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View Diary: I am the 1% (58 comments)

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  •  Y'know, this 1% thing is turning me off (7+ / 0-)

    I've been a very loyal member of the "enlighted self-interested helping other humans out because homo sapiens sapiens is actually a pack animal" club, as well as an active member of the "malignant narcissists are ruining it for the rest of us" society.

    That was true when I was a boy in a 25% percent family.

    It was true when I was a grad student in a 50% couple.

    But now, my wife and I are suddenly blessed to be in the 2%.

    It's taken us 20 years of training and schooling, and lots of arguments about not having enough money.  And now, we have the luxury of using it to get the right people elected, to help those steamrolled by this economy, and I still go out and pound the pavement.

    I don't steal it.  If anything, I charge the lowest fees, and try to take as many insurances as possible, as compared to my colleagues.  My university mental health service job pays well, but less than what many of my hospitalist colleagues make.  Heck, compared to those practicing outside of Massachusetts, I'm a 66% discount.

    And yet, I still feel rotten for having so much.  And it doesn't produce anything good to feel this rotten.  In fact, to make me feel less rotten, I dwell on the fact that Anonymous may yet steal my bank accounts.  And that just makes me mad.

    Because before we were talking about the 99%, we were talking about the 98%.

    And I'm not in the 98%.  I am what the Obama administration first considered to be the beginning of the upper class.

    But I don't think I should be earning less, just paying more in taxes along with everybody else in this bracket.  The system worked for me, and I need it to work for everybody else.

    Because if no one earns anything and no one has insurance, then I don't earn anything either.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:14:00 PM PDT

    •  You're mistaking income for wealth (11+ / 0-)

      If you have a university mental health services job, it is highly doubtful that you fall into the top two percent of wealth, although you may just nose in for the top two percent of income.

    •  If you stopped working, could you live pleasantly (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, alizard, bronte17, kurt, kyril, FarWestGirl, 714day

      and comfortably on your accumulated wealth for the rest of your life?

      If so, you may be within the 1%.  

      More likely, you're income places you high in the rankings, but not your wealth.  Unless you've been extraordinarily lucky, your wealth does not qualify you for the top 1%.  

       If it does, perhaps you'd feel less rotten if you began to open some non-profits or other means by which the downtrodden will be less so. Sitting on piles of money and holdings and properties and not using them for good is, in my mind, fairly good reason to feel a little rotten.

      Nothing here is meant in a personal way towards you, but those are my thoughts on the people who have accumulated the vast amounts of personal wealth at the cost of the middle and lower classes over the last 30+ years.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:54:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the "1%" is more symbolic than (5+ / 0-)

      anything else.

      You aren't part of "the elites" for whose benefit society is being run unless most of your income is taxed at capital gains rates (which puts you in the top 0.1%, and you aren't actively dangerous to the rest of us unless you're in the top few thousand families which include the Forbes 400 ... the people who own private jets and superyachts.

      The "We are the 99%" probably should have been "We are the 99.9%".

      From what you told us, you're not an elite, you are an unusually well-paid workingman, and you earned your way to that status. And your income is ultimately threatened by what the elites are doing just like the rest of us.

      IOW, your economic interests are with the bottom 99%, not Bill Gates or the Koch brothers. You're on the right side, even in terms of narrow self-interest.

      Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:41:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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