Who Are The 1% and What Do They Do?

It seems a significant pillar of the Occupy Wall Street (and offshoot) movements seems to be based on the fact, er “fact” that the “top 1%” (of earners) are running the world for their benefit only, necessarily to the detriment of the “99%.” Many of these 99%’ers seem to think the majority of the 1% are Financiers of one stripe or another, as that is where much of their anger is focused. I think the below chart from Mother Jones (along with source data) would surprise almost everyone, whether in the 99% of 1%:

Mother Jones has a variety of other charts that I think, were they to be widely read by many protesters, would force them to re-evaluate some of their most closely-held beliefs. Unfortunately, thus far all of my efforts to educate and inform those supporting OWS have largely fallen on deaf ears; not just deaf ears, but ears covered by $450 Dre Beats headphones, unwilling to be taken off.

12 thoughts on “Who Are The 1% and What Do They Do?

  1. Okay – so divert attention as to make it easy to point out how flawed #OWS is at it’s core. Put focus/blame in the view of a blind person.

    Wish you would have the guts to show this same stat in regards to who the 1% of OWNERS are.

    God forbid we get rid of USURY on currency creation as the #3 position you hold would go even below mine as an artist – where you belong with teachers and social services – or put what you can do into something of use to others.

    • The first part is publicly available information, not hard to find. I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about in the second part.

  2. I understand the point you are making. However is there a chart showing this over time. I mean if we were to look at this breakdown for 1980 would financial professions be around 13.9% or far less? I would imagine that financial professions were not always so high. Also it would be interesting to see what percentage of these respective positions fall in the one percent, for example how many professors out of all professors are in the 1%?

    Also, i think the chart about average income including capital gains over time has gone up quite a lot for the ultra rich and has flat-lined for the rest. That probably makes people more upset than anything. I think a march on Washington would be better, but congress is out of touch.

    I think that the other thing to take into account is how Finance has changed over time, in the 1950′s investment bankers such as Sidney Weinberg were well respected and raised money for the corporations and served the corporations of the day. Now finance has become the master and not the servant. The obsession over short term trends and beating the eps quarterly estimate have taken precedence over all else. This myopic focus is hurting the country. See also Liquidated an ethnography of wall street as whole trading desks were gotten rid off or restarted.

    More than anything though the fact that Wall Street took too much risk and was bailed out with money from the public in a perverse heads wall street wins, tails wall street wins situation.

    • The study linked to at the bottom of the mother jones article has that information. executives/managers/supervisors are still most of the top 0.1%, although finance has risen in the past 25ish years, but I think that is largely the result of the enormous explosion of the hedge fund industry.

      Thank you for leaving an intelligent and well-written comment (as opposed to the previous one).

  3. Who the 1% of “owners” are? What the fuck are you even talking about? Do you even know what usury is? Usury is what protects consumers. I don’t even know where you come up with some link to currency creation.

    Look, asshole. There is massive income equality and the wealth gap is getting worse. I get that. It sucks for the poor and middle class. But this idea that you can pick up some pitch forks and torches and march around Manhattan and you will magically receive money is fucking stupid. Figure out what you are actually standing for cause so far you are standing on the babblings of a moron. Once you have that figured out, go march on DC and the lawmakers and demand they investigate crimes and enforce punishments.

    Do I need to even point how how pointless you entitled fucks look when there are places in this country and world that are truly suffering? You are marching in New York fucking City for christ’s sake. Try living and marching in a forgotten ghetto in middle America where the police won’t patrol. Fuck, why not point some of your effort towards Africa – they are the 1% of the world’s population that no one cares about. Meanwhile you piss and moan and walk around Manhattan, somehow able to afford to so, claiming you are the 99% that is forgotten. Go fuck yourself.

  4. Dear OWS protester, get a damn job and take some responsibility for the situation you are in.

    • I think a lot of people would like to work.

      The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose to 9.3 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were
      unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

      You can’t make the claim that they have not tried to get jobs.

      Also probably the other reason people are really upset is that corporations have cash and they are not putting it to use in America.


      I think this is the other thing that upsets people.


      The so-called 50 percent rule, which required half of all students to be at a ground campus in order for a school to be eligible for federal aid, had been put in place to discourage dubious distance education programs that offered subpar learning. Boehner helped to nix the rule in a budget agreement that took effect in early 2006, allowing schools to expand enrollments — and revenues — without having to invest in additional ground campuses. A spokesman for Boehner did not respond to requests for comment.

      As I said before finance has changed and become it’s own industry now corporations extend credit to their customers to buy their own products, corporations seek out people to loan money to and because they sold the loan and severed the relationship they don’t care if it ever gets paid back. This has happened with mortgages as seen in All the Devils are Here, where 80% of subprime mortgages were refis and not even real mortgages. Many corporations are looking out for themselves and their own interests and focusing on unsustainable practices to generate revenue.

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