Who are the 1%? They control half of the stocks and mutual funds, 60% of financial securities, and in 2008 made an average of $1,137,684, compared to an average of $31,244 for the bottom 99%.
In 1976, the richest 1% of Americans had 9% of the income. Now they have 24%. From 1980 to 2005, 80% of the gain in income went to the top 1%. The financial services industry disproportionately accounts for that gain. The bottom 99% have seen no real increase in earnings since 1980. Why shouldn't the top 1% pay more taxes?
http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/ Powerful protest. A lot of people in America are hurting, and the American Dream seems to be out of reach for them.
Ezra Klein, Washington Post: "This is why I’m taking Occupy Wall Street -- or, perhaps more specifically, the ‘We Are The 99 Percent’ movement -- seriously. There are a lot of people who are getting an unusually raw deal right now. There is a small group of people who are getting an unusually good deal right now. That doesn’t sound to me like a stable equilibrium. The organizers of Occupy Wall Street are fighting to upend the system. But what gives their movement the potential for power and potency is the masses who just want the system to work the way they were promised it would work. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans are really struggling. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans want a revolution. It’s that 99 percent of Americans sense that the fundamental bargain of our economy -- work hard, play by the rules, get ahead -- has been broken, and they want to see it restored."
And yet, "We Are the 53%" who pay taxes and don't whine about it do have a point. Your life is ultimately what you make of it. It's actually good to see that so many people still believe in the American dream. It continues to be real for the children and grandchildren of immigrants. It's true that America's economic problems will not be solved by simply soaking the rich and making Wall Street accountable.
But I do believe that raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 and making Wall Street more accountable will put America on a sounder financial footing.