Why the 1 1/2 percent need to Occupy Wall Street

| December 1, 2011

“You don’t know me but you don’t like me”
-Dwight Yocum and Buck Owens

Occupy Wall Street and I share a unique kinship.

On the same week that OPW became a worldwide social movement,   I released the book, Wealth without Wall Street:  A Main Street Guide to Making Money.

I didn’t know about them and they didn’t know about me but we have common goals and points of contention.

We are both opposed to how Washington bailed out Wall Street in 2008.

We both want to reduce the power of Wall Street in Washington and over our daily lives.
My book, Wealth Without Wall Street, advocates the concept of Moving Your Money from Wall Street banks to Main Street banks.
OPW put rocket fuel behind the Move Your Money movement.

Wealth Without Wall Street said economic protests, like those organized by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, are far more effective than protesting.

If Americans set up their lives so that we depend less on Wall Street and Washington, both entities will notice. We will be hitting them in the place where it hurts the most: their wallet.

There are several ways to hit Wall Street in the wallet.   Moving your money and your investments away from Wall Street is the movement that is picking up steam but cutting up your credit cards, where Wall street makes of its profits,  is another one.

A lot of attention has been given to the 99 percenters.

That label has been a dilemma for me.  I’ve qualified for a financial services honor called the Million Dollar Round Table for twenty five consecutive years.

That means that I in the top one percent some years and in the top two percent in other years.

In other words, you can call me a one and a half percenter.

Although my heart and beliefs are with the people getting pepper sprayed in the parks, my income is closer to the people who are ordering the police to roust them.

I need OPW to keep doing what they are doing and know it.

OPW may or may not know that they need the “one and a half” percenters when they translate their protests into long term success.

People are angry at Wall Street and that is not going away, no matter how many times Bloomberg and like-minded cronies bash on the people who are peacefully protesting.
The anger needed to be channeled into economic action.

Where the protests should go next is not against the big banks, it should go against the large institutions placing billions in those banks.

The same will hold true if business pension funds are managed by people not affiliated with pension funds.

If voters start throwing out politicians who place taxpayer dollars in Wall Street banks, real change and real reform will be possible.

I’m like a lot of “One and a half” percenters.

Neither of my parents finished high school and I worked to get a number of advanced degrees.

I think Wall Street is putting it average Americans, like the people I grew up with.

The financial and political systems are extremely unfair and Wall Street has gotten out of control.

I’m glad someone is protesting as it has taken from 2008 to get from anger to marching in the streets.

On the hand, Americans are a nations of strivers and achievers.   Someone, somewhere, we all want to have access to the American dream and have that legacy for our children.
Financial success may be improbable but it should never be labeled as impossible.
To propose limits and impeding a rise to the top will never be bought into by those who seek upward mobility.

Those sleeping in parks and those who make reasonable high incomes look different, dress different  and live in different neighborhoods.

The  line from the song,  “you don’t know me but you don’t like me” holds true and needs to be overcome.

Once all sides realize they have common goals and can help each other,   those goals will be achieved.

Don McCay, who lives in Richmond, Ky., is an award-winning financial columnist for Huffington Post Contributor. You can learn more about him at www.donmcnay.com.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Don McNay
Don McNay, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CSSC is the best sellling author of the book Wealth Without Wall Street: A Main Street Guide to Making Money.

McNay is an award winning financial columnist and Huffington Post Contributor.

He is the Chairman of the Board for the McNay Settlement Group (www.mcnay.com) which provides structured settlement consulting for injury victims, lottery winners, and the families of special needs children.

McNay founded Kentucky Guardianship Administrators LLC, which assists attorneys in as conservators and setting up guardianship’s. It is nationally recognized as an administrator of Qualified Settlement (468b) funds.

Don has appeared on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and over 100 radio and television programs.

McNay has Master’s Degrees from Vanderbilt and the American College and is in the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Don is a Quarter Century member of the Million Dollar Round Table and has four professional designations in the financial services field.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jim Robertson says:

    If voters start throwing out politicians who place taxpayer dollars in Wall Street banks, real change and real reform will be possible.

    Why take an absolute and then water it down? The absolute is to get rid of the 535 politicians, their life time pensions, their elite medical program and make them subject to the same laws as the rest of us. It has nothing to do with depositiing money in the “big” banks.

    McNay is totally wrong, but he’s right in line for a contributor to the Huffington Post. It’s not Wall Street or the Big Banks. The problem is the self-serving 535 politicians in DC.

    If McNay can identify with OWS and their cause, then that means he has no problem with the use of drugs and people defecating on the American Flag.

  2. Carl Lutes says:

    “There are several ways to hit Wall Street in the wallet. Moving your money and your investments away from Wall Street is the movement that is picking up steam but cutting up your credit cards, where Wall street makes of its profits, is another one.”

    Don, we moved to a smaller bank several years ago and as much as I’d like to move my investments away from Wall Street I’m not sure where there are any real alternatives. Do you have suggestions?