Uncategorized — October 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

Nolan Finley trots out debunked myth that “The 1% does most of the giving”


Nolan Finley at the Detroit News just can’t seem to bash the Occupy Wall Street folks enough. First, it was his article where he basically called the protesters a bunch of animals and derided them as being simply “malcontents”.

This week, he trots out a debunked-many-times-over myth that “the 1% does most of the giving”.

The civil rights center bearing the name of Detroit’s Judge Damon Keith was dedicated last week at the Wayne State University Law School. Its mission is to protect the legal rights of the nation’s most disaffected and powerless citizens, continuing the work to which Keith has dedicated his life.

And who do you think paid the $5.7 million tab for building the Keith Center?

Not the government. Not a dime of taxpayer money went into the construction. Not Wayne State — universities are too cash-strapped today to fund such ambitious projects.

The center that will stand up for the poorest of Americans was paid for by some of the wealthiest members of our community — that 1 percent being so harshly targeted by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.


But philanthropy is not what those who call themselves the “99 percenters” want to talk about. They’ve convinced themselves that if there were no wealthy people, there’d be no poor ones.

That fact is that this completely false. Oh, sure, in absolute numbers, the uber-wealthy give more. But in terms of a percentage of their income? Not even close. Have a look at this graph from a report done a couple of years ago by McClatchy News Service:

Click for a larger version

The poorest group, the lowest one-fifth, give twice as much as a percentage of their income as the two top groups do.

Let’s not pretend that those top groups got where they are all on their own. They didn’t. Society has benefited them mightily and it’s not unfair to ask them to pay their fair share of taxes, no matter what apologists like Nolan Finley may tell you. And, really Nolan, do you think we don’t know that this abundance of philanthropy by the one-percenters is, at least in part, a way to avoid paying taxes? We know they get massive tax write-offs for this, Nolan. Please don’t blow smoke up our backsides and tell us it’s all altruism. It’s not.

Finley has the gall to claim that the wealthy are “being…harshly targeted by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.” That’s so utterly absurd that it hardly bears commenting on except to say what passes for “harshly targeted” in Finley’s odd universe wouldn’t even make the first cut for the rest of us.

His other strawman, that Occupy protesters think “that if there were no wealthy people, there’d be no poor ones” is equally laughable. But Finley the apologist has the eyeballs of a lot of wealthy people in Michigan and his efforts are clearly designed to make the one-percenters feel justified in sneering at and deriding #OWS protesters.

In my book, that’s what’s called being a “toady”.