Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen
An article appeared sometime late yesterday (Sept 23) in the New York Times titled “Gunning for Wall Street with Faulty Aim”. It pokes fun at the protesters depicting them as silly misguided adolescents that the cops, the private equity and hedge fund traders (yes the same ones who are dismantling our economy) are benignly tolerating like friendly uncles patting children on their heads. They can afford to benignly tolerate these youth. Many of the protesters, ironically, are likely children and grandchildren of people like Henry Kravis who has earned his current net worth of $3.9 billion by purchasing companies all over the USA, running them into debt, firing the employees, and then finally selling off all their assets–in short, dismantling Main Street.
The article mockingly downplays the number of participants for Occupy Wall Street by trying to leave the false impression that there are only a 100 or so participants.
Here is a paragraph from the article by Ginia Bellafante for a sample of the overall tone. Ms. Bellafante has a tone that is as apathetic as she accuses the protester of Wall Street to be– reporting 20.1 percent poverty in New York City as if somehow it is the fault of the protesters because their revolution isn’t stronger and doesn’t include some of these poor people. Why aren’t some of these 1.6 million living in poverty there at Occupy Wall Street. [Note: if Ms. Bellafante is a reporter, perhaps she should get and find these people and ask them herself. Seek that truth and tell that story. She may have difficulty finding the poor people in Manhattan since most poor people can't afford to live there.] However, instead, like most of her counterparts in mainstream media, poverty gets barely a passing mention as an issue and it reported as a dry statistic.
” . . Last week brought a disheartening coupling of statistics further delineating the city’s economic divide: The Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, which included more than 50 New Yorkers whose combined net worth totaled $211 billion, arrived at the same moment as census data showing that the percentage of the city’s population living in poverty had risen to 20.1 percent. And yet the revolution did not appear to be brewing. . .”
I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps Ms. Bellafante has written similarly sarcastic articles regarding the Tea Party protests, or if perhaps those were of a different slant. But indeed, she did slyly allude to a valid question even if she did not pursue it: Where are the poor people? The report regarding 20.1 percent poverty in New York City means that New York City has 1,600,000 people who are living in poverty. Where indeed are these people?
Well, let us look at the demographics of Manhattan, the place where Occupy Wall Street is happening. There we might find at least part of our answer: the poor by and large do not live in Manhattan. They subsist in the surrounding areas. Those who are in Manhattan are generally there for the day to clean the houses of the rich and perform other service jobs for the rich. Perhaps if Occupy Wall Street had a Good Fairy Godfather such as the Tea Party’s David Koch who will spend millions to bus people to their events, protests like Occupy Wall Street might get a better draw. Perhaps the kids should appeal to billionaire Soros for a bus.
Really, Ms. Bellafante and the New York Times and Mayor Michael Rubens Bloomberg (net worth $18.1 billion): Do you think that a poor person out of work living in the Bronx is going to spend, even if they have it, $25 for a 7-day pass to get to and from Manhattan [to attend a protest]? What planet do you live on? Many of the poor of America don’t even understand what is happening to them. Instead of reporting on poverty and its relationship to what the people on Wall Street are doing, corporate media paid writers like Ms. Bellafante are busy construing articles to either make it look like “ho hum, just a bunch of misguided kids acting out” or implying that the poor are lazy and poverty is a matter of individual responsibility in the USA.
Although there are sure to be a few thousand poor living hidden away on Manhattan, most of the 1.6 million NYC citizens living in poverty do not live in Manhattan. They could not afford it. As of 2002, Manhattan had the highest per capita income of any county in the country. The Manhattan ZIP Code 10021, on the Upper East Side is home to more than 100,000 people and has a per capita income of over $90, . Manhattan has the second highest percentage of non-Hispanic Whites (48%) of New York City’s boroughs, after Staten Island (where non-Hispanic Whites make 64.0% of residents). You need to look elsewhere for the poor in New York City, but you will have to look because most of the 1.6 million living in poverty are hidden–in places where people like Henry Kravis and those walking down Wall Street don’t have to see them.
Five years ago in 2006 the Mayor’s Commission for Economic Opportunity stated that 50 percent of the children born in New York City are born in poverty. This translates into more than 300,000 children in the city not having health insurance. What is being done for these children?