The implications of the "Occupy" movement remain difficult to assess; nonetheless, the attention it has garnered is not incomprehensible given the current economic situation facing millions of Americans on a daily basis. A CBO study released yesterday shows that the top 1% of earners more than doubled their share of the nation's income in the last three decades giving credence to the movement's message that socio-economic inequalities are at all-time highs and are being exacerbated even further by spending cuts made at the local, state and national levels.
Two weeks ago, the "Occupiers" took such a message to the homes of the richest tycoons in New York City, marching up Park and Fifth Avenues, respectively. They stopped at the palatial penthouses of NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch, Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and hedge fund pioneer John Paulson where they chanted catchy slogans and held up homemade signs stating their fierce opposition to a new $5 billion tax cut for the wealthiest New Yorkers that Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to sign into law on Dec. 31.
A heavy police presence followed the demonstrators but there were no incidents, nor arrests. At their last stop on the steps of Mr. Paulson's townhouse on 86th and Fifth, they left a mock $5 billion check that read the "99%" as the payees to the massive cuts.
No one answered the door but they vowed to return and march next month placing more pressure on the Democratic governor who has come under sharp criticism from within his own party for fiscal concessions to big business in the state budget talks this past summer.
The audio-slideshow gives you a glimpse into the characters of this movement: a professor, elderly woman, mom whose sons are unemployed after nearly two years of searching and the community organizer-a trained lawyer who dresses the part of Wall Street banker but is a fierce defendant of society's most marginalized. They are the voices of "Occupy" and this is their story.
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