Monthly Archives: October 2011

Occupy Wall Street—A Movement Whose Time Has Come

I am thrilled by the movement called Occupy Wall Street that is rapidly spreading, not only in the United States, but across the developed world. Whatever the outcome (and it could be ugly) this needed to happen. “The One Percent”, whose name comes from a 2007 documentary by Johnson & Johnson heir Jamie Johnson, refers those who, collectively, own almost all of U.S. financial resources. This is, surprisingly, a very broad range indeed: “According to IRS tax data, anybody earning $380,354 or more qualifies for membership in the top 1 percent.” (Yahoo News)

So this isn’t just about the billionaires, although there are plenty of billionaires, but about many of you who are reading this blog post. The 1 % includes those whose wealth is earned (or accumulated by investing in Wall Street) and those whose wealth is inherited. Again, almost all of their wealth comes, whether directly or indirectly (and I include myself) from Wall Street. Continue reading

A “SUDDEN MONEY” STORY — UNEXPECTED WEALTH CREATES CONFUSION

Coming into large amounts of money suddenly or unexpectedly can actually be traumatic and leads to foolish decisions. To those whose financial resources are modest it may sound like a dream come true, like winning the lottery. But more often than not, these events create so much confusion that the money is squandered.

What follows is a true story. I have changed names and left out identifying details, but the important parts of the story are exactly as they were told to me. A man I’ll call Michael  was born into a low-income family who lived in a small basement apartment. His father was capable, however, and a hard worker, and over the years the family’s fortunes grew. They moved from the basement apartment to a modest bungalow, and from there to a large, pretentious house. Continue reading