I previously wrote about Occupy Wall Street and how the 99% can make it. In a recent Philadelphia Magazine story, a journalist, Robert Huber interviewed five 1%ers from the Phildelphia area (anonymously) to get their thoughts and feelings on the economy and the Occupy movement. Below I list each interviewee and some quotes from them in the magazine, along with my thoughts.
The Inheritor – The Inheritor is worth $11 million; her parents are worth over $100 million
“Somewhere along the line, we went from being the land of opportunity to being the land of entitlement. And the one percent missed the memo – the one percent stills sees this as the land of opportunity.”
“During Occupy Philadelphia…nobody had any idea what they were doing there.”
“The Occupy movement….they’re marching down Broad Street, and a bunch of us went out. They’re blocking traffic, with of course police escorts, which are costing us money, and they’re interrupting thousands of people’s business day.”
“Amongst the younger group, they would rather stay home than earn what they call a negative wage. They say, well if my rent, entertainment, eating out, taking people out, and my utilities and groceries and my monthly clothing expenses add up to $1,800 a month, but I have a job that’s only going to pay me $900 a month before taxes, that’s a negative wage.”
My thoughts are that for a handful of her points, I agree. I think that many people don’t have a clue on the topic of personal finance. In their eyes, the quote above about a negative wage makes sense to them. They don’t realize that you need to “cut out the fat” from your budget so that you can live on what you earn.
The CEO – The CEO grew up middle-class and has run and owned several companies making him worth tens of millions.
“What interests me is how much we seem to need an enemy.”
“We were in Saudi Arabia two years ago…about eight of us. They had just done a study to find industries that could become number one in the world. One of them was nanotechnology. They were spending $30 billion on the nanotechnology industry. To me, that seems smart. We’re spending $700 billion on military, and spending nothing on things like this. And that’s how you create jobs.”
I agree with his comments 100%. We have the biggest military in the world. Why do we need to keep spending so much? We should move some of that money to take advantage of the new industries. America lead the industrial revolution. We need to lead the world in other industries and fields going forward.
I also agree with his point of the US always needing an enemy. Why is this? The Soviet Union was an enemy. It was The Cold War. We have the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on Aids. It’s just interesting when you think about it.
The Marketing Mogul – The Marketing Mogul built his firm into an international business and personally, he is worth over $20 million.
“I’m fiscally conservative. But I haven’t found a party I like. Because the Republicans scare me. Obama’s fiscal policies scare me. He’s going after the rich with increased taxes. So I’m going to pay five percent more taxes under him starting next year? That scares the hell out of me. I pay plenty in taxes. All I do is pay taxes. I pay the maximum.”
“I feel that anybody can have wealth if they want to. It’s all about getting an education, filling a need in the marketplace. Anybody can have money.”
I’ve stated before that I don’t think that raising taxes on the rich is the answer to all of our problems. But, I don’t think anyone has the answer right now either. I do agree that anyone can have wealth, they just have to realize that they have to work at it. It doesn’t just happen. You have to work hard for it.
The Housewife – The Housewife grew up middle class. She had a career, but now says at home to raise her children. Her husband is a self-made millionaire worth close to $20 million.
“I would have lived under a bridge and eaten Spam before I would have expected anybody else to support me. And I know that;s not fair, because I know those people at Occupy can’t find jobs. And I graduated college in a time when I could find a job. But what I don’t understand is how that frustration is somebody else’s fault.”
She makes an interesting point as to how many of the people who can’t find a job blame someone else. There are a lot of things that led up to current situation we are in now. It’s not just one person’s fault. It was a perfect storm of loosened regulations and people taking advantage of them. Instead of getting mad and blaming people, we need to understand why it happened learn from it, and move on. We have to keep moving forward, one day at a time.
The Boss – The Boss comes from an upper middle class family. He is worth over $50 million.
“I think the worst is when Obama stands up there ans says, All these rich guys flying around on their corporate jets. Well, you know what? Me and a lot of other executives, I work 18 hours a day, 20 hours a day. So if I can be in three cities in one day, I’m doing better for myself, my company, my employees, my shareholders. Do we want executives who are running big business to be stuck in an airport for five hours and not be able to get their work done and be productive?”
“America in general is lazy. And there’s a sense of entitlement that exists here that doesn’t in other countries. I guess Occupy was showing me that it’s one thing to be bitter about what’s going on in your situation in life and say, I want a job. I want to work but we’re not creating jobs. But was shocked to then see them also turn and say, You know what? We also hate the one-percenters. Rich people. I think they’re two separate things. Its as if the rich people kept all their money and fired everybody.”
I get the idea that he is making about executive flying. But with technology today, do executives need to travel as much? Can’t they do video calling more?
Also, I do like the point about how all of the rich are placed into one bucket and are hated by the Occupy movement. All the rich didn’t conspire to get us into the mess we are in now. Are they benefiting from it? Sure, but not all of them are the cause of it or are taking advantage of it.
What are your thoughts after reading some of these excerpts?