The protests currently spreading throughout the country in support of occupy wall street are nothing short of amazing! People are fed up with the current political system we have that primarily supports the top 0.1%, while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet!
Now, many of you, especially those who identify with the Tea-party, may be thinking that I have a descent job, and this doesn’t affect me, or I work hard for my money, so why can’t others just do the same?
Well, the short answer to this question can be seen in the amount of income our society generates, versus how this income is distributed among all of us.
This article from Mother Jones pretty much sums it up! As illustrated in one of the charts, the vast majority of people in this country, roughly 90% of us only earn 30K, while those at the very top (.01%) make 27 million per year. What’s interesting about this astonishing figure is how this group is making their money. The current system we have is set up for their benefit at our expense, which is why 99.99% of American citizens will have ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE OF BEING IN THIS GROUP!!
Another interesting fun fact is that those in the top .1% used to pay 70-91% of their income in taxes. This was not an isolated time period in history. This top tax rate has been in effect ever since we implemented taxes in 1913. The very implementation of this top tax rate enabled the creation of what we all know of and recognize as the “middle class”. During this time period 35% of the population was unionized, which meant that people were paid higher wages, and could afford to purchase the products they were making. The distribution of income was more equalized, and the overall health and well-being of the citizens of this country was increased.
In the past 30 years, however, this pattern has reversed. Descent union wage jobs have been eliminated, or outsourced, pension plans have been eliminated or dwindled to next to nothing, wages have become stagnant for the majority of workers, the minimum wage has not been raised to account for inflation, or to ensure a living wage is provided for working families. This new pattern has been taking place despite the actual doubling of our economy during this time period.
Why? Well, for the same reason the occupy wall street protesters are showing themselves and allowing their voices to be heard. To prevent the top .1% from exploiting all of “us”, so “they” can continue their lavish lifestyle. There is a name for this. It’s called income inequality, and it is something we all should be familiar with.
The bottom line: Occupy wall street is something all of us should be a part of, especially if we are not in the top 0.1%. After all, the system is set up to exploit the rest of us.