"The 99%" refers to the bottom 99% of income earners in the United States (though the phrase has spread to other countries as well), those who have suffered the most at the hands of the banks, government, and corporations. "The 1%" then, of course, refers to the top 1% of income earners (so, basically the people who make the most money).
There has been an increasingly disproportionate difference in wealth between these different percentage groups over the past 40 years; right now, for example, the top 1% of Americans have 34% of the wealth in the country, up from 19% in the 1970s (the top 10% have over 70% of the wealth, leaving the bottom 90% with 26%), and the income of the top earners has increased by a tremendous amount while the lower incomes have stagnated, and in some cases even dropped since 1979. This group also tends to pay a lower income tax rate than the bottom income earners.
There are some very good charts explaining wealth disparity here: [link] . This video is helpful, too: [link] .
The idea of using the phrase "We are the 99%" as a rallying cry isn't, in my opinion, meant to be 'anti-1%', but to affirm the fact that the people most at risk due to the corruption of banks, and the collusion between corporations and governments (more on that here: [link]), are the majority, and so shouldn't have to just sit by and put up with the problems anymore. This is supposed to be a democracy, and so our government is supposed to work for the good of the many; instead, they've spent the past few decades working for the good of the wealthy few. '99%ers' think it's time for that to change.
I hope that that helps you understand a bit, and if you have any other questions, please let me know!
The problem with dweling on income inquality is that welth is created and different people create different levels of wealth. If you look at total federal spending, Almost 50% goes to social security, medicare, and meidcaid. That is an awful lot of spending for the non 1% if your thesis is that the 1% control everything.
I love the way the media scorns their "outrageous" demands for certain things...
Then says that they have no goals.
The media is the enemy. They've been bought off years ago, so don't expect the truth behind the movement to be shown- anger against a corrupt and greedy corporate system that keeps robbing us all and ruining the country.
The media (which is owned by the corporations--one of the groups that most want the movement to fail), keep telling people that 'OWS has no specific goal', 'OWS is disorganized', 'OWS doesn't even know what it's protesting'. This is disinformation specifically intended to make the protests seem irrelevant, and make people pay no attention to what OWS is actually saying.
There are a lot of different goals supported among the protestors (it's an extremely diverse group, after all), but the main root cause of most of these problems is the unfair influence of corporations and financial institutions upon the government (the 'goal' being to end this collusion). I would suggest checking out my comment here, which explains this influence in more detail.
I hope that you find this information helpful, and welcome your support if you choose to join in.
The fact that the corporations have sold us out to communist China, taken trillions in taxpayer bailout money while voting themselves huge bonuses, murdering the Gulf of Mexico and those 11 men through callous disregard for any safety standards, ruining entire areas in America (I live in a dead zone where even Manpower closed its offices), corruption from the ground up in the entire Wall Street Hierarchy, the massive sense of entitlement, the destruction of our nation's water supply through hydrofracking (guess who pays for it?), etc., etc....
Stat by looking up the 1980s Savings and Loans Scandal. That alone cost up to one TRILLION dollars in taxpayer bailout money- in 1980s money.
Oh, and the tripling of fuel prices for no real reason...
Different people have their own individual 'things' they're upset about (for example: some protestors want the death penalty abolished and some protestors support the death penalty; some are for gun rights, some against), but the main thing that the occupy movement (in the US at least) is standing against is the collusion between corporations and the government.
I'll try to explain.
In a representative democracy like the United States, where it would be impractical for every single person in the country to go and vote on every single issue, we elect representatives (senators, congressmen, etc) who share our beliefs to go to Washington and vote in our stead.
So, say there was going to be a vote on whether ketchup should be banned. If you thought ketchup shouldn't be banned, you could vote for Representatives who agreed with you; your neighbor, who thought ketchup was evil, could vote for a Representative who felt the same way about ketchup. If more people voted for the ketchup-loving Rep, then he could go to Washington and vote in favor of ketchup, and the legality of ketchup could be determined based on how many people actually supported it. If most people in the country liked ketchup, then most Reps also would, and it would remain legal.
That's how it should work in a perfect system, but what is actually happening is this: corporations (who currently have the legal rights of human citizens) can donate to political campaigns. Over 90% of most elections (Senate, Congressional, etc) are won by the candidate who raised the largest campaign fund.
So before the Reps even get to D.C. the corporations have gotten involved. (Back to the first example, say a corporation that made mustard wanted to get rid of its competition, so it donated $10 million to the Reps who would vote against ketchup, so that those Reps would win and vote in their favor).
But once they get to Washington, it gets even worse. Even if Reps managed to win without the help of corporate donations, that doesn't stop the corporations from bribing them to vote in their favor. (And really, even if someone loved ketchup, getting $1 million to say they hated it would be a pretty tempting offer.)
There's also the related issue of the tremendous bleed-over (the 'revolving door', some people call it) between government and industry (and industries lobbyists). How objective can the FDA be about genetically modified crops when the head of it used to work for one of the largest sellers of GM seeds? (How could the decision to ban or not ban ketchup ever be fair if the person in charge worked for that mustard company?)
The corporations have, and continue to, used this unreasonable influence to spin everything possible in their favor. Private insurance companies can lobby against healthcare for the poor; companies that use prisoners as their unpaid workforce can campaign for harsher jail sentences for lesser offenses; oil companies can get Reps to vote for looser safety regulations on rigs; companies that don't want to pay their workers enough to live on, in order to boost profits, can stop the minimum wage from being raised quickly enough to keep up with inflation; and super-rich execs of all different companies can get their taxes lowered year after year even though most Americans support the opposite.
Pretty much, this is supposed to be a government that represents the peoples' views, where everyone's vote counts, and Representatives work for the common good; but what it really is is one that does (almost) everything the people with the money tell them to. That's not a democracy, it's a plutocracy. That's what we want to change.
I hope that makes sense to you, and if you're interested I'd also suggest checking out this article: [link]
wow, you're very explanatory! thank you for taking the time to reply, and i hope my initial question didn't have a cynical air to it (looking at it now i should have worded it better). Much appreciated!
You're very welcome! And thank you, as well! I really appreciate that you took the time to actually read my explanation and consider it fairly (which, in my experience, a lot of people probably wouldn't have done ). Have a nice day!
Actually, I was showing you the kind of people who participate in the Occupy Wall Street protests and how absolutely ridiculous the notion is that you guys make up the majority in this nation. Everyone who is participating in the 99% thing have been shown to be either useful idiots, radical revolutionaries, socialist crybabies who think they are entitled to other peoples money, or are just paid to be there. There are also anti-semites, drug addicts, maoists, communists and so on. I would love to show you my list of evidence supporting what I just said, but it is a very long list that would take me a while to post in this comment. And I just got back from work so I'm too tired to get it all together at the moment
Wow is that the best argument you can come up with? Pathetic. You would've kept more credibility if you didn't reply at all instead of replying just to throw an insult at me. It makes you sound a lot like my 10 year old little brother.
And you look and sound like a socialist libtard. Look I would love to exchange insults with you all day, but that will get neither of us anywhere. So if you have anything in particular you wanna argue with me about or that we don't agree on, without the childish insults, then feel free to reply. If not then please don't bother replying to this comment
You need to research Socialism and Communism to know what you're talking about. The US Government has taught us they are bad for one reason: The power will go to the citizens of the country instead of greed and not feeding the poor etc. Ask yourself this, if we can fun a 200+ trillion dollar war in the Middle East and explain how we can't take care of all the needs of the people? All the money could have gone to communities!
No dude. You show that piece of evidence without actually attending one of the protests. Have you? If not, then second hand information, no matter how much you collect, is second hand. Why do you oppose it so much? What is wrong with wanting the freedom to your own money that you know you worked your hardest for? Especially when big banks, instead of paying you interest for choosing their establishment, forces you to pay to use your money. That's just a fraction of the problem.
I am so sick of this gov't and what many countries have to go through: forced to live under those who have more power in them, and use greed to take up any power we have until we are a mere shell of ourselves. In America you may say nay, but face it. Our votes, no matter if we try to for any party, the independent parties are easily thrown out do to the lack of money a.k.a power, and we are always forced to be saddled with one of the two evils, Dem or Rep. We need a better choice than just them and money, which is what this is all about, the poor becoming far too so while the rich get more. I'm not talking about just hobos, hippies, druggies, abusers, and all that, but actual people that have deal with the day in, day out minimum wage jobs that are mostly in service industries that pay maybe 200 a week. They barely make ends meat, and I would know as I am the daughter of a single mother with 6 kids who all go to school, deals with a job that pays only ~200 a week while going to school herself because that is the only way to make a better living.
I'm not asking you to say "Boohoo, poor you." I'm just letting you know that actual struggling people you look down at are fed up and enough is enough.
Well forgive me if I have not been unfortunate enough to have an Occupy Wall Street protest happen close to where I live. So I have to settle for video evidence. And plenty of it. [link] [link] [link] (and the worst part is while he's going "You're a bum, Jew!" the crowd is gathering behind this guy) [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] Try finding stuff like that at a Tea Party.
And hey I never said I look down on people who've had it rough, I just look down on the people who are poor because they've been sitting on their asses and want free healthcare free food free stuff and for people with more money than them to be taxed. You know about the 99%, but do you know about the 53%? The ones who have it rough but don't blame others for their mistakes, or demand free stuff from the government, or call for the rich to "pay their fare share" when the top 25% already pay close to 85% of the income taxes in this country. Yea, THOSE people I stand with. Not the 99% crybabies.
After looking at your videos, what I realized was that more than half of these are of individual people. And I will admit, a majority of those that you see ARE probably the ones that aren't doing crap but asking for handout money. But some of them, like the ones where they "assaulted" the police, I saw more of the police hitting them. Because it is a federal crime to assault a police officer, we can't hurt them back, but there have been many cases where we haven't done a thing but practice our right from the 1st Amendment to protest.
Also, can really call ALL these people, especially what is going on around the country, around the globe, lazy? Sitting on their asses doing nothing but complaining? Crybabies will cry and do nothing. We are working hard to fight against greed and unfair treatment of those with power. Also, they aren't crying about their own mistakes. Some, like the above you have shown, are prove that some are. But when unsatisfactory things happen that are out of our control, especially if it exploits us, we're not just going to roll over and take it.
As for never having been to one such protest, there is surely one in each state. You just need to have the time and commitment to do so.
If there really was a clear cut case of police brutality then yea that cop should turn in his badge, and yes there has been some police brutality with the OWS protests (I've already seen all but two of the videos you showed me. And btw, what were you trying to prove with the tea party vid? They sure look a lot more peaceful than the Wall street protesters). But I'm worried that the OWS protesters are looking for some police brutality (like the vid I showed you were the police were beating back the crowd but the crowd just kept running towards the cops). It would be the perfect thing to get a few sympathy votes and create chaos at the same time. OWS protesters do have a right to be there, but how they conduct themselves is just as important as what their message is. And let me tell ya, from what I've seen this ain't anything like Ghandi or MLK jr.
No, not all. I'd say a vast majority are just useful idiots who don't really even know what they're there for. But there are revolutionaries in the crowds, the people who want to destroy the system and replace it with whatever their hearts content.
Why do you agree with the OWS protests? If you don't mind me asking Like when you go to one of the rallies what are you protesting?
Well I live in a pretty rural area so there isn't one nearby, and I don't wanna drive across half the state just to see a a protest
I'm protesting against corporate greed, against the unfair state our country is in due to those with power, against the fact that they do steal our hard earned money unnecessarily; the banks were bailed out with the tax payers' dollar in a Capitalistic Society where if you fail, you have to go. All in all, I protest against the oppression forced onto us by said people.
As for what it was like, the rally I went to was in a small community, the one I live in, and they had protested the same exact thing.
As for comparing it to Gandhi and MLK jr. The OWS have done peaceful marches, they have done sit ins, but the times have changed. The way things are done are more like the Vietnam War Protests than Gandhi and MLK jr. There was no definite leader in those, very much like now, but they also had an overall goal as we do. As for police brutality, isn't that reoccurring thing in all protests? The people in the video you showed me were getting closer to the cops did a lot of the same thing from my videos: help the person up and film and take pictures of the incident. I rewatched it several times and the only time I saw the people hit the police officer was with a cardboard sign on his back. And that was after the cop hit the woman more than a few times. Guaranteed fact, those that struck back were either doing so out of the rage they felt for getting hit so many times and being unable to fight back without breaking the law, or in defense of the others that have.
As for the what the Tea Party video was to show, it showed that Big Business have the media wrapped around its finger as well, so news casts and what they show can't always be trusted. Also, what the people in the video what is virtually the same as what we want.
And what is wrong with Revolutionaries? Our forefathers were when we were separating from Great Britain, knowing good and well that if they failed they certainly going to killed. In the same stance, they too were fighting against the oppression of those with power.
Also, here is something, that though happened in a different country, reflects on what replacing a current system that is unsatisfactory to many in the U.S could be: