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Reader: Don't let One Percenters off the hook
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Don't let One Percenters off the hook


Regarding your recent column about Sandy West and Ossabaw Island, “Privilege and Preservation:”

You know, I wouldn’t have minded a straight up request for help. There’s enough on the merits—Sandy West owned it, she turned it over to a trust (yes there was $4 million, still she could have kept it, I suppose, maybe money was the problem then as well), and yes she should be supported.

She’s done a great thing, even if it was for selfish reasons (keeping an estate in tact and not turning it over to developers who would have made the place truly ugly).

What I don’t understand is why you felt the need to puff up the 1%ers (wealth disparity in this country is at least as great as it’s ever been in our history —we surpassed the gilded age a few years ago and may only be comparable to Southern plantations just before the 1850s where 90% of the labor was free) as if somehow it’s a joke, or unreasonable for the 99% to blame the 1% for being so greedy.

Of course they’re in “back rooms planning out the future.” What do you think they do in lobbyists’ offices on K Street? What do you imagine meetings between legislators and lobbyists are about? Gerrymandering? No healthcare supports for Georgians? Buying baseball stadiums instead of creating summer jobs for at-risk youth?

So, just to bring you up to speed, here are a few articles I hope you will read and digest.

It’s NO joke. It’s the way our democracy is being hijacked. Laugh if you like, but you’re too smart for that!

As you can see, the question of money in politics is studied by respected scholars. The wealthy are getting what they’re paying for and so are the poor.

Do with it what you will. I remain an admirer.

­Jill Livingstone

I couldn't agree more, Jill! I was trying to make the point that the "old money" One Percenters have largely been replaced by a newer generation of One Percenters with less investment in the health of their communities. And let's not forget the recent meeting at the Hyatt Regency, uncovered by an Atlanta news team, where Georgia lawmakers were being lobbied in private by the notorious ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) at their annual meeting. – Jim