texshelters

If You’re Reading this, You’re Part of the 99%

In Current Events, Economics, Education, Occupy Movement on February 22, 2012 at 21:47

We are the 99% from ohaflcio.blogspot.com

Many people online, in editorial pages, on television and in the streets are denying their membership in the 99%. Few if any of the people that fight against their membership to this not-so-elite group fully understand the concept of the “99%”.

Those who automatically reject anything they consider “liberal” will reject their membership in the 99% as a way to reject a group they falsely consider lazy, unclean Americans who want to blame corporations for all their troubles. However, Occupy Wall Street is not asking for you to agree with everything every member of their group believes. Admitting that you are part of the 99% does not require you reject your conservative, or other, principles.

What admitting you are part of the 99% requires is that you let go of your denial and acquire a modicum of class consciousness. First, you must let go of the myth that the richest 1% of Americans care about you and are job creators instead of job destroyers. Then you must develop an awareness that you are in the lower classes and the 1% determines, to a large extent, what happens in this nation.

Many people reject this idea because they think it means you have to be an anarchist, socialist, communist or some other ist to belong to the 99%. That’s a misreading of the metaphor. What’s more, they don’t even know it is a metaphor, a number that represents the inequality in our economic and political system but may not be literally accurate.

Even Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, showing how smart he is with numbers, took “99%” as a literal idea and corrected the notion several times in his post:

“Let’s be clear. This isn’t really the 99 percent. If you’re in the 85th percentile, for instance, your household is making more than $100,000, and you’re probably doing okay. If you’re in the 95th percentile, your household is making more than $150,000. But then, these protests really aren’t about Wall Street, either. There’s not a lot of evidence that these people want a class war, or even particularly punitive measures on the rich. The only thing that’s clear from their missives is that they want the economy to start working for them, too.”

Let’s be clear about Mr. Klein’s misreading of OWS: 99% is a metaphor that he takes too literally and thus misses the point that it’s about inequality, not exactitude. And it is about Wall Street. The protests are about Wall Street run amok, about how Wall Street gets a free pass when they break regulatory laws, about a Wall Street that is in large part responsible for our economic disaster we find ourselves in. But, it’s not only about Wall Street. The Occupy Movement is about banks, mega corporations like Monsanto that poison our food supply, BP and other large companies that pollute with impunity, the military industrial complex, and so forth. Just because it’s called “Occupy Wall Street” doesn’t mean Wall Street is their only concern, and it’s willfully ignorant to think that. Read their declaration and educate yourself about their issues.

Klein also echoes sentiments of Republicans and dismisses the movement as self-centered, only concerned about themselves, only wanting the “economy to start working” for them, thus he misses the point again. Sure, members of the occupy movement are concerned about their own welfare, and also their neighbors, their children, their family, their community, their teachers, their public servants, other workers, and all members of the 99% that might have had tough times because of the plutocracy we live under. Otherwise, why would so many employed, retired and financially secure people involve themselves in the movement?

Compassion for others is not a hard thing to understand. It’s too bad Klein’s analysis only skims the surface of what the Occupy Movement is about. If he can’t correctly interpret Occupy, he should stick to writing about the Republican primaries. There, he will see enough lies to write about, and he won’t have to write misinformation about the Occupy Movement.

You’re part of the 99% if:

  • Most of your income comes with a W-2 attached.
  • You have ever, or currently, received food stamps, unemployment, SSI, or other government assistance.
  • You don’t have an offshore bank account.
  • If you are not a financial manager or CEO of a major firm, you are part of the 99%.
  • You are also a member of the 99% if your income is less than $400,000 a year.
  • If you earn less than 25% of your income in rent and dividends, you are part of the 99%.
  • If you are one paycheck from being homeless, you are part of the 99%.
  • If you are not a manager, executive, or supervisor of a large firm, you are likely part of the 99%.
  • You are part of the 1% if you can donate millions to a political campaign.
  • You are part of the 1% if you can write laws for ALEC and thus Congress.
  • And if you’re reading this, you are a member of the 99%.

Here’s a demographic breakdown of the 1%:
https://files.nyu.edu/bps261/public/numbers.html 

Fact: the top 1% in the US control 42% of the nation’s wealth.
http://www.mybudget360.com/top-1-percent-control-42-percent-of-financial-wealth-in-the-us-how-average-americans-are-lured-into-debt-servitude-by-promises-of-mega-wealth/

Rich Versus Poor demographics
http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/97/07/9707jw.pdf  

Peace,
Tex Shelters

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  1. It’s the power of the mass media, and the goals of those who monopolize it for it to be this way – idiots thinking they’re aligned in interests with the one percent.

    Boycotting mass media is the single best thing one can do in order to get their heads around this world we all share in a sound manner. Other than that, it’s just all “divide and conquer,” as the global cabal must destroy America from within for her to be willing to join their union under their leader and their rules.

  2. If you care about cruelty to the other species of our farming and business practices, and are horrified by the savagery and suffering, and are disgusted by agribusiness’ efforts to deny the media access to the staging grounds of the barbarity, you are part of the 99%. A plank of the platform of Occupy Wall Street is this. This is the first movement which encompasses other species with ours. It is a vast step. If this plank of the platform matters to you, you are part of the 99%.

  3. You are part of the 1% if you can’t donate millions to a political campaign.
    You are part of the 1% if you can’t write laws for ALEC and thus Congress.

    Can or cannot? Spelling counts, mate!

    • Thanks Mate. Brain fart on the double negative negative negative doubles, etc.

      Really, spelling counts? I thought numbers count.

      PTxS

  4. Since the Tea Party is against Corporate Bailouts, Corporate Welfare and Crony Capitalism does that make you guys part of the Tea Party movement too? From the arguments Tex is presenting to drag me into the the fold of the so-called 99% it does. If Leeza’s comment is a prerequisite for being part of the 99% I guess I’m out since I really do enjoy Rare Porterhouse Steaks and Venison taken by me with my Recurve Bow.

    • Sure, I agree with much of what the Tea Party says, as long as they step away from the racist signs some of them hold.

      I purposefully avoided social norms for the 99%.

      PTxS

  5. •Most of your income comes with a W-2 attached. Nope, most of my income over my life time came with a 1099 attached.

    •You have ever, or currently, received food stamps, unemployment, SSI, or other government assistance. I have never recieved any of the programs you have listed

    •You don’t have an offshore bank account. I barley trust the banks here in the US, I’m not about to trust a bank I can’t drive to.

    •If you are not a financial manager or CEO of a major firm, you are part of the 99%. Got me there

    •You are also a member of the 99% if your income is less than $400,000 a year. Got me there.

    •If you earn less than 25% of your income in rent and dividends, you are part of the 99%. Well you don’t get me here.

    •If you are one paycheck from being homeless, you are part of the 99%.. You don’t get me here either, I built my home myself with the help of barterd labor. I own it outright.

    •If you are not a manager, executive, or supervisor of a large firm, you are likely part of the 99%. I used to be a mid-level manager for a large firm, does that count?

    •You are part of the 1% if you can’t donate millions to a political campaign. Well you got me there.

    •You are part of the 1% if you can’t write laws for ALEC and thus Congress. I can Vote.

    •And if you’re reading this, you are a member of the 99%. Tex I read everything you write no matter how wrong you might be.

    Take Care Tex

    Jake.

  6. Very well said. I’m surprised at how many of the Washington insiders — of which Mr. Klein is obviously one — get this very simple and basic idea wrong. Most of us have nothing to do with off-shore bank accounts; most of us get our money because we work for it and we pay taxes on our earnings. And most of us are in really deep trouble in these trying times, thus the Occupy Everything/Everywhere movement.

    I think the first thing we need to do is get a new crop of Congresscritters; way too many of the current crop are millionaires and are writing laws that benefit themselves. That’s not only wrong; it’s extremely unethical, besides.

    I recently read “Why Nations Fail” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson; those two writers pointed out that there are two basic economic/political models for countries — extractive economies (like China, Soviet Russia, the Mayans) or inclusive economies (the US, Great Britain after the Industrial Revolution, Botswana). Right now, the 1% are trying to make the United States into an extractive economy, I think — note that isn’t the take of the two authors — and as it _is_ possible for an inclusive economy to go backward (South Africa, for a little while in the early part of the 20th Century, allowed black farmers to prosper; however, the racists in the government — unabashed racists, at that — put a stop to that, and the whole economy suffered except for the white elites, which is why apartheid was so disgusting), I, for one, am worried.

    We must be vigilant and make sure our economy stays an inclusive one, otherwise we are in for a mighty rough road.

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