Intellectual laziness of slogans

The Occupy hippies liked to refer to “the 1%” and that they were “the 99%”. Left wing commentators and bloggers still use these terms despite the demise of the smelly hippies. But why are “the 1%” so evil?

The slogan’s are based on the presumption of an American 1%. But why not the global 1%…well because that would include pretty much all Americans then,a nd a goodly proportion of Kiwis:

If we’re all embedded in a fundamentally unjust, exploitative global economic structure, it’s hard to see why the American 1% should be especially salient. Why not the global 1%, or the global 10 or 20%, which would include pretty much the whole American population. If it is morally imperative to confiscate exceptional wealth and use it to meet human needs, then it is imperative to confiscate most of the wealth in all wealthy countries, not just the wealth of the wealthiest of the wealthy, and transfer it to the world‘s poor, not to the relatively well-to-do poor of the wealthiest countries.

If it’s not possible to bring in $600,000 in a year without therefore being guilty of complicity in a exploitative global system, which invalidates one’s moral claim to one’s income, it’s probably not possible to bring in an untainted, secure $60,000 either.

Good points…of course some leftwing troll will come here and start berating the 1%, Before s/he does that they should read the next bit:

 It’s based on the supposition that the domestic 1% is guilty of something or other the domestic 10 or 30 or 50% isn’t, and therefore deserves to be a target of scorn in a way the 10 or 30 or 50% does not. But, however you slice it, it’s going to be true that a lot of people in the top 1% got there in pretty much the same way a lot of people in the top 30 or 50% got there. If there’s nothing wrong with a way of making money at the 50th percentile, there’s nothing wrong with it at the 99th. And if there’s something wrong with it at the 99th, there’s something wrong with at the 50th. The unwillingness to identify specific mechanisms of unjust income acquisition, and the insistence on treating income-earners above a arbitrary cut-off point as a unified class deserving special contempt, strike me as symptoms of intellectually laziness and a less than thoroughgoing interest in justice.


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  • This is a quality piece.  It poses logical questgions that those who make a living from the politics of evny will struggle to rationally answer.  Thanks for posting it.

  • Andy

    Isn’t this the purpose of “climate justice” – i.e global wealth redistribution ?

  • Gosman

    I can imagine some lefty will come on and try and argue that inequality makes us all worse off as The Spirit level proves without a shadow of a doubt. Therefore we must somehow reduce the gross inequality at the top by stopping them earning so much or taxing them much much more. However I have been speaking to a epidemiologist in NZ on this matter and it seems that amongst this discipline the works of the two authors who are responsible for that book are looked on very poorly indeed. The main problems are the selection bias in the countries chosen and the inclusion of outliers. 

  • Politically Unstable

    Its just a bloody slogan – just like NZ 100% pure.

  • tas

    Communists always want money redistributed to them. Someone should take a camera to an occupy protest and suggest that they redistribute their income to some africans. It’s just ridiculous how they declare inequality to immoral and dangerous, while completely ignoring inequality that crosses national borders.

    2010 Qatar GDP PPP per capita:       US$ 179,000 (15.98 times average
    2010 US GDP PPP per capita:           US$  47,200 (4.21 times average)
    2010 NZ GDP PPP per capita:           US$  27,700 (2.47 times average)
    2010 global GDP PPP per capita:       US$  11,200 (average)
    2010 Tuvalu GDP PPP per capita:      US$   3,400 (0.304 times average)
    2010 DR Congo GDP PPP per capita: US$      300 (0.026 times average)


  • Gazzaw

    Interesting stats tas.

    Based on your theory then maybe the Occupy campers could forego the money that they spend on booze, drugs & smokes and donate the savings to a suitable lefty African charity.

  • Not a commie nor a lefty nor even subscribe
    to the “politics of envy” but when people who are relatively well
    healed use insulting and derogatory language to put down those less affluent I do take exception. All I ever want is – if I have to pay 30 cents in the dollar of income I earn, I don’t see why eveyone else should not do the same – and I mean everyone for every dollar of income. The biggest problem I see is the amount of money able to be received by those higher up in the affluence scale that is able to be called something other than income and therefore not taxed. Fair? I don’t think so.

    • Thorn

      it’s well-heeled you ignoramus. Take all the exception you like and then some for being the tadpole you are.  Complain to Gareth Morgan who claims your views but is loath to practice what he preaches.

  • speaking of ‘intellectual laziness’…

    ..somehow i think you need to widen yr reading on this massive social/cultural change underway…eh..? isn’t all about ‘dirty hippies’..and other simplistic slogans..

    ..when you have both obama in his sotu and a very strong sub-text at davos being those very occupy/inequality-issues..

    ..and the urgencies around ‘fixing it’… really focusing on ‘dirty-hippies’..not only displays ‘intellectual laziness’..

    ..but more an intellectual-coma..

    ..and shows the utterer to be totally on the wrong side of history…


    • Anonymous

      Are you here because your own blog isn’t generating enough traffic to keep you entertained? You are here, posting illegible nonsense (always with a link back to your blog) instead of making any sort of coherent point. Are you just trying to hijack WO’s traffic and divert it back to your blog? That’s weak. 

      • I thought he’d disappeared off the face of the square flat planet he lives on.

    • Frosty

      Not a comment on what you are saying, because you aren’t really saying anything, but personally, there is no fucking way i’m going to look at your link – i’m worried i’ll see articles written with amazing structure like yours above.  You might as well write with the wing dings font – it’d be easier to comprehend.

    • Agent BallSack

      No one is interested in your doomsday predictions, scenarios and jacked up grammar. You’re fishing for groper with an empty hook here.

  • RightNow

    $34,000 US = the cut-off point for annual income for the global 1%.

  • it’s quite fascinating how the rabid right are never able to mount an intellectual-argument..

    ..and only really have ad homs to offer..

    ..and no thanks..

    ..i don’t feel like wrestling with pigs..

    ..if you wish to question/argue any of the points i raise..

    ..i’ll talk/respond/argue back…

    ..otherwise you can just talk to yr hands..

    ..(tho’ i do reserve the right to lob cheap-shots..if targets prove themselves


    • Gazzaw

      No one here is interested in debating or arguing with you phillip. Get that through your thick scone & fuck off back to more fertile ground.

      • Vikingonmars

        Haha, he’s not allowed at KB and Red Baiter won’t have him. Even the Red Slurt doesn’t want him.
        Thats all bad.
        How sad.

    • frosty

      1) We can’t understand any points you are trying to raise.
      2) Hard to have an intellectual argument with someone who can’t communicate clearly.
      3) Fuck off.

    • Thorn

      Phillip Ure, off sanity’s rimCriminal, and failed green ambassador Dumber than a coniferDog molester who loves coprophagiaPigs cleaner than him.

  • “.. 1) We can’t understand any points you are trying to raise…”

    is there an adult nearby who could help explain what are really quite basic economic ideas…? yr ‘not understanding’ ‘cos of those fists in yr ears..

    ..and yr going ‘nyah..!..nyah..!..n’yah..!..i’m not listening!’..?

    ..and is yr ‘we’ you as official spokesperson for the ‘not understanders’..?


    • Gold

      …this is not…

      …how you form a sentence…

      Gold (

    • James Gray

      What in sweet fuck are you on about? I can’t derive any meaning from the jumble of letters and punctuation you posted.

  • how are you with modern art there…j.gray…?

    does that also make you angry and confused…?

    (and..heh..!..’and Red Baiter won’t have him’…

    um..! that may well be the other way around…eh..? full-body armor isn’t strong enough to take/fend off that toxic-swill…


    • Angry Croc

      Are you sure it is not, Phillip?

      • Thorn

        Unlike a whore, Phillip has nothing to offer except the echoes of the incessant chatter within his head. Just nowhere to go, or do, or aspire to. 

    • Super Guest

      It’s like you’re not a poet and you don’t know it.

    • James Gray

      I work in a creative industry, Phillip, I’m fine with modern art. But if you’re going to try and form an argument, it would help to learn to form a sentence first.

  • andy said..

    “..Isn’t this the purpose of “climate justice” – i.e global wealth redistribution ?..” are correct there andy..

    ..which is why rightwingers are so terrified of moves to address climate-change..

    ..because those solutions kick away the foundations of the rightwing/conservative dogma..

    ..and of course an environmentally-sound/equal-world must be socialist/collectivist in nature//

    ..(here it is all explained better than i can/could..)

    ..all yr deepest/most-paranoid fears confirmed for ya there andy.. ’em and weep..


    • The Anesthetist

      wow. what a cocksmoker.

  • Boss Hogg


    By “Socialist/collectivist in nature”  I assume you mean Communist.  Can you list out the nation sates that have persued this line with the stunning success of producing “an environmenatlly-sound/equal-world”?

    Let me try for you;

    North Korea
    Soviet Russia

    Hmmmmm, not sure they really make the grade – I will leave it to you.

    BTW, very impressed about the uptake with the “Ethical Advertising” placements on you web site – 100% failure.

  • jay cee

    well well, looks like phillip ure has upset the mutual admiration society. like a lot of people i thought the occupy movement had a point at first but having made their point  they started
    labouring it till it became meaningless. unless you are in the top 1% theres no need to feel threatened. yes i would prefer to  live along side someone like gareth morgan than someone like mitt romney.i don’t hear anybody criticising john key for giving, as he claims, his pm salary to charity.

    • Super Guest

      Charity is different from welfare. If you weren’t a pinko you’d realise that. Redistribution of wealth is carried out under the threat of force, charity is an individual’s choice.

  • “.. Can you list out the nation sates that have persued this line with the
    stunning success of producing “an environmenatlly-sound/equal-world”?..”

    glad to help you with that..hogg..

    here ya go..!

    it also provides us here with a handy ‘how to’…

    ..we don’t need to reinvent the wheel…

    ..we just have to do what the swedes/norwegians did…

    ..non-violent political action…leading to the upending of the inequities we currently labour under..

    ..what’s not to love about that.. yr unease growing..? should be…eh..?

    ..and how does it feel to be totally on the wrong side of history..?



    • Boss Hogg


      I am a New Zelander currently living in Singapore that has visited all of Scandinavia and have worked in Sweden for various short periods since 1994. I currently work with Swedish people here in Singapore and talk with Swedish people everyday in our Swedish office.

      If you think “The Third Way” would work in New Zealand you are more delusional than I thought.  Welfarism as it currently works in NZ is doing it’s best to ruin the entire population – Let’s make everyone poor, that is what you want.

      Whatever phsycotropic medication your on, you need you doctor to review the type and dosage.

      Before you come back with some pathetic reference have a think about how Norway and Sweden drived thier wealth and then compare that to how Singapore derived thier wealth.  After that – consider New Zealand.

    • Super Guest

      If equality means were all the same level as a beneficiary or some third world peasant then you can take your equality and go fuck yourself with it. I’m not going to read your blog because I’ll probably get a brain haemorrhage, but I’m sick to death about left wingers bleating on about Sweden. Sweden’s economy is stagnant and lifeless, even so, it’s about as good as socialism gets and it is the exception to the rule.

      Soviet Union
      North Korea
      Eastern Europe
      South America

      All socialist, all hell holes. Any wonder why the only decent country in South America is Chile where they’re passionate about the Free Market?

  • you associate with some swedes..?

    ..that proves what exactly..?..on a political science level..?

    as to ‘making everyone poor’’s making a society more equal..

    ..using progressive taxes/capital gains tax/financial transaction tax..

    (btw..sarkozy has ‘gone first’..he has introduced a financial transaction tax…that will raise an eye-watering amount of money..with nil pain..’cos the tax is so small…

    …mmm!!!!..f.t.t….!..) the polluters clean..

    ..and reward the clean…

    ..worker co-op industries/companies..

    ..guaranteed minimum income/living wage..

    ..(that way we can eliminate poverty…)

    ..and most importantly..keep the banksters on a tight rein…

    ..norway does/did all that…(with a scattered population of just over three million..same as us..)

    ..and as a result norway has sailed  thru the g.f.c unscathed… ‘medication’..?..i just smoke pot..that’s it…

    ..yr poison..?..(hic..!

    ..and the point of yr last para is somewhat obscure….what is it..?


    • EX Navy Greg

      Phil, If making society more equal means taking shit off me and giving it to losers like this lot:
      You can stick it up yer arse.
      “reward the clean” well that eliminates you and your hippy mates.
      Worker co op’s don’t work, the hard workers get the same as the useless ones, when they work that out, production falls to the level of the lowest performer.
      Norway has a very tight immigration policy, it is almost impossible to get residency, Norwegians work hard, for themselves , and have you checked out their social welfare policy ? there is almost none.
      Society should not be equal. It should reward those that work hard and contribute , and it should penalize those that don’t want to contribute their fair share.
      If you want to be a lazy deadbeat pot smoking loser, that’s fine, but don’t expect society to pay for YOUR choice.

      Greg. (

    • Boss Hogg


      Norway is an Oil economy – has been for years.  Sweden was (and still partly is) a mineral/metal economy that made a lot from WWII selling to both sides.

      Sweden is going backwards now on failed welfare policies.

      If you do not get the point of my last para – ease up on the dak a bit.

      Cheers – Hic !

      You are a another A grade Pillock living in a little dream world.