Archive for Economics

Getting American Values Back in Check – Learn About the 1%

We’ve got to do something to keep the 1% from continuing to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of our entire country. No matter where you stand, in terms of your income, you need to stand up for those below you.

Share Your Voice.


J Mercurial


The Children of Rich People, “We’re People Too, Just Different.”

I should know, I am one.

It’s not that rich people think their kids are better than your, it’s just… Well, they’re not all that sure they want their kids playing with someone from your neigborhood or tax bracket. I’m sure my dad had that concept, my mom, not so much. Although before Obama she was a RED-Stater all the way. Things DO change.

So today I was walking a block over from my neighborhood and into the way 1% area where Sandra Bullock built her home. Even their neighborhood pool looks snooty. And I was noticing all the fences. Just about everything is fenced in. With codes and locks and gates and … security services.

I’m glad they can’t take a reading of my credit report at the moment, or I’d a been booted from their streets and back into my more variable neigborhood PDQ.

Anyway I was wondering about the ‘normal’ people in the backyards of their gated houses. And they looked just like me. Most of them, okay all of them, were white. And while the cars in the driveways were nicer than mine, I was at least, from the street, a member of their tribe. So here they are, just like me, living in a HUGE frickin house with a beautiful front yard with no one in it. Ever!

So they’re gonna play and keep their kids playing in their backyards. Approved play dates, I guess. And something IS different about this than how I was raised 40+ years ago. The kids in our neighborhoods all played together. And we played in the front of our houses, in huge packs, playing kick the can, werewolf, and capture the flag. It was a neighborhood.

Today there was not a single group of kids anywhere. The gated and protected pool was empty, but school’s still a week or so from being out. I did see two other folks jogging. They looked pretty much like me, too.

So what keeps them so “gated?” Is there something sinister that comes in when you don’t fence and arm your property?

Sure the rich love their children. They just don’t love your children. And unless you’re at the private school, they’re not so sure they want their kids to love your kids either. Maybe that’s it, classism.

A high school friend asked me the other day, “How is it, that we grew up together and yet we came out with such different politics?” It was a friendly question.

The answer came a few hours later. It was my hippy sister. She didn’t care to much for classism. She balked at my father’s discipline and dislikes of her boyfriends. In fact, I’m sure she went the other way just to piss him off.

It must be kinda sad on the other side of that fence. I mean, lonely. Unless you schedule a playdate, how are you going to make friends?

It just goes to show you, that people are people. Biases and prejudices are everywhere. I’m sure I have some of my own. But I AM sure it does not involve providing healthcare for the poor kids as well as mine.

If we all rise we all rise. If only the rich rise, the rest of us fall further behind. That’s what I believe, anyway.


J Mercurial


Dear Wells Fkin Fargo

Dear Wells Fkin Fargo,

I’m gonna pay my damn mortgage today, okay, so quit having a cow. It’s not easy out here in middle-class land. [God save the lower income folks.] But you’ve been so damn crappy since two days after it was due [ya know there's a 12 day grace period, right? I mean, you wrote the fukin documents.]

So you’ve been pounding me with phone calls begging me to call you guys back for about 25 days now. And I really want to say fk it and not pay, but I HAVE NEVER MISSED A PAYMENT. So WTF? Why are you treating me like I’m skipping town when I’m a great fkin customer. With a half-way descent credit score, considering.

So, I just wanted to say, I fkin hate your harassing practices. And as much as I’d like to take my mortgage elsewhere, it would probably be sold right back to you. So fk you. I’m paying today. And I know it’s late. And I know you will start calling me before the weekend for the next payment.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, the number you have is my Google Voice number. It doesn’t even ring my phone. I get an email that you called again. I kinda like hearing your minions and robots leaving their angry or desperate messages. But mostly I just clear my Google Voice inbox and ignore the emails I’m getting about your harassment.

I’m paying today, but I fukin HATE YOU.


J Mercurial.

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I’ve Got A Problem With 99 Stickers

My problem with 99 Stickers on Facebook.

Pay per click advertising on Facebook

Pay per click advertising on Facebook

Yeah, I’ve got a problem. This is a wonderful experiment. And what we’ve got here, in a few short months, is an actually “community” on Facebook. And we’re sharing, commenting, and reposting a lot of information.

My problem is this. Unless I pay for it, we’re not getting any more “reach.” Meaning no one is joining us, unless I pay ¢.25 to ¢35 per click, on an advertisement similar to what got you here. So what’s the issue? Why aren’t WE sharing 99 Stickers to others?

One more, minor problem. My vision was that people would get the stickers and send back pictures of the stickers in funny places. And a few of you have done that, but not 500 – 600 of you. That’s how many stickers I’ve given out so far. And I’ve gotten $65 from Pay-Pal since the beginning.

My question: What’s wrong with this approach? Is facebook not conducive to sharing? Are you afraid to publish or promote your connection with something so clearly 99% related?

I’d really like to know what you think. That’s why I’m here.

NOTE: And if you’re reading this on the website, what’s your perception, what’s your disconnect? I want to CONNECT, not disconnect. So what’s your problem with 99 Stickers?

J Mercurial
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Also, check out I will be leading some trainings in Austin, Texas. I hope to see you there.

You Are Probably the 99%, Unless You Made $506k in 2010.

99 percent geek photosAmerican households right at the 99th percentile (that is, the cut-off for the top 1 percent) will earn about $506,553 in cash income this year, according to a Tax Policy Center analysis.

So the next time to enter into a dialogue about the 1% vs the 99%, and someone says, “You probably ARE in the 1%.” (Usually a conservative friend who is scared to death of Obama and the 99% momentum.) You can probably say, “Uh, no, I’m pretty sure neither of us is part of the 1%.”

The article “About that 99%” from the NYTimes, has some even more interesting statistics.

The income curve is very steep at the high end, meaning that people just a few tenths of a percentile point above that make much, much more. A family at the 99.5th percentile, for example, makes $815,868; its neighbor at the 99.9th percentile makes more than double that, at $2,075,574 a year.

The top 1 percent of American earners receive about a fifth of the country’s income, according to Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two economists who study inequality.

Empower yourself with the information. And next time someone says, you are part of the 1% kindly remind them, the cutoff income number is 6x – 10x your annual income.

Stick up for your rights, stick up the 99 Voices,

J Mercurial