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Guest opinion

Dear George Soros: Where's my protest paycheck?

Dear George Soros,

I know we don't know each other, but I am an Arizona resident that considers myself to be an active constituent. My congresswoman prefers to refer to me as an "activist" who is only out for "political theater" and my so-called president states that I am a paid protester. Now, in spite of this, I am actually currently struggling to pay my bills. According to the Twitter-verse you are the one funding the Resistance endeavors, so I am writing to you today because I would like to discuss the fact that you haven't been paying your people! Perhaps you don't know how much work we have been putting in, so I'm going to suggest some numbers to help get you started.

Now, I know you've supposedly been paying people all throughout the campaign process, but I'm just going to go ahead and start with what's gone down since the inauguration; that way we can assess what your future payments to us might be like in the next four years. On the very first day after the new administration took over, the Women's March transpired. 3.6 million people participated worldwide. You'll be paying all of us, not just those in Washington, right? Don't worry, I'll use conservative estimates here to determine what you owe. The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 so we will use that number and disregard the fact that many states and countries require an even higher amount. So, that comes out to be $26.1 million dollars, per hour. The March lasted over seven hours. (That doesn't include set up, take down, promotional, or organizing hours.) That comes out to $182.7 million dollars. And this was just the first 24 hours, so let's keep going.

Next came the ridiculous travel ban that sparked "grassroots" outrage across the country and the world. (I put grassroots in quotes, because you'll be paying us for this too, right?) Now let's say that only 50,000 people showed up for this. Don't worry, I won't include fast-response fees or the costs that the lawyers incurred. Using again our minimum wage assessment, I predict that you should have incurred costs of about $362,500 an hour. Protests lasted for three straight days, but let's just bring it down to ten hours for cost-saving purposes. That's another $3.62 million dollars.

I'll skip over the "Day Without Immigrants" and the "Day Without Women," presumably because that would've required us leaving the jobs that we obviously don't have. So, next we had the "Not My Presidents Day" protests. Now this was a sporadic movement that only had a following of about 15,000 or so, which means that at minimum wage you're looking at about $108,750 an hour, and a total of about $435,000 for the full four hours of protesting.

Next came the Tax March. I'll use this opportunity to reiterate that you should really pay your people so we can file the aforementioned income on our taxes next year. Anyhow, the march saw about 125,000 protesters, meaning that we're expecting $906,250 per hour. These events were shorter than other organized marches, so we'll cut down the calculations from seven hours to four. We'll be expecting a payout of at least $3.625 million.

Now, at this point I think we should include the various uprisings that take place across the country on more local levels. We have to keep up the image that the resistance is by the people and for the people, right? Town halls have been getting a lot of press so let's start there! In my red state alone I know that I personally have seen well over 3,000 participants in and outside of various town halls. I'm sure that if I researched outside my own three members of congress that I would find even more data on that. But hey, we've been playing it safe so far, so let's assume that each state has seen only 2,000 constituents—wait, sorry, I meant protesters—at town halls so far this year. And, I'm sure you're only targeting red states with your funding, so we'll just count 20 instead of 50. So, the 40,000 of us that are involved will be expecting a payout of $290,000 an hour, collectively. Assuming we can only get ahold of our representatives for two hours (which is very generous, on their part) you can expect the town-hall protester bill to be a measly $580,000.

There've been a lot of other protests going on, but let's just pick one cluster of them, for time's sake. Indivisible has had a lot of press. Apparently, there are 5,983 Indivisible groups nationwide. Now, I know some of them have thousands of people, but let's just round that on down to 100 members each. That makes for 59,830 or so members. Some Indivisible groups meet on a weekly basis, but they can't ALL be that active, so let's just say that they meet for a mere two hours, once a month since the inauguration. That means you owe each member about $58 for a total of about $34.7 million.

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Moving on, we had the March for Science this weekend. Now this is so recent that the numbers are still rolling as far as attendance goes. Let's just go with the current number of about 200,000 or so, across the 600-plus cities that participated. Unless that number keeps increasing, you're looking at about $1.45 million an hour. Over seven hours of rallying and marchers, you should expect the bill to come to about $10.5 million. Next week will be the People's Climate March. It's hard to know what the invoice is going to look like at this point, but the last climate march had 400,000 people in New York alone. So, let's just work with that number. That'll cost you $2.9 million an hour and a total of $20.3 million for the duration of the event.

OK, that was a lot of information, right? I'm not an accountant, so I'm sorry that all this isn't in a spreadsheet form. But my calculations have you looking at a total of $256,115,000. And that is just the first 100 days; at this rate, you'll be making a payout of $3.74 billion dollars over the next four years! While I should thank you for sponsoring the resistance, I do have to take issue with paying us tireless workers a minimum wage that falls below the standard in most states, so I have taken the liberty of recalculating the above amounts using the average hourly wage of the American worker, $23.86. That is much more satisfactory, don't you think? Now you are looking at:

  • $601.272 million for the Women's March
  • $11.93 million for the travel ban protesters
  • $1.432 million for the "Not My President's Day" protests
  • $11.93 million for the Tax March
  • $1.909 million for Town Hall protesters
  • $114.275 million for Indivisible members
  • $33.4 million for the March for Science
  • $66.801 million for the upcoming Climate March

Which will come to a grand total of $842,949,000 for the first 100 days, or $12.32 billion for the full fouryear term, depending on how you want to look at it. That is generous of you, sir, to give up nearly half of your net worth for the cause!

It'll be hard to sort out all of those retrospective hours, though. Plus, like I mentioned before, all of these estimates exclude time spent on planning, organizing, setting up, taking down, all of our lovely protest signs, plus various supplies and expenses incurred, babysitting fees, interest payments since no one has gotten their checks yet, and of course, transportation costs. (We had to pay out of pocket when we couldn't find the busses you supposedly sent us…) So, what's the best way to move forward? Well you could just pass out a measly $100 to all 73,648,823 of us that didn't vote for the orange guy.

Although that would be a one-time payment of $7.3 billion dollars on your part, and some of those people voted for Harambe… Perhaps we should assume that only a tenth of us are active enough to warrant payment from you? I know that I personally have put in about 80 protest hours so far and the minimum wage in my state is $10/hr. I'll be expecting at the very least an $800 check from you ASAP, and I'll tell my 7,364,881 friends to expect the same? That's a $5.89 billion payout; wow! Like I said, I'm not an accountant, so I'm not sure which way you want to do the math, but I hope these suggestions helped! I'm sure you'll figure this pressing financial issue out on your own terms, ASAP. In the meantime, we'll carry on with the Resistance, and anxiously await your checks!

Thanks for sponsoring our constitutional rights,

Veronica Nicole

U.S. Citizen


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Taylor Ellis and Emma Harris, both 16, during the Women's March in Tucson, Jan. 21, 2016.


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