The message of the Occupy Wall Street protests

While police in various parts of the U.S. are pepper spraying 84-year-old women and using sound cannons designed for wartime combat on non-violent 99% protesters, here’s a video explainer on what the Occupy Wall Street protests are all about from the Guardian:

Is it really 99% v 1%? It has become the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement – and the Occupy protests around the world. But is it true?

This is the data behind this animation, produced by Guardian interactive designer Mariana Santos. And that data does show some people have done better out of America’s economic booms of the last 20 years than others – as this report from the Congressional Budget Office shows too.

When Americans are asked how US wealth is distributed, they think the very richest fifth should own up to 40% of the national wealth – and that includes 90% of Republicans surveyed. In fact, that richest group owns 85% of the nation’s wealth. Those surveyed also thought the bottom 120 million people should own around 10% of the national wealth. The reality: 0.3%

Go to the Guardian link for more details, including an interactive map of poverty levels in various states.

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