We Are the 1 Percent, Say a Few People

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In response to the tactics of Occupy Wall Street, which self-professed "Capitalist Pig" Jonathan Hoenig described in SmartMoney earlier this week as a mob using force and intimidation to achieve their collectivist goals -- he bases this on Merriam-Webster's third definition of "occupy": "to take or hold possession or control of " (the first is "to engage the attention or energies of") -- a small group of Chicago traders have hung signs in the windows of their office building saying "We are the 1%."

Now that we've identified ourselves, sort of, what does this mean? Well, Hoenig's piece goes on to say that the protests are rather sad, and that "the dreadlocked bands of youth camping out in New York's Zuccotti Park, however, are hardly Freedom Riders." He continues,

And while it would be easy to write off these so-called protests as diffuse expressions of general twentysomething malaise, as they have grown, they have developed into something more dangerous: Organizing and promoting an "occupation" distinguishes this effort as that of a mob...

For more than two weeks they've camped out in front of the Chicago Board of Trade and other financial centers, banging drums, barking demands and disrupting people working in neighboring offices.

Capitalism, the system "Occupy Wall Street" so feverishly wants to bury, operates on the principle of voluntary trade, not occupation and threat. Capitalism treats men not as sacrifices for the public good, but as independent individuals with their own lives. From the professional on the trading floor to the kid selling lemonade, investors know that if you want something from someone else, you can't simply demand it by occupation, you have to trade for it, just as others must trade with you.

That's the justice protestors are seeking to destroy.

Hoenig, for his part, is the managing member of a private investment partnership and a former floor trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. Along with that, he trades in "American Capitalist" and "Capitalist Pig" T-shirts, a book entitled Greed Is Good, and Nazi Reichsmark coins, among other items available for purchase on his site. "Shipped with excerpts from Leonard Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels, each authentic Reichsmark coin contains 5 grams of silver and serves as a foreboding reminder of the dangerous evil of sacrifice for 'the public good,'" he writes.

So maybe this highlights exactly the problem we're in -- two different languages, two very different sets of desires and expectations. Investors know (or at least, we're assuming they do) that in order to actually trade anything, each party has to have something the other wants. Here we are with a backdrop of the biggest Occupy Wall Street march yet, set to begin in minutes. But will Occupy Wall Street be anything more than an annoyance, to be blocked out with construction paper signs and angry-yet-maybe-kinda-scared editorials, to the 1 percent? Or do the signs and editorials mean that it already is?

Board of Trade has a message for Occupy Chicago [Chicagoist]
Occupy Wall Street: A Sad Display [SmartMoney]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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29 comments
Tiffanyrn
Tiffanyrn

I'm writing a feature that gives voice to those who feel they have been affected negatively by the occupation movements. Whether you feel unfairly victimised or you can't get into work because there are campers outside, i'd like to hear your story.Please note, the feature is not a political one and I will not be discussing what I do or don't agree with. The feature is to make sure that everyone's voice is out there.Contact tiffanyrn@hotmail.co.uk asap.

 stephanie laur
stephanie laur

Ok, I'm at the pervibial end of my life's rope.  Dont get me wrong, I still have my faith and hope that things will change but I have had all I can take really.   Public policy and laws on the current books and bad choices on our part have put us in a situation that I am not sure we will ever be able to recover from.  

I'm asking that you use your money, power and influncive power to cause true reform.  It's great that you all want to pay your share of the taxes, however, most of us won't be helped by this movement.  We need reform of the laws that allow us to be stripped of what we work so hard for.  A home, the ability to pay our bills and put food on the table.  Also, I would be interested in seeing the formation of a coalition of you that would take a family or two at a time and using financial assistance, education, and counseling to help us get out of the situations that got us where we are now.  ie:  habitat for humanity they give their participants a hand up.  That model works well for housing.  I believe it could be translated into a program to create financial reform for us.  Most of us grew up in poverty or somewhere close to it.  We didn't learn how to handle our money so when we got in families, we just do what we can, take care of one issue and hope the other one will wait.  We have never had credit cards or car payments.  Just medical debt along with the following housing issues.

After years of each of us being in seperate dysfunctional abusive relationships with similar circumstances, we found each other through work and after 8 months of a phone friendship we finally met.  Several months of visits and meeting each others children it was obvious that we were a match and we became a family unit.  Not to say that there weren't any issues, but we were good together.  We had the normal family issues as well as the added pressures of the other parents and their opinions of how we should be living and what we should do with our time with our children.

We went on vacation all together and it was then we decided that his children were being subjected to a controlling stepfather that was interferring with their normal development along with some mental and emotional abuse.  So we filed for custody.  And after 18 months of court room antics and the whinning of his ex wife about a mental disorder that she had that prevented her from behaving normally including working, we were granted full physical custody of the children.  But the specified and implied restricitons proved to be painful.  They had to continue in their school for two weeks resulting in a tremdous strain on schedules and work performance for us and a huge toll on the children.  Many hours away from home by having to wait hours at my work for their father to trek the 50 miles to come pick them up feed them Mcdonalds and the put them in bed to do it again in the morning.  

Shortly after they came to live with us, we were having to move.  We had to move to a larger house so they could have their own rooms as it was  an implied necessity for them.  With that came an expensive rent payment and that is how the cycle began.  We kept it together for a few months and then got behind, we had to move again.  The next house was good in the beginning, better neighborhood, same schools (no need for court action) and bigger -- same rent.  And after a few months, behind again.  My husband made a deal with the property owner and thought that would cancel the court hearing.  It didn't and we were physically moved out of the house to the lawn.  Part of the agreement with the guy had us hand over all of the money we had, so now no resources to do anything.  My husband's boss came to the rescue with a moving truck and we got a storage unit.  We still didn't know what we were going to do.  But we just kept moving it in the truck.  Once we were unloaded, we decided to go camping at the local state park.  We set up our home and got everyone settled.  We had two dogs and a couple cats.  The cats were in our van.  Thank goodness it was spring break so no school and the weather was very good.  The kids were old enough to be on their own during the day and watch the animals.  After several days of this, a friend of the family came and got the cats to take care of them for us.  That was a relief.  Then a bit later, she came and got us to take us home also.  The cats had their own room and they fit us in their modestly small home.  Body count 4 adults 5 teenagers, our 5 cats, 2 dogs and their 3 cats and 1 dog -- 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  But to my complete amazement -- no fighting no one in the way and laundry and shower juggling it was good, we had a good time.  We were there for 3 weeks and we finally had our tax refund in our hands.  Now the pressure was on to find a new home storage was expensive and going to be due very soon.  I found the only 3 bedroom that would allow all the children their own room.  Our oldest, my son would get the basement family room and the girls bedrooms upstairs with us.  My first clue to run away should have been the landlords willingness to overlook our issues and pushing to get us moved in asap.  He is a slum lord well known in town, to all but us at that time.  Everyting was good for a few months, then an accident.  Our vehicle was hit and after hours of CSI on my own, I figured that it was him.  When we confronted him, he said he didn't see any damage.  We made an offer to just take the amount of the estimate off of current rent and we shook on it.  Next thing we knew, we were being served with a 3 day notice.  We went to court and there was no application of a credit for the aggreement.  Then a huge attorney bill to go along with it and we had to move yet again.  This time I want to be more careful.  So after much searching, I met a very nice lady that was renting a house for a friend in the military.   We could afford it. After about 8 months we were informed they were going to sell it.  So we scrambled to try and get financing.  After working with a mortgage broker for several months and paying off about $10,000 debt we were now behind on everything and not making progress on financing we were back in court again.  At least we had been there a year and they were still willing to give a reference.  I loved that house and felt like it was mine.  OMG we are moving again.  Now what, I found a house,  thank goodness, no camping this time.  So we are moved to a smaller house.  But still having room for everyone.  This time a much smaller rent payment. We were there a full year without issues but then the owner was moving back from the military and we had to move, but we had time to make good decisions.  I found a place, another eager landlord.  This time too eager. They had a sign on the counter, I didn't see.  Drugs for rent.  If I knew we would have run so fast.  But I didn't so we got settled.  By now Im being garnished and this caused us to get behind.  After stuggling for several months, we were at the end.  Looking for another rental, hoping to get out before eviction. Things got ugly, they started calling and making threats to us.  Spoke to our childrend several times and even came to the house demanding money we didn't have, blocked our cars in the driveway and she refused to leave.  We came to an agreement that I knew we could not keep but it was the only way to get her to leave.  When we defaulted on the agreement ( we had no money) she came at us even harder.  And eviction.  So fearing for our children and our safety, as her boyfriend had left several threats, we called the police, took them the recorded threats and  decided home or no home we had to go now.  We took everything to storage and moved to the local campground.  After several weeks, I found a new rental one we could afford.  We lived there almost 1 year and we left on good terms, due to size and illegal activities in the neighborhood.  

I could go on as this pattern continues today.  I have had a reduced paycheck for 2 paydays and my husband is unemployed after 7 months, we are waiting on unemployment now.  My take home is $100 less than my rent that we are already behind on already.  So as you can see this is not going to work.  It won't be long before we are moving again.

Thesmarterbooks
Thesmarterbooks

Real capitalism neither inhibits others from accumulating wealth, nor hedges the wealth of those who have it. Profiting from companies that offer a mortgage to an individual without a credit/income check or loaning a student $200,000 to get a degree in liberal arts from a state school are examples of reckless lending on behalf of the 1%. Reckless behavior should not be hedged by government guarantees. It shifts the risk profiles of investments, encourages inefficiencies, and creates market bubbles, People should be allowed to accumulate and maintain wealth, but they should also be allowed to loose it when they make imprudent choices... like everyone else.

Sdf
Sdf

Went on a trip to Vegas for my birthday that i didn't pay for, raged my ass off, and got down with strippers n some 35 year old blonde that i met at the Wynn. It was fun but im headed to Europe next month because I can.

life is goodI am the son of a 1%

Jakesclothing
Jakesclothing

For great new "We are the 1%" apparell visit Jakesclothing.com . At Jakes, we are the 1% who believe in capitalism! Show your support with our new shirts!

Alex_and_er
Alex_and_er

Capitalist Pig?  Perhaps, but that individual has a good sense of humor.

More than I can say for those hippies on the street below.

Afewgoodpeople Havetodie
Afewgoodpeople Havetodie

Speak out your ass now Jonathan Hoenig - the day is coming when your kind won't want your names known because they will be hunting to KILL you.   Just wait - you'll see...  Laugh while you can monkeyboy...

gordon_wagner
gordon_wagner

Strike the root -- end the Fed's ability to create debt note ("money") out of nothing.  Andrew Jackson knew his enemy.  It's bankers versus humans. Which side are you on?

Jack Crawford
Jack Crawford

Either you are for sacrifice or you're not. This is one of the basic choices. And that kind of sacrifice does not mean putting off a current purchase in order to get something better in the future. Sacrifice means doing without something you value dearly, either voluntarily or by someone forcing you to sacrifice. 

ricohenry7
ricohenry7

Mayor Bloomberg is allowing the construction companies of DeFoe and Conti to steal millions of city dallors along with the corrupt EEOC. Both DeFoe and Conti have been investigated by the corrupt EEOC for gender discrimination. The president white house staff also has a gender discrimination problem too (Confidence Man) by Suskind. The countries civil rights laws are used to make illegal money by the elite officials. Great Con Game. kou do's to the Mayor of NYC and the President. Can anyone stop them? Where's are free press???

Jenoli42
Jenoli42

actually, i think i'm warming to the idea of the 1% getting a bit snippy.  they're showing their true colors.  Hoenig is basically saying "i'm rich, you're not.  i don't give a **** about you.  stop trying to make me feel bad for being greedy and stop trying to demonstrate your power.  you don't have money so you don't have power.  i do. besides, i don't really have feelings.  feelings don't figure into my trading scheme.  but if you protesters would like to buy one of my silver nazi coins, i'll set up a booth to sell you low class mobs anything."

i can't WAIT until people like him are proven wrong and have to swallow bile to ask us politely to let them keep their jobs and their lifestyles that the 99% of us have funded for too long.

Tim Owen
Tim Owen

oops I thought I was commenting on "Smart Money" 

Tim Owen
Tim Owen

Wow that's stunning. What are your feelings about fraud sir. Are you aware that the FBI was warning of an epidemic of mortgage fraud in the early naughts? Have you ever heard of William Black? He gives a pretty sweet little summary of what led to the mess we're in. It's called control fraud:

The fraud “recipe” for lenders

The reason that accounting control frauds characteristically engage in lending behavior that no honest lender would exhibit was that these perverse practices maximized reported short-term income and the executives’ compensation. There is a four-ingredient fraud “recipe” for lenders.

Extreme growth through making Exceptionally bad loans at a premium yield (very high interest rate) while Employing extreme leverage (the lender has vastly more debt than equity), and Providing grossly inadequate allowances for future losses inherent in making bad loans The same recipe maximizes three things: (fictional) short-term reported income, the senior executives’ compensation, and actual losses. Such a recipe can only come with the blessing of the officials that control the bank. When a significant number of frauds following the same fraud “recipe” use the same “ammunition” (liar’s loans) to feed their accounting fraud “weapon,” those frauds will continue to lend into the teeth of a glut of residential real estate. Epidemics of accounting control fraud can hyper-inflate financial bubbles.

If you think that there's nothing to protest about in the west right now, that it's somehow sour grapes, then you are truly the most narcissistic "capitalist pig" - not an easy heat! -  I've ever come across.

Kimmo
Kimmo

"Capitalism treats men not as sacrifices for the public good, but as..." ...sacrifices for private excess.

FTFY Hoenig, you vile parasite.

Mitch Kessenich
Mitch Kessenich

Why?  Do you want to commit suicide because you are depressed because there are people better off financially than you are?

guest
guest

So let me get this straight...

The protestors have been out there for weeks screaming bloody murder (and we've got folks in this comment thread demanding nooses and threatening to kill people like this guy), yet at the first suggestion by someone that if the so-called "99%" people want something they should earn it instead of throwing tantrums like 2-year olds, you have the gall to say that person is "showing his true colors" as if it were an insult?!

My friend, you don't "let" them keep their jobs or lifestyles, and you most certainly have not "funded" anything of theirs. They earn their jobs by working hard at a job someone else pays them handsomely for, and it's them who are funding YOUR lifestyle.

After all, who do you suppose pays all of the taxes in this country?! After the average American takes his personal exemption and his standard deduction, plus a credit here or there for student loan interest, mortgage interest, children, the earned-income tax credit, etc., they pay NOTHING in taxes. "99%'ers" get a free ride, and all of those OWS morons are too stupid to figure it out because they can't stop whining about how their useless Masters in Eastern African Calligraphy (1507-1632) isn't earning them the big bucks like they thought it would, and oh by the way they've got a giant student loan to pay on top of no job (that's after they took advantage of a Pell Grant that was funded by some hedge fund manager's taxes, BTW).

The sheer ridiculousness of it is almost hysterically astounding, save for the fact that you fools have convinced yourselves that the golden goose you've been mooching off of all these years is actually a pinata, and everything will be great if you you can just get a few whacks at its head right now instead of waiting for it to pop out an egg every April 15...  

mpneubauer
mpneubauer

He is greedy. A true capitalist is greedy and they know it. But a capitalist also believes in TRADE. Trade does not equal force. If you want to talk about true colors, look at your comment :"i can't WAIT until people like him are proven wrong and have to swallow bile" thats disgusting

Karen Williams
Karen Williams

I worked all through high school to get accepted into a good school.

I worked long hard hours and took out loans to pay for seven years of tuition at UC Berkley. 

I spent time improving skills relevant to my chosen profession that would make me more marketable to employers.

I worked long hard hours at that job to pay back my student loans.

I worked long hard hours to climb up the ladder to get to the high paying position of power I am in now.

And you call capitalists like myself parasites?

The Webster's Dictionary defines parasitism as "an association between organisms in which a parasite obtains benefits from a host which it usually injures."

You expect me to give up what I have earned through ambition and working my tail off to those who refuse to do so for themselves.  Who would be the parasite then?

I am the 1% who worked my tail off to get to where I am today and I did not "sacrifice" anyone to get here but my own time and energy.

If you put forth as much effort as I did, and stopped expecting others to give you handouts, you could do the same for yourself.

Anony
Anony

@guest:twitter Amen. Finally someone says it for God's sake. What happened to the spirit of self-reliance in this country? I don't like earning my keep - I love it. I have never taken a handout from anyone and I never will. I am 20 years old, both of my parents are immigrants, they came to this country with literally their shirts and made it to the top bracket. Then they tossed me out at 18 and made me pay for college myself so I would know what it means to be hungry. I can't wait to work my ass off after I graduate and earn my place amongst the 1%. That's why I love America. That's the dream right there.I assure you - I have more student loan debt than all of you "99%" jokers combined. But the fact that Obama is moving to buy my vote by relieving it is outrageous. I borrowed with a PLAN to pay it back. I don't look to government for handouts or excuses. Why? Because I'm a hardworking American and THAT IS WHAT WE DO goddammit. What happened to accountability? What happened to hard work? I refuse to vote for taxes that take from the minority to give to the majority by force, simply because that force is legitimized by government.

You can protest all you want. Meanwhile, I'll be here in America making it.

juepucta
juepucta

Right... because if i start a guillotine manufacturing co right about now, you wouldn't invest in it. Oh wait, you would. 

Tiffanyrn
Tiffanyrn

Hi Karen

Would you like to share your story with me regarding how you've been affected, either psychologically or practically, by the 99 percent movement? You can remain anonymous in the feature if you wish (see my comment at the top). Please email tiffanyrn@hotmail.co.uk asap, thankyou! Tiffany

Kimmo
Kimmo

Pff.

Straw man much?

Listen - to the extent that you 'earn' money by merely throwing large wads of it around, you are a parasite. Particularly if you make with propaganda that attempts to establish you have some kind of moral claim over obscene wealth.

Anyone who thinks its ethically possible to actually earn $5M in a year is either drinking the Kool-Aid or justifying their own parasitism.

Simple.

You think you work hard for your millions? Like fuck. Ask a teacher or a nurse or a farmer about actually working hard. The day you don't make hundreds or even thousands of times more than folks doing stuff that's actually necessary rather than dancing around in some con-man's paradise, you can talk to me about working hard.

Asdf
Asdf

You're an idiot. He is implying his parents stuck him with the bill for college, not that he paid it already. I went to public school and i know how to read better than you. Did you decide to skip all those free years of public schooling this country offers you? 

SincerelyThe college kid bored in class

nobody
nobody

Wow what a mature 20 year old. I bet he has done it all. I wish I would have been so proud of being in debt at that age. First he says he paid for college all on his own but then says he has more debt than all the 99% jokers. I can't wait till he gets a job either. That's the dream right there. Spoiled little brats pretending like they have accomplished so much before they have even grown up.

son of a hard worker
son of a hard worker

ever think maybe he has better business etiquette than you or a farmer. It's capitalism boy, learn trends and educate yourself out of ur caveman ideology. socialism is for loser's like you so you should move to australia where racism, idiots, and rat tails run rampant. douche

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