Bridge The Gap

Written by B.Denesia   // October 20, 2011   // 9 Comments

San Mateo Bridge the Gap

The stand for bridging the wealth gap in the United States is gaining momentum.  Over the weekend people from all over the world joined in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.   With social media in its corner and a hash tag to the left, revolution has spread across the world.  This is the latest installment in the movement for the 99%.  Cities and local communities have been putting together protests demanding jobs, taxes on the rich, and holding Wall Street accountable for the bailout money that we the taxpayers are paying for.

Cilla from the Mid-Peninsula American Dream Council spearheaded a local gathering of folk backed by MoveOn.org to protest a bridge that was reported to be unsafe.  The protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street had a diversified turn-out.  According to Caltrans the bridge at the route 92 and Alameda De Las Pulgas intersection where the protest occurred was deemed safe prior to the protest.  However, that did not stop the folk from joining in solidarity to voice concerns.  With aging roads and bridges, the group aimed to voice their opinions that we could be creating jobs with the federal stimulus money and rebuild infrastructure.   Although Cilla thanked Caltrans for repairing the bridge it does not change the fact that there are still 74 bridges on the Federal Highway Administration’s 2010 Nation Bridge Inventory that still needed work to be considered safe.

The signage used by the protesters gathered support with honks form cars that were passing under the bridge and people pulling off the exit.   Signs used for the demonstration included:  The American Dream Too Big to Fail, Tax the Rich, Rebuild the American Dream, and Jobs Not Cuts to name a few.  Along with the pungent signs, a young woman bearing the infamous Guy Fawkes mask was loud-and-proud and hit the street hard.  She was screaming at cars: “honk, you’re part of the 99.”  Most of the response was positive with a beep from their horns and giving a thumbs-up.  However, there were a couple of people who drove by that were less than thrilled about the protest.  One gave “the bird” to the protesters, and the other was shaking his head as he drove by in his high-end Mercedes Benz.

Reasons given by those who attended the demonstration revolved around the same core principles.  An attendee, John from San Jose who heard of the protest form a co-worker said:   “I came out to identify with others that have like minded principles and ideals and because of the content of the protest.”  This seems to be the tie that binds all people from all walks of life to jump on board with the movement.  It is a seed that has been planted and we have seen that seed grow quickly over the past month.

One of the occupiers moving through the crowd noted that under the Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower, taxes on the rich were 91%.  When one compensates for inflation, this dollar amount would be higher now, but conversely wages have not gone up with inflation.  A tax time table from democracyprevails.com shows the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.

After holding up a sign of my own that read Faux News is on the 1%’s payroll, I was able to get a few minutes with the organizer to hear her speak about the basis of her participation in the movement.  Cilla spoke of the wealth gap and mentioned, “9%-19% of Americans don’t have enough food for their children.  That’s quite an alarming statistic, considering ours is the wealthiest country on the planet.  Our distribution of wealth is the 2nd worst in the world except for Switzerland where the off-shore back accounts are housed.  We are worse than those in Egypt.”  Cilla also stated that: “when I was a child growing up and was given a plate of food, my parents told me, I could not leave anything untouched because there were starving children in China.  Now, China has bridged the gap of its citizens that are able to put food on the table.”

This really puts into perspective what the every-day people are struggling with.  It’s time to be heard.  This could be the beginning of a large scale world-wide revolution.  With coverage that is undeniable at this point.  The revolution will be televised!


9 COMMENTS

  1. By JohnDough, July 26, 2017

    It’s always nice to see grass roots movements in action regardless of the cause and motivation. Working in the financial industry for some time, I have seen first hand both the positive and negative affects profits have on the average consumer and the middle class.

    Great article and keep attending and letting us know about any updates.

    Reply
    • By DolrDolrBill, July 26, 1160

      Cheers JohnDough!
      This is not a republican vs. democrat issue.
      This is the ultra rich vs. all of us issue.
      Going to be interesting to see how this pans out during the election year.

      Reply
  2. By Guy out west, July 26, 1161

    Signs instead of “Sings used for the demonstration included”. I have trouble w/ this movement. Part of me agrees w/ the folks protesting and part of me says this is a free enterprise society and we all have the option to be a 1%. I’m confused on the fact that someone could grow up poor and dreams to make something of themselves, so they start a business and become wealthy and in turn help others wealthy become wealthy (creating more US jobs). That person should then be penalized by having higher taxes while those he or she grew up w/ struggle to make ends me and say collect food stamps. To me that doesn’t sound right, am I off on this assessment?

    Reply
    • By eMoney, July 26, 1162

      @Guy out west,
      I agree with you that someone who works hard and is successful should not be penalized. However the fact of the matter is that those individuals (the 1%) are most likely not to pay ANY taxes or relatively very little taxes in proportionate comparison to what that vast majority of the middle class pays in taxes. Furthermore, they are able to lobby politicians to write tax laws more favorable to themselves and less favorable to the middle class.

      A clear example of this can be see in these charts. Now it’s not fair to penalize people for being successful, however it’s not fair to penalize the middle class either (i.e. wage stagnation). People shouldn’t be obligated to strive to be in the 1%. Life is not all about money. People should be able to have a good education, work a good job with good pay and benefits, and raise a family comfortably. You shouldn’t have to be in the 1% to have a financially stable life…

      http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10#lets-start-with-the-obvious-unemployment-three-years-after-the-financial-crisis-the-unemployment-rate-is-still-at-the-highest-level-since-the-great-depression-except-for-a-brief-blip-in-the-early-1980s-1

      Reply
      • By Guy out west, July 26, 1170

        eMoney, I like your points and agree w/ you b/c I’m part of that middle class who is getting penalized. I would say you don’t have to be in the 1% to live financially stable. My Wife and I combined after taxes make around $50K and that’s combined but b/c we are good stewards of our money and fiscally responsible we have no consumer debt (do have mortgage) and ten’s of thousands saved in the bank. We live very comfortably and are on track to pay our 15 year mortgage off in 9 years. To be financially stable you have to have financial discipline, spend less than you make, get out of debt and save for retirement. Its common cents, simple but not easy.

        Reply
    • By Tony F., July 26, 1166

      @ Guy out west; I am always surprised by how many people think that you(someone)can grow up poor and make phenomenal financial decisions and become part of the 1%. This is simply not true – I would love any example, from any country, on any planet – The 1% is made up of generations of wealthy people who for the most part inherited their fortunes. If by some miracle a poor person warps into financial nirvana, they will have a keen knowledge on the struggles of the everyday working man, and sadly not any evidence I have seen would lead me to this conclusion. Reminder unless you make Trillions with a T…you are not part of the 1%.

      I have known however, fellow minimum wage workers who from hard work, determination, and a bit of luck land a decent job in the 6 figure range who then turn their back on those communities who helped them when times were lean. Its a matter of perspective, if you make only $2000 a month and are taxed at 50% you only have $1,000 left to survive, those of us who are “out-west” know how impossible this is to live on. However, if you make $100,000 and are taxed 50% you are left with $50,000 to live on. substantially more left at the end of April.

      I suggest all of us reach out to those close to the debate and find out from those protesting and get our information first hand in order to seperate fact from fiction.

      Oh yeah, great article. Anything that starts the conversation is awesome.

      Reply
      • By Guy out west, July 26, 1169

        Tony please go back and read your comment. Come on man, 1% is someone who makes Trillions? You kidding me guy? Nobody in the world makes a Trillion dollars. If you took the top 10 riches people and combined their wealth it doesn’t equal a Trillion! To me anyone over 500 million would be in the 1%. You don’t think there’s one person making over 500 million that didn’t inherit it? I’ll give one person who some consider the best rags to riches story and that’s Oprah. She grew up poor and now is a Billionaire. Correct me if i’m wrong but did she inherit all her wealth from Phil Donahue? I don’t think so sir. I would venture to say over 80% of millionaires didn’t inherit their money. Tony please do some research before you post something stupid like that again. Trust me friend I can “separate fact from fiction” & I understand the protesters anger. I’m from southeast Michigan which is getting hammered by this economy and I have siblings & relatives who have experienced or are experiencing very difficult financial problems.

        Reply
  3. By Sammy David, July 26, 1163

    Great to see that even people in upper-middle class suburbs are taking a stand against the looting of this country. It shows that this is definitely not just a hippie/radical movement. I hope to see it continue and grow. The banksters have a ton of money and power, so it’ll take a sustained effort to turn our ship around. Keep up the effort, San Mateo!

    Reply
    • By J.D., July 26, 1167

      I hope for once this movement draws attention to the silliness of party warfare, state warfare, and race warfare. By the looks of the protesters, this is a movement of the people, not the wealthy. People seem to forget that capitalism is the free market, while fascism is business sponsored by the government. (*see bailouts, subsidization, and cronyism.) Well educated people who see beyond the chants and talking points are finally pulling their heads from the sand.

      The biggest question for me is…Where is the tea-party? I seem to remember they started out their movement over taxes (the origin of their name) shouldn’t this other grass roots movement be weighing in and siding with the OWS folks?

      With the Arab Spring in full blossom (they got rid of yet another Dictator) The wall street ilk need to be aware that their days are numbered. People are ready for change. However it comes.

      Reply

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