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My 10 year-old daughter, a competitive figure skater, recently learned to execute an axel, a move in which the skater jumps in the air, spins one and a half times, then lands on one foot, while skating backwards. By my estimate, only one in one thousand people can land an axel. Further, I think that’s a conservative estimate—more likely, it’s only one in ten thousand.
When my daughter reaches adulthood, I hope she will also be among the top 0.1% of income earners. As I will teach her, earning lots of money is difficult, and it’s an achievement to be proud of. Further, when you earn lots of money, it means that you’ve provided lots of valuable products and services to people. That also is something to be proud of.
At one level I can understand some of the goals of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Many genuinely want to raise the incomes of the poor.
However, I cannot understand the protestors who carry the “99%” signs, especially those who are parents. Such signs are a celebration of mediocrity. Is that what they want for their children—for them to aspire to be part of the 99%?