Who Are the One Percent?
This year has seen a monumental shift in the dialog in the US about economic disparity and homelessness. Ever since the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters put out the call for the Occupy protest, and its advent on the 17th of September, a new conversation is happening. Not that it hasn’t happened before, but it hasn’t happened on a scale like this in the US for a very long time. Americans are waking up to the fact that everything they’ve ever been told about the myth of the American dream, and work ethic. Finally after decades of stagnating wages the American people are starting to realize they’ve been duped.
If I stopped there, that would make for a short blog post. I, however, an nowhere near done. You see, Bloomberg has published a story about what the 1% thinks. With all the people in the streets yelling about social injustice, poverty and greed; what do the 1% have to say for themselves? Unfortunately it’s not pretty.
In an article titled ” Bankers Join Billionaires to Debunk ‘Imbecile’ Attack on Top 1%” reporter Max Abelson talks with some bona fide members of the 1%, gauging their thoughts on the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement.
Not surprisingly, their opinions are sick, distorted and disconnected from the real world. While this is not a horrible shock to those of us in the know, we who hold no false illusions about the evil nature of greed; it needs saying, it needs to be put out there for those of us who do not realize the hatred these people have for the poor in this country.
Decrying the wealth gap, Mr.Abelson points out that while income for the middle class has risen about 67% in the last 40 some years, the wealth of the 1% has increased by over 300% in the same time frame. This puts the US behind Iran, or even China for income inequality. While American families are struggling, working long hours (if they can find a job at all that is) to put food on the table, to pay their mortgages or rent, just the basic necessities; the callous capitalist class lives in the lap of luxury, benefiting from that labor. When those poor Americans start fighting back, they are called *gasp* communists, socialists, terrorists, class warriors, anti-American and a slew of epithets. Just read the article and hear the horrible things these self-described “fat-cats” had to say.
When you’re done reading that, take a look at these numbers:
The following are 50 economic numbers from 2011 that are almost too crazy to believe….
#1 A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.
#2 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be “low income” or impoverished.
#3 If the number of Americans that “wanted jobs” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.
#4 The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks.
#5 One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers.
#6 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.
#7 Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.
#8 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.
#9 A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that approximately one out of every five Americans that do have a job consider themselves to be underemployed.
This is from this site, where you can read the whole list of 50. ( I will warn you to take some of these facts with a grain of salt, research them yourself.) http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/50-economic-numbers-from-2011-that-are-almost-too-crazy-to-believe
This global economy is hanging on for dear life. Not because workers aren’t working hard enough. Not because of the poor who are just trying to survive. It is because people are actively making loads of money, not only on the misery and loss of others, but also by unprecedented exploitation and greed. If the occupy movement really wants to get something, it’s time to stop the kumbaya chants, it’s time to get militant. I’m not saying it’s the time for violence, but it’s time to get serious about change. Change our strategies, get mean, get determined, get unified. We need socialism, not welfare and handouts for the rich. Fight on comrades, the battle is just beginning.