“We Are The 53%”

Can't say I disagree...

Can't say I disagree...

For every action, there’s an equal reaction — within + or -3%.  I suppose that would be an apt characterization of “We Are The 53%”, a Tumblr site started by a conservative blogger as a counterbalance to Occupation Wall Street’s “We Are The 99%“.

“We Are The 99%” tells individual stories of Wall Street protest supporters who consider themselves well and truly fucked by a system that seems vastly biased towards the insanely wealthy “1%”, while there’s nothing on their own increasingly-obscured-by-shitloads-of-debt horizons but the drudgery of low-paying dumbass McJobs and underwater mortgages.  Some of their stories are sad indeed; reading through the site, I got the panicky feeling of watching the sinking Titanic being bailed out with teaspoons.

“53%” is a number originating with that dicey but oft-quoted statistic about how 47% of Americans pay no taxes.  Presumably its use in this new context is meant to divide the “99%” between those who work and contribute to society and those who… don’t.  It’s a bit disingenuous, since many of those “occupying” Wall Street are protesting working for wages that have stagnanted or shrunk for decades while the cost of living spirals.  They’re protesting “a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago”:

Reading through the 53%’s stories, I found myself in frequent agreement with their feisty, independent attitudes and found some of their stories inspiring, but I couldn’t help feeling that they aren’t so different from the 99%.  They have the same mortgages underwater, the same 3 dipshit jobs being worked to make ends barely meet, the same mountains of debt.  The difference is, after they explain how fucked they are, they tell everyone else to stop whining.

If “the 53%” that pays its own way and contributes to society resents carrying the perceived burden of “the 47%” on its collective back, it seems logical that this would include corporate entities that put the arm on them after blowing up the economy with their own incompetence and malfeasance.  My takeaway from “We Are the 53%” was that if anyone should be on Wall Street with pitchforks and torches, it’s them.

2 Responses to ““We Are The 53%””


  1. 1 bazie Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    It is unfortunate that it gets spun this way because one of the best things about the Wall Street protests, in my view, is how fundamentally inclusive they are. Most other issues (abortion, unions, palestine, etc.) divide us and form sides between members of society. Doing the 53% line perpetuates this latter narrative of division and not the 99% narrative of unity.

  2. 2 sunsin Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Anyone who genuinely thinks that there is a single person in the US, or any other country, who pays NO taxes, is so stupid it’s a wonder they can still breathe without someone counting cadence for them. A quick primer on the tax system might be in order for these innocents.


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