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1% vs 99%: Wait, I thought you were... You're not anymore?

  1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago

    Hey all,

    Here's an article that *gasp* cites government date to show that *gasp* the entire argument of 1% vs. 99% is largely nonsense *gasp*.

    The argument goes like this: Sure, the top 20% of the country generally get richer, and the bottom 20% ALSO generally get richer (just at a lower rate), but the people on the bottom BECOME the people on the top, and the people on the top BECOME the people on the bottom (without bailouts, that is).

    "the top 1%" will always exist, as will "the bottom 99%", but the people who make up those numbers ever change.

    http://mises.org/daily/5799/The-Rich-Ar … g-the-Rest

    Translation? The 1% today won't be the 1% in a decade, and neither will the bottom 20%

    Oh, and before you call me a "Rich Man's Schill"(wouldn't be the first time), I fall in the bottom 30% of income earners. So...

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
      Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I heard an opposite report this morning on NPR which pointed out that housing is becoming more segregated by class with more gated communities and McMansions to the point where many middle class and lower class people can't live in the towns where they work. The result is that the rich no longer have to mingle with the rest of us at the grocery, barber shop, church or other places. This breeds an attitude on their part of "Well, I made it. Why cant 'they' and polarizes communities politically and tends to deny the others the things they need in order to succeed economically because the rich are unaware of the obstacles faced by ordinary folks.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Either way: Social mobility exists to those truly striving for it. At least 3 different respectable sources over the past 3 years were pointed to in that article.

        Sorry that houses get expensive, but thankfully Henry Ford mass produced cars some hundred years ago.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Mobility? Just under the poverty line to just over the poverty line isn't exactly mobile.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Only if you define "poverty line" in some abstract absolute number.

          2. Brooke Lorren profile image60
            Brooke Lorrenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            How about poverty level income to top 25% of wage earners?  That's an easily doable number for law school graduates.  My husband is currently in law school, and we currently are at the poverty level.

            As a child, my husband lived below the poverty level.  Then I had a good job and we moved into the top 20% of wage earners.  Then I left that job to homeschool and we moved into poverty income range.  We expect to be back into the top 25% at some point after dh graduates from law school.

            Income mobility happens.  I've seen it in my own life.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              SHE WAS ONCE A MEMBER OF THE TOP 20%!! GET HER!!

    2. KeithTax profile image79
      KeithTaxposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Are you smoking something?

    3. bgamall profile image84
      bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      The Mises libertariantards believe that the invisible hand of self regulation will make the civil rights act and regulation of banks unnecessary.

      You can't believe a word they say Evan.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah... because... the government does it...

        LOL

  2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago

    A few quotes for those who don't want to read the whole thing:

    "W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm found that between 1975 and 1991, only 5 percent of those with incomes originally in the bottom 20 percent were still there at the end."

    "The Treasury found that those with the very highest incomes in 1996 — the top 1/100 of 1 percent — had their incomes halved by 2005"

    "From 1996 to 2005, the incomes of those originally in the top 1 percent and 5 percent both declined; the incomes of those originally in the top 20 percent increased 10 percent; but those originally in the bottom 20 percent saw a 91 percent increase in income"

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Okay, I see a couple difficulties with using these data to conclude that everything is okay and there's no reason to be concerned.

      One: the data collected about the top earners was collected from 1996 to 2005, while the data about the bottom earners was collected from 1975 to 1991. The bottom-earner data were collected over a much longer time period, during a time that was an overall rise in general prosperity, while the top earners' data was collected over a shorter, more volatile period (things started going south long about 2001).

      Two: It ignores where everyone started from. My first job paid minimum wage. Probably so did everybody's first job. That put us all at the bottom of the income ladder. But! Those with education/training opportunities eventually get jobs that pay more than the minimum wage. Even those without education or training in their teens and early 20s gain experience over the course of 15+ years of work. OF COURSE they're going to be out of the bottom 20% after working for 15+years in an expanding economy.

      Three: the data about the top earners only counts their income, not their accumulated wealth. Once you've got about a billion dollars, income doesn't matter so much.

      Four: The data about the top earners doesn't talk about why, or by how much, their incomes declined from 96 to 05. When you were pulling in $20Million/year (plus stock options, etc), and then you retire with a fortune of $200Million (plus whatever stocks you've accumulated), OF COURSE your income will drop a bit. If you get fired from your CEO job, OF COURSE your income will drop a bit (but not by much). Your overall wealth won't be touched. And of course, an income "decline" from $20Million/year to a mere $18Million/year sounds like a lot, but it's only a 10% pay cut.

      Four-point-five: Also, the article cites "A 2003 Treasury study of the top 400 income earners" and says that "Over those [eight] years, thousands of different people made it into the top 400, with less than one in seven in that category more than twice, and less than one in four in it more than once." It doesn't say if people typically dropped out of the top 400 because their own income decreased, or because someone who wasn't them had their income increase higher than someone in the original top 400. It also says that less than one in seven were in the top 400 more than twice. Worded this way, we're led to assume that nobody stays in the top 400 for longer than about a year at a time, so no big deal. This ignores a few things. A) a typical career lasts longer than eight years. B) Those eight years ('92-2000) were pretty volatile-lots of fortunes made and lost in the dot-com bubble-, so it's unsurprising that there was a lot of movement in the top earners. C) 1:7 works out to about  14%, and 14% of 400 is about 56, so anywhere from one to 56 americans could have stayed in the top 400 earners for three, four, or all of the eight years studied. D) The past 11 years.

      Five: A 91% increase in income from minimum wage doesn't exactly lift you from poverty to prosperity. In '75, minimum wage was $2.10/hr. Adjusted for inflation, that's $6.12/hr in '96 dollars. (In 1991, the minimum wage was $4.25, or $4.90 in '96 dollars. (Note that the minimum wage actually decreased in purchasing power over that period!) Okay. So, adjusted for inflation*, their incomes increased by 91%. 6.12+(6.12*.91)=$11.69/hr. So by the end of the time period studied, the folks originally at the bottom end of the pay scale, earning about $12,200/year in 1975(assuming full-time employment), were earning a whopping $23,380 in 1991(in 1996 dollars)! That's after 15 years in the workplace. For a single person living alone, maybe $23K isn't so bad, but not if you're trying to feed/clothe/house a family.

      Six: It doesn't cite any statistics about how many (if any) of the bottom 20% ever got into (or even close to) the top 20%, nor how many (if any) of the top earners ever fell down to the bottom 20% (of course, if you have $1Billion and earn $0, you're still not going to run out of money very quickly).

      Seven: it completely dismisses the widening gap in income between the top and the bottom earners by pretending that because the top earners aren't always the same people, the difference doesn't matter, or that by falling out of the top 400 earners, a person somehow is no longer rich, or that since a person slightly below the poverty line is now (after 15 years of work!) slightly above the poverty line, they're "upwardly mobile," and everything is hunky-dory.

      So, basically, the article does raise the valid point that the top 1% aren't always the same people every year. But it tries to pretend that a 91% increase in income for the bottom 20% of earners means that they've become prosperous when they haven't: they're just not below the poverty line anymore, and ignores a lot of important stuff that needs to be examined.

      1. Pcunix profile image88
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        But that's what the Right always does:  lie their way around every inconvenient truth.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          It's HILARIOUS that you used "Inconvenient Truth" to emphasize how people lie.

          That movie had more grotesque lies and nonsense than even a Michael Moore film.

          1. bgamall profile image84
            bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Give it up Evan.

      2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        i never claimed everything was all right.

        1) I fail to see how "data collected numerous times from 1970s to the near-present" could possibly be a bad thing.negative aspect of the article.

        The author is only highlighting certain parts of the date - the 70s data also showed how the top 20% fell, and the other data shows how the bottom rose.

        2) claiming that "my first job was a minimum wage job" doesn't work because the jumps were from the bottom 20% to the higher 80% and from the top 20% back down to the bottom 80%.

        That means that you COMPARATIVELY did better or worse than others.

        .. I would bother to continue to write, but I know it's hopeless.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          If they were collecting the same data about the same groups over the same period of time, that would be a good thing, but the data collected to "prove" that poor people are actually upwardly mobile were collected over a long term period of economic expansion; everyone was becoming better off over those years, and the job market was expanding.

          "The author is only highlighting certain parts of the date - the 70s data [actually '75-91] also showed how the top 20% fell,"
          It does? Really? That's the first time I've heard of that: it's not mentioned in the article, and all the statistics I've read show an ever increasing income gap between the average worker (better than Min Wage) and the Executive class. So, you can cite the data that shows the income of the top 20% actually declined over those 15 years, right?

          "2) claiming that "my first job was a minimum wage job" doesn't work "
          Sure it does. Pretty much everyone's first job is a low-paying one. Over 15 years, your income will go up with education and experience. Now, in a closed system (with no new workers coming in, and no old workers going out) you'd be right: it's completely comparative, and somebody would have to move from above you to below you for you to be comparatively better off.

          But in an open system, with people retiring and starting their careers, you can move up without someone from above you taking your place at the bottom: a whole new guy can take your place at the bottom. A younger guy who's just starting his career, while you're moving up to take the place of another, older guy who's also moving up, etc etc, who's moving up to take the place of a guy who's retiring (or who died) and is no longer earning an income.

          Me moving up out of the bottom 20% does not mean someone from the top 80% moved down to take my place at the bottom.

          Even if it did, it is not implied that movement from the bottom 20% to the top 20% is typical or even possible (theoretically it is, and it has happened very rarely in practice). You can leave the bottom 20% and enter the next 20% (from 21-40). How many people continue up to the next 20% (41-60)? Doesn't say, does it?

          Also, there's nothing in that article about anyone moving from the top 20% back down to the bottom 80%.  Nothing. it says the top 400 earners regularly get shuffled about.

          A person starting at the bottom is 6 times more likely to reach the top 20% than to remain at the bottom 20%? Of course. People earn more as their careers progress. This is not dependent on someone else earning less. Now, how likely are they to stay at the bottom? Six times as likely as a very small chance is still pretty small.

          No, please continue to write. Eventually one of us will see a flaw in our reasoning.

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
            Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Oh, and it says that it's rare for someone to remain in the bottom 20%. It doesn't say how common it is to rise up out of it, and then fall back again, and rise up, and fall back again.

      3. kerryg profile image87
        kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Haha, and I thought I was verbose!

        Seriously, though, +1 for this. Great post with many excellent points. smile

  3. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 5 years ago

    First:  so what?

    Does that change anything?   Does it change that peoples lives are ruined?  Does it change anything talked about here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ne … s-20111110 ?

    The top 1/100 of 1 percent had their incomes halved by 2005?  So someone making 100 million dropped to 50 and you think that matters?

    Ooh, and someone making $12,000 managed to move to $20,000?  I guess they ran out and bought a yacht, right?

    Upward mobility?  http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Col … z1dgc6g0Si

    "The most comprehensive comparative study, done last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that “upward mobility from the bottom” – Daniels’ definition – was significantly lower in the United States than in most major European countries, including Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark."

    Yeah - Sweden, Denmark - those awful socialist states.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Why are they comparing Canada to the US? Isn't comparing the US to the US a big enough aggregate for you?

      1. Pcunix profile image88
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        You will never get it.  You believe everything the Right tells you.

        Fortunately, most of the U.S. is moving away from that ignorance.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Pcunix, I could say the same about you and the left.

          But, let me be clear - I guess you haven't figured this out...

          ... I disagree with the Right a lot. Nuking Iran? That's stupid. Heck, I've even discussed where I disagree with Ron Paul on forums before.

          I have yet to see you ridicule the left, though. So, I guess I'm more flexible than you?

          You, the black pot, just called the beige kettle black.

          1. Pcunix profile image88
            Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I started typing a reply and then reminded myself about teaching certain animals how to sing and all that.   

            Not worth the wear and tear on my keyboard.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Indeed, I will always refuse to sing garbage.

  4. mel22 profile image60
    mel22posted 5 years ago

    I think the problem with the 1 versus 99 argument is that : the one percent are made up of extremely wealthy robbers( cheated their way to success)or should i say excess as per se the incredidbly ambitious and  successful millionaire who made his living in a fully crsdible way. There is no distiction between these two groups in the 1 percent it seems. The only excesses that need to be curbed are the ones that are cheating their way to billions rather than those who honestly made a million bucks or two. There definitely are some robber barons up their along with the captains of industry and the two need to be distinguished and allowed to fail if necessary. No Bailouts

    1. Pcunix profile image88
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime".   That's not always true, of course, but it often is and when it isn't, it may be a whole pile of minor crimes and misdemeanors instead.

      Nice people DO get rich now and then and even manage to hang on to it without being nasty, without buying influence that protects their gains, without mistreating employees, without bullying their competition unfairly and so on. It happens, but those people are not common among the very wealthy.

      Where you DO find that quite often is among the moderately successful - the guy with the small business that succeeded and a few dozen or maybe even a few hundred employees.  I've known people like that and they can be truly wonderful people.

      1. mel22 profile image60
        mel22posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        THe 99 versus 1 should actually be the 99.9 versus the .1  - I agree there is abundance at this time that has gone beyond abnormal.. it is pretty insane to think about.  -in fact it really should be the 99.1 versus the .9-... it has definitely gotten out of hand. BTW ,has the deficit officially hit 15 T yet. I think  it was supposed to this week. And in another few weeks the deficit will exceed 100 % of GDP. It is going to get really crazy here, real soon. YIKES !

        http://www.usdebtclock.org/

        by gosh, its gonna happen tomorrow night!

  5. Jeff Berndt profile image90
    Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago

    Oh, I forgot about this: The article also doesn't say if everyone who earned their way out of the bottom 20% stayed out of the bottom 20%. It make a big point that the top 1% is a revolving door of prosperity, but it doesn't say how many of the bottom 20% get out of it for a bit and then fall back down into it again.

    We can assume that some of those bottom 20%ers get replaced by new workers at the very beginning of their working careers: kids in high school working part time for spending cash or to save for college, kids in college working to put themselves through school, etc. But how many of those folks don't finish their schooling and stay in the burger-flipping/pizza-delivering business? How many of them get a better job, but lose it when the startup goes under? I lost a job (a really good one!) when the IT company I worked for took a dive. I was in the bottom 20% for a long time (stay-at-home dad, no earnings). I'm earning money again, though, so yay, me. But without the privilege of my education (and connections made while I was getting it!) I wouldn't be earning nearly as much today. I was able to get that education because I grew up in a family that wasn't in the bottom 20%.

    1. Brooke Lorren profile image60
      Brooke Lorrenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My husband grew up in a family that was in the bottom 20%.  Single mom.  Compton.  The whole works.  In 2003, we made about $100,000 a year.  By choice, I left my job to homeschool my kids, and now we're temporarily at the poverty level.  He's in the middle of law school now, so I doubt that we'll stay there.

      Being in the bottom 20% of wage earners doesn't keep you from going to college or law school these days, at least in the United States.

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
        Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        "By choice, I left my job to homeschool my kids, and now we're temporarily at the poverty level."
        There's a difference between that and being unable to find a job.

        "He's in the middle of law school now"
        How old was he when he started law school? Is he working during the day or is he a full time student?

        "Being in the bottom 20% of wage earners doesn't keep you from going to college or law school these days, at least in the United States."
        No, it means you're more likely to qualify for a Pell grant than someone from the middle class, and rightly so.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Jeff -her story perfectly illustrates that social mobility is alive and well

  6. mel22 profile image60
    mel22posted 5 years ago

    @jeff berndt , you said:

    'Two: It ignores where everyone started from. My first job paid minimum wage. Probably so did everybody's first job. That put us all at the bottom of the income ladder. But! Those with education/training opportunities eventually get jobs that pay more than the minimum wage. Even those without education or training in their teens and early 20s gain experience over the course of 15+ years of work. OF COURSE they're going to be out of the bottom 20% after working for 15+years in an expanding economy. '
                                             
    I say :After 15+ years one COULD be out of the  bottom 20 percent but when the INFLATION that is created during those fifteen years, through excessive spending over and above revenue( leftist and rightist programs)makes it impossible to get out from the bottom, then their is a zero sum gain even if wages increase  because Cost of living has increased at same or even faster than wage increases and that is what is stagnating the economy. Any gain helping to get out of the 20 percent through increases in wages is nullified by any deficit spending and increase whether its socialized spending or right wing spending (defense)
       - i've never understood why the labor socialists push for COLA'S for their constuents  in the union but then turn around and support increased spending to nullify any gain. Its a zero sum gain.

    why not instead push for no spending and therefore no need for COLA's.. still zero sum gain but at least we havn't gone forward pushing for a no gain situation and then scratching skulls wondering why wage earners are not gaining.

  7. mega1 profile image80
    mega1posted 5 years ago

    ok, here's an interesting way to think about this: 
    Imagine your large family together pool ten percent of the incomes of all ten working adults - in order to live well and have homes and everything you need. This family you're in share a large property where everyone live, kind of like a homeowner's association, but more so. In other words, this 10% of these ten adults' incomes pays for things like electricity, rent/mortgages, schooling for the kids, and all the property expenses like taxes, roads and landscaping etc. for everyone in the family.  Then one of you becomes a big business owner and makes, say, 10 times as much as all the rest of you put together, but then that one simply says, "I'm no longer part of the 10% deal, you guys go on without me, see, because I don't need any of your help making my expenses now, so I don't see why I should help you. See you around."  What would you, as one of the 9 others who is left to pay for the common expenses do in this situation?  The big money maker still lives there, uses the roads and the electricity and the other services you all pay for, but doesn't pay any more simply because he feels his business is more important than yours.  You'd just kick the bum out, wouldn't you?

  8. mega1 profile image80
    mega1posted 5 years ago

    oh, right, and also - now that your family doesn't have the contribution of the big guy's 10% you have some hard times, someone has big medical bills, someone else's school tuition goes up, and all of you aren't getting pay raises anymore - so you have to borrow from a bank and mortgage the property and now, you're all struggling to pay the mortgage and make ends meet while the big guy is still living there, rent-free, refusing to help with the mortgage since he didn't agree to it in the first place, and he's threatening to just buy you all out and send you packing. 

    This is the way I see our current situation in the U.S.  - we owe trillions to other nations and somehow our wealthiest 10% doesn't have to do anything to help pay that debt back, but they benefit in some ways much more than any of the rest of us do (bailouts, tax-breaks) and often get much better human services (compare the road conditions in the various neighborhoods, for example, and the medical facilities that serve the rich vs. the clinics in poorer neighborhoods - all get federal funding)

    We should just have a flat 10% tax on all income of all people who are living above the poverty level and then see if we can't live within our means.  Meaning, why borrow money to pay for more space programs or more ammunition and military to fuel our imperialism if we can't afford to pay for 4 years of college for anyone who wants it? or basic social services that provide some care for the poorest in order to help them overcome their poverty? 

    I don't think the 99% of us are saying enough, speaking loud enough, we're still living like they did in the 50's - afraid to be labelled "socialist" or "radical" just for demanding what we rightfully own - we want our country back!

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      "This is the way I see our current situation in the U.S.  - we owe trillions to other nations "

      Actually, most* of our sovereign debt is owed not to other countries but to our own Social Security fund, and to every American who owns a US Savings Bond.

      *Yes, a lot of it is owed to other countries, but not nearly as much as everyone seems to think.

      1. wixor profile image60
        wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        This 1% vs 99% I would like to understand some more. Simplifying a little, have I got this right?

        1= very very poor
        100= Very very rich

        Just as a matter of interest, if you're at no. 99, shouldn't you be down at Wall St with the OWC group? BTW, how much are you earning if you're at 99?

        What I'm getting at is the problem is not with the megarich.They've always been around and always will, they're just more visible now. It's not wealth that is the problem but the acquirement of power. Think tribal leadership, UN, Politicians, IOC. etc.....

        The problem is the middle classes. No one on the lower rungs, myself included, wants to be a zillionaire, we'd just like the opportunity to buy a house, and provide for our families. It's the middle class that are the greedy ones, always climbing the ladder, protecting their positions, at the expense of those just below them.

        Of course, it might be difficult to gather much support by targetting the middle class. Most of us are in it - the silent conspiracy.

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
          Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Agree. However,

          "They've always been around and always will, they're just more visible now."

          They are much richer now and their incomes are much higher. The inequality wage and wealth gap is growing every year.

          1. wixor profile image60
            wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            That might be more a function of mathematics than anything else. If you earn $200,000 and get 10% more, that's obviously better than getting 10% on $50,000, almost like a critical mass has been reached. You can't do much with the extra $5,000, but another $20,000, you could start a small business.

            It's the same problem as between developed and third word countries. How would we allow third world countries incomes to increase, while not penalising ourselves? Answer that question, and you can probably solve the rich vs poor debate.

            1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
              Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Compensation for corporate CEOs has gone wild, from memory from something like 10 or 12 times the average worker to 50 or 60 times the average worker. These are gray bureaucrats who've worked their way up the corporate ladder by kissing ass without having a single original idea but who think they should be paid like Henry Ford, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. If their company's earnings don't go up, they cook the books, re-price their options or raid their employees' pension funds in order to line their pockets, and if things get too bad they leave with a huge golden handshake. The compensation committees of their boards are composed of cronies who allow the CEOs to write their own ticket based on recommendations of friendly executive compensation consultants.

              Private equity operators like Romney who got filthy rich at Bain make their money by taking over healthy companies by loading up their balance sheets with borrowed money, "re-structure" the companies laying off long service employees, cancelling the pension plan, running the company into the ground and walking away with millions.

              1. wixor profile image60
                wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                What I'm getting at is it's easy to pick on the greedy corporates, they're an open target. It's fun to point out they asset strip, award themselves huge bonuses etc etc.

                But what are wages like for public servants, or the head of some charities? If there was a narrower band of wages, for say 80% of the population, things would be so much better.

                1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
                  Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  It may be easy to pick on greedy CEOs and Wall Street banksters, but thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions they are more than ever before capable of defending themselves with huge lobbying and campaign expenditures. There is more money sloshing around in Washington and state capitals than ever in the history of the U.S. Income and wealth inequality are the highest in modern history and growing every year. More and more people are becoming alienated against the limitless corporate greed and our democratic, market system. This alienation or anomie is reflected both in the OWS and Tea Party movements.

                  1. Reality Bytes profile image93
                    Reality Bytesposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Thank you for pointing out the similarities of both groups.  Although they have not accepted it, they are both angry with the same entities.

              2. mel22 profile image60
                mel22posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Couldn't agree more with these statements here... the innovators who started these companies deserve their pay... its these CEO's that run in the door later and start dismantling companies that need to be wiped out...can't wait to see what happens corzine over at MF Global for betting on Europe... of course it'll be a fine of 10 percent of what he stole..I mean 'lost' somewhere.

      2. mega1 profile image80
        mega1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        well!  that is really such good news!  I feel so much better now!

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Well, no, it's not such great news, because we owe a ton of money to the SocSec fund, and the Right are trying to convince us that the SocSec fund is empty. Well, that's only true if the US defaults on its debt to the SocSec fund (which may be why the GOP were willing to let the US default on its debt earlier this year: they want to destroy Social Security for some crazy ideological reason, and they're willing to take the rest of the economy down with it). The down side to owing so much to our SocSec fund is this: who is going to force the US gov't to pay that money back? China? The UN? Nope. Only the US can do that, and while some are willing, the rest of us are making fun of them for not knowing what they're mad about.

          1. mega1 profile image80
            mega1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I agree with you - was being sarcastic about feeling better -

            1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
              Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Ah, I see. Sometimes sarcasm doesn't read. v0v

  9. RachaelLefler profile image90
    RachaelLeflerposted 5 years ago

    The people who make up the numbers are not the problem. The problem is the amount of the total national wealth the top 1% own is up dramatically from the 90's, as that number increases, society is creeping into a 2 class state, with most of us getting poorer and therefore less free and we have our voices outshouted by corporate lobbyists, marketing, and PR. We are becoming serfs, essentially. And what we have to do if we don't want to be serfs and don't want our children to be either, is to stand up, use our 1st amendment rights, and speak out en masse against this. And a lot of people mock protesters' use of technology which is made by corporations, among other goods and services. The problem we have is largely with banks and lending, the sector of the economy whose lack of morals or ethics is what we believe has led to the collapse of our economy.

  10. RachaelLefler profile image90
    RachaelLeflerposted 5 years ago

    So we're not boycotting the vast majority of businesses, because we actually want business to succeed in this country. What we are doing is moving our money to credit unions and community banks and trying to get legislation and enforcement that makes banks behave more ethically, even the "too big to fail" crowd of them.

    1. RachaelLefler profile image90
      RachaelLeflerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I would point out that it's not simply a rich vs. poor thing. We have a problem with people getting rich using things like extremely low wages in impoverished countries, a reckless disregard for the long-term health of this planet, exploiting poor people with high interest loans, and owning a government that is supposed to be by the people, for the people. People who get rich in other ways, we have no problem with. That's why it's not fair to say "Katy Perry and Russel Brandt showed up to support the movement and they're rich, so the OWS protesters are giant fucking hypocrites" , no. It's not like that. This isn't something that can be reduced to a simple lower class uprising against the rich.

      1. Pcunix profile image88
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        But that's the Right: reduce to black and white. The dumb ones do it because they just don't get it and the smarter ones do it so they can recruit more of the dumb ones.

        Darling Newt Gingrich has been railing on about how "All of the occupy movements start with the premise that we all owe them everything."

        Rather, it's about how certain people got rich by stealing and continuing to steal from the rest of us.  It's about corruption and abuse, not envy.  It;s about thieves, not about "rich".

      2. wixor profile image60
        wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It's still a class argument; though I believe the problem, as always, is relativities. You say the rich are exploiting the poor? Possibly. But really it's just the way of the world. The problem is really with the middle class and our desire for consumption. Don't believe me? If a "poor" person earning $40,000 per year, was overnight suddenly earning $80,000, would their problems disappear. Um yes, or at least they would expect them to disappear. Or if a third world person could suddenly buy a big mac every month, would they be happy. YES.

        There are solutions to these problems, but we're not prepared to implement them, that's all, because they strike too close to home. Far easier to blame the rich, than make sacrifices ourselves.

  11. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago

    It looks like OWS found out what women have known for millenia:

    People with ambition get stuff done, and gain wealth.

    Samantha Bee went down to OWS and highlighted their lack of understanding of property rights. It turns out that, now that people are coming down and trying to make the OWS movement into something more than just drum circles, the hippies are getting mad.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-n … et-divided

    Great stuff, I feel so vindicated.

    1. Pcunix profile image88
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Woosh.

      Right over your head.

      1. RachaelLefler profile image90
        RachaelLeflerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I find it funny how some people still don't get the concept of sarcasm/satire.

        1. wixor profile image60
          wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I guess you're talking about how the OWS folk are protesting against the rich, when, by definition they're not prepared to work, or make sacrifices in an attempt to emulate them. Or is that irony? smile

          1. Pcunix profile image88
            Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            The only irony is your inability to understand that OWS is not what you think it is at all.   The irony comes from the reality that you too have been plundered and yet you stand by the thieves as though they were your best pals.

            1. wixor profile image60
              wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              smile Oops, I guess I am becoming some sort of "Plunderer Denier?" Seriously though, and, if possible, keeping to the issue, what is the solution? Look at your own circle of family, friends and acquaintances. Is there anyone with contrasting life outcomes? Maybe one works as a gas pump attendent, another is an advisor at goverment level. The latter probably earns four times the former. Not 20% more, but four times. Is that reasonable, if so, why?

              1. Pcunix profile image88
                Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                You really don't get it, do you?

                Again: this is not about rich vs. poor.   It's about those who abuse people, institutions and even our planet to make themselves wealthier and wealthier while crushing the rest of us lower and lower.  It's about people who use their power and influence to get special tax favors and special loans and insider information. It's about thievery and corruption.

                1. yellowstone8750 profile image60
                  yellowstone8750posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  You just nailed it. Remember what Marx said about the middle class in advanced capitalism.

                  1. wixor profile image60
                    wixorposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Absolutely. It's the classic middle class ripoff. Easier to blame the rich, or supposedly corrupt than to look in our own backyard. To vary an oldie but a goodie, "it's the system, stupid." And it's not socialism, or capitalism. Society is founded on rich, or priviledged vs poor, and protecting, and advancing our own positions.

                    A simple example is the voting system. You'd probably argue one person one vote is democratic, yet it has the effect of keeping minority rights in check. But we're all quite happy with that, as it protects our majority position and status. That's the sort of silent corruption we're talking about. The beauty is we don't have to do the exploitation ourselves, groupthink takes care of it for us.

                2. bgamall profile image84
                  bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Well said Tony. A rich guy who makes something constructive for mankind, even if he isn't perfect, is often lauded, like Steve Jobs. On the other hand, wealthy who are scorned are the Lloyd Blankfeins of the world.

                  1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
                    Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich
                    The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent.

                    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ne … z1eYDVTWYn

              2. yellowstone8750 profile image60
                yellowstone8750posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Consensual Apathy to answer Wixor.

  12. yellowstone8750 profile image60
    yellowstone8750posted 5 years ago

    This thread is getting old. We all know how Rogers feels.

 
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