If history is any guide, the sentiments behind Occupy will find their way into the political process, just as the anti-Vietnam movement helped create Eugene McCarthy’s presidential bid in 1968, and the civil-rights movement bred politicians like Andrew Young, Tom Bradley, and Jesse Jackson. That’s especially likely because Occupy’s message enjoys significant support among the young. A November 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that while Americans over 30 opposed Occupy’s goals by close to 20 points, Millennials supported them by 12.
Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign offers a glimpse into what an Occupy-inspired challenge to Clintonism might look like.
Democrats in New York are more liberal than Democrats nationally. Still, the right presidential candidate, following de Blasio’s model, could seriously challenge Hillary Clinton.
New statistics show an ever-more-startling divergence between the fortunes of the wealthy and everybody else — and the desperate need to address this wrenching problem. Even in a country that sometimes seems inured to income inequality, these takeaways are truly stunning.
In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.
The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation.
Matt Romney, Mitt Romney’s son
Sadly, only 1 percent of people can be the wealthiest 1 percent, hence the “1 percent” part. More Republican nonsense about everyone being rich. It’s never going to happen.
Sachs is an economist and bestselling author from Columbia University who has spent decades assisting the economies of poor and developing countries. Long an advocate of increased development aid, Sachs is also a passionate defender of the Occupy movement (his most recent book, The Price of Civilization, is a must read).
I had the pleasure of briefly meeting him at a protest in New York last October (I also shot a little interview of him discussing money in politics). For what it’s worth, I wholeheartedly support Sachs becoming the next World Bank president. Below is an excerpt from his Washington Post op-ed, published yesterday:
Unlike previous World Bank presidents, I don’t come from Wall Street or U.S. politics. I am a practitioner of economic development, a scholar and a writer. My track record is to side with the poor and hungry, not with a corporate balance sheet or a government.