4 signs Occupy Wall Street is right
Recent studies show plenty of mainstream support for some of the issues that define the protest movement.
By Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet
The Occupy Wall Street protesters were first ignored by the media and then maligned by certain outlets, but more recently a slew of reports and surveys have come out showing the movement may be on to something after all.
As difficult as it may be to nail down exactly what the protesters stand for, much of their attention is devoted to the growing indebtedness of average households, along with the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor, and ultimately the concern that the wealthy are exerting too much control over the political process.
Post continues below.Several new studies have offered further evidence that these two problems are getting worse and, perhaps more importantly, that a large portion of the population is concerned about these issues.
Growing income inequality. Few reports in recent memory packed quite as much of a bang in so few words as one from the Congressional Budget Office.
The report shows that between 1979 and 2007, the superrich -- people in the top 1% of wage earners -- saw their after-tax incomes nearly triple, while those in the bottom 20% saw their wages remain relatively flat during that nearly 30-year period. As if that weren't infuriating enough, the CBO's report showed that the top 20% of wage earners saw their share of the nation's overall income increase by 10 percentage points during that period, while the other 80% saw their share decline by 2 or 3 percentage points.
In just a few paragraphs, the CBO showed definitively that the rich are getting richer at the expense of everyone else.
Americans favor wealth redistribution. Given the increasing degree of income inequality, it should come as little surprise that most Americans would echo those protesters who argue the current distribution of wealth is unfair.
One recent survey from The New York Times found that two-thirds of Americans believe U.S. wealth distribution is unfair, with a whopping 86% of Democrats saying so and 67% of independents. Republicans were less likely to agree with this statement, but nearly half still feel the distribution is not fair.
That may not mean two-thirds of the country would be willing to march in the cold weather to change this fact, but it does seem to put the burden of proof on those who claim the status quo is just fine.
Even the wealthy want to pay more taxes. One might assume that those with the most to lose would be the ones to fight hardest against evening out the income disparities, but a survey from Spectrem Group suggests otherwise.
The survey found that the vast majority (68%) of people worth at least $1 million favor raising taxes on Americans who make more than $1 million. And 61% of those worth at least $5 million are in favor of doing so. In other words, even the wealthy are fine with raising taxes on the wealthy, and previous surveys have shown that most average Americans certainly are in favor of it. So that really just leaves legislators inside the Beltway as the real hurdle.
No one likes the government, and few trust it. Perhaps for this reason, there seems to be a growing disconnect between the American people and the federal government that reflects the same sense of distrust heard among the protesters.
The same CBS News/New York Times poll found that just 9% of Americans approve of the current Congress and that 89% say they don't trust government to do what's right. Likewise, 70% say Republicans in Congress are pursuing policies that favor the wealthy.
Of course, we recognize that for every survey out that there that says one thing, another says something completely different, but there is a growing wealth of evidence that the protesters have plenty of justification to be angry and, most importantly, that they are not alone.
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No one likes the government, and few trust it????? These protesters are in favor of policies that require MORE government to interfere and mandate. Like free healthcare (who is going to administer it - who will be on the "Death Board" and decides what to pay and what not to; the overseers will need full acceess to your medical records etc). Who will handle this "Redistribution?"
BTW, the protesters are also upset with the homeless people eating their hard earned donated foods, have a board that oversees gift card disputes, and is regulating when drummers play. One voice? Very Lord Of The flies.
Is this writer NUTS? How does citing a survey Americans believe U.S. wealth distribution is unfair say that they are in favor of wealth redistribution?
Franklin Roosevelt: Quote.....The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. THAT, in its essence, IS fascism --- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.....The Growing Concentration of Economic Power. Statistics of the bureau of Internal Revenue reveal the following amazing figures for 1935: "Ownership of corporate assets: Of all corporations reporting from every part of the nation, one-tenth of 1 percent of them owned 52 percent of the assets of all of them."....End Quote
The government has known about this problem for a LONG time, do you really think they want things to change???
I'm no longer sure it is worth saving,
When a half of the people favor wealth redistribution that definitekly says the country isn't worth saving.
There seems to be little doubt why business and the rich are leaving more quickly every day..
It amazes me that the handouters believe that business and the rich will just stay here and pay more in taxes every day..
Oh well,, I have options on an industrial site out side the USA, I suppose there is no use waiting and hoping Obama won't be reelected.
Those of you, that still believe you are only entitled to what you earn.
I wish you well and suggest you put all of your money into gold, they can't tax it until it's sold .
Maybe you can muddle thorugh till the handouters implode the economy.
The problem is that the assumption of "trickle down" is a lie. Now if all those richest 1% made their money by actually producing something here with American workers, then it would be possible, but most of the rich make their money by trading paper back and forth....stocks, bonds, loans, insurance, commodities, lawyers, titles, currencies .. with other rich. No jobs, just the rich getting richer on get rich quick schemes that are more illusion than production.
We HAVE to get back to making things again and buying American-made so everyone prospers and the tax base grows.
OK, two questions;
1. What's the end game for the OWS group? A check from Bill Gates, the Government, who?
2. If we outlaw corporate political contributions will that include Labor Unions?
what rock do you guys hide under.were not jealous of the rich,we dont envy them,were not lazy all we want is a fair standard of living and government that represents all the people not just those that can cough up the biggest bribes.fox news must be going around the clock spreading the were lazy,envous,and jealous lie.come on people think for yourselves please
You're the one that should think for himself.
The best alternative to the oligarchy (rule by wealth) is not socialism or communism. It is true “Capitalism”. However, there is a vast difference between socialism and social policies. The provision of social programs and policies and the increase of progressive taxes are only two ways, other than increased jobs and wages, of equalizing the ownership of the natural resources and manpower extracted from the country by the wealthy and corporate interests. While the wealthiest 1% advocate for less governmental business and economic regulations they don’t want to allow for the removal of the protectionary regulations that protect them from competition. True Capitalism does not include protective business regulations and laws such as patent laws, trademarks, tariffs, proprietary rights and bailouts. These are the real impediments to small business competition with large business and corporations. New ventures are either not allowed or do not stand a chance to compete. You can't very well call the current business structure free market Capitalism while competition is stifled. Our country has become an Oligarchy.
"most Americans would echo those protesters who argue the current distribution of wealth is unfair"
Unbelievable! I would never have believed our country would reach this point and am really becoming discouraged with the direction of our country. By no means am I "well to do". I've worked my entire life and still do, saving a little bit from each paycheck so that I can enjoy retirement when it's time. I feel like I'm part of an ever increasingly smaller group that isn't JEALOUS of everyone earning $1 more than myself!
So by your definition, collateral is NOT collateral unless the value of the property goes UP. You & the bank agree, no surprise... and BTW, I'm current on my mortgage despite the fact that the 200K condo I bought in 2007 is now valued at 135K. Hence my 780 credit score... I'm playing fair, the bank isn't.
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