Occupy not just another protest 0
There has been class warfare going on. It's just that my class is winning. And my class isn't just winning, I mean we're killing them.
- Warren Buffett, billionaire investor
When billionaires complain about the growing income inequality between rich and poor, you know the Occupy Vancouver protest that started Saturday just makes sense.
When Warren Buffett, the world's third wealthiest person, says the U.S. government should stop "coddling the super rich" and raise taxes on millionaires, you know something is dramatically wrong.
When Bill Gross, who runs the world's largest bond fund, the $1.2 trillion Pacific Investment Management Co, says the Occupy Wall Street protest is an unsurprising reaction to the class war started by the rich against the rest of us, it's not a situation normal.
And when Laurence Fink, who runs BlackRock Inc, the world's biggest asset manager, with $3.7 trillion invested, says protestors spreading the Occupy message around the world have a point, look out.
While B.C. Premier Christy Clark and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty say things are totally different in Canada, they are dead wrong. The more than 4,000 protesting in Vancouver Saturday disagree, and for good reason.
The Occupy Wall Street movement points out that just one per cent of the U.S. population, the mega-rich, own 40 per cent of that country's total wealth. That's why this protest is aimed at helping the other 99 per cent.
But our country isn't different. A recent study found that just 3.8 per cent of Canadian families control 67 per cent of total household wealth. Other studies show Canada's top one per cent received 33 per cent of all income gains between 1997 and 2007.
That's why we should listen when mega-rich managers like Buffett, Fink, who made $23.8 million last year, and Gross, who gave $33 million to charities last year and is worth $2.2 billion, warn about the gap between rich and poor.
"Class warfare by the 99 per cent? Of course, they're fighting back after 30 years of being shot at," Gross said on Twitter.
Those dismissing the Occupy movement, started by Vancouver's own Adbusters culture jamming magazine, are foolish.
The very wealthiest men in America aren't just worried about inequality - they are pre-occupied with it.