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Behind the Occupy Wall Street slogan ‘We Are the 99%’

The Occupy Wall Street protests that started in New York and have now spread to cities including Chicago, Boston and San Francisco (and coming soon to Texas), with more adopting “We are the 99%” as their unifying slogan. In a time of rising unemployment and falling living standards, what are the numbers behind this slogan?

-The top 1 percent take home 24 percent of the national income.

  • Nearly one in six people are in poverty in the U.S.
  • As The American Independent reports, there were a record number of women in poverty in 2010.
  • Since the recession began, the unemployment rate for young people has climbed as high as 52.2 percent.
  • In the African-American community, the unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 27 years, at 16 percent.
  • According to a report by The Washington Independent, the unemployed commit suicide at two or three times the average, and the rate goes up the longer they have been unemployed
  • Defaults on student loans, especially at for-profit universities, have risen substantially. Fifteen percent of borrowers at for-profit colleges defaulted in the first two years of repayment, while 8.8 percent of borrowers over all defaulted in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

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