Occupy Wall Street Money Goes Up in Smoke

The Occupy Wall Street movement is nearly broke, and it’s no wonder. They spent $6000 on tea and, um, “herbal medicine,” (is that what the kids are calling it these days?) and $3000 for making puppets. Not to mention the $45,000 spent on Metrocards, $7196 for laundry, and $200 for tobacco and rolling papers.

The movement had raised $737,000 since it started six months ago, but the group’s most recent budget report says that they only have two weeks’ worth for “recurring budgets” at their current spending rate. The Atlantic Wire says that amounts to around $30,000 or so, not including the $89,000 it has set aside for bail money. Much of their money has gone to things like printing expenses, food, space rental, and all those Metrocards. But it has also gone to the vital art of puppet making, as well as that tea and herbal consumption.  Because you can’t have a protest movement without puppets! And herbs! And Metrocards!

What also has to be more than amusing to some of the Wall Street folks reading about Occupy Wall Street, is hearing about how some of the OWS members don’t like the idea of the movement feeding, housing, and paying for “street medics” (medical care) for some of the activists. On a thread at the official Occupy website, one member griped, “we must end this attitude of entitlement by those who have usurped the donor dollars to meet their own needs,” and said that it was “ridiculous to continue these welfare programs” which support “young able-bodied Americans” instead of growing the Occupy movement. Who’da thunk it?

Another complained that “while the majority of us have good motives, $$ creates a slew of dark forces who saw the movement as opportunity for Theft & Power.” You mean money changes everything? Shocking.

The Occupy movement has been out of Zuccotti Park for three months now. Why are expenses still so high? Housing members in churches and other locations to sleep, and feeding them, is more of a homeless shelter/soup kitchen situation than a movement.

And what is up with spending all that money on Metrocards? New York has arguably the cheapest public transportation around — $2.25 to go anywhere in the city, with discounts built in for bigger purchases on Metrocards. Shouldn’t paying for that, and for their own herbs, be the activists’ personal responsibility? Right now, the Movement is spending more on Metrocards than it is on “Outreach printing.” It seems like they have become a welfare organization without the “standards” of the NYC government has in its welfare programs (according to one forum commenter.)

It is funny, though, to see that the 99% and the 1% have something in common – neither likes the way other people spend their money!

Lisa Swan is a Feature Writer for the Compliance Exchange and Wall Street Job Report. She is also a columnist for The Faster Times and a blogger for Subway Squawkers. Her work has also appeared in the New York Daily News, Yahoo Sports, Huffington Post and the books Graphical Player 2011 and Graphical Player 2010.

About Lisa Swan

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