Fun with math.

I have heard it claimed that "most of the Occupy protestors are in the global 1%."

This sounds appealing and true. We've been raised to believe in both the absolute superiority of the US economy and also in the absolute hypocrisy of left-wing protest. And we all love ironic turnabout.

But let's evaluate mathematically.

The world's population is 7 billion, give or take.

1% of 7 billion is 70 million. The top 70 million wealth-holders in the world are the global 1%.

Let's, generously and inaccurately, assume that all of the global 1% live in the US. The US has a population of 300 million, more or less. That means that, if all the global 1% live in the US, they represent 25% of the US population.

If we (very generously) assume that the occupy protestors are evenly distributed economically in the US population, that means only a quarter of them would be in the 1%.

Of course, realistically, this isn't just the case. The global 1% don't just live in the US: they live in the US and Europe and Japan and China and Saudi Arabia and Korea and India and Mexico and Brazil and Russia and Brunei and Taiwan and so on. Nonetheless the US has an outsized economic footprint and a lot of rich people. Let's assume that they have 10 times their share of the ultra wealthy. Which would mean that the US has 30 million global 1%ers, and that they constitute the top 10% of the US.

The 10% of the US income line is around 100k / year. How many occupy protestors, realistically, make that? Many of them are unemployed, many of them are homeless, so we can rule those out. Certainly some of the celebrities who showed up at Occupy, such as Joe Stiglitz or Slavoj Zizek, make more than that. There are probably a number of people involved in the movement who make six figures, although likely more as funders and organizers than protestors. Maybe, generously, one in a hundred or so?﻿
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