“What was the first appearance of ‘the 99% vs the 1%?’ Was it with the OWS or does it go back earlier to movements long forgotten?”
I don’t know, but here is an item from 25 October 2007:
All the fancy blather of all the talking heads is pure distraction from this simple fact: 99% of the American people (and of the world) are simply being robbed lock, stock and barrel. Their money, savings, pensions, livelihoods, homes, lands, jobs and career prospects, security, even their very food, water and air are being taken from them as quickly as the wheels of government, finance and industry can be turned to this task. We are taken to be crash-test dummies who can be hypnotized by televised images of Britney Spears underpants, and who won’t move our butts off the couch to keep our own homes and lives from being ripped off their financial foundations by the tornado-force suction of a rapaciously manipulated economy.
That excerpt is from: Homes Of The Crash Test Dummies
A few reminders of the times during which this was written:
June 2006 — U.S. housing prices peak.
February-August 2007 — subprime industry collapses (ongoing).
August 2007 — worldwide “credit crunch” as subprime mortgage backed securities are discovered in portfolios of banks.
September 2007 — Federal economists meet to address “housing recession that jeopardizes U.S. growth.”
— U.S. backed bank consortium creates “superfund” to buy back, for detoxification and resale, the now junk subprime-backed securities (this effort is abandoned in December, there are no customers for 2nd hand junk);
— Federal Reserve Chairman Bernancke alarmed about bursting housing bubble;
— Treasury Secretary Paulson says: “the housing decline is still unfolding and I view it as the most significant risk to our economy. … The longer housing prices remain stagnant or fall, the greater the penalty to our future economic growth.”
The housing decline continued, the percentage of all households in some stage of foreclosure was more than:
1.03% in 2007 year-end
1.84% in 2008 year-end
2.21% in 2009 year-end
1.28% by mid-year 2010
2.23% in 2010 year-end
0.90% by mid-year 2011 1.45% in 2011 year end.
Percentages based on filings within the year (or half year). Data from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_United_States_housing_bubble
The global financial crisis (crash) occurred during September-October 2008.
Today, 1 in 5 U.S. mortgages is underwater (more owed than the market value of the home).
So, perhaps my 2007 CP article was one of numerous sources that eventually coalesced into the OWS “the 99% vs the 1%.” From the mail I got at the time, I know the paragraph quoted was the most popular one in the article.
[OWS = Occupy Wall Street]
The definitive source of “the 99% vs the 1%” appears to be Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.”