Living on the liberal Upper West Side of Manhattan, as a self-made successful entrepreneur who grew up in this great city, I see people every day who I think must come from another planet. When I see people in my über-luxury condominium building, where 1-bedroom apartments cost approximately $1 million dollars, sporting buttons and t-shirts for socialist causes, they get angry when I tell them if they want to share their wealth I’d be happy to take their money. They aren’t humored (and I am not joking).
While plenty of them smoke pipes and wear tweed, none of them attended public schools in the Bronx or are the product of a single parent household. I am yet to meet one of these elite socialists who started working from the age of 12 as I did in a pizzeria – although they did attend Ivy League schools, study philosophy and have lots of fancy degrees – none of which I have.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New York City in a major way, a group of 100 or so (after their three day break due to weather conditions) have now re-gathered two blocks away from my home to gather outside of posh condominium 15 Central Park West representing “Occupy Wall Street” to complain about the “greed” of “evil” Lloyd Blankfein.
Blankfein is the chairman of Goldman Sachs who lives in the complex – and is “guilty” only of earning millions of dollars annually – as is his right in a free enterprise market. These socialist Marxists don’t assist with much needed clean-up efforts in the city, where people still don’t have electricity and the elderly are stuck in their apartments. Instead, they complain about successful people.
Blankfein is a role model. The man was raised in housing projects in the Bronx – his father was a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service (after he lost his job driving a bakery truck), and his mom was a receptionist. As a boy, he worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium. He attended Harvard University on scholarship and had to work in the cafeteria to pay bills. Blankfein is an American hero – someone to respect, to learn from, and someone whose success any American would seek to emulate. And naturally, no one is stopping these Occupy Wall Street folks from becoming the next Blankfein – or Mark Zuckerberg – or successful corporate executive.
Thanks to the success of Blankfein, thousands of people are employed, pay taxes, give to charity and do great things. He himself is Gala Chairman of the Rockefeller family’s Asia Society in New York, and serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization seeking to alleviate poverty in New York. Making money and being successful is one of the great things about America.
On 57th Street, four blocks away from Blankfein’s home are the offices of billionaire George Soros, from whom Occupy Wall Street gets much of its funding. Soros, one of the ten wealthiest Americans, walks through our office building with security (where my PR agency is also headquartered). Soros, who recently said, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States,” is ignored by protestors even though he’s a 1-percenter. Soros seems very much the capitalist to me with his chauffeured limousines and expensive real estate, although he says, “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.”
Unlike the totalitarian Chinese government (which forbids protests and which Soros has said is “a better-functioning government than the United States”) here, unfortunately, the protests will continue.
These sick people are dangerous to this country. It takes strength from every fiber of my being to walk by these people on the way to work and on the way home. It’s sickening – although empowers me to educate my children about how entrepreneurs like Blankfein work hard and deserve success – and those sleeping on the street and getting high deserve their sleeping bags on the sidewalk.
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