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Eliminating the "99%' Can Lead to a Better Message for Social Justice

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by WALTER BRASCH

 

It's time to retire the 99 percent.

Not the people, but the slogan that identifies the Occupy Movement.

"We're the 99 percent" slogan focused upon two completely different groups of people. The 99 percent are the masses, the impoverished, the disenfranchised, the middle class; the 1 percent refers to the concentration of wealth in the top one percent of the population and in the dominance of large corporate and global financial systems.  

The Movement, following the Arab Spring, began in the late summer of 2011 with the Occupy Wall Street protest. Central to the Movement, which quickly expanded into more than 500 American cities and 82 countries, was a call for social and economic justice.

During the 2007 Great Recession, the accumulated wealth of the 1 percent decreased significantly less than the wealth of the 99 percent, large numbers of whom first became unemployed and then homeless because of the tactics of greed led by the financial empires.

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Within the 1 percent are CEOs and executives of the banking industry that willingly took government bailout funds, and then used some of that money to give six and seven figure bonuses.

The 1 percent includes Ina R. Drew, chief investment officer for JPMorgan Chase, which lost $2 billion in funds through misguided investment policies. Drew, one of Wall Street's power players--and widely recognized as one of the more brilliant financial managers--earned about $14 million in salary. Jamie Dimon, in a stockholder meeting this past week, humbled by the huge loss, told stockholders, "This should never have happened. I can't justify it. Unfortunately, these mistakes were self-inflicted." But, Dimon, both the chief executive officer and the chairman of the board, kept his job and its $23 million salary.

The 1 percent also includes Mitt Romney, who earned about $21 million in 2010, and has a net worth of about $230 million, according to Forbes, but hasn't filed his 2011 taxes. Somehow, he wants the people to believe he will bring the nation out of the depths of the Great Recession, but needs an extension to file his own taxes.

The 1 percent also includes right-wing celebrity mouth Rush Limbaugh, who is in the middle of an eight year $400 million contract that allows him to spew lies, hate, and venom at anyone who doesn't agree with his ultra-conservative philosophy, which includes Occupiers and just about anyone with a social, environmental, and economic conscience.

The 1 percent includes Sarah Palin, once an obscure politician who now has a net worth of about $14 million, most of it the result of her participation in the mainstream media, which she claims she despises.  

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The 1 percent includes the Kardashian Sisters whose souls are wrapped in self-adulation, and who are worshipped by millions who have enhanced their importance by watching reality shows and reading vapid celebrity "tell-all" newspapers and magazines.

But the 1 percent also includes billionaire Warren Buffet, who is leading a movement to reduce tax loopholes and increase taxes on the rich, while improving the tax structure for the 99 percent.

The 1 percent includes Bill and Melissa Gates who are spending most of their fortune to improve the education and health of people throughout the world.

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http://www.walterbrasch.com

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)
 

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A very interesting argument that corroborates the ... by Marta Steele on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 7:21:02 AM
"99%" is a great statement, the very truth that is... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 6:05:10 PM
but maybe I missed it re a new label or are you sa... by Suzana Megles on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 8:20:17 AM
If we are talking about Empire, which I am, then t... by Alan MacDonald on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 11:38:21 AM
the "99%" is, is the fact that the DJIA has been s... by GLloyd Rowsey on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 1:35:39 PM
This article is the biggest problem with Democrats... by Ralph Drake on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 2:18:14 PM
I've found it hard to believe how many people, inc... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 2:51:27 PM
Pie-hole? You some ignorant backwoods bozo who thi... by Walter Brasch on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 6:04:18 AM
be a traditional glitch in Oped posting, but I agr... by Daniel Geery on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:24:19 AM
When the left abandons the left... #bs... by Ezi on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 4:40:44 PM
The 99% is a fair and in reality a pretty concise ... by Timothy Gatto on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 6:28:16 PM
Another problem with that "1%-99%" nonsense is tha... by Dar Gary on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:47:05 AM
It is about class warfare, warfare that was from t... by zon moy on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:02:42 AM
No it's not, becuase that implies some grand consp... by Dar Gary on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:34:14 AM
Dar, please read my comment above, and tell me if ... by Alan MacDonald on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:38:51 AM
I agree with you about those who bendfit and contr... by Dar Gary on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:39:26 AM
simply because some refuse to see their conspiring... by zon moy on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 5:12:49 AM
Bono, Clooney, Buffet, Gates? A humble suggestion,... by Denny Chericone on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 1:34:37 PM
Riveting slogans are rarely open to strict intelle... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:22:41 PM
The more things change, the more they stay the sam... by Natalie Oberman on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 3:24:50 PM
"And perhaps ..... stop vandalizing property, disr... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 3:50:09 PM
"legitimate protesters"?I guess it depends on your... by Natalie Oberman on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 7:18:15 PM
"Why should law-abiding taxpayers have to pay for ... by John Reed on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:07:03 PM
You don't understand the 1st Amendment, John, so h... by Natalie Oberman on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:53:55 PM
One would hope that there's no such thing as 'legi... by Denny Chericone on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 9:59:13 AM
"Is it not abundantly clear from their signs that ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 4:44:44 PM
"pure propaganda, no facts or specifics"That prett... by Natalie Oberman on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 8:16:26 PM
I figured debate was impossible for exchanges with... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 11:11:32 AM
Gosh ... all I was trying to do was prove/buttress... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 6:06:24 PM
You have made some good and interesting points. Ho... by Joan Taylor on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 3:50:35 PM