A Year After the 99% and the 1%, a New Group Emerges: the 47%

Laura Shin
Posted

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On the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this past Monday, the movement that gave us the terms “the 1%” and “the 99%,” a new percentage entered the popular dialogue: 47%.

A leaked video of Presidential nominee Mitt Romney saying that the 47% of Americans who pay no income taxes are dependent on the government and believe they are victims caused an uproar. (We’ll explore his comments in more detail this week.)

Speaking of income, a new study found that there are 29 million middle-class jobs that don’t require a college degree. Meanwhile, Bank of America announced that it would shed 16,000 jobs by the end of the year. Once that happens, it will no longer be the American banking sector’s largest employer.

Another big company had news of a different kind: Apple’s iPhone 5 smashed sales records, with two million pre-orders made in the first day, double previous first-day orders.

Good news came from the housing market: In August, sales of existing homes were higher than they had been in the last two years, and new housing construction also rose last month. And the 2011 census revealed the richest and poorest states, with Maryland topping the list, and Mississippi coming up last.

This week, we have for you an analysis of Romney’s comments about the 47%—why does nearly half the country not pay taxes, and who are they?—plus we explain the personal finance lessons found in the viral Korean pop video “Gangnam Style.”

Why Half of Americans Don’t Pay Federal Income Tax

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney criticized the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax. We dissect the facts behind this number.

A Viral Video With a Hidden Message About Your Finances

The new music hit, “Gangnam Style,” isn’t just a catchy tune and funny video. It’s also a social critique with an important lesson for your finances.

image credit: An Occupy Wall Street protester during the one-year anniversary. (John Wisniewski/Flickr)