Caleb Harris: The 99 and the 1 percent

aMany people will argue that the 99% movement is simply a myth. But did you know that 1 percent of Americans make 20 percent of the country’s income, and that the wealthiest 160,000 families have as much as the poorest 145 million families?

It’s one of the reasons that the economy in America cannot progress. The 99 percent always has to worry about money and how they’re going to survive. And just because there is some mobility in America’s class structure, it doesn’t mean that everyone has the same chance at achieving a high income.

“We are the 99%” movement started from the devastation experienced by so many people during the Great Recession that erupted in December of 2007. People who are a part of the 99 percent are college students, single mothers, and the poor. These are the people who struggle financially.

bThe corporate 1 percent dominates lobbying for federal and state policies. In 1970, there were five registered lobbyists for every one of the 535 members of Congress. Today, there are 22 lobbyists for every member.

Between the years of 2001 and 2010, the United States borrowed over $1 trillion to give wealthy taxpayers with incomes over $250,000 substantial tax breaks, including the 2001 Bush era tax cuts. This is while the 99 percent have seen their national share of income decline from 91 percent in 1976 to 79 percent in 2010.

The one percent of the world’s population will have more wealth than the 99 percent this year, according to charity group Oxfam. Also, according to “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More,” the share of wealth owned by the one percent has increased from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014.

In fact, the top 0.01 percent owns more of the national wealth now than at any time since 1928, just before the Great Depression. The 1 percent owns a third of U.S. net worth. So is it true? Is there a 99 percent movement and 1% movement going on today?


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