'Occupy' crowd doesn't have a monopoly on grievances

We all have legitimate grievances. Occupy Wall Street protesters do not deserve special government status that allows them to continuously occupy a public space in order to express them. Here is a list of my grievances: What are yours?

1. A lack of outrage over dysfunctional public schools that allow kids to graduate unprepared for work or for life.

2. Politicians who grant themselves full pensions after serving in their posts for a limited time.

3. Corporations that grant their executives excessive compensation packages without commensurate performance by their companies (GE and Fannie Mae are examples).

4. Wealthy individuals who talk about others reducing their carbon footprint while flying their private jets around the country.

5. Governments that spend more than they take in.

6. State and localities that purport to balance their budgets through questionable accounting gimmicks while maintaining huge unfunded pension liabilities.

7. Governments that invest in selected businesses and industries, thereby exposing the taxpayer to the financial risks instead of leaving the private sector to perform that role and take the risk of success or failure.

8. Proposing a 15-cent per gallon tax increase for transportation improvements when our elected officials have been "stealing" from the Transportation Trust Fund to "balance" the state budget.

9. Repeat drunk drivers who are allowed to continue to drive only to end up killing innocent people.

10. Drivers who blow though stop signs without ever slowing down and give you the finger when informed of what they just did.

11. The city never reading your water meter while relying on unfounded estimates to calculate your bill.

12. Receiving a $52 parking ticket for double parking on a neighborhood street to unload groceries.

13. Paying double the real estate tax rate as our neighbors in surrounding counties, and ending up with fewer and poorer services, dirtier streets, more crime, and inferior public schools.

14. College tuition rates that rise year after year at double the rate of inflation without any outrage or alarm.

15. People who embrace Apple (providing the ultimate consumer products) while condemning Exxon Mobil (which provides energy to heat our homes, run our factories, drive our cars, and fly airplanes).

David Tufaro, Baltimore

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