Tag Archives: 99 percent

Are we really 99 percent?

By Robin Hahnel, Contributing Columnist

In a posting on ZNet on Nov. 21 Michael Albert argued that “we” are not really 99 percent. “When occupiers and critics alike say, we love the creative innovation embodied in the 99 percent slogan, I worry. Does saying we are the 99 percent obscure more than it reveals?” Albert went on to argue that if we don’t give “serious attention” to differences among the 99 percent — differences between roughly 19 percent who monopolize empowering tasks, supervise others, and enjoy relatively generous compensation, and the remaining 79 percent who work for much less pay carrying out orders issued by these “coordinators” — the Occupy movement runs the risk of being hijacked by a minority within its ranks.

On the other hand, in his column in the New York Times on Nov. 24 Paul Krugman argued that a careful look at the data reveals that “we” are actually 99.9 percent because it is actually the top 0.1 percent who have appropriated the lion’s share of the productivity gains of all of us over the past thirty years. “We are the 99 percent is a great slogan…. 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.” Continue reading

Occupy Portland, Jobs With Justice to bridge Portland, Vancouver

Occupy Portland activists say they will be joining with Jobs With Justice in a joint march across the Interstate 5 bridge tomorrow to “connect struggles on two sides of the river.”

Like similar marches, the event is being billed as Portland and Vancouver Rising in support of union campaigns and in defense of safety net services, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Those programs are all under the threat of cuts by the so-called Congressional “Super Committee” in Washington D.C. as it sorts out federal spending. In particular the event is pointing a finger at Wash. Sen. Patty Murray, co-chair of the committee, and demanding those programs be preserved intact. From the Jobs With Justice organizers:

“The times have been changing in the last weeks. The occupations of Wall St., Portland, and other places are highlighting the fact that there are plenty of resources in our society – it is just that the 1% is grabbing all this abundance for themselves. At the very least, we have enough resources for good jobs for all and an enhanced safety net! Join us! This is a great time to come out and help make the changes we need.”

People at Occupy Portland have said they intend to join the march in solidarity with people struggling with unemployment and homelessness. Staging for the march begins at 11 a.m. Here are the details from Jobs With Justice:

Portland meeting place: We will meet at the field just off of Northbound I-5 Exit 308. The field is on the East side of I-5, between the highway and Taco Bell. Parking is available on N. Jantzen Street. and other side streets. The #6 Tri-Met bus stops at N. Jantzen St.

– Esther Short Park is at West 6th and Esther Streets in Downtown Vancouver.

Posted by Joanne Zuhl