning restiveness. You are losing the public relations battle, and badly. Your CEOs and other top executives need to band together and reduce their salaries and bonuses – and hire everyone they can find work for. Don’t tell us there isn’t work; your remaining employees are doing two and three people’s worth.

At the same time, the government needs to set domestic taxes and regulations at a level that induces business growth – and stop approving trade deals that put American workers at a disastrous disadvantage.

If that’s what these youths want, we want it for them even more than they do.

Comments (40) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 10/03/11 - 11:56 pm
0
0
holy smokes. the chronicle

holy smokes. the chronicle agrees that corporate CEO pay is out of control.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 10/04/11 - 12:03 am
0
0
I dunno, omnomom. I've been
Unpublished

I dunno, omnomom. I've been stunned since yesterday's two editorial pieces. Is someone on vacation at the ACES??

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 10/04/11 - 12:10 am
0
0
tee hee. bravo new guy. brah,

tee hee. bravo new guy. brah, vo.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 10/04/11 - 01:00 am
0
0
It's sad how the sheep are

It's sad how the sheep are led around so easily.

They obey the tweets and twits and roll over to Wall Street without a question asked.

Now that they are there, they don't even know what they are protesting or what they want.

In a few days, they'll return to suburban America, living with their parents and driving their new Range Rover. Life will return to normal and they'll move on to their next fad.

shrimp for breakfast
5457
Points
shrimp for breakfast 10/04/11 - 04:08 am
0
0
Good Editorial! I think these

Good Editorial!
I think these kids were looking to protest because that's what kids do.
It's the hip cause at the moment.
There will never be another 60's. That was the only "groovy" protest.
They see the protests around the world and say "Man we need to be havin g fun like those guys! What can we protest? I know, Greed!"
It's almost laughable. You know I wish them luck. I mean with Michael Moore involved how can they fail. He can be their Timothy Leary or Abby Hoffman.
Too bad they don't see the seriousness of the situation. Like everyone else has already alluded to these kids don't know hardship.
It's just a shame they are so clueless as to their cause.
What we need at the moment are serious people with serious answers to fix this country. Yes we need to stop this endless war, bring the troops home, stay out of other countries business and work on ourselves. I guess it's easier to turn a blind eye to our own problems when we're wasting all of our money and resources on some other countries problems.

"We would be wise to stay out of all foriegn entanglements." (George Washington)

carcraft
26220
Points
carcraft 10/04/11 - 06:02 am
0
0
Yep lets get more government

Yep lets get more government regulation (how is the $5 ATM fee working for you)? I know lets produe ethanol that will teach the rich oil companies a lesson (as we watch food prices increase and our small gasoline engine powered lawn equipement fail). I know we will restrict pay by company profits, make those nasty CEO's earn their pay ! oops already tried it. I know lets pass a health care bill to reduce health casts and reduce insurance premiums! Rut rhoo, did that and health care costs are raising faster as are insurance premiums!

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 10/04/11 - 07:12 am
0
0
Carcraft is onto it. In every

Carcraft is onto it. In every case, anywhere in the world, when the free market is manipulated by government and forces are introduced not based on capitalism, trouble ensues. Sooner or later these unrealistic forces create debts that have to be paid, the government interference corrected and a return to capitalism implemented.

One of the NY protestors was a young lady, a recent college graduate, who lamented her student gov't loan debt and inability to find a job. If she hadn't been able to obtain the student loan, maybe she wouldn't have undertaken a degree where she can't find a job. If she had been paying her way, she would have been making sure her career was appropriate and a job lay ahead. Ditto home loans to those unqualified.

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 10/04/11 - 07:15 am
0
0
I know the Chronicle is

I know the Chronicle is frustrated. They went bankrupt, the staff is being paid peanuts and the debt holders weild a mean stick. But for every dollar that went out of newspapers one was invested in newer ideas. That's the beauty of a free market, it quickly handles the inevitable changes of supply and demand.

When you mess with those quick corrections, you create bigger ones later. I'll bet that many newspaper investors long ago moved to other sectors of the market. Those who didn't are on the street in NYC screaming up at windows where the people behind them are eating rugelach and planning their next moved based on supply and demand.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/04/11 - 07:15 am
0
0
So a 9% rise in insurance

So a 9% rise in insurance premiums is the fault of new regulations, then the 131% increase in the previous 10 years was due to what? If we've slowed down the increase by 4% a year, it's a step in the right direction.

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 10/04/11 - 07:19 am
0
0
Insurance premiums go up

Insurance premiums go up because hospitals charge more. Hospitals charge more because government makes them take the uninsured. Legislate how much they can charge and investors will take their money out of insurance companies driving the prices even higher and creating more uninsured.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/04/11 - 07:32 am
0
0
Whereas, if everyone has

Whereas, if everyone has insurance, hospitals will no longer be taking in uninsured patients so they should be able to charge less.

Little Lamb
46353
Points
Little Lamb 10/04/11 - 07:35 am
0
0
Or perhaps, instead of

Or perhaps, instead of charging less, they'll make more. . ? . .

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 10/04/11 - 07:39 am
0
0
The real problem is the

The real problem is the country has a wide disparity in income levels unlike Europe. We are coming from an era of segregation although all the poor are certainly not black. The truth is everyone can't have the same level of health care, but no one wants to hear that. The poor used to die at home and paid what they could. Now they get the best care and pay nothing.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/04/11 - 07:54 am
0
0
The making more is definitely

The making more is definitely a possibility. The extremely poor have the advantage of Medicaid. The ones who are getting shafted are those who work for a living but have lousy or no health insurance, especially those who are getting up in age or have a pre-existing condition. Of course they could use Sue Lowden's barter with chickens plan. Somewhat of a hoot, the chicken to procedure calculator:
http://lowdenplan.com/

Rhetor
1015
Points
Rhetor 10/04/11 - 08:15 am
0
0
The problem, ACES, is that

The problem, ACES, is that the super-rich (which, with all due respect, probably includes few if anybody you know personally), control so much of the nation's wealth--that even if they pay 28%-38% of the taxes, they are still not paying their fair share.

harley_52
23608
Points
harley_52 10/04/11 - 08:53 am
0
0
techfan said.... "So a 9%

techfan said....

"So a 9% rise in insurance premiums is the fault of new regulations, then the 131% increase in the previous 10 years was due to what?"

Government regulation, mainly. Then there's the lawyers that get their share too, but mainly it's government intervention. This stuff has been discussed over and over again. Health Insurance Companies' profits are lower than those in many other sectors. Government mandates of unnecessary and unwanted coverage for ALL employees is a big part of the problem, laws that mandate only in-state companies as providers within that same state, all the same things we discussed when Obamacare was being stuffed down our throats by the democrats.

But it's sooooooooo much easier to blame it all on "greedy" Insurance companies, isn't it? Then we can all hold hands, gaze into each others' eyes and chant "kumbaya" as we pick up our signs and "occupy Augusta."

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/04/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
Greed is a problem -

Greed is a problem - especially when it is used to "buy" politicians and results in crony capitalism - which is bad for U.S. taxpayers no matter how you slice & dice it.

Greed is different from capitalism's desire to succeed, the individual American citizens desire to have fine things or the drive of a business owner to succeed & be profitable without harming others. Greed is wanting it all, even though you know you can't afford it or you have no intention of paying back your loan (think sub prime mortgages and Solyndra). Both examples of Greed Gone Wild. Greed is becoming a "success" even though it tramples on the rights of others - for example, borrowers on their banks, banks on their customers, businesses on the taxpayers, politicians on the citizens. You get the drift.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/04/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
Now, lets talk about the

Now, lets talk about the protesters. They are comprised of several groups.

1. Union Members - who are on the clock and were told to go & protest
2. Obama supporters (are there even that many left?!)
3. Progressives & Socialists (i.e. liberals)
4. Students (i.e. useful idiots)
5. Patriotic Americans who truly are concerned about our country

I've listed them in order of # of participants. #5 is the smallest group of course.

harley_52
23608
Points
harley_52 10/04/11 - 09:39 am
0
0
I'm afraid the word "greed"

I'm afraid the word "greed" has been so co-opted and misused by the left that it has become synonymous with "capitalism." If you don't believe me, just listen to the protestors interviewed as they "occupy" various bridges and cities around America.

Fortunately there is a word to describe extreme, or obsessive "greed." The kind of "greed" that compels one to step on others on the way to getting more and more for yourself.

The word is "avarice."

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/04/11 - 09:59 am
0
0
"The kind of "greed" that

"The kind of "greed" that compels one to step on others on the way to getting more and more for yourself."

Harley. Just like Solyndra & the 2 most recent billion dollar solar loans. Al Gore. The Unions. The stimulus bill. The healthcare bill. Eric Holders gun debacle. Obama's drilling policies. The bank bailouts. Obama & Michelle's vacations. I could go on & on but.......

The progressives know the avarice drill so well. Power, Control and money. That's what is all about for them.

dichotomy
33479
Points
dichotomy 10/04/11 - 10:09 am
0
0
"that even if they pay

"that even if they pay 28%-38% of the taxes, they are still not paying their fair share."

Rhetor....would you please give me YOUR definition of fair. Your definition of fair seems to be "if they make money take it, but if I make money I keep it". You seem to think fair is when someone else pays all of the taxes.

Even if the tax rate was only 10% the high income earners would still be paying most of the taxes. If I make $1,000,000 this year and pay $100,000 in taxes and you make $50,000 this year and pay $5,000, I would be paying 20 times the amount of taxes that you pay. I don't cost the government any more than you. My cars don't wear out the road any more than yours. I don't need more soldiers than you to defend me. So what, in any stretch of the definition of the word "fair", makes you think that I should pay a higher percentage of my income to support this totally failed, heavy handed, socialist government than any one else?

My interpretation of fair is when EVERYONE pays the same percentage of their income in taxes. The biggest problem we have now is that there are too many who pay none and they are too selfish to give up that "poor little me" status. You want me to pay more? I am willing. Pick a percentage and I will pay it. But I want every swinging Richard to pay the same percentage of their income that I do, from every source including welfare, EBT, Section 8, Social Security, and SSI. All of that is INCOME and I want it taxed. No loopholes, no exemptions, no unEARNED INCOME CREDIT. If you get a dollar, give the government 10 cents.

To clarify, I do not make a $1,000,000 a year. I am solidly below the $100,000 mark. But I firmly believe that everyone should pay taxes, from the poor to the rich, and that it should be the same tax for everyone. To the Warren Buffets and CEOs, more power to them. I wish I was one of them. But they already pay PLENTY. It's time for the %47 of the freeloaders to put some skin in the game instead of standing on the the side of the road squawking like a bunch of buzzards waiting to pick a carcass that, as usual, somebody else killed for them.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 10/04/11 - 10:36 am
0
0
Well said,dichotomy. I think

Well said,dichotomy. I think the debate should end now.

allhans
23752
Points
allhans 10/04/11 - 10:45 am
0
0
One said he wants to "party

One said he wants to "party like a rockstar". Ahem..

harley_52
23608
Points
harley_52 10/04/11 - 11:00 am
0
0
What dichotomy said.

What dichotomy said.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 10/04/11 - 11:33 am
0
0
wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 10/04/11 - 11:47 am
0
0
What do they want?....well
Unpublished

What do they want?....well here you go folks ..these poor demented young folks are in for such a rude awakening......

http://nation.foxnews.com/occupy-wall-street/2011/10/03/read-demands-occ...

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 10/04/11 - 11:58 am
0
0
I've never seen such "rich
Unpublished

I've never seen such "rich envy" from so many underachievers.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/04/11 - 12:18 pm
0
0
rmwhitley Tuesday, Oct. 4

rmwhitley
Tuesday, Oct. 4 11:58 AM
FROM:
What do they want?

"I've never seen such "rich envy" from so many underachievers."

Isn't that the truth!! I don't know that it is so much "underachievers" as it is people who've taken a career path that has little demand in the marketplace for their skill. I have a cousin who has a degree from UGA in history, fine arts, or something like that; and the best she can do is an office manager. That is fine, nothing wrong with being an office manager, but the point is she is a very talented and bright person, just talented and bright in things that have little commercial demand. I haven't heard her express any class envy, but a lot of people in those same shoes are mad because they are making $30K/yr while they see classmates or kinfolk making double and triple that with degrees/training that are in demand.

willie7
961
Points
willie7 10/04/11 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Techfan, You are one of the
Unpublished

Techfan, You are one of the most intelligent and informed Bloggers.
Keep up the good work . Maybe some will see the light.

harley_52
23608
Points
harley_52 10/04/11 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Third generation hippies

Third generation hippies sound a lot like their grandparents did and probably smell the same as well.

Do they still wear sandals?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Fire closes Broad Street

An early morning fire is closing parts of downtown Broad Street and motorists are advised to avoid the area around Ninth Street.
Search Augusta jobs