Hollywood Hypocrites Occupy Wall Street

Tim Ross
October 17, 2011 Posted by Tim Ross MrTim29@ymail.com

Before the Occupy Wall Street protesters decided they have an agenda (forty unrealistic demands that include reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and reversing the Citizens United decision), they were disorganized and had no clear message; however, they were largely united on one point… they opposed Wall Street because they believe Wall Street represents the top 1% of America’s wealthiest citizens and is a symbol of capitalism, corporations, CEOs and greed.


But who is the top 1% that the rest of the 99% are supposed to oppose? According to the IRS, the top 1% makes $380,354 a year. Clearly the top 1% must only be CEOs and Financial Analysts like Stock Brokers and Hedge Fund Managers, right? Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Labor says the average CEO almost always requires higher education and approximately thirty years of experience just to make the average of $140,880 a year. Psychiatrists and Orthodontists make more than a CEO. How about those nasty Financial Analysts? The top twenty-five Hedge Fund Managers made $22 Billion last year, so they must be the top 1%, right? According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average Financial Analyst took home $74,350 last year. Even the top 10% of Stock Brokers made an average of $145,600 annually.

So, if the top 1% isn’t your typical greedy corporate CEO or Wall Street employee who loves capitalism, who is the top 1% that the protesters oppose so much?

It is the people who are the leaders in their industry. It doesn’t matter the industry, it only matters if the individual’s value is worth the price they are asking and the price they are receiving. There are Photographers, Chefs and Hairstylists that draw an annual income of more than $380,354. Not only are these people the top 1% in wealth in our society, they are the top 1% in their field or industry.


But that doesn’t stop President Obama, desperate with low approval ratings, from engaging in class warfare and using hyperbole like, “The rich need to pay their fair share.” And that oversimplified and confused mantra resonates with frustrated unemployed Americans as well as young idealistic kids that believe 1% somehow controls the financial destiny of 99%. They blame these people and they blame the system… and they want the top 1% to “pay their fair share.”

The top 1% is not paying their fair share, according to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. In spite of the fact that the CBO reports that the top 1% of income earners pay 39.5% of all federal taxes and 57.0% of all corporate taxes, the protesters continue to promote misinformation and hold up signs that read, “Top 1%, Y U No Pay Taxes?!” In fact, the American corporate tax rate is the second highest in the industrialized world at over 39.2% (the highest is Japan at 39.5%). So, who doesn’t pay taxes? According to the Tax Policy Center, this year 46.4% of tax filers will have no federal income tax liability. None. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada. Null.


So the protesters, made up mainly by the 46.4% that pay no taxes, are angry at the 1% that pays 39.5% of all federal taxes and have misdirected their anger toward CEOs, Stock Brokers and Hedge Fund mangers that, on average, make less than half what the top 1% makes per year.

Ironically, many of the folks providing support to the protesters are the 0.1% (those making $1.9 million or more per year) who traditionally support left wing causes. Who are they? They are those celebrities in the entertainment industry that I fondly refer to as Hollywood Hypocrites:

#1 Yoko Ono Net Worth – $500 million.
Tweeted: “I love #OccupyWallStreet. As John said, “One hero cannot do it. Each one of us have to be heroes.” And you are. Thank you. love, yoko.”

#2 Russell Simmons Net Worth – $325 million
The founder of a high fee credit card company called UniRush Financial Services visited the protests with Kanye West

 

 

 

 

 

#3 George Clooney Net Worth – $160 million
Says he also supports the movement against corporate greed, but admits he needs to educate himself more about the specifics.

#4 Samuel L. Jackson Net Worth – $160 million
While on “The View,” the 62-year-old Pulp Fiction star said: “I’m really glad when I look at those kids on Wall Street and I think, ‘Finally, someone got up and did something’. We used to be on the streets in the ’60s.”

#5 Sean Penn Net Worth – $150 million
Speaking on “Piers Morgan Tonight,” he says, “It resonates a great deal and in many ways. I applaud the spirit of what’s happening now on Wall Street. I hope that increased organisation can come to it.

#6 Jane Fonda – $120 million

#7 (tie) Roseanne Barr Net Worth – $80 million
Tweeted: “The working class of this country were destroyed by wall street as the middle class was encouragd 2 jeer at them& call them lazy #goesaround.”

#7 (tie) Deepak Chopra Net Worth – $80 million

#9 Kanye West Net Worth – $70 million
Arrived to the protests in $1,000 jeans and a $300,000 car.

#10 Alec Baldwin Net Worth – $65 million
Also the spokesperson for Capital One credit card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11 (tie) Susan Sarandon Net Worth – $50 million

#11 (tie) Michael Moore Net Worth – $50 million

#11 (tie)  John Cusak – Net Worth $50 million
Tweeted: “Was at occupy wall street – Is this fact or fiction…… reality …… if it were real, it would be awesome….but who knows?”

#11 (tie) Tim Robbins Net Worth – $50 million

#15 Keith Olberman Net Worth – $35 million (annual salary $10 million)
Tweeted: “Props to WCBS-TV reporter Sean Hennessy: startling video of police slamming protestors against buildings, brutal arrests #OccupyWallStreet.”

#16 Harry Belafonte Net Worth – $28 million
Told Agence Press-France of the Occupiers, “We’re lucky we got ‘em… I would suggest that they stay the course… I think that what they are doing is critical and necessary.”

#17 (tie) Danny Glover Net Worth – $15 million
Visited Occupy Oakland

#17 (tie) Salman Rushdie Net Worth – $15 million
Rushdie earned his net worth through his many publications, his role in film, and his cameo appearances in television shows.

#19 (tie) Ellen Page Net Worth – $14 million
Tweeted: “Thank you to @democracynow for the incredible coverage of #occupywallstreet.”

#19 (tie) Talib Kweli Net Worth – $14 million

#21 Mark Ruffalo Net Worth – $10 million
TWEETED: “The corporate world with record profits could stand to be reigned in a little bit. After all we did bail their asses out.”

#22 (tie) Dylan Ratigan Net Worth – $9 million (annual salary $1.5 million)
MSNBC

#22 (tie) Roger Ebert Net Worth – $9 million
The movie critic TWEETED: “Wall Street protests spread to Los Angeles. People are fed up with thieves.”

#24 Lupe Fiasco Net Worth – $8 million
Tweeted: “Invest in Wall St today!! #OWShad an amazing IPO and is projected to show record growth in the 4th quarter! Investors Wanted #occupy.”

#25 Rev. Al Sharpton Net Worth – $5 million
MSNBC

$26 Bun B (Bernard James Freeman) Net Worth – $2.5 million
Hip-hop artist and Rice University lecturer

#27 Michael Franti Net Worth – $2 million
Spearhead frontman strummed a song for protesters and said that, “I believe that Wall Street needs to be held accountable for the crimes that were committed during the real estate crisis.”

Other Celebrities:

Penn Badgley of “Gossip Girl.”

Tom Morelli of Rage Against The Machine

Melanie Lynskey of “Two and a Half Men”

Naomi Klein – Journalist

Cornel West – Author and Princeton professor

Nev Schulman of “Catfish”

Jeff Mangum – musician

Jennifer Egan – writer

Michael Cunningham – writer

If this movement wants to gain credibility as the 99%, it needs to accept the average CEO, the average Stock Broker, the average Hedge Fund Manager and reject all the 1%, especially those celebrities who backhandedly support them.

Until then, they are just as bad as the sell outs they are protesting against.

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3 Responses to Hollywood Hypocrites Occupy Wall Street

  1. Donovan Weir on October 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Hey Tim,

    If I added this up correctly we could take all but one million dollars from each of these hollywood hypocrites (they wouldn’t mind, after all they still get to keep a million of their income) and we would have $1,890,500,000.
    We could turn that money in 100 dollar bills and drop them from the roof of the NYSE for the Occupy Wall Street crowd to catch so long as they promised to go home.
    That would solve everyone’s problems. Obama will have fulfilled the radical lefts desire to confiscate rich peoples money. The liberal Hollywood elite can finally put their money where there mouth is, and the rest of us can go back to working for da’ man!

  2. Anonymous on October 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Overwhelming detail as usual. One might investigate the following. Is this transcript copyright protected?

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2011/10/17/the_tangled_web_obama_approves_loan_for_zuccotti_park_owners

    The Tangled Web: Obama Approves Loan for Zuccotti Park Owners

    October 17, 2011

    RUSH (Limbaugh): “We have the mayor’s girlfriend on the board at Brookfield Asset Management, which just happens to own a wind farm project that needs some money.

    And they just happen to have a park suitably close to Wall Street for a bunch of vermin to show up and protest in.

    So they get the money, and the protesters and Obama get the use of the park. And the mayor doesn’t kick ‘em out, and doesn’t require any permits or any of that.

    “Coming on the heels of the Solyndra debacle, the Obama administration has just approved a $168.9 million loan guarantee for the Granite Reliable wind farm project owned by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM).

    Among its many holdings BAM owns Brookfield Renewable Power, which owns the Granite Reliable and it also owns Brookfield Office Properties, whose holdings include the now famous Zuccotti Park. The Department of Energy finalized the loan guarantee less than a week after Occupy Wall Street protesters took to Zuccotti Park.”

    So it looks like the people at Brookfield Asset Management, in exchange for letting their park be used by the protesters, got a $168 million loan guarantee from the regime.

    But it doesn’t stop there. “The Granite Reliable Power Project under construction in Coos Bay, New Hampshire is the state’s largest wind farm and the New Hampshire Union Leader questions why Brookfield would need federal subsidies at all, particularly following the bankruptcy of Solyndra,” and why is GE getting subsidies when they don’t need the money?

    “Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement Monday that protesters could remain as long as they liked, also raised a few eyebrows and it turns out he has a personal connection to Brookfield as well. The mayor’s longtime domestic partner Diana Taylor is on the Board of Directors at Brookfield Properties along with John E. Zuccotti himself.”

    So you wonder why they don’t need permits? They don’t need permits because the mayor’s compromised, the girlfriend’s compromised, Obama’s compromised, in the middle of all this is a $170 million loan guarantee to Zuccotti’s Granite Reliable wind farm project. And the price for that is letting them use Zuccotti Park.”

  3. Grant Tanabe on October 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Tim,

    I respect your insight and I think you make some important points. However, I feel you make a mistake–either deliberately or unintentionally–when you attempt to marginalize the Occupy Wall Street Movement as a bunch of know-nothings out to oppose everything that is capitalism. Growing income inequality is real and much of the inequality can be demonstrably shown to have been caused by increased incomes on Wall Street and at the top of large corporations.

    The charts on the following website clearly demonstrate that over the past decade real incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans has declined while the incomes of the top 10% have increased exponentially. Over the past 25 years, the top 10% have captured over 75 % of all income gains in this country. (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/10/income-gain-distribution-1917-81-82-2000-2001-08/)

    While you are right that the top percentile of any industry will likely fall into the 1%, various studies have repeatedly shown that the percentage of the 1% has been has been skewed in recent decades far in favor of financial professionals and corporate executives. (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/07/ive-been-waitin.html)

    In my view, the Occupy Wall Street movement is not protesting capitalism or success. They’re protesting the fact that Wall Street brought our national economy(and the economy of the world for that matter) to the brink of collapse only to be bailed out by the federal government. As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated recently at one of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, “a system of privatized gains and subsidized losses is not capitalism.” They are protesting the fact that a system was created over the last 30 years that rewarded Wall Street for taking excessive risk in an attempt to turn massive short term profits. They’re protesting the fact that this system was created with the help of Republicans and Democrats who are bought with campaign contributions and influenced by Wall Street lobbyists. They’re protesting the fact that this system is supposedly regulated by economists and former executives that are directly responsible for pushing for its deregulation. They’re protesting the fact that our economic growth over the past 30 years has relied on the most recent bubble fueled by Wall Street greed and often times fraud. They’re sick and tired of our economy collapsing once a decade, costing millions of people their life savings and their homes, while corporate profits and Wall Street salaries have soared. They’re protesting the farce(and it is a farce, no respected economist supports it) that is trickle down economics that says that if we cut corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy, jobs will be created and we will all be better off.

    They’re not protesting success. If you look at the Occupy Wall Street movement as a movement away from failed government policy, I think you will see there is no inherent contradiction in welcoming the Hollywood-types you called out in this post into the movement. I’m not saying the movement is perfect and always puts their mission in the most constructive terms. But they aren’t opposed to success. They’re opposed to the system that makes people successful at the expense of the rest of America. They’re opposed to a government that has stood idly by and allowed this to take place. I think these facts are undeniable regardless of your ideology and wish more conservatives would acknowledge them.

    (For the record, I am neither a Democrat nor Republican. I have not attended a Occupy Wall Street protest. I am simply an American hoping for a return to sane public policy that looks out for the rights and interests of every American citizen.)

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