Saturday, October 15, 2011

We are the 99%

Most of my furrends' humans ARE the 99%. They love animals and don't mind parting with their hard-earned money to their favorite charities.

I usually don't do political posts, although those who know me from NipClub know that I play a lot of songs with political messages. In fact, I now begin my set with the disclaimer "The views and opinions expressed in the next hour are not necessarily those of Nipclub, their owners or their staff." I feel this covers my tail.

I was adopted into a political family. In fact, TW walked the picket line when Grandpa's company went on strike when she was just 4 or 5 years old. She was shocked the following morning to see her picture on the cover of the now-defunct Hudson Dispatch. She loved that experience so much that when she stumbled upon a local storefront turned into a peace group headquarters while she was in high school, she made it her second home. Both she and my Pop, who was a big shot at said organization attended many rallies in NYC. Together they worked on Abie Nathan's Peace Ship that was docked in North Bergen, before it lowered anchor right outside the Israeli territorial waters. His dream was to see Arabs and Jews live together, so he broadcast The Voice of Peace from the ship. Pop even worked as Music Director and DJ for listener-sponsored WBAI in NYC, during the early 1980s, and as Subscription Registrar before that. WBAI used to be quite radical back in the day, I'm told. He even talked to John Lennon on the phone! How cool is my Pop!

Monies to all our favorite shelters and rescues, even zoos and aquariums, are being cut and I'm here to try to make some sense out of it. How can we ax government to cut police, fire and teachers instead? We can't. Instead, we, the 99% who barely make ends meet, have to fill the void. TW, who's been out of work for years because no one wants to hire a 57-year-old and had to sell her jewelry to go to Blogpaws, just donated all the doggie stuff she got there—BTW, were we the only ones who noticed that several things in the swag bag were past their expiration date?—to Companion Animal Placement, the rescue who saved me from the kill shelter. The thing about shelters is they need more than money. They need volunteers, toys, blankets, towels, paper plates, cleaning products, etc. Yes, they even get my food that I no longer eat.

Back to the topic at hand. The 99%. A few posts ago, I wrote about my empty bowls that TW got on special. We had fun with that, but the truth is that we're living on Pop's meager salary and without the prizes I win at Pawpawties, I wouldn't have all the wonderful things I now have, like the FURminator, my Neko Fly, tunnel, and my personal photo cards. Cats that aren't on Twitter don't have opportunties to win prizes and they wind up in shelters when their humans lose their jobs. My peeps eat store-brand everything so they can feed me Fancy Feast and Soulistic stinky goodness. They cut coupons all the time and have stopped eating out. They don't smoke or have any vices. In fact, after this year, they can no longer afford Yankee tickets, which is their sole guilty pleasure. We don't go axing for money.

The current political climate in this country is such that Pop has been saying for some time that the riots and class wars that have been going on overseas are about to erupt in this country. The USA has become a country by the rich, for the rich, of the rich and leaders of one political party has made no secret that if you don't have money, you would do them a favor if you died. The USA is a country where the richest 1% have more wealth than the bottom 50% combined. Think about that. Say you live in a big house with 99 other animals and 1 big dog or cat eats as much chow as 50 of the other dogs or cats. That is what the Wall Street & corporate parasites have been doing since the Reagan tax cuts.  Those 50 little anipals would be skinny and hungry after a while and would be thinking of ways to get back at the big dog.

September 17th, the silent majority found a common voice and became silent no more. Occupy Wall Street, a group protesting against social economic inequality and corporate greed, among other concerns, had begun. THIS LITTLE GHETTO CAT IS DOWN WITH OCCUPY WALL STREET! You can read a bit more about the complacancy that made this movement necessary on @LttleCrow's dad's excellent blog. Yes, the wealthiest 1% of families owns roughly 34% of the nation's net worth, the top 10% of families own over 71%, and the bottom 40% of the population owns way less than 1%. What's wrong with that picture? Plenty—unless you're part of the one percent.

Making matters even worse is that the people at the top refuse to pay a fair share of taxes, preferring to cut social programs to the elderly and poor.  They say the unemployed should take the jobs that are available.  Can anyone live working at Mickey Ds? Not around here they can't! Tax cuts for the corporate parasites has always been meant to stimulate job growth.  One party's mantra is, you can't raise taxes on the wealthy, since they are job creators. Fact is, since Reagan cut taxes to stimulate the economy, the number of jobs has decreased every year. How many jobs have they created since the second Bush cut their taxes once again?  They tanked the economy and instead of being rewarded with jail, they got bailouts that the other 99% paid for.  In the 60's and 70's, the wealthiest people paid taxes of 70% and in those years, we had the highest job growth. In contrast, they now pay under 35%, while my Pop sees roughly half of his salary get taken away in taxes.  Keep in mind, there are caps on how much is taken out of the 1%'s pay for insurance and social security.

The question on your mind right now is probably I thought I was reading a blog about cute little cats, what does this have to do with cute little cats? I'm here to provide an answer. When people are unemployed, the federal government loses money. They, in turn, cut state aid, who then cut aid to towns and municipalities. The first cuts that are then made are to areas that are deemed less necessary, which includes ANIMAL ISSUES. Aid is cut to shelters, which have to scale back on workers and programs and the number of animals they can aid. One such program is the Caring Kids program at the Animal Haven shelter in NYC, which teaches children fro 5 to 17 how to properly care for animals. This program has recently partnered with the Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers which has enabled it to resume, no thanks to the parasites.

We've all seen how this is affecting our blogging and Twitter communities. A few years ago, ChipIns started surfacing for local shelters. Now, more and more of these ChipIns are for our human friends, who have lost their jobs and can't pay their animal's and their own medical bills. Some have lost their homes and can't keep their beloved cats or dogs. I've seen blogs which contain more than one of these ChipIns and less and less of our friends are able to donate. We are the 99%, who together have less wealth than the other 1%. How can any of us support a political party that wants us to do with even less?

15 comments:

Cokie the Cat said...

You're Pawesome. Rock the 99.

=^..^=

Mariodacatsmom said...

Excellent post. Very well said and I couldn't agree with you more.

Sparkle said...

My human is very unhappy at the way things are right now - even though she and her boyfriend are doing okay, she sees so many of her friends struggling. I get unhappy when it affects other kitties!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

This makes me and the Human so sad. She's even older than your Human (she'll be 62 in December). Right now, she has a good job that pays decently (even though every employee took a 10% pay cut at the beginning of this school year). She worries that her small school might not make it (even though it's more than 125 years old), and she knows that at her age she won't be able to get another job that pays as well or has benefits--if she could get a job at all. It makes her very nervous. She almost wishes she'd get to 65 real fast for the Medicare--assuming it's still around.

Anyway, don't get her started on politics. She foams at the mouth and uses a lot of bad words that hurts my tender ears.

Your people loves you lots, CK.

WillOaks Studio said...

Thanks for this post--I hopped over from Sparkle and this hits all the main points for sure!

jen said...

What an important post! The Animal Haven Shelter sounds wonderful!

Brian said...

I don't think I will ever understand humans. Us cats need to be in charge!

Kim said...

Your Pop got to talk to John Lennon on the phone?! My mom and TW have a lot in common. Don't get her started. You've really brought up an important issue here, one that has such far-reaching effects in our society - and on our beloved animal friends. Yep, we are the 99%!!

Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
Kim Thomas
BtC4Animals.com
CindyLusMuse.blogspot.com

Whisppy said...

Although we don't live in the US, we do follow the news and are very sad at the state that your country is in. Politicians really need to get their priorities right (and this doesn't just apply to the US).

Prudence said...

Terrific post CK! Mom passes through Zuccoti Park every day and just wants to thank everyone there fur representing us!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Oh joy, oh rapture...I can SEE you, Beautiful Girl! And you look mahhvellous!

Clooney said...

It is a very sad state of affairs. Important post CK. Purrs to your Pop for healing and recovery.

Baby Patches said...

Hai my furriend, thank you for a great post on the state of things here in the US. While momma likes to shield me from her and others financial woes I knows what is going on. When will the majority of us join this occupy wall st movement & make some changes, things are worse den ever momma says. Us kitties should run things! MOL

*nosetaps*

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Aw, CK, you make Spitty ::blush:: under his furz. Yes, I **DO** think of you while I am resting on my tower. I know you kinda beat the crap outta that girl cat your people brought home, but maybe I could pop over for a visit without fear of injury?

Michelle said...

I feel you, Baby Girl! The people who have the least give the most. Can't believe your Pop got to talk to John Lennon! I'm green with envy ;-).