Tag Archives: 99%

Deciding To Make Money Or Not Make Money


What Do You Want To Make

In many ways it’s perverse – an individual has to make a decision in their late teens – early twenties that will impact the rest of their lives.  But there it is, the decision: What are you going to do with your life.

And for a lot of people, this feathers into which degree they will obtain while attending college.

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Occupy Raleigh: Good Riddance

After months of camping downtown Raleigh and presenting an eyesore to the whole community, Occupy Raleigh has reached the end of its run.  No longer able to make the rent payments, the landlord informed the group that they would have to vacate Monday, May 7th.

The camp was a permanent presence for a number of months.  As such, it acquired a significant amount of “stuff.”  Stuff that had to be removed.  And for THAT to happen, people had to show up to assist.

I so enjoyed the response:

I’m curious about times to accomplish each of the daily tasks.  I have finals on Friday the 4th and Monday the 7th and I work in the evenings.  Other than that, I may be able to help out some during the day.  I definitely want to be there for the 12th event. =)


Sorry that I can’t help today, Jim. My low back muscles are tweaked to the max.  :(

Going to lay here and read Zinn today, and hope to be back on my feet soon to help out.


Nice, Dee!

I can probably help with reseeding on the 12th but that’s about it.


I am tied up with work but perhaps at some point on Sunday I can help. There isn’t much I can do about that.


I’m on light duty due to my surgery last week.  But, I’ll be there Sat after 1:00 to help sort or haul small items.  I’ll bring some heavy duty contractor garbage bags.

When it’s time/clear enough please post this milestone… then I’ll try to come up with some plantings


I am laid up with my back after working on the Camp Wednesday. Looks like Tayloe and I are in the same boat!!!! I plan on being there on Sunday to do whatever I can as long as no lifting is invloved. What time do you plan on going on Sunday?


I feel awful I couldn’t be there to help today.  I  am at my sister’s for my mom’s birthday and working at the same time.


I am so sorry but I was so hoping I would feel well enought to be there today, but my back is worse and I seem to have a touch of what seems to be food poisining or a flu bug. I feel terrible for bailing on you all.


All of these people so engaged in the movement, yet when it comes time to sacrifice and work…..roaches in the sun.  This might be why these people feel society has left them behind.

Because we have.  I am only so willing to labor extra hard to carry the moochers and the looters.

Occupy Raleigh: Gone Galt

Earlier this month I posted on the frustration of certain members of Occupy Raleigh.  It seemed that the “1%” of the movement was beginning to get fed up with the “99%.”

To those of you who continue to complain, and whine, and bitch, and moan about the camp – just fucking stop. We are all tired of hearing it. If you have a problem at the camp, come fix it. I can not fix everything myself. Jes can not fix everything herself. Thomas can not fix everything by himself. Nor can Charles, Susie, or any of the other people who do put an effort in.

In some ways this Occupy movement is a useful lesson to those involved.  It’s perhaps their first involvement in running an organization.  In generating consensus, in knowing when consensus is a paralyzing goal.  For the first time in life these folks might be managing people.  However, for some of the citizens of this society, enough simply became enough.

They “Gone Galt.”

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Wages, Middle Class And Stagnation

I’ve been aware, politically aware, since about 2006 or 2007.  That’s when an interesting tidbit caught my attention:

The 2008 Presidential election would be the first in a long time where neither a sitting President or Vice President would be running.

The race would be wide open.  I began to  pay attention, and I was hooked.  And since then I have heard a steady dull roar about the fading middle class.  I’ve heard that the richest among us have been getting richer while the rest of us have experienced wages that remain flat.

The world would have us believe that for most of us, wages have experienced stagnation.

Is it true?

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In Which OWS Differentiates From The Tea Party

Heard this morning on 106.1 WRDU that the guy who shoot up a local grocery store, then took his own life, was a member of the Occupy Raleigh movement.

Members of the Tea Party:

  • Obtain and pay for permits to demonstrate
  • Go home when the time is up
  • Clean up after themselves
  • Have jobs
  • Stand for something
  • Don’t shoot people
    • The irony that the Left complains about Tea Party folks bringing guns to their protests isn’t lost on me.

These are not the 99% folks, they just aren’t.

GINI: Income Disparity

Thursday I posted my thoughts on the GINI rating and how it pertains to income here in America.  In that post, my main thrust was the fact that GINI, as reported when comparing national income disparity rankings, was comparing household incomes.  Not the incomes of individuals, but of households.

And I think that’s important.  As I demonstrated in that post, taking these two families:

  • Family A making $60,000 a year
  • Family B making $70,000 a year

Looks to be fairly equitable.  But now let’s consider that family A and family B get divorced, created 4 households out of two.  Then the breakdown looks like this:

  • Family A making $0 a year
  • Family B making $28,000 a year
  • Family C making $32,000 a year
  • Family D making $70,000 a year

THIS looks to be dramatically different.  However, the same four families in the second picture are the individual household represented in the first picture.  Remarkable, yes?

So, how do things look in real life?  Let’s take a look at the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey for 2010:

Descriptor Lowest Fifth Second Fifth Third Fifth Fourth Fifth Highest Fifth
Family Households 9,411 13,969 16,162 18,543 20,528
% 12 17.8 20.6 23.6 26.1
Married Couples 4,037 8,521 11,587 15,270 18,621
% 7 14.7 20 26.3 32.1
No Earners 14,805 7,037 3,327 1,496 722
% 54.1 25.7 12.1 5.5 2.6
One Earner 7,845 12,474 11,488 7,853 5,263
% 17.5 27.8 25.6 17.5 11.7
Two Earners 1,020 3,790 7,702 11,700 13,258
% 2.7 10.1 20.6 31.2 35.4
Three Earners 55 379 1,040 2,112 3,119
% 0.8 5.6 15.5 31.5 46.5
Four Earners 5 58 180 577 1,377
% 0.2 2.6 8.2 26.2 62.7
Aggregate Earners 10,240 21,940 31,595 41,125 48,338

The data is remarkable.  Let’s go through it bit by bit.

First, the “Fifths” listed at the top is earnings by quintile.  That is, the poorest 20% is the “Lowest Fifth” while the richest 20% is the “Highest Fifth”.

Now then, the data:

Households that are “families” is a massive indicator of income.As the percentage of families in each fifth increases, so does the wealth.  The same goes for married couples.  The top fifth has nearly 5x the number of married couples as the bottom fifth.  Seems that family is important in wealth creation.

Family aside, the powerful statistic that I took away was the number of earners in a household.  And what I found matches exactly with the phenomenon I described in my earlier post.

Of the households in the bottom fifth, more than HALF don’t have a single wage earner in the household.  More than half.  While the top 20% has only 2.6% of households that don’t qualify as a wage earner.

Further, if you look at the “Lowest Fifth” as a column and march down, you’ll see that fewer and fewer of those households have the described number of earners.  Starting at the top, this segment of the population has 54% of households with 0 wage earners.  While at the bottom, it has but .2% of the households with 4 wage earners.  The exact opposite is true of the “Highest Fifth”.

In short, it would seem that as a household has more wage earners, that household moves from one of the fifths to another.  And to the extent that this is true, look at the last line; aggregate earners.

The “Lowest Fifth” has 10,240 members.  The fifth that earns twice as much money as the lowest fifth has twice as many wage earners.  The fifth that makes three times as much as the lowest fifth has three times as many wage earners.  The fourth has four times as many wage earners.  And the highest has five times the number of wage earners.

This is true almost to the exact number.

The data presented above tells me that we don’t have an income disparity issue.  We have a family structure issue.  If you take a single wage earner in a household and compare that household to one with 4 wage earners, it should be no surprise which of the two households makes more money.

And lest there be any doubt.  The “Highest Fifth”?  They are some working sums -o- beetches.  Fully 62.7% of those households have FOUR wage earners.  This is not the lazy rich that the OWS and the ((% make them out to be.

OWS: Occupy Raleigh : Disabled Woman Arrested

The big news here in Raleigh in the last few days was the arrest of 8 protesters down at the State Capital grounds.  Apparently they were on the sidewalk in front of the Capital and the Capital Police asked them to leave.  I’m assuming, dangerous I know, that they were occupying the sidewalk and not just using it to go from the actual occupation to the Apple store where they could get more iPads, iPods, iPhones, batteries and a MiFi hot spot so that they could use Facebook and Twitter and WordPress to keep people abreast of their actions.

Anyway, I digress.

The big news wasn’t the arrest of the 8 people.  Everyone expects these guys to get arrested in some number now and then.  In fact, I suspect for some of ’em, it’s a badge of honor to be arrested for protesting and somehow adds to that individual prestige within the movement.  Again, whatever.  The big news was the complain by the Occupy Raleigh folks that the police somehow crossed a line by asking a woman, who is disabled, to disperse as well.  As if!

The whole idea, near as I can tell, of this whole movement is that we should all be treated fairly.  We should all be expected to contribute and we should all be expected to obtain compensation.  There is no special exceptions for anyone.  So it seems strange to me, but not unexpected given the Leftists tendencies and strategies of this movement, that they would call “foul” that one of the 99% be expected to abide by the laws just as the rest of us.

But no, what we get is shock and disbelief.  As if the cop was just such a monster.

And we get it from the paper too:

The arrests of eight people Thursday at an Occupy Raleigh protest did not sit well with Mayor Charles Meeker.

Meeker said it was his understanding that Raleigh police would get involved only “if there were an assault on a Capitol Police Officer or other similar disturbance.”

But a different scenario played out. City officers aided Capitol Police in arresting eight people, including a disabled woman sitting on a chair, after the demonstrators refused to leave a sidewalk in front of the Capitol.

Now we are hearing, from the newspaper mind you, that she was sitting on a chair, not the sidewalk.  More and more spin and perception changing.

But what does the woman herself have to say?

I respect this.  I disagree with her on many levels, but I respect it.

She admitted she purposely acted in such a manner that would result in her arrest.

The police were polite and offered her an “out”.

She wants no special treatment as a result of her disability.

Of course this’ll be ignored by the Occupiers.  They’ll ignore that an individual has the right to rights.  And this brings with it the right to be arrested for unlawful conduct.

This just goes to prove my point.  These people do NOT want a level playing field.  They want a tilted playing field just as surely as anyone else might want the field tilted.  No, trust me, these occupiers just want the tilt to be in their favor.

OWS Continues To Grow Up: Welcome to the 53%

A few days ago I posted a story about OWS protestors in LA who realized that their protest camp was being infiltrated by imposters and homeless:

Anyway, this nicely frames this nugget:

Homeless transplants from the city’s Skid Row have set up their tents within the larger tent city. No violence has been reported, but protest organizers are attempting to discourage people who are only at the encampment for the amenities.

I smiled and said, “Welcome to the 53%!”

Now, to be very clear, I do NOT think the OWS crowd is obligated to serve food and provide shelter for people who are not members in their group.  The people who are organizing any individual movement and group is working hard, I am sure.  However, what they are protesting subjects them to a degree of tolerance that would not otherwise be applied to other organizations.

See, the 99% feel that other people in the world should labor for their direct benefit.  These people honestly feel that they deserve a “living wage”, free college and healthcare.  Gone is the concept that any and all of these things require that an individual, somewhere-anywhere, labor for the benefit of the 99% and not themselves.

This is, of course, crazy and no one really supports it.

See, what’s happening is that protesters have organized into roles.  One of those roles is to cook and prepare meals for the other protesters, in theory, so that they can focus on other tasks that are required.  Perhaps this is park cleaning, garbage removal, sign making and library tending.  This makes sense.  Just like in life, specialization of tasks is more efficient and better serves the community.

However, because of the nature of the camps, homeless and other non-protesters are coming for the meals.  And the folks who are contributing are getting fed up; they are tired of supporting those who don’t contribute in other ways.

Again, no one supports requiring people to labor for those who don’t contribute.

And the proof that no one supports it is the fact that those protesting for just such that condition are opposed to that condition when they are the ones being asked to contribute money and labor.

Hat tip Boortz.

To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

The Assembly announced the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day — insisting everybody would be fed something during that period.

Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

“We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

See, they understand.  They GET it.  And when faced with the prospect of laboring for those who don’t contribute in a meaningful way, they react by reducing the “welfare” they provide to “vagrants”.  Further, these people understand the power of incentives.  They know that if they put out more and more “stuff” they will get more and more “derelicts”.  The reverse seems to be obvious.  Reduce the quality of the “stuff” and the “derelicts” go away.

I so do love the free market.

OWS, 99% and ACORN

Fox News is reporting that former ACORN organizers and staffers are working behind the scenes at the various protests throughout New York City.  Further, these unscrupulous vermin are knocking on doors asking for money to support teachers and stuff all the while funneling that money to the movement.

And Fox is reporting this front page.

My reaction is:


I hadn’t thought of it, but fi I’d been asked whether or not I thought ex-ACORN folks were working on the OWS protests, I would have guessed they were.  The bigger news would have been if these people had gotten real jobs and become part of the 53%.

THAT would have been news.

99% And The Top 1%

All of us are trying to figure out this #OWS stuff and  how it impacts us.  The opinions ranges from one of skepticism and disgust to respect and admiration.  Clearly the movement is having an impact.

My personal reaction to the movement is one of disdain.  It’s my understanding that these folks are upset that 1% of the people control more than 1% of the wealth.  That the remaining 99% of the population is somehow getting screwed.  To be sure, there is some version of protest that speaks to the very elite rich manipulating the “system” to their advantage in a way that endangers our economic fabric, but I firmly believe these people to be few and far between.

What we are seeing is a bunch of folks upset that there are rich people.  Or rather, who have more money than they have.  But is that the real picture?

Let’s take a look at the top 1%:

I sit in an interesting chair in the financial services industry. Our clients largely fall into the top 1%, have a net worth of $5,000,000 or above, and if working make over $300,000 per year. My observations on the sources of their wealth and concerns come from my professional and social activities within this group.

…a family enters the top 1% or so today with somewhere around $300k to $400k in pre-tax annual income and over $1.2M in net worth.

Okay, so that’s a lot of money.  A TON of money.  I can remember a time when earning that kind of money was stupid.  In fact, earning that kinda money for me is STILL stupid.

But let’s go further:

The 99th to 99.5th percentiles largely include physicians, attorneys, upper middle management, and small business people who have done well….

The net worth for those in the lower half of the top 1% is usually achieved after decades of education, hard work, saving and investing as a professional or small business person.

Decades.  Hard work. Saving.  Investing.

Decades.  That is, these folks didn’t “come into” this money, they earned it.  EARNED it.  By working, risking and sacrificing.  THAT is the lower half of the 1%.  Which means that we are now talking about the top half of the 1%.

The whole read is fascinating.  But I’ll leave you with what the author leaves us with:

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex set of laws and exemptions from laws and taxes has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%.

I think this is true.  I am willing to believe that the top 0.01% of Americans have much if not all of the power and influence in this country.  Which, by the way, turns out to be about 32,243 people.  And we’re not really talking about people, we’re talking about families.  So it could be half that.

If the cost of 99.99% of us living like relative kings is having 16,000 of us live lives that we can only dream of?  Well, hell, I’m willing to pay that.

Don’t ever forget.  Ever.  That we have a life that would have been the envy of the richest people of the world just 50 years ago.  Imagine what the world’s wealthiest would have paid for what we now see as everyday convenience.