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When protesters at Occupy Wall Street talk about the 1%, who exactly are they talking about? David Bettencourt, a history major at UMass Amherst, says that they are talking about the big businessmen and women that gain that millions through unfair means and controlling the population.
“I saw on the BBC an increase of 217% for the wealth of the top ten or twenty percent of the united states and the bottom twenty percent only gained an 18% increase in the past 30 years,” says David. “The thing they’re protesting is the extreme uneven distribution of wealth that has occurred due to administrations and the way corporations run themselves.”
According to David, the reason the 1% act unfairly is because the business techniques they use are unfair and ruthless. “Obviously they’re rich enough where they don’t have to care about wealth anymore,” says David, “Now they’re trying to do it to influence power.”
This blog post from CNN addresses the issue of who exactly counts as the 1%. It says that much of the one percent elite group can include salaries of $300,000 to $1,000,000 per year; much of which exists in the “securities industry in New York […] many of whom work only blocks from where protesters are gathering in Zuccotti Park.”