What about this 99% vs. 1%?

I had been wondering about the actual numbers cited by the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, so I was interested to see the very helpful graph in Saturday’s NY Times illustrating the economic divide in our country. Check it out here. In case you’re wondering about NCPR staff salaries, we are firmly in the bottom 90%…

You can follow our coverage of the OWS demonstrations across the region on the ncpr.org news pages…here’s a starting point.

And, to see tv’s investment guru Peter Schiff interacting at the OWS demonstration, here’s a youtube video made a few days ago. Caution, there’s a bit of raw language.

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14 Comments on “What about this 99% vs. 1%?”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    It doesn’t take too long to realize Peter Schiff is a bit of an idiot.
    He presumes too much. He looks at just one side. Every time someone buys something, a job is created. If no one buys anything, no jobs are created or saved.
    Back in the 50’s, my first job (minimum wage) was $0.50 per hour.
    Once again, Wall Street is a gambling casino.
    He keeps talking about freedom. Buzz word. We do have more freedom than we did in the 50’s.
    Someone should have asked him, “Should we get rid of the DEA, ATF, ICE?”
    He does want the government to pick winners and losers.
    A common mistake made by the 1% defenders is to presume everyone is as greedy as they are.

  2. Two Cents says:

    Arrogance summed up–“i’ve created a 150 jobs, how many have you created?”

    “Idiot” is being polite

    where should i start?

  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    This video is just a simple-minded stunt not a real discussion of economics, or public policy.

  4. jeff says:

    It does show that wading into a group of the occupiers yields little consensus for what bothers them other than many believe somebody makes too much money and they want to take it away to serve their own interests. Europe is heavily taxed and the europeans work hard… to avoid or evade taxes.

    The issue for discussion is “is the compensation appropriate?” The answer is- in a competitive market one can charge what market bears. Apparently the people in the park have not figured out how to offer equivalent services and compete against Mr. Schiff at a lower fee. They are jealous. They want to tax success disproportionately to everyone else. Like Schiff said, in the end, the last consumer pays for every tax and expense applied before the product or service arrives at his door.

    Mr. Schiff doesn’t hold up too well either but he is at least there rather than pontificating on a talk show. With a little more listening on his part and microphone control, a discussion may have burst forth.

    The comments about greed and crooks is pointless because there is no context. Schiff’s yaking about closing the alphabet soup of departments falls flat because he doesn’t substantiate his reasons any more than many comments made by his audience.

    As far as his statement “I’ve created 150″ jobs being idiocy… I remember a biology professor saying:”A sterile football tackle is of no value to the gene pool-a dead end.” Schiff, like Steve Jobs, has produced something with the help of other people. He is taking resources and doing something with them that generates income and provides services. That is not idiocy. It is productive and useful to society. What are the occupiers producing?

    The heart of the occupiers’s issue is they don’t like being part of the problem. They know that in a free market, they too like low prices every day and most often make purchases based on price. They are why jobs have been transferred overseas. It reminds them that there is never a bottom to prices or wages because the next guy may offer the product for less, over the internet or wherever and in whatever manner he can do it which usually means with cheaper wages, lower overhead or not paying benefits etc. So the promoters of occupy beat the drum saying It’s them, It’s them. When it is us.

  5. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Jeff, the flaw in your statement is “in a competitive market”. The system is rigged, not free.

  6. jeff says:

    Prove it.

  7. Peter Hahn says:

    The other flaw in the argument is that a major component of getting to the 1% is luck. Luck at being born into wealth. Luck being in the right place at the right time. Luck at having the right connections. Winning the lottery. Growing 2 inches taller than some other athlete. etc .

    It is not in our interest as a country to have that big a wealth disparity.

  8. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Prove it isn’t.

  9. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The problem many people have is that they believe the system we have is the best and they only workable system. Few question any of the underlying principles of our economic system. They treat it as religion; as if Jesus Christ brought us Free Market Capitalism and went to the Cross to protect it.

    In fact, modern capitalism is only a couple of hundred years old and its’ flaws are often readily apparent. We go through regular swings from boom to bust. True, if you graph it on a straight line the graph would show a gradual rise. But compare that graph to the graph of population explosion over the same period and the graphs of wealth disparity, resource extraction, pollution and environmental destruction.

    Up until very recently nobody considered the cost of environmental and health implications of industrial products or processes. Still, nobody considers the future value of a resource against current value. Many commodities are priced irrationally; gold , for instance, has very little useful value — same with diamonds– and yet they have high cost. Other things are not valued in any way, like the value of happiness, the potential value of thousands of species on the verge of extinction, the value of things we do not know which we destroy with abandon.

    We have very little understanding of the world around us and yet we exploit resources that cannot be replaced for short-term gain. Future generations be damned.

    Jesus was not a capitalist, not was Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, or even billions of people who live today. Was/is their life without value?

    We are blinded by greed. The truth is out there. Remove your greed-blinders and think for yourself instead of believing the economists and commentators who are constantly wrong yet get quoted all the time.

  10. Pete Klein says:

    One of the blinders many of the wealthy have is presuming everyone would like to be as rich as they are. They worry those “down below” want to steal their wealth.
    No one wants to be poor but most are satisfied with having a job that pays the bills on time. This wealthy, those that are street smart, want the same thing. People who have jobs that can cover the basics and pay the bills without going into debt are people who are not interested in “rocking the boat.”
    A word to the wise should be sufficient.

  11. wj says:


    Sorry to say this, but you’re living up to your screen name.

    You make some good points, but it’s not right, fair or logical to ask Jeff to prove a negative. Especially when there are so many examples that the market is not competitive.

    Jon Corzine and MF Global prove your point and expose the flaw in Jeff’s argument.

    How did Corzine get hundreds of millions of dollars to gamble? And it is gambling.

    As a Senator, Governor and CEO, Corzine has a nearly perfect track record at failing to do anything beneficial for a majority of people.

    Despite this, his buddies at Goldman and elsewhere bankrolled Corzine – instead of other, more-deserving traders. There are thousands of people with good ideas and a solid record of return that didn’t get Goldman’s line of credit – or a $12 million golden parachute.

  12. Peter Hahn says:

    Pete – they have done studies. Most people think that if they had 30% more than they have now they would be happy.

  13. Paul says:

    So is the OWS plan to soak these 14,000 families and at the same time ease up on the other 99%? I can’t imagine that will solve much of our problems? But it looks good on a sign. The president thinks it’s a plan. It is just all those dumb republicans who can’t figure out the math!

  14. Peter Hahn says:

    Paul – some of them can figure the math – the ones in the 1%. The others are in the bidding for the Brooklyn Bridge.

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