10.16.2011

open letter from the middle class: two responses to the 53%ers

I have been steadfastly avoiding the so-called 53%, the US right-wing reaction to the Occupy movement, but two responses to their claims caught my eye.

Suzy Khimm in the Washington Post takes on the hypocrisy of right-wingers flaunting their status as taxpayers, and the ridiculous notion that the protesters don't pay taxes.
Part of the reason that over 40 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes is because of the continual push to lower them — a cause that conservatives have championed. For example, while the Bush-era tax cuts benefited the wealthy, they also lowered taxes at every income level, making it “relatively easy for families of four making $50,000 to eliminate their income tax liability,” as the Associated Press notes. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, similarly, took many lower-income Americans off of the tax rolls, an accomplishment about which the Gipper was quite proud. . . .

What’s more the “53 percent” Tumblr also implies that there’s a certain mantle of responsibility that paying taxes confers upon people — i.e. grown-up, self-directed Americans like us can earn enough money to pay taxes, so you should, too. That’s an unusual message coming from conservatives who’ve pushed so mightily for an anti-tax agenda.
A right-wing PR man explains, "On a more visceral level, there’s always the reaction against the hippies." The hippies? What century is this again? Although no surprise, this sad, ignorant, utterly knee-jerk reaction still amazes me. I wish some of the folks who throw this word "hippie" around would get themselves to the nearest Occupy demonstration. They would, of course, see regular, everyday, garden-variety working people, or people who would love to be working if only there were jobs. Does it not occur to them that these protests are far too large and too widespread to be gatherings of "hippies"?

* * * *

The writer of the second response is a US liberal. He favours capitalism and the middle-class dream far more than I do. I no longer believe the system can be reformed; it has to be re-made. But I'm sharing his post because it's a passionate, eloquent and nearly comprehensive rationale for why everyone should support the Occupy movement. It's long, but well worth your time. Please read: Open Letter to that 53% Guy, by Udargo on Daily Kos.

4 comments:

allan said...

Yet another reason (#95,804,773, I belive) to OCCUPY:

Boston Globe: A federal agency that monitors company pension plans is accusing Friendly Ice Cream Corp. of filing for bankruptcy protection in order to get out of paying the pensions of nearly 6,000 workers and retirees.

laura k said...

A similar response from Impudent Strumpet.

deang said...

I'm still usually a bit taken aback by the "hippy" accusation, not only because it's devoid of content and accuracy, but also because I remember the pre-punk era of the late 60s through mid-70s when hippies weren't hated by anyone but backwards rednecks, were known to be the group that inspired beneficial trends in healthy living, healthy eating, natural fiber clothing, organic foods, eco-friendly lifestyles, Eastern religions, yoga, expanding the mind, sharing, cooperation, etc, all while looking pretty cool. That's probably the real reason why right-wingers still won't let that word die; they don't want people to look past its use as an empty epithet toward the actual truth of who those people were.

laura k said...

That's probably the real reason why right-wingers still won't let that word die; they don't want people to look past its use as an empty epithet toward the actual truth of who those people were.

Of course my "what century is this" comment should not be construed as anti-hippie.