We are the 99%

Depending on where you live (and where you get your news), the Occupy Wall Street movement, may or may not be on your radar. These protests, which started in New York but have since spread to other cities around the world, are “mainly protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns.”

One main slogan coming out of these protests is “We are the 99%” which is a reference to the fact that the vast majority of people today are being screwed by the multi-millionaires and billionaires who make up the top 1% of income earners in our society.

Worried about the possible impact of this growing protest movement, right-wing mouthpieces, some of whom are part of the 1% and some of whom just think they are, have responded that the protests are “muddled”, “nutbars” and worse.

Right wing operatives have even set-up a counter site called “We are the 53%” which is a reference to the fact that only 53% of Americans apparently pay federal income tax (conveniently ignoring that a) many still pay a variety of payroll and other taxes and b) that still doesn’t explain why Warren Buffet pays a smaller percentage of his income in federal income tax than his secretary!)

The irony is that many of the contributors to “We are the 53%” don’t seem to get that they are still part of the 99% and working 2 jobs or for 80 hours a week, all with no health insurance, doesn’t mean you’ve achieved the American Dream!

In fact, the most important message that the Occupy Wall Street folks need to take forward is that, for all intents and purposes, we are all part of the 99%, no matter our politics or personal financial situation and when we battle each other in terms of right vs. left or hard-working vs. unemployed or old vs. young or whatever, we are falling into the trap of exactly what those 1% want us to do.  (Er, Mr. Buffet excepted of course! 😉 )

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