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Forum Post: Krugman: We are the 99.9%

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 26, 2011, 2:23 p.m. EST by losthumanity (58)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan. It correctly defines the issue as being the middle class versus the elite (as opposed to the middle class versus the poor). And it also gets past the common but wrong establishment notion that rising inequality is mainly about the well educated doing better than the less educated; the big winners in this new Gilded Age have been a handful of very wealthy people, not college graduates in general.

If anything, however, the 99 percent slogan aims too low. A large fraction of the top 1 percent’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group, the top 0.1 percent — the richest one-thousandth of the population.

...

So should the 99.9 percent hate the 0.1 percent? No, not at all. But they should ignore all the propaganda about “job creators” and demand that the super-elite pay substantially more in taxes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/25/opinion/we-are-the-99-9.html?_r=1

20 Comments

20 Comments


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[-] 1 points by ciavlad (85) 2 years ago

We can not do anything with such people : For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God . This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

[-] 1 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

The system that set it up so there was a 1% in the first place needs to be revamped. How can this ever be done?

[-] 3 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

It doesn't need any revamping and it wasn't the theories behind the constitutions etc that did it, really. The political system was co-opted because the people's vigilance failed. That's a social issue as much as anything.

[-] 0 points by Ludog5678 (28) 2 years ago

I am the top 2% Occupy wall street fights for me so I can be the top 1%. Dance puppets dance.

[-] 0 points by lonespectator (106) 2 years ago

I usually try to keep my focus on the Occupation of the White House. But I have to make a personal statement: "Paul Krugman" is an idiot, and a schill for not only the DNC, but for GE and the Corporations that own the media. I know some of you will defend him, and try to tell me to get my facts straight, or some other nonsense. That's fine. I just want to re-state. "Paul Krugman" is an Idiot!!

[-] 0 points by stuartchase (861) 2 years ago

99% of you need to get your asses over here. Something is going down and if you don't check it out, you're gonna miss it!

http://occupywallst.org/forum/something-to-think-about-part-2-again/

The Revolution starts here!

[-] 0 points by EXPOSED (222) 2 years ago

It's more like the 99.99% vs 0.01% YET some mofos here make it seem as if people that make 250k are the enemy...

[-] -3 points by classynancy (-73) 2 years ago

You are the 1%, most Americans don't subscribe to your new world order. Just because they fall into your self-defined financial category doesn't mean they agree with you. Besides, given the majority of your group's desires to eliminate the money system as we know it, why do you focus on to the notion of re-distributing the money more equally?

[-] 4 points by losthumanity (58) 2 years ago

a.) RBE folks, like communists, are a tiny minority of OWS, b.) moderate equality is the goal, and was the norm during the most prosperous and stable periods of our history - inequality is disastrous and a good way to get real instability, c.) based on your other threads, you're pretty much a troll, and I have no idea why I'm wasting my time.

[-] -3 points by classynancy (-73) 2 years ago

So people who disagree with you are trolls, very open and inclusive of you....I thought that trolling was done secretly and not out in the open which is what I am doing. Do I have this wrong or do you just prefer to use a small set of nouns to describe those whom you do not agree with?

Moderate equality would need a definition of moderate. If you widen your perspective beyond our own country for a minute you will find that (1) The most prosperous and stable periods in our recent history were a time when America benefited from the world-wide disaster resulting from WWII and that examining the global state of affairs there was and still is massive income disparity between the haves and have-nots, and (2) That the technology innovations of the recent decades has brought the inequality that has always existed onto our shore by forcing the lower wage workers in this country to compete on a more equal playing field with those same workers in other countries.

My point still remains unchallenged, you are NOT part of the 99%. The top 1% pay 25% of the taxes in the US, but the next 4 % pay another 20% of the taxes and I seriously DOUBT that any of them would subscribe to your movement. In fact, you probably represent at best the bottom 40% of wage earners. Perhaps your movement should strive for some increased accuracy.

[-] 3 points by losthumanity (58) 2 years ago

Why do you hate the middle class?

Trade policy has gutted it, and you're all for more - let me guess, out of humanitarian concern for the Chinese workers you're exploiting?

http://economyincrisis.org/content/middle-class-being-squeezed-out-existence

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/america-without-a-middle_b_377829.html

That aside, even if wages must continue to fall, SO NOW MUST CEO WAGES. CEO pay, that was 40 times the average worker wage in the 60s, has become 400 times... It will not stand. Until corporations re-think their priorities and their practice of putting executives in charge of their own pay, we will get back to Eisenhower level top marginal income tax and capital gains rates, and that's just for starters.

You want to keep sacrificing our national prosperity on the altar of free trade? You get to share in the decline.

[-] -2 points by classynancy (-73) 2 years ago

I don't hate the middle class, I am the middle class.

Let's look at a world where we've adopted your 'national prosperity' before the global wellness. First, our country will not be able to compete with the rest of the world when it comes to wages. Our products will cost 10x what everyone else's does, and your precious middle class will not have 2 cents to rub together because they would lose their buying power.

you can not stick your head in the sand and pretend that we are not in a global economy. this country was prosperous in the 50s-60s because we were exporting cars, tv's and a lot of other stuff to countries that were struggling to catch up. Well guess what, they've caught up and no longer need our cards and our super high labor rates have made the rest of our products non-competitive. You can't go back to those days no matter how hard you wish for it. It's a whole new world.

We will ALL share in the decline as our quality of life evens out with those of the nations which we are competing with. Eventually, there will be a better global balance of quality of life only after there is more global equality.

As I mentioned before, you can't compare 40 x versus 400 x, you need to look at CEO wages in the 60s versus $0.10 per hour Chinese wages, which have grown SIGNIFICANTLY over the past decade. The issue your are up in arm with should not be the increase in CEO pay as a % of worker pay, it should be the lack of growth in worker pay; which as I already said is a result of the real competition outside of our borders. It's the easy way out to target the CEOs or the 1% for the problems of the bottom 20% or 40%, but the real answer is more complex.

Don't forget, corporations are run by boards of directors who approve CEO pay, and boards of directors are approved by shareholders. Stock market reactions to company's profits and losses dictate much of what a company does. If a company is paying too much of their money to the CEO, that would be self-correcting in a competitive landscape where companies must battle two different fronts (1) Competing for customers which means selling products at close to zero economic profit and (2) keeping expenses as low as they can be in order to maximize shareholder value of the stock (the more profit, the more money can be either re-invested in long-term growth or paid back to the stockholders in the form of dividends). People or organizations that continue to support the stock of companies who do not hold their CEOs accountable for justifying the value of their salaries should not expect to have much value left in that company, and will get what they deserve.

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

You have engaged in a false dichotomy. It is not an issue of national prosperty vs global wellness. In fact, as it stands now, much of the "global wellness" depends on US and EU consumerism. You also completely overlook the fact that the US was the world leader in manufacturing long before the post WW2 era. As far as your assertion that US made products would cost 10x everyone else's. Bullshit. The average cost of labor in the final price of manufactured goods is about 15%. So not 10x, not even 2x. Your next fallacy, US "middle class will not have 2 cents to rub together". You have it ass backward. The money retained in the US economy by manufacturing here, would mean MORE expendable income. The math is pretty simple. Trade deficits suck money out of the economy. The lack of increase in worker pay is not merely about competition. it is, as LH said, a choice. Your whole argument is also blown out of the water by the real world example of Germany. High wages, protectionist policies, strong unions and a successful EXPORTING economy. Japan is another example. While Chinese wages may be on the increase, they are still only about 80 cents an hour in southern China, and even less in the interior. Then there is the push to out source to even cheaper countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh.

[-] -3 points by classynancy (-73) 2 years ago

You obviously don't know much about business. You can't look at the typical non-vertically orientated business that performs one step of the manufacturing chain. If you re-verticalize the entire product manufacturing process from raw material to selling to the end consumer, labor is a HUGE portion of the overall cost versus raw material.

[-] 3 points by jobcreator (13) 2 years ago

Nancy, First let me say that I simply want to engage in some intelligent "truth uncovering" dialogue with you here and not get "nasty".

That being said, let me say that I have a B.S. in accounting and have owned 4 small businesses.

When you say that if our day-to-day consumer goods were made in the U.S.A, they would be priced 10 X higher; you are simply being mistaken and aren't looking at a TRUE ACCOUNTING OF W H O is benefiting the most from the "wage slaves" (primarily in China) making our stuff. I haven't even done this , nor do I have access to the financial statements of the Chineese manufacturers of our goods. BUT - I can assure you of this- that while a SMALL amount of the savings are being passed on to the American consumer , the majority of the savings lines the pockets of the business executives and powerful on both sides of the Pacific.

Notaneoliberal has a good point that roughly 10-15% of the final price of an automobile (or any other good) for that matter is the labor. Pricing is NOT exclusively about direct labor, direct materials, or overhead either.

Until next time.

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

I own a business. You ignore history and present no facts. Only vague generalities. The fact that you would say something like prices would rise 10x shows you have not researched the subject at all and are spinning an idea from your uninformed imagination.

[-] 3 points by losthumanity (58) 2 years ago

All of it is a choice. Intelligent tarrifs or export certificates would be one way to go: http://occupywallst.org/forum/can-we-have-fair-tradeyes/ We could win any trade war. You've decided it's in your best interests that we don't fight - let the peasants suffer as $1.7T flows out each year.

By the way, board members are often appointed and CEOs are often chairmen, and compensation committees are usually extremely cozy with executives. CEOs basically set their own pay.

[-] 2 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

If CEO's deserve their current level of pay, then why are they not performing at the level of the CEO's of the 1950's and 60's?

[-] 2 points by powertoothepeople (280) 2 years ago

Exactly. They are richly rewarded even when they fail miserably.

That's never mentioned by the worshippers of the wealthy.

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 2 years ago

What you said in your last paragraph, in quotes below, is a textbook explanation. It does not take into account the real world fact that majority shareholders in corporations are insiders.

It's not John Q. Public with a 401K who owns a controlling interest in most companies, such that he would be able to influence policies like CEO pay.


"Don't forget, corporations are run by boards of directors who approve CEO pay, and boards of directors are approved by shareholders. Stock market reactions to company's profits and losses dictate much of what a company does. If a company is paying too much of their money to the CEO, that would be self-correcting in a competitive landscape where companies must battle two different fronts (1) Competing for customers which means selling products at close to zero economic profit and (2) keeping expenses as low as they can be in order to maximize shareholder value of the stock (the more profit, the more money can be either re-invested in long-term growth or paid back to the stockholders in the form of dividends). People or organizations that continue to support the stock of companies who do not hold their CEOs accountable for justifying the value of their salaries should not expect to have much value left in that company, and will get what they deserve"