Shameless plug, but here is a fun interview I did earlier today with the telegenic young host of the Alyona Show. It was my first studio interview. I couldn’t see the interviewer- only heard her through an earpiece. I couldn’t see myself- or else I would have shaved down those eyebrows a little before the interview started. There was also no sweet New York skyline behind me in real life. But, for speaking in a vacuum, I think it went alright.
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“You know more than anybody about the laziness of the media.”
I assume that was not an intentional subtle jab at this reporter, but I wish I could have seen her face when you said that.
Ha, that was actually more pander than jab. Alyona prides herself in calling out the media, a Jon Stewart disciple, if you will.
How do you consider yourself the 99% when you work for a corporate law firm making at least $160,000 a year and spend your time working for corporate interests?
I generally mark anonymous ad hominem attacks as spam, but I’ll bite here. First of all, the 99th percentile for household income is $506,500, more than three times what I make.
That’s not even considering that my partner is accruing debt in school, or that this is by far the most income I’ve earned in a single year, with my own debts to pay off.
That said, I stated quite clearly in the interview that I consider myself lucky, and support the movement out of solidarity for those who have had worse luck and fewer opportunities, especially in education. Even with my educational opportunities, had I graduated law school a year later, in the midst of the recession, rather than the beginning of it, I might have no job at all.
There is nothing hypocritical about the work I have done or will continue to do fighting for economic justice and a democratic process more free from the grips of corporate influence.
I think we all understand (except for you) that 99% isn’t literal. The most serious concern is not your income (although you have done a great job explaining away why you aren’t rich… you should go on Fox News!), but that you work for a law firm that promotes corporate interests! You cannot ethically be a corporate attorney by day, and become anti-corporate activitst at night! We are trying to work against the very things that you help to build every day, and earn a very nice salary for it. Hogan Lovells represents big banks, oil & gas companies, pharmaceutical companies … need I go on? Let’s get real, you didn’t have to take that Big Law job, but you chose to. You can explain away your choice all you want (paying off loans, supporting partner in school, etc.), but if you were truly committed to changing our government and social structure, you would not be a corporate attorney. I have lots of debt too. And I had a Big Firm offer. But I turned it down for a public interest job because I have integrity. I don’t even care if you mark this comment as spam, what matters is that *you* see it.
One more thing, my criticism isn’t ad hominem. You support a movement that is fighting *against* corporate interests. Yet, you spend all day fighting *for* corporate interests. Hogan Lovells is a top lobbying firm, meaning they fight mostly for corporate influence in government, and they generally make money by helping corporations make money. You work for those interests, which directly conflict with the goals of OWS. You had a chance to make a lot of money because you are smart, good for you! But let’s not pretend like you were forced to take the job to pay off student debts (if you work in public interest for 10 years the balance of your loans are forgiven). You consider yourself “lucky” because you were one of the few who can work for a big corporate law firm? I don’t think you understand the movement at all. Its not about making poor and middle-class people richer. It’s about changing the underlying structure.
I’m not going to mark this is as spam, even though I think it’s lame that you obviously know who I am, and yet hide behind an anonymous pseudonym.
I have to be honest- when I read the first comment, I thought you were a corporate lawyer upset that I would support OWS. It’s now clear that you are a public interest lawyer, which I commend.
I’m not going to go deep into my personal life in a dialogue with an anonymous commenter, but if you really know me, you know it is ludicrous to suggest that my life’s work has not been in support of the public interest.
Finally, to suggest that I don’t understand the movement at all is absurdly dogmatic. No one speaks for the movement, except you, I guess? People have a myriad of different goals, ideologies and personal histories. That’s what the 99% is all about. And it is in fact literal, to the extent that the top 1%, really the top .1%, control enormous resources and influence policy to their benefit and the country’s detriment. To you, making a high salary for a year puts someone in the top 1% automatically. I disagree.
Your points aren’t all bad, but I”m not going to respond any further to an anonymous commenter who has to go out of his/her way to clarify three posts later that this isn’t an ad hominem attack.