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James DeWeaver

Professional Contemporary Artist/Pastellist, James DeWeaver Pastels

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What happened to the 99%?

From Zuccotti Park N.Y.C.2010 to the rest of the world almost instantaneously, OWS Movement spread like wildfire. Now in late 2012 the marginalization by the 1% and their "Power networks" over the 99% has won!

Will the people who believe in the ideals of the OWS movement always fail against a stronger, better financed and organized minority of the Political and financial "Elites" around the world? If not, why? when? or how?

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    Oct 24 2012: Depends on what 99% your talking about?

    You needed an adjusted gross income of $343,927 to make it into the top 1% of U.S. taxpayers in 2009, the latest year for which Internal Revenue Service statistics are available. On the other hand, the U.S. median household income of $51,914 would put you in the top 1% worldwide. (IRS, GlobalRichList.com)

    http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/what-it-means-to-be-rich
    • Oct 25 2012: "On the other hand, the U.S. median household income of $51,914 would put you in the top 1% worldwide."

      Well, James is right to point out that young households don't make anywhere near $54k anywhere in the developed world and you have to be careful to not mix statistics for households and individuals. People in developed countries also get screwed over by high housing prices.

      It's just not a fair comparison because many people in the world are being oppressed and/or never had opportunities, it's not that we have it so good, it's that they have it so bad, it's like beating someone up for no good reason and then telling him to be grateful because some people in the world get murdered for no good reason.
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        Oct 25 2012: Yes I can see that point. But people are getting murdered for not working/working to death for $2 or less an hour. I'll take minimum wage working at wal-mart then to work at foxxconn making iphones for apple
        • Oct 25 2012: The point is that you can't start justifying injustices with there being bigger injustices in the world. Some people would answer with "life ain't easy, everyone has to bring sacrifices", but that's not a real answer because right now the rich are not sacrificing, so either we don't really have to sacrifice, or we could afford to sacrifice a little less if the rich shared in our sacrifice. The middle class and poor in most developed countries ahve stagnated economically since about 2000, now you could say we shouldn't complain about that because it gives people in poor countries a chance to close the gap (because global production did grow), but the rich in the developed countries did see their incomes rise. Why should they be exempt from helping the poor countries (actually it's even worse, the rich have gotten 80% of the economic growth, at least in America, they're not only not contributing to helping the poor, they're actually taking money destined for the poor)?
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        Oct 25 2012: Yes I really do see your point, but the rich are sacrificing in a different way I promise you this, sure its not the same as the average folk probably. But they are still struggle and have problems just like you and me. (now I am not talking billionaires which I still bet they have their struggles even if they are spending $20,000 a month on whatever) And to play devils advocate, the same argument could work the other way. Just because people making more money then the rest, doesn't mean the rest should get "their" money. Ok so lets consider this if income levels stayed proportionally the same. But the now low income worker goes from $2 a day to lets say $100,000 a year. But the 1% went to $343,927,000 a year? Would that be better? No because the people who are now making $100,000 will still be the poorest people just like the were before and will still complain about the top 1%.

        Really what needs to happen is we need to get rid of money .... but this problem I have not figured out yet. :) There is no difference between the money thats in your pocket and the money in a game of monopoly! They are both printed
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    Oct 23 2012: Alcohol, drugs, weed, nicotine, obesity, and other addictions, forced them to go back to work : p

    The problem with the Occupy movement, is the problem with almost all modern movements... They're against everything... but they aren't "for" anything.

    If OWS held the line, and stayed focused, on drone strikes, surveillance, the drug war, the bank bailouts, and corporate socialism, they would realize 60% of the people are with them. The problem is, as is usually the case... Everyone wants redistribution... From someone else, to them. That doesn't work, that's not the governments role.

    You can't be against the Wall Street bailout, and for a pension bailout... You're either for the government bailing out people when they make mistakes... Or you're against the government bailing out people when they make mistakes. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    If OWS had a clear message, of imprisoning the people who were bailed out due to fraud, and using that money to pay down the debt... The left and right would both be with them. The Tea Party would love that... but "Take their money, and give it to me, or people who took out loans they knew they couldn't pay back"... That's not as popular. The truth is, real capitalism... Is popular. Getting the government to stop supporting major corporations, and stop propping up wars for profit... Most of the people want that.

    Letting non violent criminals out of jail, and focusing on people doing real damage... Most people want that. Ending the drone strikes/flying killer robots. Ending domestic surveillance... The only people not for those things, are the 1%. When you expand beyond the simple messages, of "Stop using the government as an institution of destruction"... you lose people. OWS got attacked by a bunch of special interests, which wanted the government to "Start being an institution of creation"... That doesn't work, you don't create by force.
    • Oct 23 2012: "You can't be against the Wall Street bailout, and for a pension bailout..."

      Says who? There's a difference between helping out the most vulnerable who are victims of a predatory system and giving free money to already filthy rich people who are the driving force behind the predatory system. Not that all people who lost pension money were helpless victims but the way you put it can be construed to include people who are down on their luck.
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        Oct 23 2012: I do include poor people who are down on their luck. I want a system to exist, so that when they choose to get their act together, there are jobs, and schools, and addiction treatment centers to help them... I'm just not a fan of giving screw ups money, whether they are rich, or poor. People are meant to earn money. It is not meant to be handed out.

        Also, your point would make more sense if we weren't 16 trillion dollars in debt. If we had a balanced budget, and successfully prosecuted criminals... Suddenly, we would have money we could invest. That money could be invested backing pensions... When you're 16 trillion dollars in debt and you seize assets... You pay back the debt, in my humble opinion.
        • Oct 24 2012: "I do include poor people who are down on their luck. I want a system to exist, so that when they choose to get their act together, there are jobs, and schools, and addiction treatment centers to help them... I'm just not a fan of giving screw ups money, whether they are rich, or poor. People are meant to earn money. It is not meant to be handed out."

          Those job, education and treatment opportunities cost money too and are probably what most of the OWSers wanted anyway instead of dependency on a few trinkets of welfare.

          "Also, your point would make more sense if we weren't 16 trillion dollars in debt. If we had a balanced budget, and successfully prosecuted criminals... Suddenly, we would have money we could invest. That money could be invested backing pensions... When you're 16 trillion dollars in debt and you seize assets... You pay back the debt, in my humble opinion."

          Everyone has to pay, but when you see your $20k/year pension cut in half while some billionaire who was complicit in the crisis walks away with hundreds of millions you understandably become angry.

          The number of people killed by lightning in New York City since 2008 is higher than the number of bankers and other financial thugs sent to jail in the entire United States over the same time.
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    Oct 24 2012: Money talks...I think we can all agree that's true in 2012. "African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than Caucasian children. American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian families are more likely than Caucasian and Asian families to live in poverty" (Costello, Keeler, & Angold, 2001; National Center for Education Statistics, 2007). Socioeconomic factors influence everything we do. However, it doesn't seem our government takes that into consideration.


    "In 2005, the high school dropout rate of Latinos was highest, followed by those of African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives" (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007). Many studies also indicate minorities are not taking care of themselves. They are not getting preventative treatments and that leads to more serious illnesses. I think the 99% are just a little lost right now.
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    Oct 24 2012: Hey James, to understand what's going on, I think you need to escape from the rational-actor falacy.
    You will probably get a lot from this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9R9MtkpqM

    Human motivation comes in a few forms, but by and large, it all depends on the proto-self:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness.html

    Since Debono and others demonstrated the supremacy of perception over truth, all of media, politics and power has abandoned the old search for truth and, instead, refined the arts of perception.
    Those on the left did not notice this and are still clamoring for truth - while the right has gotten the hint and now talk about "values" which make far more motivational sound-bytes.

    You see, if you try to demonstrate truth, it makes people uncomfortable. No one really wants to spend a lot of time properly understanding anything. Specially if they are sufficiently comfortable. They will be more inclined to dismiss the "troublemaker" - no matter how dire the outcomes of their ignorance may be.
    If you want to have change, you need to make people very uncomfortable. Otherwise the "truth" has no value to them.

    A human needs a certain degree of "comfort" or they die. However, in the long-run, comfort is not our friend.
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    Oct 23 2012: OWS has been, and still is, a minority within the 99% majority, just because, neither time nor 'pressure' is 'ripe' yet.

    In many countries middle class may have seen the 'impact' of the 'system failure meteor', but the shock wave still has not crossed the daily walk path for most of them.

    Only as more and more of them get blown away in the near future, the true meaning of what is actually happening right now, is able to settle within many more minds. The painful transition in between being an onlooker and becoming a real victim of this global fraud is the only motivation to the spoiled generations to take action and - even more important - to get united...

    In this I am very optimistic that this time will come, as I see already many signs of unhappiness in many peoples lifes ...

    It is a matter of time and 'ability to suffer' only!
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      Oct 23 2012: "ability to suffer"... We've got drugs for that. We can get that much higher. Our richest and best men are working on that right now...
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        Oct 23 2012: How would those drugs be served? Secretly, I assume. Via tab water additive or more like an iodinated white salt addition?
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          Oct 23 2012: They already have estrogen and anti depressants in most American tap water... Chicken has a boat load of estrogen and anti depressants too... I told you... Don't worry... We'll figure it out : p
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        Oct 23 2012: So less beards and more breasts for American males? If not for other reasons, then it is already time to PANIC!

        Hmm, I see, many of you just can't because of what you said... :o)

        But, seriously, what at times shocks me is, that those scenarios would not shock me to be proven for this purpose...

        So we may look closer into filter-systems and rain water supply.
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      Oct 24 2012: Thanks Lejan and David, I do agree with this aswell, it's a train wreck all ways round! I'm so glad my parents had the intelligence to leave America after the first four years of the Reagan regime, my life would be so much worse if we had stayed!
  • Oct 27 2012: Come on guys...oil slides of oil and oil will always ask why...we are all the same, with all the same characteristics and similar to snow flakes we are all slightly different and these differences measure themselves and form groups for support. Then we all start pointing fingers, saying things like, they are worse than me, they need more, they need less and all calculations are measured around the speaker and we are told not to point fingers and thousands of years later we are still arguing (that is held in place by denial).

    So on the scale of greed running from 0 to infinity we all stand at our locations, all saying those behind need more, those ahead need less and if I could just get a little more life would be great...so wisdom told us we are all the same (the pie of one)...unfortunately we see things differently (we cut the pie up and average)...why listen to wisdom, better to deny and argue simple things...
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      Oct 27 2012: No argument from me, i tend to largely agree, i'm no desperado that's for sure!
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    Oct 25 2012: They are either at work; looking for a job; or at the unemployment office.
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      Oct 26 2012: Your answer i think too is spot on Edward, cheers for the short and straight to the point answer!
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      Oct 26 2012: I think:
      The real reason is our instincts of equality, which is essential for our evolution.

      However, the problem is easy to solve if both 1% and 99% understand what INVALID HAPPINESS is.

      Wrong?
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        Oct 26 2012: I have not read your book which I gather is where the oxymoronic mantra. "Invalid Happiness" comes from. Anyway, When you say "The real reason is our instincts of equality. . . " what question are you answering?
  • Oct 25 2012: More and more of the 99% are being arrested for congregating unlawfully,
    because they have lost their homes, been put out of work, have nowhere to go and were deemed
    illegal just because they were gathered, talking and wondering what to do.

    It's illegal to be homeless. Another law and another way to help the private business
    sector of prisons, gain more customers. Profit is important to business and needs lots of customers,
    i.e. foot-traffic. New laws help because they simply make more citizens into criminals.

    Next up: you too, you two, could go to jail if you sit too long at Starbucks!
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      Oct 26 2012: New laws are always designed to snare the weak, but never strong enough to stop or imprison the well off's or 1%er's.
      Alan Stanford, Bernie Madoff, Richard Marin Scrushy are a few that have seen major jail time, but they are the minority for sure!
      In the U.K, from the 1997-2011,the then Labour Government had introduced 4,289 "NEW" Criminal Offences!
      SOURCE: Guiness Book of World Records 2011!(Australian Version)
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    Oct 24 2012: Numbers which are NOT based on reality can just as easily be described as "Made up" or not real, Science as you say "descibes reality or not"! And Economics as i said before isn't real or based in reality.
    How do you put numbers or Economic theory to a tree or forest, yet they try and horribly fail, deforestation, loss of species, How can a rational, intelligent, socially progressive individual fathom that thought!
    If there's money, then the rational Economist come and do their pseudo-science and plunder everything, leaving nothing.This is not Economics based on either David Riccardo or Adam Smith, this is just economics based and focused on the ruling elites around the globe and what works best for them, not everyone!
    "All animals are created equal, except some animals are more equal than others"! George Orwell, -Animal Farm
    .
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      Oct 24 2012: suggestion: try to use the "reply" function

      i can only repeat myself: choose the school of economics carefully. i'm glad that you know all schools of economics inside out, and you know that none of them are based on reality. i would be glad at least, if i believed you. but i suspect that your knowledge of economics is ... let say limited.
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    Oct 23 2012: The slacktivists got bored.
  • Oct 23 2012: The 1% beat them up so badly they are in a coma. I hope they awaken from the coma very soon and manifest their positive will in an efficient way. POWER TO THE POSITIVE!
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    Oct 23 2012: In March of 2012 I wrote the following:

    OWS R.I.P.

    The Occupy Wall St. movement died last week. It was first reported in the New York Times in an article that read, "A group of business leaders—including Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and former Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg—are planning to pour substantial funds into the Occupy Wall Street movement in hopes of sustaining the protests and fostering political change." One had to dig further than into the story in the New York Times to get "All the News..." however. In another report the headlines read, "Ben & Jerry raise cool ‘Occupy’ cash, get activists’ cold shoulder."

    The twist in the story is that neither Occupy Wall St., or it's General Assemble, will not be directing these new funds. "Movement Resources Group" will be in charge of the purse strings. While the website could not assessed the at the time of this writing, "Movement Resources Group" whose $1.745 million budget for 2012 defines the group as "InterOccupy-National Coordination," it was possible to glean this much from the search: "Due to the horizontal structure of Occupy, it is difficult for funders to connect with this nascent movement. The purpose of MRG is to act as a liaison..."
    In business terms this would be called a hostile takeover perhaps, but can't we all just call it was it is, "a hi-jacking"?

    Whatever became of the money or Ben & Jerry's interest in the protest I cannot say.
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      Oct 24 2012: Thank you Theodore,I live in Australia and was completely UNAWARE of Ben and Jerry's game of "three card Monty" with supposed MRG! Very troubling!
      I remember Ben and Jerry's ice cream very well, When i lived in America, my brother went to the University of Vermont in Burlington VT in 1984. "The Home of Ben and Jerry's" then, these guys were suppose to be anti-Corporate, anti "Big" business at the time. I see now that this idealism of their beginnings has evaporated with them becoming 1%er's, too bad eh!
      Cheers Theodore, much appreciate your time and thoughts on this subject!
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        Oct 24 2012: I remember their first scoop shop in Burlington. It had been a gas station in another life till Ben & Jerry started making ice cream there.
        To be fair to them both, they do support many good causes with their foundation.
        http://www.benandjerrysfoundation.org/
        I last saw them at Vermont Senentor Bernie Sanders's, Town Hall event trying to rally support for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
        http://www.sanders.senate.gov/savingdemocracy/
        I just think they didn't realize what they were getting into with OWS.
  • Oct 27 2012: None of us are I hope my words were not directional, I was not pointing my finger, I hope you know...actually as I re read I do not believe I addressed all the issues so in conclusion the reason(s) our surges die off is one we are all part of the argument so our energy drains quicker and money just gives us something else to occupy our minds like survival, the other is the reciprocal evolution we are apart of...life is a continual wave...birth up to teens, during these years we rebel, then the years of commitment limiting the time needed to challenge then becomes the switch the newly raised become the voice and the maturing settle into the argument and become the problem...and the children cry and we sit and ponder why...so my question is why are we doing this, why can we not see it and change it for the better...is it pre defined or learned/taught a bi product of thought another contribution from a species who deny responsibility, specifically to the truth?
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    Oct 26 2012: I found this quite interesting so I will pass it along here. Matthew Taylor frames to argument nicely, "does politics today have the capacity to respond to the kind of complex challenges we are currently facing, such as meeting the needs of an ageing population and reigniting economic growth?"

    http://www.thersa.org/events/video/vision-videos/prospects-for-a-new-progressivism
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    Oct 26 2012: Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the name given to a protest movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district. The Canadian activist group Adbusters initiated the protest. Sociologist Dana Williams argued that "the most immediate inspiration for Occupy is anarchism", and the LA Times has identified the "controversial, anarchist-inspired organizational style" as one of the hallmarks of OWS.

    The administrations effort to re-distribute the wealth in the United Staes and to firmly entrench socialism inspired the OWC and the anarchists. This has created class warfare which the militants have encouraged and spread in hopes of bringing the corporations and politicians into line.

    Those who truely believed in the initial movement goals were now a part of a much greater scheme without their consent or knowledge.

    The 1% did not kill off the movement. The Wall Street Journal, pollster Douglas Schoen wrote that polling of the protesters revealed "a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector. In short Socialism/Communism/Markism.

    The movement is in the hands of radicals. Join if you wish but be aware of what you seek ... you may find it.

    Recall that Cuba was once a prosperous nation until a man named Castro invoked these same principals. Good Luck.
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      Oct 26 2012: I think:

      The problem is easy to solve if both 1% and 99% understand what INVALID HAPPINESS is.

      Wrong?
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      Oct 26 2012: The American Government is in the hands of radicals already Robert! Where on earth have you been the last 10-15 years or so.These fanatics are hell bent on taking to fruition their insideous, imbalanced and un-just Democratic values and throwning them away for a Plutocratic Military state where War Fear and Terror are always JUST around the corner!
      Not like that in Cuba, i've been there three times since 2002.
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        Oct 26 2012: Your right Che solved the opposition problem in Cuba.

        And perhaps the election will will resolve the radicals in charge in the US.

        You really are on my side after all. Thanks.

        Bob.
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          Oct 27 2012: I don't know if Che had much if anything to do with it really, that is life currently in Cuba especially four decades after his death.In real historical (Cuban) terms,not what we in the West are inculcated with through Corporate media outlets. Che is considered by most Cubans that have heard about him a very minor player in ridding Cuba of American colonialism.
    • Oct 26 2012: @Robert Winner: While I can see the socialist inspiration in OWS, I can't see any anarchy in it. OWS-goers seem to want re-distribution of wealth, but if there is no government (i.e. anarchy), who can they expect to do the re-distributing?

      On the whole, I agree with your conclusion.
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        Oct 26 2012: Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics.

        By this measure anarchists would not be without government ... they would replace the current form with their acceptable form.

        Thanks for your reply. Bob.
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    Oct 25 2012: @John Smith: "you can't start justifying injustices with there being bigger injustices in the world."

    the exact same thing, namely one person having much more than another is an injustice if you happen to be the poor one, but not a problem at all if you happen to be the rich one. what about being taxed up to 50% or more, and use this money to support people in congo? sounds like a good idea to you? why not? it is the same thing what you want.
    • Oct 25 2012: You twist my words: I was saying I don't have a problem with stagnation in the West to benefit people in poorer countries (economic growth can go to the poorer countries), but I noticed that stagnation does not happen for the rich. Also, there is a big difference between a rich CEO paying tax money because he doesn't give his employees a fair share of the wealth they created, unless he is forced to and me paying for the upkeep of someone in Congo who has no relation to me whatsoever.

      There are two ways to make this consistent: 1) join the rich in opposing any taxation and responsibility for the less fortunate, or 2) demand that the rich pay up just like I do.

      P.S. income inequality is also very much about power. You may think that someone else having a billion dollar is none of my business, but then he starts buying politicians and gambling with large amounts of resources. Wealth equals power and I don't think we should let a small number of people have an ever increasing share of the power just because they are shrewd or outright ruthless (though most of all just damn lucky) business people whom nobody ever elected, worse they'll pass on their power to their children.
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        Oct 25 2012: see? i was right. you are quick to find excuses why it is not injustice that you live in privilege, in a air conditioned room, eating pizzas, using high end mobile phones, while children in congo hunger. this is fair. but on the other hand, it is not fair that a business owner pays much less to a worker than he earns himself.

        it is all about power, as you have said, and you aspire to have more of it. it should not be about power though. we could simply respect property rights, and admit that we just as much entitled to our own as the rich to theirs. and though giving is nice, taking by force is not nice.
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    Oct 25 2012: Thanks Henry for this well constructed and thought out piece, you are so right in this regard.
    Do you think Henry that the Types of Presidents American have elected since Carter, the Conservative, Fundamentalist with regards to their Religion, non-progressive socially as in regards to programs for minorities and the disadvantaged which have been eviscerated from Government over this time period, and could this be the long term impact or effect of Reagan's first dismantling of these social structures in America?
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    Oct 25 2012: That's awsesome Casey for people like ourselves, living where i do in Australia also puts us(Australia) in that global 1% Worldwide, even above America!
    The Non-1% or The Occupy Movement i'm more referring too, the YOUTH, not the old fully complient and indoctrinated sheep, 99% people are ones who've never been able to find appropriate employment, disenfranchised even with stellar grades from top notch Universities!
    So they don't even appear on the statistics you cite.The one's who were on the streets everywhere there was an oppurtunity to do so before getting beaten up and assulted by public servant Police, NOT the pin-headed anarchist hell bent on raising hell at what or whoever's cost!
    Does this provide an adaquate response on which 99% i'm talking about?
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      Oct 25 2012: Oh well I kinda hate to admit this but I am still not sure thats a good example because I am probably close to being in the top 5% of america but that has nothing to do with the degree I got in college. The problem with education on a whole. Is that they should be teaching people how to think, not what to think
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    Oct 24 2012: O.K., I was not aware of this philanthropy, but i'm 100% sure it's only for tax minimisation purposes, and NOT out of the generosity and goodness of their heart. It's a "good" thing to show publically for PR purposes this Philanthropy, and they make sure it's known. They don't want to be seen as total miser's with their fortune,bad public relations. J.P.Getty is still to this day noted for his stinginess, and he's been dead eighty years!
    • Oct 25 2012: Man! It's awfully confusing to read your comments. Whom are you addressing in this comment? Do try to use the "reply" feature on TED.
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        Oct 25 2012: it was in reply to me on comment made by someone who replied to my question.
        It was about Ben & Jerry and how they are philanthropic with some of their money and i was replying on how i was unaware of this philanthropy.
        Second time i've used TED.
        To err is human bud, the respondent did get this message, and i got another response, so i believe your needing to read it was superfluous!
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    Oct 24 2012: You both make very compelling and balanced statements which i tend to largely agree on. The problem with equity re-distribution I believe is SO LARGE and encompasses multitudes of the already stratified society that America has become in the last thirty or so years. Such polarization of the American populos(Tea-baggers, Christian right wing Neo-cons) when seen from abroad as in my case only confirms this imbalance, it's only then that one realises it's going to be almost impossible to really attempt to do anything other than what is currently being done,i.e. that Americans are now and will almost certainly forever require a "ruling elite" to continue the status quo until....... i don't kow, some kind of MEGA disaster to re-shuffle the Democratic deck of cards in the U.S.!
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    Oct 24 2012: Economics by enlarge isn't real, it's a social construct Krisztian, given undue credibility! Economics AREN'T a science either!
    They're just a way for the 1 % to take advantage , manipulate and manage the 99% from the cradle to the grave!
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      Oct 24 2012: pick your school of economics carefully. btw it is not a social construct. science either describes reality or not. it does not matter what we like and what we don't like. reality is independent from our desires and beliefs.
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    Oct 24 2012: c'mon Jedrek, are you so cynical to call people who want change and a re-balance from the status quo "slackivists"!
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    Oct 24 2012: I do agree with this, and thanks Rhonda for your insight on this subject!
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    Oct 23 2012: they went home to learn some real economics before going to the streets again.
    • Oct 25 2012: One could only hope!
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        Oct 25 2012: it was intended to be sarcastic actually. if they ever meet real knowledge, which they probably won't, but if they do, they will immediately open a conversation on some forum about how ridiculous or evil a theory they have found. knowledge is not comfortable.
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    Oct 23 2012: The 99% exists only as a concept and bumper sticker slogan. I've repeatedly that there was never a 51% of the 99% and this was its undoing. I've also questioned whether it ever achieve the status as an actual "movement." Occupy Wall St. did spawned widespread protests and provided a platform to express a general dissatisfaction with various aspects of the economic recession; home owners in foreclosure, the recently unemployed, those that felt the pinch in the downturn of the economy, etc. OWS's strength was that it never articulated its goals, and this provided an umbrella under which everyone tried to fit. Ultimately, this worked against OWS, when those that worked within a General Assemble were willing to move in a more progressive direction that few of the 99'er could support. (33% "would be prepared to resort to violence.") .
    Most of those that identified with the 99% were working in a direction that would have had the Democratic Party take notice of the their dissatisfaction with the gridlock in Washington.
    Former Clinton pollster, Doug Schoen had produced poll showing that only 4 percent of protestors want the movement to achieve “radical redistribution of wealth", while 35 percent want it to emulate the Tea Party by exerting more influence on the Democratic Party.

    The legacy of OWS might be a tax hikes on the rich "if" Democrats win in November.
    • Oct 23 2012: "Former Clinton pollster, Doug Schoen had produced poll showing that only 4 percent of protestors want the movement to achieve “radical redistribution of wealth" "

      Actually there was a study that showed most Americans, even a majority of republicans favored an income inequality level that was lower than Sweden's, just as there are studies that show the vast majority of Americans support the provisions of the ACA act and agree with progressives concepts. The trick is to not tell people that the thing they're being questioned about is a progressive idea, that way you overcome the tribalism of left/right division.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/americans-want-to-live-in-a-much-more-equal-country-they-just-dont-realize-it/260639/
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        Oct 23 2012: Great link and all true. I use to count ballots and was always amazed at how people undermined themselves politically when they voted, splitting tickets for candidates with conflicting agendas.

        But its not so much the Left/Right division at this point much as it is the Left/ Progressive divide. Thisis a point made by Michael Kazin in his book "American Dreamer."
        One reviewer put in this way, "" Kazin concedes that radical leftists have often been out of touch with prevailing values, including those of the people they wish to liberate. He concludes that American radicals have done more to change what he calls the nation’s “moral culture” than to change its politics."
        The Tea Party's call for a return to states rights has merit, and I wish the Left would embrace this idea as well. This would in small ways limit a movement toward central control.
        • Oct 23 2012: I wouldn't worry about the "radical left" (who are centrist by the rest of the world's, except the Islamic countries, standards) when you have American Taliban to contend with who want to turn the United States in a theocracy.
  • Oct 23 2012: Yes the one percent will continue to win, until one or more of the following:

    1. The masses get so unhappy that they get violent. This is very unlikely in the rich countries because the masses themselves are economically comfortable, and very well indoctrinated in the evil of violence.

    2. The masses become more involved in the election process. This is also unlikely, for a number of reasons, but particularly because the masses are primarily concerned with economic activity.

    3. The masses become more intelligent. This is not completely impossible. It seems to me that children are becoming much more intelligent and they seem to lose it as they approach adulthood. If we stop burning coal and get the mercury out of the air, we might see an amazing change. Another possibility is education reform. I suppose junk food might be another explanation.

    4. The terrorists (or possibly the 1%) do something that interferes with the National Football League. This would not be tolerated and could result in violent revolution. The recent lockout of the referees offered hope, but it was settled too soon.

    Basically, the masses are content enough to tolerate the machinations of the one percent. If the one percent are careful and do not get too arrogant, they can maintain this situation indefinitely. And they know it.
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      Oct 23 2012: I was struck particularly by two parts of your response and agree with both, though I have no specific evidence. I agree that people in the United States are economically comfortable, not in the sense that all are but a great majority are, between income from work and any other support they receive by way of a social safety net. The standard of living in the sense of access to the necessities of life remains high. There are fears about the future and the dimming of the American Dream as it used to be conceived.

      Your second point that struck me is that "children are becoming much more intelligent and they seem to lose that as they approach adulthood." Measurements support the claim that children's intelligence is increasing and I believe children are becoming more active in advancing their own ideas as well.

      I think a lot of effort during schooling goes into developing critical thinking and identifying logical fallacies, but that focus does not continue into adulthood when biases often seem to take an increasingly strong hold.

      These are simply my impressions based on a lot of work with children and adults and a lot of interaction outside of a school setting with both.
      • Oct 23 2012: Fritzie, thanks for your reply. While most of my opinions are based on impressions, you usually have the figures and research, and I have a lot of respect for your approach to issues.

        The part about the kids losing it as they get older is not a joke. I have observed some extremely bone headed decisions in recent times that seem completely inexplicable, unless it was the influence of mercury or some other similar agent. An example is connecting top secret computer systems to the public internet. This seems so absurd that I wonder whether it is part of a misinformation campaign. The Strategic Defense Initiative was another example. I can understand that Dr. Teller could convince Reagan that it might be plausible, but I cannot understand how the Soviets could take it seriously.

        Some historians seriously think that lead poisoning caused the downfall of Rome. For us, it could be mercury.
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          Oct 23 2012: I knew it was not a joke. While an environmental cause may be involved, I tend to doubt it. I think, rather, that confirmation bias affects adults more and that adults tend to get more entrenched in inflexible ways of looking at things.

          I am not saying this phenomenon is universal, but kids don't generally have as much of a bias toward being considered right, I think, as many adults do and therefore are more open to considering different points of view and learning from that.

          Sorry, James, to veer a little off your track.
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          Oct 24 2012: There is another explanation for the reduction in intelligence of children: puberty.
          During puberty there is a massive synaptic cull that is precipitated by fertility hormones.
          This has the effect of shifting intellectual focus to the groin.
          From that point, adolescents have to re-build their world views to incorporate sexual behaviour.
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      Oct 24 2012: Thank you both, Barry and Fritzie, those angles you mention i hadn't really fully thought through and i concur that those points are most certainly very valid, and are rather hard to correct in some cases, meaning that status quo will most likely envelope the OWS Movement, through the above mentioned realities of living in developed Democracies. English and French citizens are more likely in my opinion to revolt against their ruling class due to their historical backgrounds of such revolutions, far more than American's.Very helpful guys, Thanks for your time and opinions.