“They are the 99%, or at least they used to be.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 4, 2011
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Occupy these United States of America!

Brief contextual explanation: “The 99%” is an expression that’s arisen around the Occupy Wall Street (and now Occupy-a-town-near-you—the protests have spread everywhere—to describe you and I and you and you and your best friends. Republicans have refused to raise taxes on the 1%, as Warren Buffet famously noted a month ago (President Obama is now pushing a hopeless bill called the Buffet rule) that he pays half the taxes, by percentage, that his assistant does. ~ ed.


Via Reddit (where the upvoted comments are wellll worth the read. Plus, links for sources):

“Let this image sink in. This sh*t is important. No, this is the most pressing issue of our generation…”


“…I am tired of the drivel going back and forth about not having a good job or being unemployed, and “Boo-hoo, I succeeded and so can you so stop whining.” If we don’t realize that the 99% represents the entire working class who are regularly screwed out of decent wages and health benefits from their employer, denied coverage from their insurance company, live paycheck to paycheck even though they live within their means with a “well-paying” job and college degree, are denied proper, well funded education and healthcare, are charged up the ASS for medicines they may need to survive, carry the workload of three different job titles, but only receive one paycheck, are losing their homes only 60 days after receiving a notice to foreclose (in some states), ETC, all to make the 1% (WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY ABOVE THE LAW) richer, then the cause is already lost…”


Yeah, a lot of the people who are “protesting the protesters” are usually one family illness away from bankruptcy, or one paperwork mistake away from losing their house and all of its “equity.”

If you’re not a multi-billionaire, you’re the 99% too.


I know- my father-in-law makes $80k a year. Which is good money. Then on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, some jackweed rear-ends him going 60mph on a 45mph road while my father-in-law is at a dead stop. Dude said, “I was just distracted for a few minutes.”

Flash forward- insurance paid just enough to cover most of his medical bills. And that is it. He lost months of work, had 3 brain surgeries, and is still coping with related issues two years later. He may lose his house and he is still working… just because the insurance companies wiggled out of spending anything beyond the bare minimum they were required to. He works for a HUGE company- they let his work pile up for months then dumped it on him as soon as he got back- with a plate in his head. He complained that he wasn’t 100% yet and so he’d like them to give him some slack- they then tell him he has to leave work and he can’t comeback until a neurologist write a letter saying he is fit for work even though he has some brain damage.


True there was a time (between WWII and the 80’s) when the average CEO made around 30 times their average employee rather than 300 times. When worker proficiency was actually lower and people worked less hours. That people were able to afford more things and pay for school without going into huge debt.

It’d be easy to look at the facts and blame the change in living standards on corporate greed and our focus on supply side economics since the 80’s.

Dozens/hundreds of other great comments on Reddit.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to ““They are the 99%, or at least they used to be.””

  1. Sara says:

    Fuck yes. Thank you elephant journal. This is real

  2. Dat's right, Brotha. Poli-Corporate takeover of democracy.and almost all the power (energy) from the people. Period. Just enough to spend on their crap. Not one cent more.

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