Occupy Haters: Try Arguing with the Math

Math is the universal language. Try understanding the Occupy Movement by looking at the math.




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  • I can't possibly watch this entire video. It's total propaganda. By minute 2 I had identified probably 10 - 15 items that are ridiculous. Here are a few:
    1) Wealth inequality is irrelevant - see my comment on previous post.
    2) What's wrong with Bill Gates being worth 59 B? He deserves to be worth that much. And he is more qualified to allocate that kind of capital than either the US Government or the bottom 99%.
    3) Why do they show a graphic of the rich "Pac men" eating the poor pac men? The wealthy do not take wealth away from the poor, though that is what the Occupy crazies would have people believe.
    4) Income doesn't tell the whole story of economic well being. You also have to look at the cost of goods and services being purchased and those continue to go up in quality and down in cost.
    5) Why don't we look at the real causes of income inequality instead of trying to demonize the rich? It's real simple. We have a society that lacks the valuable skills needed today. I can assure you that if you have decent grades as a computer science major at any university you will do just fine.

  • I do wish you would explain your objections with math and not with insinuating that the math is wrong. That would make a much more solid and thougtful argument.

    And just for the record I know several out of work computer science graduates who are involved in the Chicago Career Tech program trying to get another layer of education. They all graduated from college and have taken several qualification exams and passed. It is rough out there.

  • In reply to Danie:

    I'm not insinuating that the math is wrong. I'm explaining that this is a propaganda piece, not real analysis, that they are presenting meaningless statistics, that they are making an issue out of something that is not an issue, and that they are focusing on the wrong issues. I've raised 5 objections to this piece and you are free to explain what is wrong with each of my objections.

    As for how rough it is...my daughter and her friends are inundated with computer science intern offers for the summer - Google, Zynga, Facebook, Microsoft. I can't speak to your friends' experiences without knowing what classes they took and what grades they got, when they went to school, and what programming skills they have. I ran an Internet company in Chicago for 6 years and I can tell you that there is a real shortage of qualified programmers out there. It's not enough to get your ticket punched. We routinely interviewed people that didn't really know what they were doing. It's the same with real estate. 80% of the agents out there don't know what they are doing and lack a decent work ethic. Of the remaining 20% most are more interested in staying put in a familiar brokerage rather than branching out to make more money. And then they complain about how rough it is. Go figure.

  • Last time I checked interns don't get paid. Has that changed?

  • They get paid extremely well. In excess of $30/hour.

  • Gary, you and your daughter and her friends are very blessed to have those opportunities. I hope they excel. But not everyone with good education and the desire to start a career is getting that opportunity. For a vast majority of young people, they are struggling to get work. Doesn't matter what classes one has taken or what grades one has earned. Your argument seems terribly short sided and narrow. I'm surprised to know these internships are paying $30 an hour! That's the first I've ever heard of any internship paying that. Many companies are opting to not pay our graduates at all because they can. Students are clamoring for the coveted opportunity to intern for free. You are fortunate to earn minimum wage at best. It IS rough out there, Gary - not just for the young but the mature as well. Believe me, I know all about that. I would suggest viewing the entire animated piece before making a comment for or against. It would make your argument more credible. I didn't get a negative message when they featured Bill Gates and the other billionaires.It was simply stating a fact. In fact, he is one rich guy who is helping to make a difference in our world with his money - as is Warren Buffet. But it is true, the assets of the middle class - let alone the poor, is declining. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. As I said earlier, you are blessed that you family doesn't feel the pain and heartbreak that many Americans face - by no fault of their own.

    Danie, Thanks for sharing this piece. I think it gives us 99% a clearer understanding of where we stand economically compared to the 1%.

  • In reply to Edye:

    By now I have seen the entire propaganda piece and the remaining 4 minutes is no different than the initial 2 minutes. My original objections stand - apparently without being refuted by anyone here.

    But your statement that there are no opportunities regardless of classes taken or grades earned is totally wrong. My daughter and her friends didn't luck into these opportunities. They worked their asses off to get to where they are. My daughter just shared an interview question with me: given two spheres with defined centers and radii define a function that describes the intersection of these two spheres. This is an example of the skills in demand. It's rough out there for people who don't have the right skills.

    As for the mature worker...I fall in that category and that is a topic for rich discussion. I do believe there is a lot of ageism out there but I also believe that companies that suffer from that are hurting themselves. However, I also know that way too many people my age didn't keep up with the latest technologies and didn't keep their skills sharp. I remember when email was first introduced into the workplace many of my colleagues had their secretaries printing out their emails for them.

    My problem with this video and the whole Occupy movement is that it demonizes the rich. What is the point?

  • Thanks so much Edye. Gary is a clear example of how deeply entrenched beliefs can be. Not even math can alter his narrow vision. No one has ever said that having money is bad. It's how some get it that is the bother. Let us not forget that we, the tax payers in the 99% bailed out banks and companies that clearly paid enormous salaries to the top execs even after the bail out. Something is really wrong with this picture. Homes are foreclosed by banks we also bailed out and then subsidized, by the government (tax payers) in addition to the bail out money and then the banks get to sell the property? Sounds like a ponzi scheme.

    Brooksley Born, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], back in the 1990's warned of the impending doom the uncontrolled market was going to bring. She was ignored and low and behold her worst nightmares are here.
    Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/interviews/born.html#ixzz1hBJOerML

  • In reply to Danie:

    Come on Danie, who has a narrow vision? I bring up 5 relevant objections to the video and you still choose to ignore them. Now that sounds like someone whose views are deeply entrenched. And there is no "math" in that video. It's all meaningless statistics and I've clearly pointed out why they are meaningless.

    The video doesn't address HOW the rich got their money, only that they have it. Sure seems to me like they have an issue with people having money - especially when they depict the rich as pac men eating poor pac men. Of course some of the top 1% get their money unethically but most get it ethically.

    Not sure what your beef is with the banks. How are they supposed to handle mortgages in default? And what subsidies are you talking about? The only subsidy I'm aware of is the underpriced guarantees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those need to stop. Every penny of the bailouts was paid back by the banks except the bailout funds applied to Fannie and Freddie. And if you want to talk about warnings that were ignored I can point you to videos of congressional hearings where some congressmen were raising the flags about Fannie and Freddie years ago but were run over by other congressmen determined that every American should own a home. You interested?

    You need to check the definition of Ponzi scheme. What you describe, even if it were true, is not a Ponzi scheme. Social security is a Ponzi scheme.

  • This all really confuses me. The two arguing parties really confuse me. The clip confuses me.

    First off, statistics is math.
    Second: math is a tool that may be used to prove a hypothesis. Something like, "for the last 5 business quarters, my company has lost money. Therefore I predict in the next quarter, it will lose money as well unless I change something"

    But this clip nor the submitter of the clip issued any hypothesis. And so this clip has issued a bunch of statistics. I have no reason to doubt them, so I won't.

    But so what? How is anything different. It isn't, because math and stats cannot change anything.

    All I know now is that a small minority owns the majority of the wealth in the US. Big whoop. I knew that before I watched this.

    The only way a reasoned debate can take place is if one party asserts a particular point of view. An opinion. But no opinion was posited. So, no real debate can take place.

    It would be like me going on line and stating that the atmosphere is over 60% nitrogen. I guess perhaps a debate could happen if you had other info that gave a different percent. But this is an easily verifiable fact that leaves my readers saying, "yeah, ok."

    In other words, whats your point?

  • In reply to RickB:


    I completely agree with you except that there is no real math in that video. When I say it contains a bunch of meaningless statistics I mean data. Real mathematical statistics involves analysis. There is no analysis here.

    And I've raised the "so what?" issue with Danie but have not gotten a response.

  • Eh, I guess we'll have to disagree as to whether or not the math has taken place. I do see your point that there is much more that could have been reported (and I need to admit that that stuff is outside of my bailiwick. On the other hand, the raw data is the surveys of people's earnings. Though simplistic, drawing a line and saying "X% has N% of available wealth", as determined from the raw data of numerous earnings reports is an analysis. So, I guess I can see both sides of it.

    As to the "so what"... I can speculate as to what the answer is from later comments made by Danie. But I have debated too much with too many people about what I thought their point was, to continue to risk wasting that effort again. I need a clear point or hypothesis. Maybe the point was just information, as one reader thanked Danie for. That'd be cool. If such information violates a person's conscious, then perhaps this can be an impetus for action in that person. I love to see action instead of whining, even if I don't agree with the action. I'm weird that way. I have a coworker who is the political opposite of me, but she is involved, canvassing, and campaigning. Puts the proverbial boot to my seat to get me going too.

    But I am speculating, as no point was given by the clip itself or by the submitter her of the clip.

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