Who are the 99%?

With the increasing number of cities experiencing occupations (#ows), I've been pondering who are the 99% that perceive a 1% unlike themselves. Here's how that 99%/1% split makes sense to me so far.

How many are feeling the effects of foreclosures occurring in their neighborhoods, housing markets, school districts and public spaces? 99%?
How many are driven to insist on foreclosures in lieu of mortgage refinancing or rent-to-own interventions, as if there is no pain to be felt? 1%?

How many medical professionals and insured patients are impacted by the millions of uninsured/underinsured along with the soaring costs of health care services? 99%
How many have no choice but to raise prices, decline coverage and allow health care to deteriorate while profitability gets protected? 1%?

How many parents, siblings, friends and employers are feeling the pain of recent graduates with staggering college loans and little or no income to pay them off. 99%?
How many see the benefits of raising the cost of tuition, textbooks, campus services and college loans to better save their financial interests? 1%?

How many retirees, and those nearing retirement, are feeling betrayed, abandoned and jeopardized by the enduring decline in their investments or pensions? 99%?
How many are profiting from Wall Street's comeback and are feeling no pain from staggering losses? 1%?

How many public employees who keep us safe and educated are seeing cutbacks, furloughs and layoffs which leave us in danger of increased crime, fires and ignorance? 99%?
How many want to privatize all public services to prevent freeloaders from getting something for nothing? 1%?

How many see the massive military expenditures as weakening the country, depleting its infrastructure and hijacking the democracy? 99%?
How many want increased military spending to strengthen our defenses and avoid any sign of weakness on in the international stage? 1%?

How many of the disadvantaged, disabled and displaced are traumatized by the disappearing safety net and support services? 99%
How many are cutting those services, regardless of the human toll, in order to reduce taxes which amount to theft of earned income? 1%?

How many think the political/economic system has become rigged in favor of profitability and polarization? 99%?
How many think the system fairly benefits those who work hard enough to win and lets the losers suffer the consequences of their laziness? 1%?

How many think the democracy has been hijacked by lobbyists and campaign funding sources which override the voice of the citizens? 99%?
How many think the democracy has been adapted to better serve the economic prosperity of corporate titans and shareholders? 1%?

It's no wonder there's no single issue being promoted, no legislation getting drafted and no spokespersons claiming to represent the 99%. Let those with ears to hear listen to this cacophony of pain and diverse pursuits of changes.


  1. I would add: How many feel that their voices are going unheard by the media and those making policies about our life? 99%

    How many feel that the media should present a unified image/voice of "American" in a 2minute sound bite in order to support an idea of one religion, one ideology, and one way of measuring success (those who have the most money)? 1%

  2. Thanks for this Virginia!
    I'm encouraged that the occupation movement is going global this weekend. At least it's getting covered by our local and national TV new coverage so far. Those that need our votes and money may eventually listen up.

  3. What bothers me is that much of coverage criticizes the movement because they don't have a unified message. I keep hearing, "different people have different agendas." However, I keep hearing the same of message of a change in policy so there is a more equitable society. It is not a short sound bite, nor is it a simple slogan. Rather, it is a cry for discussion about the direction our country is going and where we want to be in the future (with a distribution of wealth and power in the middle rather than up at the "top").

  4. The occupiers have been saying "this is what democracy looks like". I think that's right on! It's diverse, messy and exploratory. The media wants a simple sound bite, as you've said. The power mongers want a positional stance they can attack and invalidate. The legislators, who want the occupiers' votes, wish there was an agenda they could translate easily into bills to put before Congress and State Houses. None of those want democracy in action. There's no way for the power mongers to look good in the eye of the public, to remain in control or to preserve their entrenched position. Hurray for all that!

    Thanks for continuing this exploration, Virginia!