Patterico's Pontifications

12/13/2011

I Am the 53% (or the 51%, or Whatever)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am



If a rival country tried to block our ports, it would be considered an act of war. Yesterday an equivalent act was attempted, right here in America, by people who claim to be on our side: the Occupy Wall Street crowd:

Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked access to several major West Coast ports Monday in synchronized demonstrations that slowed business but fell short of what some protesters hoped would be a complete shutdown of coastal shipping.

The protests stretched from San Diego to Anchorage, brought work to a standstill in Oakland and Longview, Wash., and led to the closure of a major marine terminal in Portland, Ore. Demonstrators caused smaller disruptions in Seattle and in Long Beach, where a driving rain and threats of arrest put a damper on an early morning picket line.

The protests definitely hurt those among the so-called 99%, such as port workers and truckers:

Demonstrators claim that withholding labor sends a strong message to the 1% and is a meaningful way for the movement to telegraph its power and potential. A number of truckers who lost their day’s wages, however, expressed anger that the decision was made without them.

Meanwhile, protests continue to harm small businesses, and put a burden on taxpayers, as police are continually called out in force and paid overtime to deal with their illegal actions. No skin off the nose of Occupiers: as a general rule, they’re not businessmen or taxpayers.

Which made me reflect. Maybe the divide isn’t really between the “99%” and the “1%.” Maybe the divide is between those contributing to society, and those who aren’t.

If I wanted to be divisive and tendentious, I guess I could suggest that the country is really divided into the 53% and the 47%. 53% who pay federal income tax, and 47% who don’t.

Or the 51% and the 49%. 51% who receive no government benefits (the “givers”) and 49% who do (the “takers”).

But I don’t really want to engage in divisive political rhetoric. Mostly I just want to tell these people to stop trying to drag the economy down. Maybe try contributing something. Maybe try . . .

. . . getting a job.

I know that’s very difficult under the economy of Barack Obama. But sitting around trying to ruin our economy by blocking ports doesn’t help.

31 Responses to “I Am the 53% (or the 51%, or Whatever)”

  1. I would love to get a job, but my degree in Medieval Spanish Lesbian Literature has not gotten me past any first round interviews!

    What’s a person supposed to do?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. Become a community organizer, of course, Daley!

    Simon Jester (ec5b2b)

  3. I went down and visited our local “occupy” encampment at the SC state house today and as I was walking up I caught one of the “occupiers” peeing behind a tree. I had my guitar, harmonica on the neck holder and my big goofy laplander hat on. As I approached, playing guitar and accompanying myself on harmonica the campout crowd lit up with excitement. I was playing the commie anthem “this land is your land” but when I got close I changed it up…”this ground is your ground, but only if you pay taxes. I pay my taxes, do you pay yours? I ask you fellas, please stop peeing on this sacred ground that I pay taxes for”. they didn’t appreciate my humor and started throwing dirt clods. gosh, imagine that!

    scott johnson (65d37f)

  4. I don’t understand the logic here. If they are trying to send a message to the so called “1%”, this does nothing of the sort. Totally misguided just like the other protests of this astro turf movement. This only hurts the little guy.

    Eddy (53c325)

  5. This has nothing to do with occupiers. This was orchestrated by union thugs with a whole other agenda.

    tonynoboloney (f7b141)

  6. One thing that was pointed out to me:

    Because (1) the Dock Workers Union for the Port Of Oakland specifically came out against the 99% and did not support the dock closing…

    (2) The union dock workers at the Port of Oakland were paid for the day as per their contract.

    (If they had supported the closing and walked with the 99% they would not have been paid for the day.)

    So by coming out the day before as ‘not supporting it’ the union members got a day off, no work. Quite intentionally.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  7. “The protests definitely hurt those among the so-called 99%, such as port workers and truckers”

    Not for the 20% that called in sick. 😉

    MyOpinion (259251)

  8. Just in time for Christmas: The supply of goods is held up at the ports, demand this time of year is increasing, prices go up, everybody has a lousy holiday, the Occupy crowd protest against the evil capitalist Grinches what stole Xmas, and somewhere a very old facist what sounds like Dracula congratulates himself and silently thanks the useful idiots doing his bidding.

    Icy (1a73e7)

  9. “Demonstrators claim that withholding labor sends a strong message to the 1% and is a meaningful way for the movement to telegraph its power and potential”
    To Who???
    According to Harry Reid they are Unicorns…they don’t exist

    Nothing Left (9b9247)

  10. _____________________________________________

    The protests stretched from San Diego to Anchorage, brought work to a standstill in Oakland and Longview, Wash., and led to the closure of a major marine terminal in Portland, Ore.

    So many of the communities in question are dominated by a populace full of liberal sentiment, full of blue-state, pro-Obama bias — or full of “let’s give him a million benefits of the doubt” — that they reap what they sow. IOW, when folks on the left are inconvenienced by other folks on the left, a round of hugs, kisses and pats on the back needs to be shared by all.

    Mark (411533)

  11. Icy, all the goods for Christmas passed through the various ports long before the beginning of Dec.

    Patrick, you forgot one important point above:

    “…Maybe try . . .
    taking a bath, and
    . . . getting a job…”

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  12. As far as the lunatics blocking ports are concerned … your plea falls on deaf ears. The good news is a simple headcount shows these loons are actually an infnitesimal percentage of the 99%, or 47%, or 49%. Hardly enough for local police to lose any sleep over. Team Leftie will be moving on to a new and different corrupt narrative in the New Year.

    d(^_^)b
    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

    LibertyAtStake (3d760e)

  13. What is needed is a change in the law, so that if you are going about your lawful business and someone is deliberately blocking your way, and refuses to get out of the way when given sufficient warning, then you are entitled to keep going and if they get hurt or killed that’s their problem.

    Right now if you drove through a picket line you’d be charged with attempted murder, so what can you do? Especially if the police refuse to clear the picketers, all you’re left with is to accept the loss, and eventually deal with the picketers and give them at least some of what they want. If the law allowed you to drive through them with impunity they’d clear the road and it would rarely come to that.

    And of course the same should apply to those who lie down on railroad tracks or in front of bulldozers, or who invade firing ranges (such as Vieques). Just keep going and if they die call it suicide.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  14. #OCCUPY needs to have their own Rachel Corrie moment.

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  15. #14, unfortunately, had the tank driver been able to see St Rachel the Israeli legal mafia would have tried and convicted him and he’d be doing hard time. Israel has surrendered to the lawfare mentality, which says that obeying international liberal laws and conventions is more important than survival.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  16. Oh daley,

    If only, if only you had instead opted for the Fwench version of that degree program things could have been so very different. But alas, life’s a crapshoot

    elissa (9d9d19)

  17. The punishment of Democrat mayors of Democrat-controlled cities where these “actions” have taken place will be something to behold come election time.

    Colonel Haiku (db6c74)

  18. Where are the jobs for those who’ve earned advanced degrees in Puppetry?

    Colonel Haiku (db6c74)

  19. There is IIRC a recall petition being circulated, or threatened, in Oakland.

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  20. Meanwhile #OWS has claimed a casualty. Boston’s Milk Street Cafe expanded to New York in June. It was well on the way to becoming established and profitable when #OWS hit, and business plummeted. They’ve just announced that they’re closing down this Thursday.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  21. Can you imagine being such a loser that you can’t make it…in 21st century America?

    More importantly, can you imagine ADMITTING, in public, that you can’t make it in the richest, most productive society that has ever existed?

    These “occupy” guys are a total hoot.

    They all ought to have “loser” tatooed on their foreheads. It would save them the trouble of trying to explain what they’re all about.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  22. I have a question that I hope the collective wisdom of the group can answer. I keep hearing about how a certain percentage of the people of the US do not pay federal taxes. My wife and I both work and we end up overpaying and getting refunds from the US. Would you say that we are not paying taxes or are there people who do not work who get money back from the US without paying anything to them? I appreciate your responses.

    Orion11349 (de652e)

  23. Milhouse, I don’t see that on either their webpage or their twitter feed. Where was it announced?

    aphrael (1fc48e)

  24. AD-RtR/OS: of course there’s a recall petition being circulated. A substantial percentage of Don Perata’s supporters never accepted the outcome of the election (Perata led after the first ballot but the IRV vote transfer caused a bunch of people’s second-place votes to throw it to Quan) and would basically take any excuse for a recall.

    aphrael (1fc48e)

  25. Comment by Orion11349 — 12/13/2011 @ 6:21 pm

    According to the most recent data (which I do not have a link to), approx. 47% of U.S. taxpayers pay no NET Federal Income Tax.
    Many of these receive a “reverse” tax due to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  26. Regarding the union elections, this will make your head spin

    Chuck Bartowski (69b74e)


  27. Carolina Hidalgo for New York Daily News
    Milk Street Cafe, the restaurant whose business dried up in the face of the Occupy Wall Street barricades, is shutting down.
    Thursday will be the last day for the 23,000 square-foot eatery that opened at 40 Wall St. in June, the Daily News has learned.
    “It’s terribly sad,” Milk Street Cafe owner Marc Epstein told the News.
    Epstein blamed the barricades that remained in front of his restaurant even after the Occupy Wall Street protestors were removed from Zuccotti Park.
    “This is now the 12th straight week of the barricades,” he said.
    The restaurant owner, who operates an eatery and catering business in Boston, said he pressed the city daily for their removal, but got nowhere.
    Milk Street Cafe’s closure will result in the layoff of 70 workers. That’s on top of the 21 let go in October.

    Icy (1a73e7)

  28. Where was it announced?

    I saw it in an email from koshertopia.com

    Milk Street Cafe’s closure will result in the layoff of 70 workers.

    Layoff?! The place is closing down, so how can they ever expect their jobs back? They’re not being laid off, they’re being fired. Those jobs are permanently gone. Or is this some new usage of “layoff” that I’m unfamiliar with?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  29. Which made me reflect. Maybe the divide isn’t really between the “99%” and the “1%.” Maybe the divide is between those contributing to society, and those who aren’t.

    Dude, OWS has ALWAYS been about the Grasshoppers and the Ants.

    In the postmodernist version of the fable, the grasshoppers get together with the leeches, beat up the ants, and steal their hard-earned supplies.

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

  30. Become a community organizer, of course, Daley!

    ..And with a name like “Daley”, you’re a natural !! 😀

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

  31. Where are the jobs for those who’ve earned advanced degrees in Puppetry?

    I can assure you they are all finding gainful employment in the low paying field of blog commentary. 😀

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)


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