We are the 90%
I know the Occupy Wall Street protestors want to be as inclusive as possible and that’s why they’ve adopted the slogan “We are the 99%”. There’s even a Facebook page by that name. There’s some merit to framing the debate this way but it’s not fully reflective of how power’s concentrated in the United States. A very tiny elite certainly do own the country and monopolize the rewards of industrial society. But it’s a bit more than 1%.
(Data obtained from this highly recommended site but presented differently.)
While the most extraordinary concentration’s at the very top, those in the next tranche down are quite obviously members in very good standing within the ownership class. If we back out the wealth held by the top 1%, then the bottom 99% is left with just 57% of the original pie. How is this vastly diminished sum distributed among the “we are the 99%”? Well, a whopping 51% of it goes to the top 4%, and just 12% to the bottom 81%.
The inequality of wealth data clearly illustrate the serf-like nature of US society in which massive majorities own nothing and have little or no security. If the fight is against inequality, as it so obviously should be, then a far more accurate slogan is “We are the 90%” or for maximum inclusiveness, “We are the 95%”.