Rising public anger explained in daily headlines

America's power elites on Wall Street and in Washington have been stunned by the sudden surge of the Occupy movement. Some 600 U.S. communities have Occupy groups, thousands of middle-class people have taken to the streets, and recent polls show that nearly six out of 10 Americans support what the protesters are saying and doing. "Why is this happening?" wail bankers, CEOs, and their pet politicos, "What is upsetting all these people?"

America’s power elites on Wall Street and in Washington have been stunned by the sudden surge of the Occupy movement. Some 600 U.S. communities have Occupy groups, thousands of middle-class people have taken to the streets, and recent polls show that nearly six out of 10 Americans support what the protesters are saying and doing. “Why is this happening?” wail bankers, CEOs, and their pet politicos, “What is upsetting all these people?”

You’d think that the superrich could afford to buy a clue, but apparently not. So, to help them grasp the situation, I’ve gathered a mess of news clips from just the past few weeks that pretty much spells it out for them. They needn’t read the actual stories, just scan the headlines. Better yet, I’ll do it for them (no need to thank me, I’m always delighted to edify the rich):

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“Slumping wages, rising health costs cause strain.”

“Top earners double share of nation’s income.”

“Snapshot of poverty’s surge in the suburbs.”

“Banks to make customers pay debit card fee.”

“Record high 4.5 million haven’t worked in a year or more.”

“House GOP spending plan cuts money for job training.”

“U.S. income levels sink… leaves fragile consumers in a bind.”

“Outsize severance packages continue for executives.”

“More ‘new poor’ going hungry.”

“Bank of America to cut 30,000 jobs.”

“Banks are awash in cash.”

Even a Wall Street banker ought to be able to understand the message that these headlines are delivering. Such daily headlines reveal the depth of inequality and rank injustice that’s propelling the Occupy uprising. As we say in Texas, even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked. America’s middle class and the poor are tired of being kicked – and now they’re kicking back. This is just the start.

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower


“Protests spotlight a stressed middle class,” USA Today, October 10, 2011.

“Top earners double share of nation’s income.” The New York Times, October 25, 2011

“Outside Cleveland, Snapshot of poverty’s surge in the suburbs.” The New York Times, October 25, 2011.

“Banks to make customers pay debit card fee.” The New York Times, September 30, 2011.

“Record high 4.5 million haven’t worked in a year or more.” Austin American Statesman, October 7, 2011.

“House GOP spending plan cuts money for job training.” Austin American Statesman, September 30, 2011.

“U.S. income levels sink… leaves fragile consumers in a bind.” Fresno Bee, October 1, 2011.

“Outsize severance packages continue for executives, even after failed tenures.” The New Times, September 29, 2011.

“More ‘new poor’ going hungry.” Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2011.

“Bank of America to cut 30,000 jobs,” Austin American Statesman, September 13, 2011.

“Banks are awash in cash.” The New York Times, October 26, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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