What the hell is up with this whole movement anyway? A bunch of hippies seem to be protesting a bunch of rich folks to get at their money (my extreme summation).

They have the gall to claim that they represent 99% of, ahem, to put this lightly, “workers”.
(Above is a comment on the hippies protesting, not the actual workers at work, working)

Do they realise that the income chart is as follows (source, I’ve added rand values):
Top 1%: $380,354 (R3m)
Top 5%: $159,619 (R1.2m)
Top 10%: $113,799 (R904k)
Top 25%: $67,280 (R534k)
Top 50%: >$33,048 (R263k)

I guess “the 75%” or even “the 50%” doesn’t sound nearly as nice as 99%. They claim that 99% of the population is destitute and are being screwed by the rich… that’s rich. My guess here is at least 25% of their population would beg to differ, and it’s probably somewhere between 25 and 50% that the real dividing line starts to form.

I’m starting to grow weary of bad arguments for socialism being plastered all over the internet by activists, news sites, and generally just people who should know better.

But I won’t go into a full tirade at this time. I want to know what you think?

All these bleeding hearts should go and read George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Given half a chance today’s poor would do exactly the same.

Sheesh, here’s a factoid I wasnt aware of, the whole movement was started by a group of Canadians.

Although this Wiki entry is under dispute currently regarding neutrality, one can glean some background on the movement:

"We are the 99%" is a political slogan and an implicit economic claim of "Occupy" protesters. It refers to the increased concentration of wealth since the 1970s among the top 1% of income earners in the United States.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, between 1979 and 2007 incomes of the top 1% of Americans grew by an average of 275%. During the same time period, the 60% of Americans in the middle of the income scale saw their income rise by 40%. Since 1979 the average pre-tax income for the bottom 90% of households has decreased by $900, while that of the top 1% increased by over $700,000, as federal taxation became less progressive. From 1992-2007 the top 400 income earners in the U.S. saw their income increase 392% and their average tax rate reduced by 37%.[21] In 2009, the average income of the top 1% was $960,000 with a minimum income of $343,927.[22][23][24]

In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. Financial inequality was greater than inequality in total wealth, with the top 1% of the population owning 42.7%, the next 19% of Americans owning 50.3%, and the bottom 80% owning 7%.[25] However, after the Great Recession which started in 2007, the share of total wealth owned by the top 1% of the population grew from 34.6% to 37.1%, and that owned by the top 20% of Americans grew from 85% to 87.7%. The Great Recession also caused a drop of 36.1% in median household wealth but a drop of only 11.1% for the top 1%, further widening the gap between the 1% and the 99%.[25][26][27] During the economic expansion between 2002 and 2007, the income of the top 1% grew 10 times faster than the income of the bottom 90%. In this period 66% of total income gains went to the 1%, who in 2007 had a larger share of total income than at any time since 1928.[15]

And from a personal perspective, I myself get rather pissed off when they report that some CEO employed with one our big banks got himself a bonus of R37 million for a year’s hard work and I have to contribute monthly for my own measly 13th check come year end.

I found out about these guys too: The 53%. Basically the 53% that pay 100% of all tax in america, who work hard and do so unapologetically. Once again, claiming that such a huge portion of the population all thinks the same as you seems disingenuous.

This does make logical sense to me. I would expect the bottom part of any economy to be hit hardest (or at least, first) by the recession. Hence in real terms I would speculate that while the wealth of the 1% decreased (see above), the wealth of other parts of the economy shrunk faster, thus making the relative wealth gap wider.

I wouldn’t worry about this, it’ll take a while for the full effect to “trickle up” to the big cheeses. Moreover, a recovery may also take a while to “trickle up”. It just stands to reason that if the average joe can’t spend money like he used to, the big corporates will start to feel the pinch of this eventually.

Since 1979 the average pre-tax income for the bottom 90% of households has decreased by $900, while that of the top 1% increased by over $700,000, as federal taxation became less progressive

Why did they skip 9% of the population to get to that statistic? And what is meant by “progressive”. From the context above the term seems counter-intuitive to me.

What republicans are trying to fly right now is the idea of a “flat tax”. But the 99% are outraged by this idea. They want the rich to be taxed more than they are. I’m in support of the former: Let everyone pay their dues proportionally. I’m not in support of the latter, as the article I linked above shows, the rich already pays the vast majority of income tax, with the bottom 50% paying almost nothing.

My next point may be offtopic or right on the money. But for about 10y now I’ve been walking around telling people “manufacturing is going away folks, do not go into manual labour!”. I feel like this is having an effect too. We easily forget that China is taking over the show wrt manufacturing. They have people working for very little producing very much. In this global climate I would also expect to see manual-labour forces in the western world start to feel pain. And it may also be why the “professional” sector isn’t feeling the pain nearly as much.

But mainly, I feel like we just can’t really control for all variables to state outright who is “to blame” for any of this, if anyone.

What they’re saying is that the lowest-earning 90% of the the US workforce has suffered an average $900 reduction in income, while the highest-earning 1% gained and average $700,000 increase over the period in question. They are two separate statistics to quantify more meaningfully the same underlying facts (in this case the distribution of US incomes). It’s like saying that the tallest 1% of humans weigh 100 kg on average, whereas the shortest 90% weigh just 60 kg on average. The average weight of the inbetween 9% can be determined from those two statistics and knowledge of the overall average weight of all humans.

Progressive Tax.