Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged 99%

64 notes

mattbors:

An ad in The Economist, directly appealing to the 1% and how hard they work.

Just about every ad in The Economist is this one. Legit. Andrew and I received a subscription as a wedding present and don’t get me wrong — it’s interesting and we enjoy it. However, the ads feel like fascinating, slightly uncomfortable anthropological research.

mattbors:

An ad in The Economist, directly appealing to the 1% and how hard they work.

Just about every ad in The Economist is this one. Legit. Andrew and I received a subscription as a wedding present and don’t get me wrong — it’s interesting and we enjoy it. However, the ads feel like fascinating, slightly uncomfortable anthropological research.

Filed under occupy Wall Street 99% 1% Advertising Class War

111 notes

You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.

I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.

Mitt Romney, on Wednesday’s Today Show, discussing criticism of Wall Street and the rich. In other words, “Hey, poor people. Y’all are just jealous.”

Funny that. A Pew Poll released yesterday shows nearly two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor—an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009. Also, participants identified the conflict between rich and poor as the largest, strong source of conflict in society:

If Romney is to be believed, at least two-thirds of Americans are just jealous.

Filed under Mitt Romney Politics Rich class warfare President Obama Obama Republican Republicans 99% 1% class warfare class economy Wall Street wealth inequality income

106 notes

On the 1% advocating for the 99%

The red and blue is not be taken as representative of political party. However, it IS an interesting breakdown of where the interests of the US Congress fall. Alan Grayson has also pointed to lobbying influence as well. At a 2010 conference, Grayson said, “We’re now in a situation where a lobbyist can walk into my office…and say, ‘I’ve got five million dollars to spend, and I can spend it for you or against you. Which do you prefer?’”

Much has also been made of Occupy Wall Street promoters like Michael Moore being in the 1%, so why don’t they just give away all of their money and make everyone equal, etc… I’m tired of this strawman counter. That’s like telling a group of physicians concerned about the situation in Appalachia regarding medical care to stop advocating for change, and to instead donate all their time, money, and supplies to fixing it, or else they are an illegitimate organization and have no right to bitch.

Moore has given generously to charity, including 60% of the profits from Fahrenheit 9/11, he donates half of his royalties from books sold at local bookstores to local libraries (plus the bookstores running the events have all agreed to donate $1 from their sales price) at each stop on his recent book tour, he works with several progressive organizations and with unions, and began the non-profit, mostly volunteer-run Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan - among other efforts. Here, he further explains his thoughts on charity to Sean Hannity.

So let’s pretend for a moment that the rich redistribute to the jobless of their own free will. Then what? Do jobs magically appear out of thin air? The need never re-occurs?

Moore explains his viewpoint well on being a member of the 1% and fighting for the 99% in a post entitled "Life Among The 1%" [emphasis mine]:

"How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It’s like asking: "You’ve never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You’re not black! You’re not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What’s he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he’s down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.

Anyhow, money is not electing Michael Moore. However, money is electing those who set the policies leading to such wealth disparity in this country. We must pay attention to those who’ve sold us out and continued the same policies since before many in my generation were even born. Campaign finance reform is crucial, and perhaps we should begin rethinking this whole neoliberal, late capitalism thing.

If your biggest bone to pick with Occupy Wall Street is that Michael Moore is advocating for it, we’re well on our way to winning.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Michael Moore inequality politics protest 99% 1% poverty capitalism economy financial reform crisis late capitalism wealth injustice charity

2,389 notes

This is a big deal. Dan Siegel, legal adviser to Oakland, Calif. Mayor Jean Quan, resigned over the brutalization of Occupy Oakland protesters and says he now supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. Approximately an hour ago, he wrote on Twitter, “No longer Mayor Quan’s legal advisor. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators.”

This came after he encouraged people to mobilize to Occupy Oakland late last night, where another raid resulted in upwards of 32 arrests, according to Occupy Oakland leaders. Police declared the park a crime scene Monday and forced media to leave.

If more high-ranking municipal officials have an attack of conscience and do the right thing, what then? It appears city and state governments are already a titch frightened of the Occupy movement. If their own people refuse to obey or resign in protest, perhaps it will be time to take this a little more seriously. Change from the bottom on up, folks.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Dan Siegel BFD Jean Quan Mayor Jean Quan Occupy Oakland Oakland California politics protest injustice inequality Doing the right thing 1% 99% Occupy Wall Street OWS Occupy Everywhere

44 notes

Also controversial was the collision between three Occupy protesters and a car outside the convention center. [Clare] O’Connor reports that the protesters set up makeshift blockades on streets surrounding the center. One driver, identified as Shawn Valentine, plowed through the blockade, injuring protester Heidi Sippel, her thirteen-year-old son, and her wife Brandy Sippel, who is three months pregnant. According to Occupy, he also hit a fourth victim who is still hospitalized.

Police did not charge the driver — Lt Christopher Micciche says the Sippels “either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle.” He adds that “it was essentially an accident where three individuals were injured but they were in violation by being in the roadway.” The Sippels, meanwhile, say they were charged with a traffic violation and fined.

Anna North, "Police Bravely Defend Man’s Right To Hit Pregnant Protester With Car"

Jesus. This guy hits a kid and a pregnant woman, plus two other people and is NOT cited?! Adding insult to injury, the people he hit were cited. According to The Telegraph, they were cited for “for obstructing traffic and being in the road in contravention of a ‘do-not-walk’ sign, both of which carry fines.”

Fuck everything about this - can you folks imagine the outrage if a doctor working at a Planned Parenthood got angry at the protesters blocking the exit to the parking lot and then plowed into a few? Operation Rescue used this very tactic of blocking streets and parking lots. From the Supreme Court of Florida:

As traffic slowed on Dixie Way and began its turn into the clinic’s driveway, the vehicle would be approached by persons designated by the respondents as sidewalk counselors attempting to get the attention of the vehicles’ occupants to give them anti-abortion literature and to urge them not to use the clinic’s services. Such so-called sidewalk counselors were assisted in accomplishing their approach to the vehicle by the hesitation or momentary stopping caused by the time needed for the picket line to open up before the vehicle could enter the parking lot.

The outcry would be tremendous. Fox would be on the scene within minutes. Now, Operation Rescue was prevented from doing this later by federal injunction. Later, police would direct traffic if need be at Operation Rescue rallies in order to prevent protesters getting hit by cars or traffic snarls. 

Why didn’t that happen in DC? Where were police? I live in Laramie, Wyoming. When we have huge sporting events connected to the University of Wyoming, our city’s population can effectively double for the day. Before and after football (or basketball) games, there’s masses of people running across the road, walking on the road, sometimes slapping the hoods of cars that come close, and generally making the busiest road in town absolute hell. Guess what? Police direct traffic. When there’s people in the road, you address the traffic situation in order to avoid people getting hit.

Or you can send the message that as long as you are driving a luxury car, like Mr. Shawn Valentine, you can hit all the people you want. As long as they’re Occupy protesters. Or poor.

Filed under Occupy DC Occupy Wall Street OWS Politics Shawn Valentine protest Heidi Sippel Brandy Sippel Occupy Everywhere 1% 99% police injustice inequality

50 notes

Traders From Chicago Board Of Trade Dump McDonald’s Applications On Occupy Chicago Protesters

Ah, yes. The Chicago Board of Trade keeps it classy. Remember this? They posted the “We are the 1%” sign in their windows to mock Occupy Chicago. The sad truth is that they’re probably not in the 1%.

The truly asshole move is not the dumping of applications themselves. It’s that McDonald’s most recent hiring day resulted in 938,000 applicants being turned away from even part-time employment at McDonald’s. Plus, the traders appear to have violated state law in regards to the Illinois Litter Control Act.

It’s cool, though. Because these hippies just need to get a job, amirite?! There’s one job opening for every 4-5 people looking, but you just need to TRY HARDER! LULZ! </sarcasm>

Filed under Chicago Board of Trade Occupy Chicago Politics inequality protest economy McDonald's For fuck's sake Asshattery 1% 99% Occupy Wall Street OWS Occupy Everywhere

385 notes

Police Tell Banker To Move Out Of The Country If He Objects To Protesters’ Right To Free Speech

From ThinkProgress:

Over at DailyKos, user marvinborg recounts how he was handing out flyers about moving money at a local Bank of America branch. Soon after he arrived there, the branch’s manager came out and started to suggest marvinborg worked for a credit union or that he was unemployed and should “get a job.” Before long, two police officers arrived, after being called by the Bank of America.

One of the officers asked marvinborg if he was trespassing. He responded that he has simply been handing out flyers on the sidewalk. One of the officers then turned to the bank manager and amazingly scolded him for calling the police over an act of free speech, even telling him that he should move out of the country if he objects to the first amendment:

OFFICER: He has the right to speak and the right to hand out flyers. Unless he blocks you or causes a disturbance, he has the right to be here – please don’t call the police again if he is not bothering you. If you don’t like free speech you should move to another country.

Right on. We need more of this, please.

Filed under Banker Police Free Speech politics protest 99% Bank of America Move your money banksters B of A government right on

64 notes

Remember Orange County Young Republicans Treasurer Matthew Klein? Y&#8217;know, the one who giggles when the homeless die? Yeah, that guy.
He&#8217;s back.
Men&#8217;s Wearhouse in Oakland shut down today in solidarity with the general strike that began in Oakland today. An Oakland resident tweeted this picture:

This doesn&#8217;t sit well with conservatives. Men&#8217;s Wearhouse had already been supportive of the 99%, leading to exchanges like this:

However, Matt takes it one step further. He writes that as a member of the 53% who have money, he will take it elsewhere. Why? Because they chose to stand with the &#8220;so-called 99 percent&#8221; - the people who don&#8217;t have money. Basically, screw you for standing with the poor, I won&#8217;t shop at a place with a heart! I&#8217;m taking my DOLLAS elsewhere. HOLLA! (You just KNOW he says that&#8230;)
He&#8217;s also changed his description on his profile. Here&#8217;s the previous description from Oct 31, 2011:

And now&#8230;

SMILEY FACE! You guys at suck at life. Silly poor people!
No, Matt, actually you suck at life. Why? Well, if you&#8217;re going to flounce like a Twitter drama queen, tweet the right account:

It&#8217;s @MensWearhouse. You tweeted a spam account - but really, when&#8217;s the last time a Republican gave a damn about fact-checking?
Again, you can contact the Orange County Young Republicans here.

Remember Orange County Young Republicans Treasurer Matthew Klein? Y’know, the one who giggles when the homeless die? Yeah, that guy.

He’s back.

Men’s Wearhouse in Oakland shut down today in solidarity with the general strike that began in Oakland today. An Oakland resident tweeted this picture:

This doesn’t sit well with conservatives. Men’s Wearhouse had already been supportive of the 99%, leading to exchanges like this:

However, Matt takes it one step further. He writes that as a member of the 53% who have money, he will take it elsewhere. Why? Because they chose to stand with the “so-called 99 percent” - the people who don’t have money. Basically, screw you for standing with the poor, I won’t shop at a place with a heart! I’m taking my DOLLAS elsewhere. HOLLA! (You just KNOW he says that…)

He’s also changed his description on his profile. Here’s the previous description from Oct 31, 2011:

And now…

SMILEY FACE! You guys at suck at life. Silly poor people!

No, Matt, actually you suck at life. Why? Well, if you’re going to flounce like a Twitter drama queen, tweet the right account:

It’s @MensWearhouse. You tweeted a spam account - but really, when’s the last time a Republican gave a damn about fact-checking?

Again, you can contact the Orange County Young Republicans here.

Filed under Matt Klein Matthew Klein Orange County Young Republicans FLOUNCE! Men's Wearhouse 99% Occupy Oakland Oakland General Strike Strike politics economy conservative conservatives GOP Republican republicans 53% Young Republicans Seriously?

44 notes

The epitome of heartlessness:

What the Costumes RevealBy JOE NOCERA Published: October 28, 2011
On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a &#8220;foreclosure mill&#8221; firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes.
Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.  The party is the firm&#8217;s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume.
I can&#8217;t tell you how people dressed for this year&#8217;s party, but I can tell you about last year&#8217;s.  That&#8217;s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year&#8217;s party.

This is one photo from the party. Here&#8217;s the columnist&#8217;s description:

Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: &#8220;3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.&#8221; My source said that &#8220;I was never served&#8221; is meant to mock &#8220;the typical excuse&#8221; of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.

Here are agents of the 1% mocking what the 99% are going through. Is this not class warfare? Why is it only class warfare when we call this out? When we suggest that maybe people losing their homes right and left is unconscionable, it&#8217;s somehow class warfare waged by the 99%. This kind of mockery goes on, Wall St. continues unregulated, and WE&#8217;RE the ones waging war. I beg to differ.

The epitome of heartlessness:

What the Costumes Reveal
By JOE NOCERA Published: October 28, 2011

On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes.

Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The party is the firm’s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume.

I can’t tell you how people dressed for this year’s party, but I can tell you about last year’s. That’s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party.

This is one photo from the party. Here’s the columnist’s description:

Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.

Here are agents of the 1% mocking what the 99% are going through. Is this not class warfare? Why is it only class warfare when we call this out? When we suggest that maybe people losing their homes right and left is unconscionable, it’s somehow class warfare waged by the 99%. This kind of mockery goes on, Wall St. continues unregulated, and WE’RE the ones waging war. I beg to differ.

(Source: The New York Times)

Filed under Occupy Wall Street New York Halloween politics foreclosure Steven J Baum Citigroup JPMorgan Chase Bank of America Wells Fargo fuckery 1% 99%

59 notes

Socializing risk, privatizing profit

From PoliticusUSA:

Today’s wealthy conservatives feel like they are entitled to suck the rest of us dry. The people who are Occupying Wall Street aren’t parasites. They are regular Americans who have seen our political and economic systems used as a weapon against them. These people aren’t leeching off the wealthy. They are the reason why the wealthy have been successful. Whether the 1% want to admit or not, they couldn’t have gotten to where they are today without the rest of us. Our society enabled them to get rich.

The real parasites aren’t the protesters. The true parasites are those people who crashed the economy, begged the American people for a handout, and promptly then resumed making a profit off the economic misfortune they caused. The parasites are people like Rush Limbaugh who refuse to pay their fair share… Someday we will have a government that shares the values of Occupy Wall Street. Maybe someday, the people will once again occupy Washington.

Attacking Occupy protesters for being parasites and not paying taxes (they do) is getting old. This article points the figure at the true parasites. It’s not the protesters or unions. It’s those who espouse personal responsibility until they need a bailout. The 99% are on the hook if the 1% fail. If the 99% continue to fall behind, who’s going to bail the 1% out again?

From the same PoliticusUSA article:

Without realizing it, Rush Limbaugh also provided his listeners insight into the mindset of the one percent when he said that it is okay to be a parasite as long as you don’t advertise it. I would also add that the wealthy believe that they have a right to engage in economically parasitic behavior because they are rich. This is the same mindset that glorifies the term job creator. It is the mindset that believes that tax cuts for the rich create jobs, and it also allows them to hold the beliefs the problem really is government regulation, and that everyone else isn’t rich because they are lazy.

Well, we’re more than motivated now.

Filed under 99% 1% socialism privatization profit Occupy Wall Street OWS economy politics injustice inequality

272 notes

On fallacious 53%-ers, the 99%, taxes, and income inequality in the US

Rebloggable by request:

 lyddawiya asked:
What exactly is a 53%er? Pardon my ignorance. 

Meg of Cognitive Dissonance:

These are supposedly the only people who pay taxes. Currently, 53% of Americans pay income tax. Sounds unfair, right? But this neat little point is wrong. The other 47% do pay taxes. They aren’t all getting full federal refunds or are in such a low tax bracket they don’t pay federal taxes, i.e. seniors on a fixed income.

This whole “53%-ers” thing started with Red State blogger and CNN commentator Erick Erickson whining about being in the 53%. He started a sad little tumblr, We are the 53%, to mock the We are the 99% site and Occupy Wall Street. He ignores that the 47% percent pay payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, sales tax, state tax etc. There’s a short summary of that talking point, and its fallacies here.

However, here’s how that breaks down:
Dark red and dark grey = State and local taxes
Light red and light grey = Federal taxes 

image

 

An explanation by G. William Domhoff from the University of California, Santa Cruz:

But what matters in terms of a power analysis is what percentage of their income people at different income levels pay to all levels of government (federal, state, and local) in taxes. If the less-well-off majority is somehow able to wield power, we would expect that the high earners would pay a bigger percentage of their income in taxes, because the majority figures the well-to-do would still have plenty left after taxes to make new investments and lead the good life. If the high earners have the most power, we’d expect them to pay about the same as everybody else, or less.

Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group that’s been studying tax issues from its offices in Washington since 1979, provides the information we need. When all taxes (not just income taxes) are taken into account, the lowest 20% of earners (who average about $12,400 per year), paid 16.0% of their income to taxes in 2009; and the next 20% (about $25,000/year), paid 20.5% in taxes. So if we only examine these first two steps, the tax system looks like it is going to be progressive.

And it keeps looking progressive as we move further up the ladder: the middle 20% (about $33,400/year) give 25.3% of their income to various forms of taxation, and the next 20% (about $66,000/year) pay 28.5%. So taxes are progressive for the bottom 80%. But if we break the top 20% down into smaller chunks, we find that progressivity starts to slow down, then it stops, and then it slips backwards for the top 1%.

Specifically, the next 10% (about $100,000/year) pay 30.2% of their income as taxes; the next 5% ($141,000/year) dole out 31.2% of their earnings for taxes; and the next 4% ($245,000/year) pay 31.6% to taxes. You’ll note that the progressivity is slowing down. As for the top 1% — those who take in $1.3 million per year on average — they pay 30.8% of their income to taxes, which is a little less than what the 9% just below them pay, and only a tiny bit more than what the segment between the 80th and 90th percentile pays.

The entire article is extremely informative in regard to taxes, income, wealth, power, and the disparities between all of them in the U.S.

Erickson’s site is truly sad in that these folks are completely enthralled with the ideas that they got everything they had themselves, and second, that this system of barely staying above water and working 3 jobs to do so is a-okay. Two excellent responses to this site can be found here and here.

Incidentally, Erickson’s site has been nailed making up the 53% pics at least once by the internet’s photoshop wizards. 

Filed under income taxes politics Erick Erickson 53% 99% inequality occupy wall street rebloggable by request ask ask box

28 notes

ikhsaara asked: What exactly is a 53%er? Pardon my ignorance.

These are supposedly the only people who pay taxes. Currently, 53% of Americans pay income tax. Sounds unfair, right? But this neat little point is wrong. The other 47% do pay taxes. They aren’t all getting full federal refunds or are in such a low tax bracket they don’t pay federal taxes, i.e. seniors on a fixed income.

This whole “53%-ers” thing started with Red State blogger and CNN commentator Erick Erickson whining about being in the 53%. He started a sad little tumblr, We are the 53%, to mock the We are the 99% site and Occupy Wall Street. He ignores that the 47% percent pay payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, sales tax, state tax etc. There’s a short summary of that talking point, and its fallacies here.

However, here’s how that breaks down:
Dark red and dark grey = State and local taxes
Light red and light grey = Federal taxes 

 

An explanation by G. William Domhoff from the University of California, Santa Cruz:

But what matters in terms of a power analysis is what percentage of their income people at different income levels pay to all levels of government (federal, state, and local) in taxes. If the less-well-off majority is somehow able to wield power, we would expect that the high earners would pay a bigger percentage of their income in taxes, because the majority figures the well-to-do would still have plenty left after taxes to make new investments and lead the good life. If the high earners have the most power, we’d expect them to pay about the same as everybody else, or less.

Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group that’s been studying tax issues from its offices in Washington since 1979, provides the information we need. When all taxes (not just income taxes) are taken into account, the lowest 20% of earners (who average about $12,400 per year), paid 16.0% of their income to taxes in 2009; and the next 20% (about $25,000/year), paid 20.5% in taxes. So if we only examine these first two steps, the tax system looks like it is going to be progressive.

And it keeps looking progressive as we move further up the ladder: the middle 20% (about $33,400/year) give 25.3% of their income to various forms of taxation, and the next 20% (about $66,000/year) pay 28.5%. So taxes are progressive for the bottom 80%. But if we break the top 20% down into smaller chunks, we find that progressivity starts to slow down, then it stops, and then it slips backwards for the top 1%.

Specifically, the next 10% (about $100,000/year) pay 30.2% of their income as taxes; the next 5% ($141,000/year) dole out 31.2% of their earnings for taxes; and the next 4% ($245,000/year) pay 31.6% to taxes. You’ll note that the progressivity is slowing down. As for the top 1% — those who take in $1.3 million per year on average — they pay 30.8% of their income to taxes, which is a little less than what the 9% just below them pay, and only a tiny bit more than what the segment between the 80th and 90th percentile pays.

The entire article is extremely informative in regard to taxes, income, wealth, power, and the disparities between all of them in the U.S.

Erickson’s site is truly sad in that these folks are completely enthralled with the ideas that they got everything they had themselves, and second, that this system of barely staying above water and working 3 jobs to do so is a-okay. Two excellent responses to this site can be found here and here.

Incidentally, Erickson’s site has been nailed making up the 53% pics at least once by the internet’s photoshop wizards. 

Filed under lyddawiya ask ask box taxes 53% 99% income inequality politics economy