A Letter From The One Per Cent
This was originally published in The Huffington Post on January 5th, 2011.
I’ve been asked by a representative from the infamous one per cent to deliver this letter to the 99 per cent and the Occupy movement protesters.
Dear 99 per cent,
On behalf of the one per cent, we just wanted to send you a sincere and heartfelt thank you for your recent efforts at the “Occupy” protests.
We, the wealthiest people in the world, are extremely grateful you took to the streets to get the word out about the insane lack of parity in wealth distribution in the United States and Canada, and we are glad that you gave the issue of corruption in the world’s financial markets a global stage.
No really, we are.
The truth is, yes, of course it’s pretty awesome being this wealthy. I’m dictating this to my personal assistant right now, who is riding shotgun while I’m speeding down the highway in my Ferrari throwing caviar out the window — I’m not even eating it! I bought this caviar just to huck it at other, lesser cars. What’s more, this is the only thing for which I use this particular car.
Sure, I’m living the dream now, but to level with you, before you guys started the Occupy movement, we were all just a little bit uneasy with the situation.
What I mean to say is, being able to buy and sell most of the other humans on the planet is great, but can you consider the relative unease that comes with amassing so much wealth and power, so quickly, so easily?
Put yourself in our shoes made from Iberian Lynx for a minute. It’s estimated that today we, the one per cent, control 40 per cent of the world’s wealth and that just 25 years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 per cent and 33 per cent. Surely, we all thought in this meteoric rise to history’s worst balance of wealth, someone, somewhere, would take notice and do something soon.
It’s been nerve-racking waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Yes, we still routinely gathered to laugh at the poor as we drank the world’s best scotches out of the hollowed-out skulls of endangered species, but it was not without the odd shaking hand or niggling doubt.
Once in a while, lighting one of the world’s finest cigars with flaming copies of corporate tax legislation, one of us would look around the country club, wave a diamond-studded sceptre, and shout, “Surely, it can’t be this simple to dupe so many people?! Some day they’ll come for us!”
And it really killed our buzz.
But now, thanks to your “protests,” we know we’re safe.
What I mean to say is that, thanks to your efforts, we now know there is absolutely nothing to fear and that we are comfortably entrenched as the ruling class.
Watching both the left and right wing media relegate coverage of your protests to short interviews with weird, fringe characters and watching how easy it was for the general public to simply ignore your efforts while they continued sucking down our corporate coffee-chain beverages and downloading music for which we pay artists a mere pittance, we breathed a collective Courvoisier-scented sigh of relief.
We dodged a real bullet.
Without a doubt your “movement” represented the largest potential threat to our ridiculously over-the-top well-being that we have ever had to face (sure, we had some anxiety when Obama was elected, but we’ve straightened all that out now).
I mean, the movement had real, scary potential. According to the communist information-sharing site Wikipedia, the Occupy movement started on September 17, 2011 and by October 9, protests had either taken place or were ongoing in over 95 cities across 82 countries, including over 600 communities in the United States. And yet…we’re still here, living large.
In fact, we’re hard pressed to find any unifying mission statements, any clear leaders within the movement, and, thankfully, any change in the situation you purport to be protesting at all.
Sure, the movement seemed like a big deal, but in reality, nobody really noticed.
Things are pretty much the way they were before.
Before you guys, headlines like this one in the National Post revealing that Canada’s CEOs make an average worker’s salary in just three hours would have been met with shushes, attempts to oppress the news, and possibly even hostile takeovers of the news source just to raze the organization responsible.
But now, thanks to your impotent efforts, we know that no one really cares how wealthy we get. We’ve seen your efforts and have been reassured that our face-meltingly stupid levels of wealth — amassed in a time where an estimated 25,000 people die every day because of hunger — are safe.
Now we can read headlines like the one in the Post with open, public, and enthusiastic high fives (conducted of course by our butlers while we look on from comfortable seats atop our saddled albino elephants).
So we just wanted to say thanks. I mean we always knew we were virtually unstoppable, but it’s nice to be just a little more sure of ourselves.
Fight the power and so forth. We think it’s hilarious.
The One Per Cent