ROSE NOLEN: Let's hope the voices of Wall Street protesters are heard in Congress

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

This country began as a protest. I'm glad to see the Wall Street protesters carry on the tradition. This is a language Americans understand.

Big money has obviously taken over Congress, and the people in control of Congress must be reminded that they do not run this country.

We have a government of the people, run by the people, for the people. Americans — including corporate America — should not have to be told that.

Big media has persuaded many Americans that the country is ruled by Democrats and Republicans, and we correct our mistakes every few years by throwing out the party in power and putting in the other one.

It's true that we have a tendency to change parties from time to time — only the mistakes either continue, or new members of Congress exchange them for even grosser ones.

After years of this process, politicians have begun to believe the propaganda. In other words, the Republicans and the Democrats believe they are in control of the country.

Sometimes groups have to take to the streets to make sure people do not forget that this is a democratic republic. (When these groups are poor and minorities, though, we accuse them of trying to overthrow the government and send in police to beat them up.)

Unfortunately, there are some who will not accept reality unless people throw it in their faces by taking it to the streets. This has been true since 1776.

There was a time when the economy was so bad that it was possible for us to believe corporations had the best interests of the American people at heart. But most fair-minded citizens find that is no longer true and haven't for the past few years.

Yet the people doing business on Wall Street continue to insist that their personal interests outweigh any other consideration. It's tragic when a man as wealthy as Warren Buffett has to point out that his secretary pays more taxes than he does.

Can anybody seriously believe that our leaders aren't trying to destroy the middle and working classes by allowing corporations to move good jobs overseas and freeze wages at home at the lowest level? How hard is it to believe that we are becoming a Third World country where only the very rich and very poor constitute the population?

We know the country is made up of a lot of devoted Republicans and Democrats who will never be convinced that their party is responsible for the mess the country is in. These individuals are like putty in the hands of the Wall Street Greedicrats. They like watching voters play the blame game so that when it's over, they can move in and buy the winners.

If dynasties such as Babylon and the Roman Empire had not toppled beneath the pressure of their own ineptitude, we might believe that America could stand forever in spite of the corrupt nature of its politicians.

But the loss of the middle and working classes will destroy this country's backbone and bring about hardships beyond belief. Honestly, it's time for this dumb, sad game to come to an end.

The number of the homeless, the jobless and the citizens who need health care they cannot afford is growing. More than likely, even those who are prospering still have a family member or friend who is hurting. People all over America are hurting.

Hopefully, the Occupy Wall Street movement will grow until it becomes impossible for the Fat Cats to ignore. Maybe, some of those knocks on the doors of Congress will be heard.

Until they are, let the knocking continue.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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James Krewson October 11, 2011 | 6:18 a.m.

Blaming Wall Street, when its the government that has been deciding the winners and losers, via corporate tax loopholes and bailouts is amusing. The protest shouldn't be held at Wall Street, instead in should be held in front of the White House who is guilty of crony capitalism and perpetuating the mess that we are in.

(Report Comment)
marvin saunders October 11, 2011 | 7:46 a.m.

Thank You very much Rose.Nobody could have put it any better.Everything you wrote is so true.I can only hope no one backs down & more people join in.This is what we all need to do now,Join IN this movement Now!!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 11, 2011 | 9:31 a.m.

James has some point, but if his assertion is correct then some of the people working in or frequenting the buildings where the protests are being held probably have more pull than many of the people working in the nations capital anyway.
Six in one, half a dozen in the other.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 11, 2011 | 11:34 a.m.

Meanwhile, Wall Street is set to kill 10,000 more jobs. #swelltheranks of #occupywallstreet

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 11, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

"It's tragic when a man as wealthy as Warren Buffett has to point out that his secretary pays more taxes than he does."

According to the AP's "Fact Check: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?" (

"There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that's less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

"This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

"Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

"Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent."

(Report Comment)

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