Who Are The 99 Percent?

Occupy protests are taking place all over the nation. Unlike the Tea Party, this movement is not centralized, not corporately-funded and actually operates based on facts. The simple message of this truly grassroots movement transcends political affiliation and is this: Our economic and political systems shouldn’t only benefit the super rich, but everyone.

For too long, the government has advanced the interests of the top one percent of the country, the super rich and oligarchs; Bailing out Wall Street…only to have that money go toward bonuses instead of restructuring and stability; Giving enormous tax cuts to the richest Americans in light of huge cuts to education and welfare. Oh yeah, the nation is experiencing the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and also suffers from a gargantuan national debt. As the rich have become richer the past couple decades, incomes for the rest of the country have been rather stagnant. Poverty rates are also on the rise, while corporations are making record profits and laying off record numbers of people at the same time.

“The System” should benefit everyone – the 100 percent. We need large scale programs to get Americans back to work. Our crumbling infrastructure needs to once again be the envy of the world. Education needs major reforms. Investment in science and innovation needs to become a national priority. Renewable energy has to be our future. Tax rates for the super rich and those who have benefitted the most from public services (like roads, rail, airports, public school systems, public safety, etc.) should be set at what they were before the disastrous Bush Tax Cuts. WE need to rebuild this country and lead the rest of the world in this modern century.

Elizabeth Warren said it best:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody…You moved your goods to market on the roads that the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory…

This goes beyond politics. Sure, the movement contains rather eccentric characters and fringe political affiliations; It IS a representation of 99 percent of the nation and the dissatisfaction and distrust we feel toward our political and economic systems. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, there is no arguing with the fact that things for the majority of Americans have been getting worse. Despite the smears from the likes of Andrew Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh, the movement is rather mainstream.

Over 70 percent are political independents, according to a survey by occupywallst.org. Nearly 70 percent are employed and over 60 percent are college educated. Almost 70 percent of the protestors/demonstrators/what-ever-you-call-them are under age 45.

Not exactly the hippie, jobless, pinko commie types…

We are the 99 percent fighting for the 100 percent. We come from all walks of life and most of us have jobs and are either supporting ourselves or our families. We aren’t asking for free handouts. Our main goal is to make America a land where all are equal. Isn’t that what the United States is supposed to be?

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