Get a job! It's a refrain constantly lobbed at #OWS protesters (myself included) by the one percent: by Ivy League students, high-profile Twitter trolls, CEOs, politicians and Wall Street employees, just to name a few.
At a time when the national unemployment rate hovers between 9 and 10 percent and the underemployment rate is nearly double that, the words "Get a Job" are rife with meaning and full of symbolic weight.
For this is something said by those who have, to those who have-not. It is something said by the wealthiest among us which demonstrates both their disconnect from reality and their inability to feel compassion.
Yes, the peasants are starving in America. There is no bread to eat. And yet, our one percent (and those who do their bidding) continue to holler a modern-day Let them eat cake.
Get a Job!
What follows is an incomplete, yet powerful compendium of those who are saying "Get a job" to Occupy Wall Street protesters. It serves not only as a testament to this growing response, but as evidence that this response indicates one thing: we are winning.
Children of the 1 %
When #OWS protesters descended upon the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School to protest Eric Cantor's appearance, they were met with jeers from Ivy League students, who looked down at them from a balcony and yelled, "Get a Job! Get a Job!" One such student held a sign that read, "Get in Our Bracket."
Here is a picture of said student and sign:
Photo by Justin Cohen for the Daily Pennsylvanian.
And here is video of the exchange; the faint chanting from above you hear is "Get a Job! Get a Job!"
Twitter Trolls of the 1 %
Drew Grant at the New York Observer put together a remarkable slide show entitled "Meet the Twitter Trolls Telling Occupy Wall Street to Get a Job!"
Below are the top three examples, due mostly to the identities (and jobs) of those doing the Tweeting, which Grant tacks on to the bottom of each Tweet:
Wall Street Employees of the 1 %
During yesterday morning's historic marches on Wall Street, a few bankers decided to hold a mini counter rally of their own. Guess what their emphatic, boisterous message was? (Hint: go to the 50 second mark.)
Get a job!
Television pundits of the 1 %
While Fox News alone provides too many clips to count, below is one that represent the myriad of others I could have provided.
Here's Fox News regular contributor, Kristin Bentz, with her reasoned, attenuated analysis of those "kids" at Occupy Wall Street:
"Occupy Wall Street is just absolutely ridiculous. These kids need to go to work, get a job, pay off their student loans and quit bitching about capitalism."
Business Leaders of the 1 %
Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems, provides his "let them eat cake" moment during an interview on NBC:
McNealy on #OWS: Get a job. Pay taxes. Be a national economic hero...the approximately half that isn't paying income taxes out of [#ows] should figure it out and get a job."
Politicians of the 1 %
Here's Herman Cain, via The American Independent:Herman Cain made it very clear how he feels about Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and how they should be handled by the Obama administration and lawmakers. Obama should, according to Cain, “tell them to go home and get a job.”
Conservative hacks of the 1%
The beloved Erick Erickson of Red State, who tried desperately to make his "We Are the 53 Percent" meme stick, wrote this (via TPM):“I would like to point out to these people that I work three jobs, can’t sell my house in this economy, still am paying massive student loans, and somehow or another do not blame Wall Street for my situation,” Erickson wrote in a post on Red State. “In fact, I’m one of the 53% — the 53% of Americans subsidizing these people so they can go hang out on Wall Street to complain.”
“Get a job hippies!” he added.
Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG
Author's Note: Recently, I wrote a diary entitled The Bank Employee Yelled, "Get a Job!" | My 8-year-old Daughter Replied, "This Is His Job."
It was an anecdotal moment from our time at Occupy Pittsburgh, a moment which ended in the following way:When we were leaving, we passed a group of impromptu musicians stationed at one of the park's entrances closest to Mellon's front doors. They were using an amp and loudly jamming on an electric guitar and singing. I'll be honest, at that moment the music was off key and horrible. But it was festive. And loud. Really loud.
On our way back to the car, after my eight-year-old had taken her fill of pictures, a bank employee in a crisp suit was standing on the steps of BNY Mellon in front of the musicians. He was taking a smoke break, pulling quickly. He was clearly agitated.
As we neared him on our way to our car, the banker yelled to nobody in particular, "Get a job!"
My daughter looked up at me and asked, "Is he saying that to the musician?"
"I think so," I said.
"Why did he say that?"
"But isn't that his job?"
"What is?" I asked.
"Playing music for people protesting. That is his job."
"Exactly," I said, smiling. "Exactly."