One percenter asks: "Have You Ever Heard of Anybody Great That's Come Out of the 99 Percent?"

A gentleman in a nice suit who's disgustedly watching an Occupy LA protest proudly identifies himself as "part of the one percent" and asks, "Have you ever heard of anybody great that's come out of the 99 percent?"

Proud One Percenter: "Have You Ever Heard of Anybody Great That's Come Out of the 99 Percent?" (VIDEO)


  1. So stupid it hardly deserves a response. Let’s not waste too much of our time explaining why this guy is a moronic asshole.

    1. The question was anyone who “came out of” the 99%, not who “currently is”.  They didn’t come from the wealthy 1%……they were raised in working-class/working-poor families. 

      1. Dude is going to find himself swinging from a lamp-post. Just sayin’

        Like Gene Kelly?

        Swingin´in the rain.

        1. Those with the most power, often have the most to lose.
          Those with the least power, have nothing to lose but themselves,
          and everything to gain.

    1. “Dude is going to find himself swinging from a lamp-post. Just sayin'”
      I nominate for greatness those who help achieve this.

  2. When he says “great” does he mean “wealthy?”  Because by definition, none.

    If he means “great” as in “of consequence,” then pretty much all of them were part of the 99%.  The lower part, where they were motivated to become great because they saw something that needed changing. 

    1. What he said was “come out of the 99%”. He didn’t say did they become great and stay part of the 99%.

      1. He wasn’t the Buddha then. He had been a renunciate for a dozen years. Shortly before his enlightenment, a milkmaid saw that he was starving, and gave him milk. Before he became the Buddha, he had to put both material wealth AND impoverishedness behind him. So, decidedly not a one percenter. He does have compassion for them though.

        1. If you have the ability to go back to your wealthy family and be a prince, you’re still a 1%er no matter how long you’ve lived in poverty. The thing about the 99% is that they don’t have those options.

    1. Actually, the Buddha came from the 1%. Then he abandoned it because it was worthless, meaningless, and all that attachment wasn’t working for him. Hmmm…

  3. Wow.  Maybe the real question is:  Has anyone born in the 1% ever done anything great?

    Many rich people did wind up doing great things, but most of them started off in the 99%.

    1. they started off in the 99% but most ended up in the 1%, not by sitting in wall street all day holding a sign of course.

      1. they started off in the 99% but most ended up in the 1%, not by sitting in wall street all day holding a sign of course.

        This may come as a shock to you but most people don’t go to political protests because they think it will make them rich or famous, they go because they believe in the importance of a social cause. How many people elevated themselves into the 1% organizing marches for women’s suffrage or civil rights?

        1. “How many people elevated themselves into the 1% organizing marches for women’s suffrage or civil rights?”

          Yes, but what great things have any women or black people ever done.
          (note that I say this because it has been said and is said, and it is exactly as ugly as this man’s limited, privileged, and ultimately WRONG statement. I don’t doubt that to this scumbag, those count as non-great things.)

  4. It’s no secret that people facing deprivation and/or dependency face more barriers to creation than people with privilege do. The classic argument being about the hypothetical “Judith Shakespeare,” and the million real “Judiths” who we hardly ever know about.

    It’s also true that some people have been able to overcome such barriers. For example, Joe Hill was a talented poet and musician. Harriet Tubman helped many others escape from slavery. Nikola Tesla invented much awesomeness, and practical things too.

    Let me guess: when people don’t overcome these barriers, this guy thinks it means only the super-rich ever create anything worthwhile; when people do overcome these barriers, this guy thinks it means that there are no barriers.

  5. He should have asked him for an example of somebody great who came out of the 1%.  It’s seems like people who inherit their wealth rather than build the empire themselves would be more likely to end up as the idle rich.  Conrad Hilton vs. Paris Hilton,  for example.

  6. this guys attitude is sooooooo normal…. the blown up jackass. I hope he can never enjoy the beatles again.

  7. I hear this shit all the time from a certain class of conservatives–the ones who think poor people are scum. Things like “Becoming rich is hard work” and “Poor people don’t make the world work” (which are exact quotes from this article on Bernard Goldberg’s site:

  8. In the good old days many people of consequence were from the wealthy. The most likely cause is that they were they only ones with the spare time on their hands and connections, and money to do some interesting things. Kind of hard to do with you are too busy scraping away a measly existence where your primary goal is to keep your family from starving to death.

    Also for those that like to brag about their businesses, not to take everything away from your arguments, but if daddy basically bought you a business that you managed to somehow not run into the ground, don’t act like you just solved cancer.

    1. QFW–

      if daddy basically bought you a business that you managed to somehow not run into the ground, don’t act like you just solved cancer.

  9. Did this guy just admit what I think he just admitted?  That in America there is NO upward mobility?  Wealth comes from wealth, and the classes are immutable?

    I would have thought that in another context, this very same douchebag would be bragging about he pulled himself up “from nothing,”  that is to say from the 99%.

    But he just copped to the fact that in America, class is destiny.

    Weird.  I wonder if he realized he just cracked out of turn.

    1. weird. I’m sure if you keep going following your logic you can conclude that guy is hitler or he killed his mother.

  10. Most truly great people of modern time have come from the 99%. I have a hard time thinking of anyone great coming from the top. People may have ended up among the 1% eventually, but as for starting there? Can’t think of 8…

  11. Louis Cukela was honorably discharged by the Army and later enlisted in the Marine Corps.  He served with the 66th Company, 1st Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment.

    Sergeant Cukela was twice awarded the Medal of Honor for action on the morning of July 18, 1918 near Villers-Cotterets, France during the Soissons engagement.   

    “He also won the Silver Star, the Médaille militaire, the Légion d’honneur in the rank of Chevalier, the Croix de guerre with two palms, another Croix de guerre with Silver Star, all by France; the Croce al Merito di Guerra by Italy; and Commander’s Cross of the Royal Order of the Crown of Yugoslavia. He also received three Second Division citations.”

    — Wikipedia

    He served a few days less than 32 years active duty in the Army and Marines.

  12. The chances are greater that people of world-moving importance or with great things to offer humanity will come out of 99% of the population, then 1% of it. That’s just statistics. And while we’re at it, “great” is as subjective as it gets. To anyone in the 1%, “great” no doubt entails the piling up of huge sums of cash and “valuables.”

  13. I can’t accept that amassing wealth is great. Greedy, yes, but not great by any worthwhile measure. Most teachers… most nurses… easily qualify as “great”.

  14. MOST of the 1% came from the 99%.
    That is what makes this guy’s comment stupid.
    But it is also what makes the OWS movement stupid.

    1. MOST of the 1% came from the 99%.

      Do you have a source for that claim? Last I checked the stats prospects for social mobility in the U.S. were pretty bad, especially toward the bottom end of the scale. It’s a helluva lot easier for a person born into the 1% to stay there than it is for someone else to claw their way up.

      1. I remember seeing an infographic that said that the US Congress make up half of the 1%; assuming the data based on that graphic was correct, then that sort of demonstrates the point.

        1. I remember seeing an infographic that said that the US Congress make up half of the 1%

          There are 300 million or so people in the US, so the 1% is about 3 million people. I’m not sure there are 1.5 million congressmen.

      2. I think it shouldn’t be 1% + 99%, it should be more like 5% + 15% + 20% + 30% + 10% + 10% + 9% + 1%

        There’s so many shades and probably a lot of mobility in all of them (doubt there’s any going up to the top 1% though). I wonder what’s the real % sector protesting, and that’s the problem I have with this movement, “we are the 99%”, no you’re not. You are part of the 99%, not the 99%, and the 99% isn’t all out there (yet) because they’re working and have bills to pay.

        I just hate the whole class divide this is creating, not good.

        If there’s a country where you can get at least into the top 50% it’s this. 

        When I see our bills come in and then I hear of people in third world countries making just $300 a year busting their ass cutting sugar cane on a field, barely having money to feed themselves (with poor quality food, let alone medical care, clean water, electricity) to keep being enslaved because they have no choice, I feel like I’m a 1%er being able to afford all the stupid shit we buy and pay for here.

        I also wonder, what if all the people in Zucotti park or where they are occupying, instead of being there, would come and say… hey, let’s make a list of all of our skills, let’s start a company, we’re all going to be equal share holders, let’s bring money in collectively. I bet they’d all do a lot more if they put their heads together than if they went out looking for jobs. So many man hours wasted.

        1. So because someone somewhere needs to work, nobody should protest injustice ever – because there’s likely someone who might be sympathetic to the cause but won’t be able to make it.


        2. There’s so many shades and probably a lot of mobility in all of them (doubt there’s any going up to the top 1% though). I wonder what’s the real % sector protesting, and that’s the problem I have with this movement, “we are the 99%”, no you’re not.

          Saying “we are the 99%” doesn’t imply that anyone absent from the protest isn’t. It’s a shorthand way of saying “we are part of the vast majority of Americans who aren’t wealthy, and we think the laws and economic systems should treat us more fairly instead of focusing on the needs of an economic minority.” But I suppose your idea of “we are the 5% + 15% + 20% + 30% + 10% + 10% + 9%” has a catchy ring to it too.

          If there’s a country where you can get at least into the top 50% it’s this.

          That’s the story we’ve been told but the stats don’t back it up. If you’re born into the bottom income bracket in the U.S. you are most likely going to spend the rest of your life there. If you want a developed country where people are statistically likely to get an opportunity to work their way up the food chain, try Sweden.

          1. true, you might not get wealthy, but over and over again, I’ve seen first hand how many immigrant friends come here with nothing, literally nothing, and 2 years later they have a roof over their heads, car, cellphone, food on their table, a decent living.

            I don’t see them complaining, they’re in freaking heaven compared to where they came from.

            Will they get rich? hopefully, being able to get to a normal life from nothing makes you think that nothing is impossible, therefore you keep trying and trying.

            There’s a lot of protesters out there that think that they’re entitled to have a job just because. The world is changing, less people will be needed for tasks that are being automated.

            Companies can now do way more with less people, however new professions are created as new startups bring about innovation, people just need to skate where the puck goes to, like Steve Jobs used to say.

        3. I’m sorry, did you say that this is “creating” a class divide?

          like, before these words were used, there was no class difference in America? Heh.

          also, do you know that the stuff you said about the people in Zucotti park, did you miss all of the multiple stories that that’s EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING IN THE FREAKING PARK. The library? the medical  tent? the kitchen? the meditation center? The supplies & logistics coordination? The classes? the workshops? the reading groups? the musical sessions? did you think those were set up by the government? no, what happenes when people get together and, say, make a list of all our skills and organize to get stuff done, without doing it for money – then the government sends teargas and tanks.

          1. that’s pretty awesome that they’re doing all that. However, I wonder how powerful they’d be if instead of whining to the system they tried to beat the system at its own game.

            And yes, it’s not creating a class divide (the class divide is clearly there already), I just don’t hope the movement will end up creating nothing but an environment of hate and resent from the poor vs the “rich”. At least now, you can have people of all walks of life in a city like NY riding the MTA without wanting to kill each other.

            All I’m saying is that there’s probably more effective ways than occupying a space to make a better living. There’s a lot of smart people there together, what I’d love to see in my dream world would be those guys turning all their efforts into becoming 1%ers themselves and then lobbying for what they believe, I think that would get them a lot further. Sadly this is an utopia, since most people there probably have a “I’m supposed to have a job” mentality, and if they were entrepreneurs, they wouldn’t certainly be there wasting time, they’d be making their own companies… but it’s cool to dream of getting all this people to build something powerful, I’m sure they could.

            All they’re really going to achieve by this route will eventually be violence, which could be brought about by infiltrated people that aren’t really part of the movement and who may have a very different agenda.

            I don’t know, I’m just babbling at this point, hope some part of my idea gets across.

            There’s no need to be in the cold, taking a beating, or getting arrested, there’s gotta be way smarter ways to bring about change than occupying and wasting so much time, specially with the information and technology tools we have available now.

          2. …there’s gotta be way smarter ways to bring about change…

            Don’t let us stop you from listing them.

          3. Your idea is that the people who were camped in Zuccotti Park get together to form a company (doesn’t really matter what the company does, I guess). I agree that there is no doubt that they could be fairly successful, and they would all make decent livings.

            So… that’s a few hundred people whose problems are solved. Have we really gotten anywhere?

            There’s really very little chance of such a company succeeding so much that they would have the financial power to lobby, at least to the extent of affecting any real change.

            They’re in a much more powerful position now, even if they do nothing more than cause people to talk about these issues.

            This is beating the system at its own game! Changing what people are talking and thinking about nationally is hugely powerful, politically.

            When was the last time you heard someone discussing a so-called political issue that we all know is really just a distraction (i.e. stem-cell research, gays destroying family values, or whatever conservative bullshit of the day it is), unless of course you’ve been watching Fox News?

            To be clear, I think your idea of getting groups of smart but unemployed people (who don’t necessarily know each other beforehand) together to start small businesses is a great idea. As an unemployed smart person, I’d be all over that.

            But we’ll still need people to focus the attention of the general population on the right issues, and until occupying city parks becomes inaffective it seems like a pretty good way to do that.

          4. thanks for that response, it was quite pleasant to read and feel your vibe.

            It’s indeed very powerful to catch the attention of the entire world they way they have, I remember the first weekend which didn’t get any media coverage except for us on twitter, google+, youtube, ustream…

            who knows, maybe they can use the kind of attention they have now to start a brand “#occupy”, that alone could get far.

            like you say what the company does is not important, I just see a powerful brand doing lots of different things. Usually when you look at the numbers of public companies, and the number of employees, most people would be making hundreds of thousands a year if profits were distributed equally across entire organizations, but the reality now is CEOs getting multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses, and firing a lot of people to lower costs, which is probably fair because it’s their companies and they run them however they want.

            However, I think these people would probably be up for that kind of experiment. We all own the brand, we all own the profits. But in reality, again, it will not pass, there will be always people that will actually contribute more to the whole and who will feel that they deserve more. I just think that if my utopian company could exist, the individuals that joined the company with new products would probably have a bigger chance of succeeding than if they did it on their own.

            it’s so easy to dream.

          5. “There’s a lot of smart people there together, what I’d love to see in my dream world would be those guys turning all their efforts into becoming 1%ers themselves and then lobbying for what they believe, I think that would get them a lot further.”

            Yes they can just become rich then use their new-found wealth and power to make it possible to become rich when previously poor. 
            Problem solved. 

      3. “According to the [Treasury] report, which tracked taxpayers from 1996 to 2005, just 40.3% of those in the top 1% in 1996 remained there nine years later.”

        That means that in just 9 years 40% of the 1% had been replaced by people from the lower 99%. Over the course of a generation it is probably over 70%. Most CEO, professional sports stars, Hollywood types, hedge fund managers, Hi-tech tycoons that make up the 1% did not come from families in the 1%.

    2. Actually, the point is that we are becoming a society with extremely limited mobility, more similar to feudal Europe than a democratic republic of the 20th century.  The 99%, when not being oppressed and starved of opportunity, created the most beautiful works of commerce and art, and generated a broad-based prosperity never seen in history prior to the mid-20th century.  Our slide into neo-feudalism is taking all that away in favor of a neo-aristocratic blue-blooded society of mediocrities that create nothing real and spend their days finding ways to extract more rents from the 99%.  Think of the economic stagnation of Europe before the modern era — that is where we are headed with a debt-based society of slaves and masters.  The irony is that even during the renaissance era the great artists and composers were almost all from the 99%.  And in the 20th century we experienced a creative explosion in the arts and technology that has made prosperity available to most — except for that little problem of massive debt and what I call the “primacy of debt” (placing debt repayment above human rights).  The government used to create much of our money — now it is almost solely created by banks issuing loans with ever-increasing interest rates.  Speculation causes commodities inflation that starves millions, while wages and incomes stagnate and collapse.  The problem with your notion that “most of the 1% came from the 99%” is that this is becoming less and less true.  It is also sloppy thinking to equate this guy’s ignorant, self-serving comments with the OWS movement who have a real grievance against the cheating and thievery that exists among the 1% these days (see:  NY Times for how billionaires avoid paying almost all taxes, and the biggest creditor fraud and banking crisis in history leading to bailouts of the 1% by the 99%, while the 99% continue to suffer with no bailouts for them).  If you are part of the 1% and you do not acknowledge the problems with our every-increasingly unequal society, then I don’t care where you came from, the 1% or the 99%, you are part of the problem NOW.

      1. “the point about the 1% is there should not be a 1%”

        Not to be pedantic, (nor pretend to be a mathematician), but there will always be a 1%.
        Just sayin’…

    3. I’d have respectfully disagree and say that most of the 1% came from the 1%. It should be the way you said though…

  15. Let’s try this, some rich guy: What did you do that was so “great” to get where you are today? Make anything? Have a terrific idea? Come up with a scientific breakthrough?

    My guess is that you bought and/or sold a bunch of stuff (possibly stuff that is in a tangible sense non-existent), worked a lot of long hours (for which you remain proud and don’t wonder what else you might have done with that time), and “hustled,” perhaps using military metaphors to aggrandize what you were doing to yourself and others.

    If you were Bill Gates, or Carl Sagan, or Paul McCartney, maybe people would understand your bloated sense of self-worth. But you don’t seem like anybody remarkable to me.

  16. a lot of the greats from the 99% died as members of the 99% but they were mostly artists which makes them, inherently, useless.

  17. Other than artists, I think almost all the people we could agree are “great” did something to move the status quo. (Artistic and athletic greatness are harder to pin down, IMO.)  What incentive do 1%ers have to shake things up? It’s the status quo that keeps them up there.

  18. He really should have said “Jesus” just to shut him the fuck up.  And I LOVE that one of your tags for this is “Christ what an asshole”

    1. He really should have said “Jesus” just to shut him the fuck up.

      The Beatles are bigger than Jesus.

  19. There is, unsurprisingly, a website on The Beatles wealth going from when they were a skiffle band to all the way to Apple Corps.

    I think they went from 99% to 1% rather quickly, but went back and forth on what it means to be wealthy:

    How Does a Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This by
    Maureen Cleave. London Evening Standard, March 4 1966.

    ‘I want the money just to be rich. The only other way of getting it is to be born rich. If you have money, that’s power without having to be powerful.

    I often think that it’s all a big conspiracy, that the winners are the Government and people like us who’ve got the money. That joke about keeping the workers ignorant is still true; that’s what they said about the Tories and the landowners and that;  then Labour were meant to educate the workers but they don’t seem to be doing that any more.’

    He has a morbid horror of stupid people: ‘Famous and loaded as I am, I still have to meet soft people. It often comes into my mind that I’m not really rich. There are really rich people but I don’t know where they are.’

  20. Well, most scientists would be the good obvious examples. All those people who discover those nice medical treatments that save lives? Yeah the surgeons and some of the other doctors might be in the 1% often, but the people slaving away in the labs damn well aren’t. 

    1. Actually, surgeons and doctors generally don’t make it into the 1%.  Essentially, if you’ve worked for your money, you haven’t made it into the 1% – only financial dealings can get you into that bracket.  If you have a really successful practice and sell it for a bunch of money, for instance, or some other high-money exit strategy, then sure, but just actually doing something productive and getting paid for it is a loser’s game.

      1. The top 1% makes on the order of $350,000 yearly. (source – ).  This is in the upper range of what surgeons make according to I suspect that most of those high income surgeons are surgeons who focus on plastic surgery. I agree that most doctors and surgeons won’t make it into the 1%. 

  21. Nice suit? It’s alright, I guess, but It’s shiny and poorly fitting. I’m a struggling freelance journalist, and my suit is a hell of a lot nicer than that.

    1. Nice suit? It’s alright, I guess, but It’s shiny and poorly fitting.

      Cory was talking about the human suit worn by the creature in the video. It’s actually pretty lifelike, and you can barely see the horns underneath.

      1. Who says that wasn’t the suit I was talking about? After all, considering I’m a journalist – despite that I work my guts out to be one of the good ones – there are some people who would think of me in much the same way.

  22. Clearly a Hitchhikers Guide fan: “Lots of people became extremely rich. But this was perfectly natural and nothing to get upset about, as no one was really poor – at least, no one worth mentioning.”

    1. Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word “great” that I wasn’t previously aware of.

      -Arthur Dent

  23. Honestly, most people I can think that I consider great came from the 99%.  I’m hard pressed to think of someone who deserves to be called great who came from the 1%.  You could argue Bill Gates, as he’s really doing great works now.  There are others but they’re the exception in the pantheon of greatness.

      1. Bill Gates didn’t *come* from the 1%.

        Actually he did. His father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of a national bank, and his grandfather was a bank president. He attended exclusive prep schools and had access to computers by the time he was 13 (a big deal in the 1960s). Gates certainly made good use of the opportunities he had but he’s not exactly a “rags to riches” story. More like “riches to fantabulous, nigh-unimaginable riches.”

    1. Bill Gates didn’t come from the 1%. He came from the 99% – totally disproving this man in the video’s viewpoint and the viewpoint of OWS.

  24. I have a harder time naming anyone great who came out of the 1%.  Rich people- easy- great people?  not so much.

    I think that’s a function of most of the 1% being centered on extracting value rather than creating it.

  25. Wasn’t there a motorized fringe group owning the 1% ™ ?
    In the old days they used to be kind of hypersensitive when they smelled an abuse of  their precious names and symbols.

    Where  the hell are theses guys when you need them?

  26. Edison…whose inventions have led to the technology that many 1%ers have used to create/augment their own wealth.

  27. Dollars to donuts that rich man came from the 99 originally.  Also, cameraman= possible troll. 

    Yeah, I know.  Lamp-pole dance.

  28. Geez, this is like shooting fish in a barrel….
    The question this planaria poses is as relevant to the situation as any possible answer, in spite of the fact that it is, truly, our duty to restate the obvious, which is that elites (I concur with most sociologists on <5% of the population comprising that group which retains actual control over resources, financial institutions and means of production….) have, since well before recorded history, attained and retained their power, prestige and privilege mostly at the expense of the remainder of any given population. This phenomenon seems to pervade all societies at all times, with the Northweast Kwakiutl and their Potlatch ceremony one of very few notable variations on the theme of domination and exploitation. 
    That freedom of speech allows this buffoon to utter his nonsense discredits those of the 1% who hold no enmity towards the rest of us is no excuse, other than alerting the alert to the need to ready the guillotines, since this is only one blathering away from "let them eat cake", the signal to those of the 99% who perform the 1 %'s thuggery (God, I loved the look on the faces of those uniformed clowns at UC Davis, when they realized how surrounded they were…..) to begin the current form of "the final solution".
    The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this may indeed be so.

  29. Jesus Christ.  Abraham Lincoln.  

    Oh this is just stupid.  This guy is a moron.  No need to respond at all.  The question is ridiculous on its face.  

    How many really great people came out of the economic top 1% would be a better question.  Royalty has almost always been in the top 1% and they’re a bunch of inbred cretins.  This guy is probably in the top 1% and he has so little self-awareness that he’s barely alive.

    I think that the growing awareness that the very rich have been waging a class war against us is one of the best things that has happened to society.  I actually believe that class consciousness and even class warfare can be very positive when you’re supposed to be living in a society that claims to value everyone and is built on the assumption that all are created equal.  

    It’s good to be able to point out that someone has broken the social contract, and it sure ain’t us.

  30. We need to find out this man’s name.  He deserves to be famous for his remarks, the way Lt Pike has become famous for his actions.

    I’m not talking about any sort of retribution, just making him own his odious opinions.  

    1. Very good question. I have been scrolling through the comments looking for someone to raise this very question. Given the location and time of recording someone in the vicinity knows and would like to out this guy. No longer anonymous, he would be forced to admit to many of his 1% and 99% friends and family that he was obviously just kidding. Of course other 1% and 99% friends and family of his would slap him on the back and congratulate him for having the balls to say what they believe. 

  31. I hope this video goes viral and this “gentleman” gets revealed becoming the poster child for everything that’s wrong with this country. I’d also like to pepper spray 1% across his face.

  32. Siddhartha did not at all have that option open to him when he became the Buddha. His family was no longer in control and he had cavorted outside of his caste. Really a great example for 1%ers, want to achieve greatness? Step 1: Forswear your titles and give away your wealth.

  33. One person who would have been in the 1% was Charles Darwin.  His father was a financier and his mother was born a Wedgewood.  However, he was expected to go to medical school and make his own way (though with a lot of family backing).

    I doubt this clown would have a high regard for Darwin, though.  Except the part about Social Darwinism, which Charles Darwin would have nothing to do with.

  34. Vanderbilt, Hearst, Jobs, Gates just to name a few that through out history BECAME the 1% and continue to be for generations. BUT they certainly didn’t start there. But now they are a given that they are the 1%. How about the defacto GOP hero – Ronald Regan? 

  35. Clearly it was a question he didn’t actually want answered, because (as others have pointed out here) the vast majority of  truly great people came from the 99%.

    In fact, I’m having a harder time trying to think of “great” people who came from the 1% whose “greatness” wasn’t dependent on their wealth.  I mean, was Louis XIV a great man for something other than the status he was born into?  Even those monarchs who earned “The Great” after their names (Peter, Frederick, Catherine) were simply competent at their “job”, at least when compared to a lot of other monarchs.  I could be a pretty good king, let me try for a while.

  36. Lessee:

    Michael Faraday (bookbinder’s apprentice).

    D. H. Lawrence (son of a miner).

    Dylan Thomas (son of a public school English teacher).

    Charles Dickens (whose father did time in a debtor’s prison)

    Albert Einstein (son of a failed engineer who bet on DC electrification)

    Richard Feynman (father failed at a number of types of business)

    Martin Luther King, Jr. (son of a preacher man)

    Abraham Lincoln (s0n of a frontier farmer, born in a one room log cabin).

    Jesus Christ (carpenter’s son)

    Muhammed (orphan and sometime shepherd)

    This could go on for a while. But I’d place any of the above higher in importance than the jackass in that video.

  37. Jesus was a 99%er and the right wing base believes he was the one perfect human. In fact they elevate him to god status. Hows that for 99er greatness. I think this guy has about the same chances of getting to meet Jesus as a rich man has of getting into heaven. oh, right, it’s the same thing.

  38. Steve Jobs, adopted by working class parents who could hardly afford to send him to college (which he dropped out of anyway) but still went on to co-found one of the world’s wealthiest corporations, would have been very surprised to hear this.

    But why am I even citing facts? Clearly this douche is used to spouting the most inane and absurd bullshit which his grovelers treat like diamonds.

  39. Is it OK for the Beatles to be in the 1%? It’s a curious example for the OWS guy to give. They’re not exactly known for their restrained lifestyles.
    The whole 99% slogan is daft. Simple maths tells you it’s just an artefact that can’t be eradicated, and just sounds like a legitimisation of envy. Surely what matters is whether you deserve to be in the 1%? If you’re a reckless banker bailed out by taxpayers, perhaps not, if you’re a Beatle, perhaps the calculation should be different?

    1. The whole 99% slogan is daft. Simple maths tells you it’s just an artefact that can’t be eradicated, and just sounds like a legitimisation of envy. Surely what matters is whether you deserve to be in the 1%?

      The point of the slogan isn’t that it’s bad to be in the 1% or that we should be trying to eliminate the 1%. The point is that 99% of all people will ALWAYS be in the bottom 99% so we shouldn’t be supporting economic policies which treat the people at the top like they are the only ones who matter.

      1. The point – which has become lost in this comment thread – is the DISPARITY between the 99% and the 1%. It’s not about blind jealousy of the richest of the rich, it’s that this top echelon is so far removed from the rest while insisting that they shouldn’t have to pay a higher tax rate because they’re ‘job creators’ – or, rather, because they have so much wealth. This disparity also means that it’s not necessarily valid to look for historical precedents of who was in the 1%, because the implications of 1% have changed over time.

  40. I’ll tell you what, I don’t really sympathize too much with these protests (though I do a little.)  But recently my family had a long weekend at a little seaside town a couple hours away, and we took a walk through the local boatyard.  Another man and his family showed up and met a broker in the yard.  It was clear that they were there to either select or finalize a deal on a [pricey] boat.  The man beamed and said to one of his sons, “Welcome to the 1/10th of 1%!”  I found that completely disgusting.  

    There is a huge difference between being proud of one’s success and gloating about one’s success.

    Plus, the guy in this clip is factually wrong, as “the 1%” is defined by income alone.

  41. Tons of great people come from the 99%.  No need to list them all here.  Of course, some of them become so successful it propels them into the 1%.  The 1%ers tend to forget that, which isn’t surprising.

  42. > what did Jesus do again?

    He convinced a barbaric world that the way they treated each other was unacceptably cruel and evil. He did it using metaphors the people of the time would understand and believe. He probably believed it himself, but that is irrelevant to his accomplishments.

    1. “He convinced a barbaric world that the way they treated each other was unacceptably cruel and evil”
      Um, I guess it didn’t stick then.

  43. If the 1%ers are those who make over $380,000 a year, why is everyone acting like they’re all millionaires and billionaires? This notion of “so far removed” – huh? Somebody who makes $300,000 is in the 99%. Is that so far removed? Really? I get that “1% / 99%” is a slogan. But in real life, it’s a ridiculous notion that the US is Breadlines vs Monopoly Man. It’s a slogan. It’s caught on. That’s good. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have a middle class out there.

    B-spore: The bottom 99%? The BOTTOM 99%? There’s a bottom all right, but it’s not 99% of the population. You know better. It’s a distortion of the true poverty level in this country. And it isn’t 99% of the country.

    1. The BOTTOM 99%? There’s a bottom all right, but it’s not 99% of the population. You know better. It’s a distortion of the true poverty level in this country.

      Read my comment again. I didn’t say the bottom 99% were all in poverty, I said their political and economic interests are under-represented compared to the interests of people in the top 1%. Frankly I have a hard time understanding how that could even be a controversial opinion.

      1. True, you didn’t. When I think of any percent of people being the “bottom” in this country, I think of the bottom 15% of our population in poverty. My bad.

  44. This is an excellent question:  Are the Beatles in the 99%.  Since the Occupy movement has not clearly defined who is in the “99%” besides non-bankers, we’ll go with what Obama categorizes as rich:  those who make $200,000 or more a year.  The Beatles probably hit that with their second album, so they spent the vast majority of their lives in the 1%.  The question, designed as a “gotcha” for the suits, is simply wrong.  The Beatles have been in the “1%” longer than most of the “99%” been alive.
    Class envy and class warfare ain’t the way to nirvana, folks.  Think of something to do, something that you are good at, and start doing it.  Like writing science fiction and starting a blog.

    1. Since the Occupy movement has not clearly defined who is in the “99%” besides non-bankers…

      Yes it has. The “99%” is anyone who controls less wealth than the richest 1% of the population does. Further, few in the Occupy movement categorically state that the top 1% are all evil bastards. As a group they may not have more evil bastards than any other segment of the population, but that’s not the point. The point is that their interests are over-represented.

  45. Dude says: “I’m part of the 1 that’s makin’ it so that these people here can git something from the government.” 

    Much obliged, Mister.  Wait, wait, I thought that one whole issue here is that the 99% are bearing more of the brunt in taxes so that the 1% can ‘git’ something from the government.  Like tax breaks.  Like bail-outs.  Also, it bugs me even more when the super-rich aren’t even dapper, eccentric and aristocratic. I think this US- style shlepper-rich attitude is beyond cocky.  “Look world, I don’t even have to have any social graces!” – but what’s worse is that it makes it look like these people were only recently standing in line at your local Arby’s in cargo shorts with a cell-phone holster and then – POOF! – became mega-rich because the American Dream came true for me and can come true for you, too.     

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