Diary

Occupy Wall Street - What Happens to the Money that's being Donated?

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The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) “protest” is entering its 4th week, and apparently the occupiers are beginning to really, really stink.


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Aside from the valuable lesson that is hopefully starting to sink in about the truth of the “welfare state” to the post-collegiate idealists who are there (they aren’t really thrilled with the increasing numbers of do-nothings who are showing up with their hands out and no willingness to do any work), I have a feeling they are about to get broad-sided by the reality of the scope of human greed.

You see, monetary donations have been POURING in.

And even though OWS purportedly started out as a relatively small “grass-roots” protest, the organizers didn’t have the foresight to set up any sort of a system to accept donations from their adoring public.

So the nice folks at the Alliance for Global Justice (ACJI) invited OWS to come in under their “umbrella”. For a mere 7% of the take (!), ACJI offers “fiscal sponsorship for grassroots non-profits which agree with our Vision and Mission Statements but do not have their own 501(c)(3) status, thus making donations to those projects tax-deductible to the donor as well.”

Not only are these kids trusting a BANK to hold their new-found windfall for them, they aren’t going to have to pay taxes on any of that money – which, ironically enough, makes them no better than those Wall Street fat cats that they are protesting.
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Fortunately for them, ACJI has a gentleman on their board of directors who manages a private investment firm in New York City, so he should be able to give them advice on how best to invest that money:

[…..] is an investment manager in private practice in New York City. He received his A.B. in International Relations from Brown and his M.B.A. from Harvard. [He] serves on the Boards of three other prominent national progressive organizations.

But as rich as that irony may be, it pales in comparison to what is going to happen when the first real cold weather hits and the pampered ones decide to pack it all in and move back home.

I have no idea how much money has been donated to “the cause” at this point; that’s for the OWS folks to sort out with the ACJI people. Since this is a “leaderless” movement, it should be a real hoot seeing what the consensus is for divvying up the spoils – given this weekend’s frivolity in Atlanta, I’m guessing they might get around to settling on the agenda of the initial meeting sometime after the 2012 Presidential elections.
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There should be quite a few spoils to go around – after all, they are getting food, clothing, supplies, and bedding donated by good people all across the country. I don’t know what the arrangement is between them and the City of New York, but I’m betting the electricity to power all of their laptops and such is being donated, the use of the park was comped, and permit fees have been waived.

The taxpayers of NYC are paying the salaries of the police officers who are tasked with keeping order, so essentially these kids are getting protection for free. The National Lawyers Guild has offered their services pro bono to any protesters who get arrested, and several unions and other groups are more than eager to bus in paid protesters to swell the ranks and make the protest look larger than it actually is (and some of these kind folks might be willing to rough up the cops for no additional charge).

So all of this money is just piling up in a bank account somewhere while these kids live off of the kindness of strangers.
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For all of their high talk of “consensus”, when this circus finally pulls up stakes and leaves town I have a feeling that these kids are going to find out mighty quickly just what money REALLY means to people – and I’m not talking about the “evil 1%” that they have been railing against the past couple of weeks.

They’re going to find out that it doesn’t matter that they did all of the work and they were the ones who spent all of their time manning the “front lines”; after the ACJI gets their generous cut, the professional jackals are gonna come calling.

Whether there is anything left after those fine folks are through fighting over the spoils or not, there are going to be plenty of folks who did absolutely nothing, standing there with their hands out; if they don’t get what they consider “their fair share”, they are going to be pissed off.

These kids are going to experience first-hand what happens in the Utopias that they envision; fortunately for them, they will be protected by both the fine men and women of the New York Police Department and the American legal system.

In other countries where this same “Utopia” has been attempted, the lawyers and the police forces tend to be no better than the rest of the folks who expect to be paid – if those with the money don’t pay up, the folks providing protection will simply turn the mob loose. It has happened throughout history everywhere that any system other than Capitalism has been tried.
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These kids would do well to remember that they live in a country where the Rule of Law abides, rather than the Rule of Man. The reality of the “new system” that they are advocating isn’t very pretty when one person has what another one wants. In such a system, the Law of the Jungle will always prevail, and the jungle isn’t very kind to “waifish blue-eyed grad students with expressive wrists“.

These kids are about to be taught a very harsh lesson about the reality of human nature, but it’s one that all of us have to learn at one time or another.

There is – unfortunately – no teacher like experience.
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[Cross-posted at Koch’s Tour]