This Week’s Cartoon: Politics 101 – It’s the System, Stupid

If I only had a dollar for the number of times someone has accused me of hating the rich or wanting to punish success, I’d be a card-carrying member of the 1%. OK, I exaggerate slightly. But it’s simply not true that that’s where I’m coming from, nor is that the motivation behind OWS.

A couple weeks ago, the NYT published an article interviewing several wealthy people who had grumbly things to say about the Occupy movement. The quote that stuck in my mind was one from Adam Katz, the founder and CEO of private jet service Talon Air.

To many, 99 vs. 1 was an artificial distinction that overlooked hard work and moral character. “It shouldn’t be relevant,” said Mr. Katz , who said he both creates jobs and contributes to charitable causes. “I’m not hurting anyone. I’m helping a lot of people.”

It may well be the case that Mr. Katz is a decent person who’s done a lot of good. But I find myself wondering: how does he vote? Does he support politicians who make it harder for ordinary people to be successful like him? Who appoint Supreme Court justices who seem hell-bent on creating plutocracy? Does he have any concern at all about our Gilded Age levels of inequality? Does he support the carried interest tax break that allows Mitt Romney to pay only a 13.9% income tax rate? These policies, and the arrogance, rationalizations, and excessive self-congratulation that lead to them are the things I hate. Not the rich. (Props, by the way, to the Patriotic Millionaires.)

Out of curiosity, I did a little digging about Katz’s political contributions. According to this site, things ain’t lookin’ good.


  • PostPunkMonk

    Well, that link was completely unforseen. It looks like Mr. Katz strictly watches his bottom line. What banal and tragic values he has.

  • Elmore

    To me, the source of the frustration that has led to the Occupy movement is very simple: to be a citizen and a voter means nothing. The “Club,” or the One Percent, or whatever you want to call it, has taken over our economy and our government and is now tailoring the rules to its maximum benefit. Those of us who are not in The Club might–might–manage to establish a decent standard of living, but as far as counting on our “democracy” to ensure equal justice for all, the outlook is bleaker than ever.

  • Kevin Moore

    I have met a few rich people. They are real buttholes. So I will cop to hating them. But mostly it’s cuz of their total cluelessness about people who struggle with poverty, racism, etc. Invariably they fall back on the same “those people just don’t work hard enough” bullshit.

  • Jen Sorensen

    PostPunkMonk – Really cool blog you’ve got there!

    Elmore – Agreed. 100% publicly-financed elections are a must, but it’s not like the Club (or the Tea Party) will ever let that happen.

    Kevin – I’ve met several non-butthole rich people over the years. C’mon, don’t you know any rich hippies? :)

  • PostPunkMonk

    Thanks for the compliment! I say you can’t judge a person by their bank account. I have known many wealthy cretins, but I have known almost as many cretins of modest income. I once knew an actual millionaire [he and I were in our 20s at the time] who had inherited his fortune. Talk about a recipe for disaster! As it turned out, he was as modest and unassuming a guy as you would ever meet. I didn’t find out about his economic status [from one of his friends] until after having known him peripherally for quite a while. It was not obvious to the naked eye.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.