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Occupy Wall Street: Photo Dispatches from the Movement That Is Changing America

By carolyncastiglia |

occupy wall street, ows, washington square park

My daughter after the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Washington Square Park.

This a movement based on class, which, as an issue, most Americans don’t much like to confront, largely because to admit that it is an issue is to admit that a great part of the American self-image is a delusion. We do not all have an equal chance. The game is rigged. The economy has been turned into a casino and the house always wins, and we are not the house any more. Not for a long time. Not by the longest shot. And if that’s all these protests ever say, if that’s all that ever gets shouted into the rising autumn wind, then that’s an effort worth making.

That’s from Charles P. Pierce’s great post on Esquire.com about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have been going on in New York City for weeks now.  I highly recommend you read it, if you’re looking for reporting on the subject matter that reflects the actual tone of the protests without simultaneously mocking the hippie spirit involved and represents the reality of the varied types of people from across the country with different jobs and political leanings who all feel the same way about insatiable corporate greed: that the demand for profit at all costs must be curbed.  That American workers and foreign workers being mistreated while making consumer products to be sold in the U.S. deserve better.  That the immense gap between rich and poor must be closed by raising taxes on the wealthiest one percent of the population.

I’ve been excited about the Occupy Wall Street movement since I heard about it back in mid-September, but I was reticent to go downtown and join the fray because I thought it might not be a friendly place to bring my 6-year-old daughter, and I was terrified that if I showed up in Zuccotti Park alone while she was at school, I might get arrested and then there would be no one to pick her up.  I certainly wasn’t planning on conducting myself in a way that would result in an arrest, but as hoards of footage taken by peaceful protesters has shown, the police have been indiscriminate about their use of force, a fact that has shocked many Americans.  Several people have noted – if not so much in the media proper, certainly on the street and via social media – that Occupy Wall Street as a movement was catalyzed and has been sustained by young white people. If Black America’s involvement has remained low, that’s largely because – as my friend and fellow comedian Jeffrey Joseph joked on Twitter – “Thought of joining Occupy Wall Street but cops are beating up WHITE women. My ass would become the Crispus Attucks of the recession revolt.”

So I was trepidatious about getting involved, but as I watched the movement grow from the comfort of my laptop screen, I knew I needed to physically show up to a rally, to support with not just my mind but my body.  I started asking friends who had been going every day, “What’s the likelihood of arrest?  Have you seen any kids down there?”  My friend Ted Alexandro, a brilliant comedian and working-class philanthropist, has been at Zuccotti Park almost every day for the past few weeks (check out this excellent 4-minute video profiling his involvement in the movement) and he assured me that things were relatively calm for the most part.  My friend Mica Scalin mentioned that she’d seen some families with young kids participate in the planned march from City Hall to Zuccotti Park on October 5th, and it was then I knew I had no excuse.  I took my daughter down to Washington Square Park this weekend to see the hippie kids waving their jazz hands in support of democracy with my own eyes and to add my voice to the growing masses representing the 99%.  These are the folks I met:

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Occupy Wall Street: Photo Dispatches from the Movement That Is Changing America

Occupy Wall Street

The crowd at the special assembly on Saturday, October 8th in Washington Square Park.

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About carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at MarieClaire.com and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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61 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street: Photo Dispatches from the Movement That Is Changing America

  1. Joe Bua says:

    Excellent. Hope this encourages other parents to take their kids. It’s such basic democracy in action it’s almost child neglect if you DON’T show your kids and talk to them about it.

  2. jensunnyside says:

    I rarely wish I was back in New York, but right now, I wish I was there with you. Occupy Wall Street is monumental.

  3. michelle says:

    Wish I could be back home in NY but am going to Occupy Chicago with my kids.

  4. carolyncastiglia says:

    Awesome!

  5. Little Frogs says:

    You know… I was at first quite dismissive of this thinking it would go no where. It held together longer than I expected… and then Occupy BOston announced the first item on its agenda was to decolonialize Boston.

    Seriously, how can you take them seriously when they start like that?

  6. Anon, the original one says:

    You can’t. They are ridiculous.

  7. Anonimom says:

    Here’s what bothers me. When the Tea Party was holding rallies crying out against big government spending plans that were going to bail out the folks on Wall Street and big corporations, they were decried as fringe, racist, lunatics. But, now when it is a bunch of young, hipsters chanting in drum circles, it is “The Most Important Thing In the World.”

  8. Anonimom says:

    “That the immense gap between rich and poor must be closed by raising taxes on the wealthiest one percent of the population.” Really? I’m not saying that the tax code couldn’t use some changing, mainly to simplify it. However, I do not want to send the message to my children, “Work hard. Try to make a success out of yourself. Just not too big a success or the government is going to come along and knock you down a few pegs, because it makes the less successful people feel bad that you have so much more than them.” Yes, the tax code needs to be reformulated so that everyone can understand it and we are all paying our fair share. However, we should not be using the tax code to penalize those who we think make too much money. As it stands now, 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes. The top 1% of wage earners shoulder 38% of the federal taxes collected. The top 5% cover almost 60%. So if we are going to argue about class warfare, it seems pretty clear that the top percent are carrying the rest of us.

  9. Anon, the original one says:

    A flat tax would be most fair.

  10. michelle says:

    Anonimom has read too many of those dumb Ayn Rand novels.
    1) 47% of Americans pay no income taxes because they’re poor. And most of them still do pay federal payroll and excise taxes, and state sales taxes, all of which you somehow failed to mention. Lower earners actually pay a higher rate of payroll tax than richer people, because the payroll tax tops out at $106.8K.
    2) The top 1% of wage earners do not “shoulder” 38% of federal taxes. They pay 38% of federal INCOME taxes. They pay around 22% of all federal taxes. And they make about 80% of all income. Somehow you don’t mention this either.
    3) Find me one example of a motivated person deciding not to be successful because their marginal tax rate goes up a few points. I work in private equity and we pay only a 15% tax rate. Are we all going to suddenly stop working in this very lucrative field if our tax rate goes up? Even if it goes all the way up to 35% like everyone else? Um, no. Would Bill Gates have decided not to start Microsoft for tax reasons? Are the hedge funds all going to fold their tents and go home? According you, yes.

  11. carolyncastiglia says:

    I like your style, Michelle. My favorite sign at #OWS so far has been “Just another trust fund baby for the radical redistribution of wealth.”

  12. bettywu says:

    Also? Under St. Ronald Reagan the top marginal tax rate was 50% vs 35% (or 15% as Michele points out). You remember the 80′s and how well known they were for people not striving for financial success because the gubbmit would take it away?

    Under Eisenhower it was 90%. Again. The 50′s super well known for people just giving up on making a good living. So. Shut up.

  13. Anon, the original one says:

    I think Littlefrogs is simplistic in her reasoning as to why it’s not an appropriate solution to just “tax the rich” and I agree, to some extent, that perhaps higher taxes for all are in order, and mostly what’s in order is a closing of tax loopholes. Again, what’s wrong with a flat tax. The idea that it’s the government’s job to push the hand and make things “equal” is a mistaken one. The reasons why things are unequal as they are today is not lack of government involvement, it’s too much government involvement. The OWS folks seem to be asking the government, which has so royally screwed them, to now help them. I think smarter people (Libertarians) are telling the government to step the hell away from places it does not belong. I can support the OWS protesters in that I support people making noise if they’re not happy, and that there *is* a problem, BUT I don’t support the endless list of grievances and some of the demands I hear coming out of the movement. Alot of it just shows many of these folks have no idea how the world works. I thought this was a good article, not directly about OWS, but certainly related: http://bigthink.com/ideas/40561

  14. michelle says:

    Love it @bettywu.

  15. Bunnytwenty says:

    “Find me one example of a motivated person deciding not to be successful because their marginal tax rate goes up a few points.” Hear, hear! this is the silliest argument I’ve ever heard about taxing the rich. Believe me, they can afford it – and in past generations, they did, and it led to prosperity for people like the people who are inexplicably arguing against it right now. Don’t be silly, and don’t argue against your own wallet.
    Carolyn, thanks for covering this! I was at the Boston protest last night up until just before the raid, and I have friends in jail right now. I need to feel some internet love :)

  16. Little Frogs says:

    Anon,

    I think you are confusing my post with someone else. I only said you can’t take a group seriously who puts as their first agenda item to decolonize Boston.

  17. michelle says:

    How has too much government led to inequality? Can you outline this for us?
    Also, what is good about a flat tax vs a graduated tax?

  18. Anon, the original one says:

    You’re right, Little Frogs, got you confused w Anoniomom. A flat tax is better because it’s fair. There is no objective reason why just because someone earns more money than someone else they should have to pay more. You may feel there are moral reasons for that, but that’s what YOU think. Your morals are not my morals. It’s immoral, in my view, to forcibly take one person’s possessions (money, etc.) and give them to another…based on, what? Mob rule? I can certainly understand that, living in civilization, we need roads, we need water, sewage/wast management, etc. defense, and for these shared and basic services, a flat tax on all would be most fair. It’s not that hard to understand. Too much government has led to inequality because the government has its hands in business, supporting those it thinks are “too big to fail,” insisting that would-be homeowners who would not, under normal, prudent circumstances, be given loans (which played a role in the housing bubble)…let’s see…subsidizing certain industries….did you read the Penn article? Do you read anything?

  19. carolyncastiglia says:

    I think one of the most compelling arguments I’ve heard so far, something I’ll post in a video today, is that the banks shouldn’t be too big to fail, that they should be broken up, so I agree with you there, Anon, the O.G. (Proof, I think, that people all across the board can get behind OWS!) But re: flat tax, let me ask you this: in your marriage, does one of you make more? And does the person who makes more pay for more of your living expenses?

  20. Beck says:

    Whether a rich person has “enough” money that they can “afford” to give it away is beside the point. They are free to give away as much money as they want to the poor. The issue is freedom. The more money that the government steals from individuals to redistribute is more freedom taken away. That’s less money they have to choose freely how to use it. And less money they have to hire people and create jobs. The more money left in the hands of individuals (who make up “greedy” corporations) the better for the economy.

  21. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    “As it stands now, 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes.” Um, because they’re POOR. And they’re still paying in to SS, state tax, federal payroll tax, sales tax, and property tax. Or in other words, they pay a much higher overall rate of taxes than people who are well off.

  22. puasamanda says:

    I like the idea of a flat tax – I always have. There is something that seems so patently FAIR about it. That is, until one realizes that a flat tax would likely be a tax HIKE for the poorest Americans and a tax CUT for the richest. Poor Americans at the moment typically pay an effective tax rate on federal taxes of 0%. In fact, they usually get money back when they file their taxes (earned income credit, child tax credit, etc, offsetting the payroll taxes). The richest Americans pay an effective rate of about 18% in federal taxes. So, if we were to have a flat tax, what would the rate be? Anything more than 0% would be a tax hike for the poor. Anything under 18% would be a tax cut for the rich.

  23. Amanda says:

    47% of Americans aren’t poor. Not having to pay any income taxes doesn’t mean you are destitute.

  24. Anon, the original one says:

    @Carolyn…I actually AM behind THAT THERE IS an OWS…I am behind people making noise that they think something is wrong, as long as its nonviolent and within the law…at the same time, I don’t agree with what most of the OWS people I have seen (via a wide array of media, I have not been on the scene) are saying about true sources of the problems and what they say about the fixes (Tax the rich! Debt forgiveness! $20 minimum wage! ETC.) On the marriage question, a marriage is NOT the same as individuals living in a country together. My husband loves me and now, while I am taking a less demanding job to be the primary with our daughter, he pays more of our bills. That’s a private arrangement and nobody is forcing him to do it. As we are all very aware of, the “work” moms/”housewives” do at home does not have a dollar value in the public sphere. This is not an appropriate analogy to support a progressive tax in the public sphere. What WOULD be appropriate would be to note that EVEN in a loving family there is not absolute sharing and absolute “socialism” among family members, and, in fact, there is a hierarchy and pecking order. My 5 yo kid can’t just take whatever food she wants whenever she wants and eat it. My 5 you kid has to listen to what mom and dad say and follow rules. She is beholden to us because we support her. It’s not a democracy at all.

  25. carolyncastiglia says:

    Okay, but now you’re making an analogy that the poor are like 5-year-olds with no rights. There’s a prevailing notion that somehow the poor are that way because they deserve to be, because they don’t have the ability to do better or they would be doing better. Meanwhile, so many of the rich are rich because they were born into rich families – a lot of this is chance, it’s not based on hard work or merit. Also, some people do see the citizenry as a giant family – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think we’d all be a little bit better off by embracing that idea. The Christian notion that we are our brother’s keeper.

  26. Anon, the original one says:

    No…and 5 year olds certainly DO have rights. The point is the family unit is not like society (at least in my view) and that perfect equality and “communism” (or “socialism”) doesn’t even abide in a loving family situation. There is still private property, controlled by those who are in charge. Contrary to the paternalistic left who think they know what’s best for everyone and that everyone needs their “help” I believe adults are capable of managing their own lives with limited government help and interference with the private details. Your comments reveal what I think is something of an “issue”…the blurring of public and private spheres. I am not a Christian. I embrace the idea of doing no harm. I embrace the idea of helping those in need, privately and by choice, not by force and not via a government of questionable efficiency.

  27. Anon, the original one says:

    I love how otherwise degenerate people trot out Christianity when it comes to having rich people give them money, too. That’s really funny.

  28. carolyncastiglia says:

    “I love how otherwise degenerate people trot out Christianity when it comes to having rich people give them money, too. That’s really funny.” – What does that mean?

    OWS isn’t just about helping the poorest of the poor – it’s about treating employed people, American workers, fairly. I work and I have no health insurance. That’s a problem.

  29. Anon, the original one says:

    Go buy some. You can do that, you know. Or pay out of pocket. That’s an option. Or get a job that provides insurance. There are many options. You just don’t happen to like them. The quote means that people who flout all other manner of things “Christianity” calls for (no sex outside marriage, having no other gods in their life over Christ, not lying, cheating, stealing, etc…and on and on) love to latch on to what OTHER people should be doing per THEIR Christianity to help them. That’s funny. I’m not a Christian, so I don’t condemn you or others for not following the rules of Christianity, but then don’t act like the government has to steal from people to give you money because it’s the “Christian” thing to do. Most of the time people are on here trumpeting about “separation of Church and State.” You can’t just pick and choose what you like about this and what you like about that because it’s to your benefit at that moment in time. That’s not how philosophies or systems work.

  30. Bunnytwenty says:

    “There is still private property, controlled by those who are in charge. Contrary to the paternalistic left who think they know what’s best for everyone…”
    Someone’s confused as to whether paternalism is good or not… make up your mind before you try and convince anyone else of anything, ok?

  31. Anon, the original one says:

    You’re quoting out of context, Bunny.

  32. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    “Go buy some. You can do that, you know. Or pay out of pocket. That’s an option. Or get a job that provides insurance. There are many options. You just don’t happen to like them.” It’s almost as though you’re unaware that there’s a recession and 20% real unemployment… :/ You’ll be singing a different tune when your always employed, middle aged husband gets laid off. BTDT.

  33. Nancy Jamba says:

    Why protest Wall St, the wealthy, etc ? The financial institutions have had over 2000 new restrictions placed on them by the Pres and the Democrats. Businesses have had over 4000 new restrictions placed over them by the same. They all are also facing and wondering exactly what the new Federal Health Care Plan imposed on every business will actually cost them. Facing all of the above, just how does anyone REALLY expect our economy to grow and expand in any way at all. Educate yourselves about who REALLY caused the current problems, then protest THEM! Why do you think Pres Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and other well known people are praising the protesters, while many protesters who are interviewed on TV don’t even know what they are protesting. They are using the protesters as a smoke screen to hide the truth. They have dangerously over spent our money, and don’t have any answers how to fix the terrible mistakes they’ve made. Senator Obama said in Oct of Pres. Bush’s final term ( when unemployment hit 6.5 %) “the first thing I’m going to do is concentrate on is jobs.” (just look up unemployment under Pres Bush) First promise Pres. Obama broke. He also said that”if your lives aren’t better after my first term in office, I don’t deserve asecond term.” So, is your life better?

  34. Bunnytwenty says:

    No, actually, if I’d included more of the quote (forcing all these nice people to read your words twice), it would have been even more appropriate. You throw out a lot of mixed logic but what it boils down to is, “Right = good! left = bad!” You don’t care how controlling someone is as long as they’re on your side.

  35. Anon, the original one says:

    There’s just no use. Carry on. If y’all spend half the energy you spent airing your “grievances” being industrious, I think you’d be better off.

  36. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    In other words, “I don’t have an answer. I’d be as completely f*cked as the next person if my husband was laid off.”

  37. Anon, the original one says:

    Since you insist on assuming you know so much about my personal finances, let me assure you I would not be f*cked if my husband was laid off. I earn a salary as well and we have at least a year’s savings. That’s all really beside the point, but if you insist I toot my own horn about my family’s prudence, then so bet it. That’s not to say that I don’t feel sorry for people who are laid off and are struggling. The government pulling puppet strings is not the answer. I am on board with tax increases, as I said before. I am on board most especially with a flat tax. I am not on board with debt forgiveness, $20 minimum wage and the idea that the government is the answer to everyone’s problems and business is evil.

  38. Bunnytwenty says:

    So what you’re saying is, other people posting here are wasting time airing their “grievances” and can’t possibly be industrious, but you posting on here to mock them is totally productive :) You’re an entertaining lady, “Anon.”

  39. Anon, the original one says:

    Look, I’m not complaining and/or asking anyone to relieve me of my debts (of which I have only a mortgage, thankyouverymuch), pay me a certain amount other than market value, etc. or any of the other demands. I’m a free agent. People who have so much time to gripe on the internet about how hard their lives are might do better to go out and work toward improving them. Oh, and shame on Babble for not providing its writers with insurance!

  40. Anon, the original one says:

    You keep trying to come up with little inconsistencies in what I say to “get me” or something, but these comments really just make you look stupid (except, I suppose to those who are just blinded by “the cause” and would stand by their “progressive” sister no matter what…)

  41. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    “we have at least a year’s savings.” We had three year’s savings. DH was laid off for two years, then took a job at 1/3 the salary in order to be gainfully employed. Prior to the layoff, he’d been gainfully employed 100% of the time for 25 years. He has a college degree in business and an impeccable work history. The reason it’s so hard to take you seriously is because you seem so completely oblivious to what’s really going on in the world.

  42. Anon, the original one says:

    Do YOU work, LTOO? Do YOU have any skills, LTOO? I have a company pretty much waiting for me to say the word that I want to work for them, so there’s that.I don’t have lots of kids to support, either. Further, we could easily live on lesss than we do now, if we had to, we currently contribute…WAIT, I’m not going to sit here and brag about my life. It’s not necessary or appropriate. You’re missing the entire point by mixing individual circumstances with ideology. And, if you read the thread, you’ll see I support OWS to some extent, just not all the demands. Now kindly, get a life.

  43. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    I’m glad you think that you can achieve instant employment after being out of the work force to raise your child, in the middle of a recession and massive unemployment. I have an employer who always said the same (and hired me for a quite a few temp jobs over the years) but in this climate, they’re simply not hiring anyone. I own my own business and work part time while my kids are in school. Guess what? Business is down because the service I offer is a luxury service. If you want to kid youself that your life would be easy on 1/3 of your husband’s salary, then it’s not skin off my teeth. I just don’t think you’re being honest or relaistic about the devastation something like that brings. And we’re the lucky ones. Our bills and mortgage are paid. We have food. We have credit if we have an emergency and a tiny bit of savings left. Other responsible, harworking, industrious people have been completely and utterly devastated. To believe otherwise is purely delusional.

  44. Anon, the original one says:

    One, I am not “out of the workforce” and have never been. Further, I don’t think my life or my delusions (as you call them) is what’s at issue here and your constant commenting to make this about ME is very odd and stalker-ish. Yes, it’s devastating…nobody is saying that it’s not. I am saying that the solutions I hear being proposed by the OWS folks and the left in general are not good solutions, in my view. I can’t continue to have a discussion about politics if you’re going to make it about my life and me personally. I’ve entertained your weirdness long enough and I like to respond when addressed, but it’s getting ridiculous. What the hell do you want from me? Psychooooooooooo…..

  45. Whatevs says:

    Anon, your Gretchen is showing.

  46. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    If you’d prefer, I could ignore you like the other 99% of Strollerderby posters (and writers) already do. Surely you comprehend that you’re posting in a public place that I frequent. The truth of the matter is that, rather than “stalking” (bahahahahahahahaha!) you, I’d prefer to interact less. In fact, I think that’s what we should all do.

  47. Anon, the original one says:

    You’re still missing the point, crazylady…(suggesting I should be somehow honored that you engage with me? don’t do me any favors, please!)…I actually said several times that I support OWS protesters’ right to protest and agree change is needed, and I just disagree with some of their (many) demands. Then I went on to discuss why. You instead chose to focus on my personal position in life, as if that is at all relevant. It’s just weird. It shows you have no overarching philosophy of your own and you somehow think that my political views should just be based on how desperate (or not) someone might be. Sorry, I’m more intelligent than that. Anyway, I never said people shouldn’t get help. I only doubted that it was the government’s job to give the help (or even that it would be most effectively given that way, anyway). If you were less worried about psychotically trying to pick apart my life, you’d get that.

  48. puasamanda says:

    Anon – actually, you are the one who commented on someone’s “personal position in life.” When Carolyn came on and commented that she doesn’t have insurance, you immediately responded with “Go buy some. You can do that, you know. Or pay out of pocket. That’s an option. Or get a job that provides insurance. There are many options. You just don’t happen to like them.” You made a comment about Carolyn’s personal position, as well as implying that her personal philosophy is the reason she has no insurance. This just BEGS comments that focus on your own position and philosophy. It seems to be okay in your world to make assumptions about other people’s lives – and comments about those assumptions – but when someone else does it regarding your position, that person is now “crazy lady,” “psychotic,” and less intelligent than you? WOW!

  49. Anon, the original one says:

    NO, she said “I work and don’t have health insurance” she used her personal situation to illustrate something and I pointed out that there are other options. There ARE other options. Or, don’t have insurance. You don’t have to. Bottom line, is that it’s not really anyone’s responsibility to make sure an adult has insurance. Yes, it would be nice if there was healthcare, but that’s not Wall Street’s fault or problem that we don’t. Can’t you see how OWS protesters random comments and demands are just all over the map? I can support OWS if the demands where geared more specifically to WS, like in this article: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/my-advice-to-the-occupy-wall-street-protesters-20111012?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter But a laundry list of what people want because they just think they should have it isn’t really compelling to me.

  50. Anon, the original one says:

    And again, I am not asking for anything of anybody, so to bring up MY life and try to pick it apart to prove some idea that SOME DAY I MIGHT NEED the GOVERNMENT to support me is really a fruitless venture…those that are asking for things are the ones who need to make their case. I don’t need to make a case to be left alone and manage my life (which I do). It’s like LTOO is trying to vilify me for actually having it together. Jealous much? Anyway, busy day today so I am done with y’all. Go back and re-read the thread, it might do you some good.

  51. Bunnytwenty says:

    “Now kindly, get a life.”
    Oh, the irony.

  52. lana savage says:

    As much as i believe in the movement, i dont think it is an appropriate
    event to take a 6 year old to. Apart from the politics, there is a lot
    going down that is simply not for the eyes of a child. I would even
    hesitate taking my 11 year old but at least he would understand the politics.
    This is serious stuff, not Woodstock.

  53. puasamanda says:

    OWS is “all over the map: because the abuses that are inherent within the system are all over the map. It isn’t ONE thing that is wrong. The middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. Unemployment is a real problem. Uninsured and under-insured Americans are legion. The disparity of wealth is growing…Warren Buffett is a case-in-point. His taxable income last year (he just published it) was almost forty million dollars. My taxable income was less than thirty thousand dollars…yet he paid a 17% tax rate last year while I paid 19%. The list goes on. More than 40% of the jobs currently held in this country are low-income jobs. FORTY PERCENT! Middle income jobs are disappearing. There are less of them now than at any point in our history as a country. Education is the key to success in this country, but the prohibitive cost makes the crushing debt of student loans a reality for many of those who would dare to dream of something better through higher education. See? The movement hasn’t settled on one over-arching goal that you can agree or disagree with – because there are myriad problems that require attention.

  54. Anon, the original one says:

    There’s a difference between income from work and income from investments. Not saying it’s fair, but that’s why Buffet pays “less.” A flat tax and closing loopholes would remedy this. Americans have not been majoring in engineering and science for years and now they can’t get any good jobs, gee, I wonder why? The world only needs so many philosophers and 2nd rate writers/humanities majors.

  55. puasamanda says:

    Yes, there is a difference between income from work and income from investments. But there shouldn’t necessarily BE a difference, which is one of the many grievances that OWS has. My husband graduated on the Dean’s List with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a major university. He has never had an engineering job – and he has looked all over the country, continuously, for SIX YEARS. He works in sales. You could argue every thing I pointed out on a point-by-point basis, but you have no ground to stand on: The movement is not ultimately about “getting something for nothing.” It is about drawing attention a multitude of issues that show the system for what it is – broken.

  56. Totally Appalled says:

    You are an absolutely terrible excuse for a mother for bringing your daughter amongst those pathetic excuses for human beings. Shame on you. I would never bring my young child to a place where people are going to the bathroom and having intercourse in the streets. You obviously wrote this solely to get page views. Hopefully you have not completely scarred her for life. By bringing her there, you are teaching her that she should not have to work hard in life. Things should be handed to her, period. SHAME ON YOU.

    1. carolyncastiglia says:

      Hahahahahah what?! Did you even read the post? First of all, I brought her to Washington Square Park, not Zuccotti Park, tho I don’t believe anyone there is having intercourse in the streets. (Someone did, however, have intercourse in a NYC public pool this summer.) Yes, I am teaching my daughter that things should be handed to her. That’s totally what I’m teaching her. Things like healthcare, peace, justice. It’s weird, cuz rich people don’t raise their kids with a sense of entitlement at all.

  57. Mom101 says:

    Just commenting in a show of solidarity, Carolyn. This is the beginning of something very big. You should be proud to be a part. Criticism is easy…action is hard. Go, you.

  58. Mary says:

    I agree, “totally appalled.” And I too (today included) have been intrigued by the sensational view-count-grabbing headlines and clicked on Carolyn Castiglia’s articles, and I too have had my comment expressing any opposition to her, um, unique ideas met with the Carolyn Castiglia “hahaha” and dripping sarcasm (in the same spirit – hahaha, superior journalism, not to mention life skills, no?).

  59. carolyncastiglia says:

    Mary – what is sensational about this headline? What is sensational about this post? Where in this piece does it say my daughter was subjected to anything harmful? Who are you to criticize my “life skills?” You make no sense. Is it simply that you object to the goals of the movement but can’t articulate yourself so you go for an unfounded personal attack instead? As for my dripping sarcasm, my laughter was totally genuine. Comments like these are a joke. Join the conversation and share your opinion about the subject matter, but leave the personal attacks aside. It’s so petty.

  60. Eric says:

    I’m going to try to make my point as simple and straightforward as possible. I believe in personal responsibilty. It sounds to me like the OWS movement is protesting personal responsibility. How hard is it to figure out? Go to school. Get good grades. Graduate from high school. Go to a college that YOU CAN AFFORD. Or at least that you can afford to pay back within a few years after graduating. I have no sympathy for a spoiled brat who takes out $200k in student loans to go to Yale and then can’t afford to pay it back. There are thousands of community colleges and state colleges that are affordable. Nobody is forcing you to go to Harvard. Graduate from college. Get a job. Pay off your student loans. Spend what you can afford to spend. Buy a car that YOU CAN AFFORD. Buy or rent a home that YOU CAN AFFORD. I think it’s ridiculous that the finger of blame is pointed at the banks for loaning money to people that they knew couldn’t afford to pay it back. What about the moron who took the money knowing that he could never pay it back? He should shoulder none of the blame? It’s easy to point the finger at big bad Wall Street. The real issue is that these folks don’t want to see the real problem because if they did all they’d have to do is look in the mirror. The bottom line is that most people don’t want to do anything that remotely looks like work. Why is it the successful people’s fault if you lack ambition, desire, and a work ethic? This is the problem with this world today. I understand that it is virtually impossible to break the chain of poverty that exists on this planet. I get that. What aggravates me most about this is listening to people born into the middle class that don’t have the brains or desire to make something out of themselves point the blame at others.

    “The world needs ditch diggers too.” –Judge Smails

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