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Describing itself as a “movement for the 99%,” the rag tag group that has drawn continued national attention has supporters in pretty high places. Just 24 folks who have directly participated or spoken out in direct support of the “movement” have a net worth of more than THIRTY FOUR BILLION DOLLARS ($34,920,500 to be exact). Ironically, all of these supporters are not only in the 1%, they are in the top 1% of the 1% – the group most subject to the venom of the Occupy movement. Some would call it self-sacrificing, others would more accurately call it hypocrisy. Notwithstanding Jesse Jackson’s claims (quoted below), I have NOT included Steve Jobs in the list. Here is the top 24
1. George Soros – (estimated net worth $22B) – Adbusters, whose ballerina dancing on a bull ad (http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-protestors-hired-through-craigslist/) launched the entire Occupy Wall Street event was funded in part by donations from a clearing house receiving $3,500,000 from Soros. http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/13/did-george-soros-fund-occupy-wall-street/ “I can understand their sentiment,” Soros told reporters last week at the United Nations about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, which are expected to spur solidarity marches globally on Saturday.
2. Jim Chanos – ($6B) – When asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement Chanos told Bloomberg that New Yorkers don’t appreciate the impact that government bank bailouts have had on other U.S. citizens. “New York is so finance-centric that people here under appreciate the reaction of the rest of the country,” Chanos said yesterday. “People are angry, they feel the game is rigged, that they didn’t get their fair shake.”
3. Bill Gross – ($2B) – In discussing the Occupy movement on Twitter, Mr. Gross stated “Class warfare by the 99%? Of course, they’re fighting back after 30 years of being shot at.”
4. Hugo Chavez – ($1B) - Mr. Chavez has characterized Occupy Wall Street protesters as justly responding “to their terrible oppression.”
5. Yoko Ono – ($500M) – I love ‘Occupy Wall Street’! John is sending his smile to ‘Occupy Wall Street’. I am sending my love to ‘Occupy Wall Street’. We are all working together.”
6. Russell Simmons – ($325M) – Attended the protests “because we are here trying to give power back to the people – to get the money back to the people.”
7. Al Gore – ($100M) – “From the economy to the climate crisis our leaders have pursued solutions that are not solving our problems, instead they propose policies that accomplish little. With democracy in crisis a true grassroots movement pointing out the flaws in our system is the first step in the right direction. Count me among those supporting and cheering on the Occupy Wall Street movement.”
8. Jane Fonda – ($120M) – Attended the protest and marched in Zucotti Park.
9. Jon Stewart – ($80M) – “I don’t get it! Here’s a group of Americans, disenchanted, railing against big government bailouts, angry because they played by the rules, worked hard, now they’re in debt from student loans and they’re unemployed . . . Aren’t these folks real citizens with real problems? Aren’t they also speaking for America?”
10. Roseanne Barr ($80M) – Attended the protest and marched in Zucotti Park and gave a speech calling for “a new capitalism, one not fueled by wars, one that doesn’t pass out its wealth to handful of white guys and call that free trade.”
11. Deepak Chopra ($80M) – Created video supporting the Occupy movement “What kind of world do you want to live in? This one was created by greed and fear.”
12. Kanye West – ($70M) – Marched with protesters “I am spiritually supportive and want to give back to the people.”
13. Nancy Pelosi – ($58M) – “God bless them for their spontaneity. It’s — you know, it’s an independent people coming. It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused, and it’s going to be effective.”
14. Michael Moore (pictured)($50m) - “The first time I went down there, somebody tweeted, ‘I saw Michael Moore,’ and there was so much joy on his face that if somebody took a picture, the caption should read, ‘Finally!’ I have been kind of giddy about the grassroots nature of this, and how it’s just sprung out of seemingly nowhere, without organization, without dues-paying members, without political leaders.”
15. Susan Sarandon – ($50M) – “I don’t know that much about Wall Street, but if I was running a business and I made that big of a mistake and lost that many people’s future, I don’t think I would get a bonus or even keep my job.”
16. Tim Robbins – ($50M) – “This is what an actual grassroots movement looks like. It’s a bit sloppy and disorganized but full of passion.”
17. Keith Olberman – ($35M) – Need I say more.
18. Arriana Huffington – ($35M) - ““Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street protests intensified, a welcome reminder that, for angry Americans, the Tea Party is not the only option — and that the energy for real change will definitely come from outside Washington. Keep your eye on Zuccotti Square.”
19. Harry Belafonte – ($28M) – Has made a movie about himself and draws parallels between the civil rights movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
20. Danny Glover – ($15M) – Glover attended Occupy Los Angeles last Saturday. “I’m so proud of these young people,” he said.
21. Talib Kweli – ($14M) – After tweeting on October 6 that he would be heading to join protesters in Manhattan’s Financial District who have taken roost in the area as part of the scraggly “Occupy Wall Street” movement, rapper Talib Kweli performed a song titled “Distraction” about the Occupy movement.
22. Barack Obama – ($10M) - “I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel. That we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.”
23. Jesse Jackson – ($10M) - In an interview with Chris Jansing, Jackson said that Apple Founder Steve Jobs (who had died the day before) would have supported the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and listed several things that, in his mind, the movement is attempting to accomplish. “Well, no doubt about it,” Jackson said. “He had the sense — this idea of making computers available for the common people. He was kind of the people’s people. As for the Wall Street protests, you are looking at the reaction of the abuses of Wall Street power extremes.”
24. Mark Ruffalo – ($10M) – “What I’m seeing emerging here is a direct form of democracy meant to address economic inequality. I come from a working-class family. The working class is the heart and soul of this country. And you can’t have a just society of any kind without economic equality.”