Analyzing the Perception of the “1 Percent”

One of the reasons we are having Occupy Wall Street protests and backlash towards the “1 percent” is because the public doesn’t understand what it is like to have money. All they see when they hear about investment bankers and stock analysts is about the expensive cars, luxurious meals, and the near rock n’ roll lifestyle that those in the industry live.

No matter if they work for Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, Wall Street people are just doing what they do best – making money. Most of the protesters and critics are just jealous of the economic success and higher living conditions that the wealthy are able to provide for themselves.

While it is true that the financial workers enjoy the nicer things in life, they also work hard for it and have to make sacrifices. If the media were to report on some of the burdens that the job creator class face each day in America, the public’s response to the success may be different. The portrayal of the Wall Street worker as the Monopoly Guy or an evil Robber Baron is not just inaccurate, it is sort of a misleading propaganda tool.

The first thing the media likes to show is the devastation the rich have on the average American worker. They blame them for causing foreclosures on homes, outsourcing jobs to India, and making everyone’s credit score drop. The fact is that if people lived in homes that matched their means and didn’t use credit to purchase things they don’t need, they simply wouldn’t have to do those things. As for the jobs to India claim, most Americans feel they are above working in a call center or manufacturing parts for iPhones.

Another aspect of the rich life the media tends to exploit is the lavish lifestyle they supposedly live. Sure they may own fancy homes in Manhattan and Jaguars, but it is nothing compared to those who work in the entertainment industry. Some movie stars make over $20 million a film and the media reports this as another day at the office for them. Instead of pouncing on their outrageous demands and wasteful spending habits, the media gives these people reality TV shows and loads of free press for their projects.

Most of the people who work on Wall Street live a rather conservative lifestyle that is consistent with a sustainable earth. They also create jobs, foster innovation, and solve problems that most do not even know exist. If you are on the fence about the position of the wealthy in this country, do some research and find out what is really going on.

The popular philosphy in America is that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make something for yourself. By complaining about those who create jobs instead of taking offers and opportunities, the economy will not get fixed and may even remain stagnant for several more years.

 

Guest Post by Amanda

15 Responses to Analyzing the Perception of the “1 Percent”

  1. When did making money become an evil ideal? While I agree with the Occupy stance against corporate influence in government, the rest is beyond me.

  2. The financial industry is not a job creation engine. We need to fear when the industry that services job creators becomes such a large percentage of our GDP.

    Also, using the power of money to exert oligarchical influence on the government to preserve its monopoly is not American. Your blog did not highlight this.

  3. When government collects taxes to be used for the general welfare (socialism) the wealthy howl at the moon because that money is being pulled out of the economy when it could have been put to better use in private hands. When the six heirs of Sam Walton accumulate (pull out of the aconomy) and hoarde more money than the bottom 30% of America. You call it Free Market Capitalism. The wages of the capitalist created jobs have been flat for 40 years and their is really no evidence that tax cuts or capitalists create jobs anyway. If they did we would have full employment today since corporations are flush with cash, corporate taxes have never been lower and either have corporate taxes. There is plenty of evidence that consumers create demand and capitalists hire employees to fill that demand. There is also plenty of evidence that the failings of crony capitalism have made the government the largest employer with the best benefits. That being the case shouldn’t the capitalists who promise but don’deliver pick up the bill for the government that does? Why should crony capitalists be allowed to syphon off and hoarde money small business and government can used to create jobs, maintain and build, bridges and roads which create jobs, maintain and build a strong first responder system which creates jobs and maintain the military and corresponding technology which creates jobs, maintain and improve the education system which not only creates jobs, but in addition prepares our children for a competitive future. You must admit we can’t have the best Doctors. Lawyers, Scientists. and Universities if we did not alredy have the best system for public education on earth. Oh and by the way. Millions of ancillary businesses and jobs are created where ever and when ever government is operating. I give you K Street lobbying firms in Wahington D.C.as a prime example. I love your blog, but this one was simplistic and glib. Your better than this.

    • First thing is first, thank you for loving my blog I appreciate it, but I didn’t write this post.

      You are right, I would have done a better job, but I agree with the general message so I’ll go through your comment.

      I want to say off the bat you are angry and probably rightfully so, but your comment seems to be disjointed and hard to follow so I will just respond to what I can understand and then we can discuss from there.

      “When the six heirs of Sam Walton accumulate (pull out of the economy) and hoard more money than the bottom 30% of America. You call it Free Market Capitalism”
      – Joe, this doesn’t even make sense. DO you the 6 heirs are sitting on a pile of money or swimming in it like scrooge mcduck? No they have it working in the system right now. Even if it were in the banks just “sitting there” we have a fractional reserve system so the banks would be lending against it.

      “The wages of the capitalist created jobs have been flat for 40 years and their is really no evidence that tax cuts or capitalists create jobs anyway.”
      – Diverging reports yes, but NO evidence? that is just bullshit. It doesn’t work like a lever where if the taxes go down and so does unemployment there are a thousand other factors.

      “There is also plenty of evidence that the failings of crony capitalism have made the government the largest employer with the best benefits.”
      – I am not sure what this means. Are you saying that this is a good thing or bad?

      “Why should crony capitalists be allowed to syphon off and hoarde money small business and government can used to create jobs, maintain and build, bridges and roads which create jobs, maintain and build a strong first responder system which creates jobs and maintain the military and corresponding technology which creates jobs, maintain and improve the education system which not only creates jobs, but in addition prepares our children for a competitive future.”
      – Who are these crony capitalists? Are they in Washington or in the board rooms? If they are in Washington then wouldn’t it be fair to argue that increasing taxes would fund their “cronism” or do you just want to raise taxes on multinational corporations? Where is your line on too big of a corp or too rich of a person that we should ransack their horde?

      Lastly, it is our secondary education that is the best in the world. Our colleges educate the brightest minds from around the world, it is not our primary education.

      Again, thank you for commenting and loving my blog, for purposes of this discussion can we keep it to one point at a time so we can talk it out?

  4. Please explain how Wall Street operatives and hedge fund managers create jobs? These operatives create derivitave, paper profits. They manipulate; they do not create … anything. (Plus their personal income

    is taxed at cap gains rates – that is illogical and sucks.)

    Yes, I do begrudge those who create wealth at the expense of those who suffer. It is not honest. It is not compassionate. It is obnoxious. And, in the long run it will back fire, lead to revolution (cf Arab Spring). Who will be able or willing to perpetuate the consumer economy?

    • “Please explain how Wall Street operatives and hedge fund managers create jobs?”
      – They themselves have a job, then they employ how many analysts, traders, secretaries, assistants, etc.

      “Yes, I do begrudge those who create wealth at the expense of those who suffer. It is not honest. It is not compassionate. It is obnoxious.”
      – Do you assume that all hedge fund operators or creating wealth at the expense of someone else? Who is at the expense of? and please do give some cheesy answer of “the working American” lol

      • The ‘working American’ well me for one, my children, my husband, all of my colleagues …that’s who we are. We produce, don’t fabricate. And we pay taxes.

        So Evan, do you consider that a “cheesy answer”? We are the people who show up and do our work every single day. Do you denigrate that?

        Look at the tax code. Consider the definition of earned income vs cap gains. In logic, a hedge fund manager is earning income, just as I do, from ‘labor’ so why not be taxed as earned income? Be consistent.

        • Do you think that they don’t show up to work everyday? What do you, your children, your husband and colleagues do? I can tell you right now no one in my life produces anything tangible. I am an attorney at a financial planning firm, my wife sells paper products (middle man between people who do produce and those that need), mom is a nurse, dad sells bridal wholesale, one brother is an FDNY and the other is in school – weird none of them produce anything more than what a hedge fund director does.

          I may be a lot of things (an asshole often comes to mind) but one thing I am is consistent. I have never looked into that aspect of the tax code, but if they are paying just capital gains (and I’d be shocked if it were that cut and dry) then you should be angry at every politician you ever voted for…NOT THE PEOPLE FOLLOWING THE TAX RULES.

          That is my basic problem with OWS…they are all angry at the wrong people. BLAME THE GOV’T. BLAME EVERY SINGLE PRESIDENT STARTING WITH NIXON.

          Even St. Clinton who thought it was a good idea to push houses on minorities even if they couldn’t afford it, just because they were in fact minorities.

          I love talking about this stuff but you really have to calm down and put together coherent contentions, one at a time.

    • Great point Susan! This country would not be what it is without an efficient and transparent capital market. Having said that, I have a problem when markets are manipulated intentionally for the benefit of the few. High frequency trading, fraudulent stock ratings, the CDS mess, the list goes on. I’m reminded of a line by Gordan Gecko in Wallstreet – “If your not on the inside, your outside.”

  5. When hedge funds unleash a short attack on a company’s stock, you can bet the managers do not care about the individual lives they are destroying in the process.

    Wall Street is about money. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is the game is rigged in their favor.

    The average investor can be financially destoyed by the whim of a hedge fund manager. That is a major problem.

    When Hedge funds target commodities. It’s another example of Wall Street holding the rest of America by it’s short hairs. I don’t think they really care if the price of gasoline doubles. As long as they make their profit. they are not affected by their actions like so many Americans are.

    Now the Wall Street occupiers are nothing but a socialist extreme that should have never been given the proverbial bull horn, but to paint the elite on wall street as just a bunch of average every day working Americans is as dishonest as those hanging out in the parks.

  6. I agree with some of your points. The news only paints a small portion of the picture and it’s not just their fault that there are economic problems in the world but I disagree that most are jealous. In fact I know several people who have money (not super rich) are joining in the efforts to show support. I also know people that do it for the trend. I live in Union Square and see NYU students protesting. Ironically they are probably protesting their own parents. The truth is these 2 groups need representatives to talk to each other and just listen because (you are right) the economy might stay stagnant.

  7. Growing up, I admired people who “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps”. What the 99%ers have is called envy …which is a sin. Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money. There are many people who are rich, but benevolent. Don’t conservatives out give liberals in charity 3:1?

Leave a reply


− 1 = 7