By Kevin Boyle Posted December 14, 2011
Americans today are gripped by numbers that dominate our lives: What’s your social security number, driver’s license, Student ID, etc? All of which are used to identify us in everyday life. However, do you know what your percent is? How close to the 1% are you?
For weeks now the Occupy protests have been making the statement, “We are the 99%”. The group’s unofficial website says the purpose of protest is, ”Fight back against the corrosive power of the major banks and multinational corporation over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.” In so many words it means the bank and large corporations are to blame for the Great Recession, and Wall Street is the institution that allows them to operate.
The group has no official website, due to rifts already planted in the group. Also, there is no official size to the movement, many suspect the homeless for bolstering their presence in the center of cities. Critics of the movement have claimed that the movement cannot sustain itself without a strong leadership element. Which is one of the reasons supporters have remained on the fence about the topic.
Many do not know if they should support the protest, the reason being it has not been thoroughly explained, others because they simply do not agree, while others are not sure what their number is. Fortunately for those of us who remain confused, the “The Wall Street Journal” has made it easy for all of us to find our number. Visit http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you/ to find your percent.
In 2009, the average salary in Nevada’s mining industry was $78,700 plus benefits according to nevadamining.org which equates to 72%. Meaning a household in Winnemucca earning $78,700 would make more than 72% of other households in the US. You are in the top 28%…congratulations. This also would be a single-income household. If two people in the same household earn the average mining salary, the combined income is $157,400. That equates to the top 10% of household incomes in the US; right up there with A-Rod, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet, right? I for one rank in the 98% fully above 2% of the population…”not bad”.
This is the US and the income of our neighbors should be their business. Rather than being envious of what others have, let’s focus on what we have. Perhaps being more proactive about one’s own finances may yield better results protesting the system. If you want more, go out and get it. Do not expect it to be handed to you or taken from others. Lowering the percent of others does not increase your own. Is it not the American dream to make yourself a wealthy individual? Ask not what you can do to lower other’s percents; ask how you can improve your own.