Occupy Wall Street: 'We Are the 53%' Counter-Protestors Are in the Same Boat

Last Updated Oct 12, 2011 11:44 AM EDT

The most interesting thing about the clash between the "We Are the 99 Percent" movement (which is outraged that their economic fortunes have been trashed in the recession) and the new "We Are the 53 Percent" movement (which is outraged that only half of Americans pay any income tax) is that from a personal finance point of view they appear to be the same people.

The "53 Percent" monicker is an excellent counter-slogan to Occupy Wall Street's 99 Percent tagline. It non-ideologically divides viewers into a notional majority of strivers versus a minority of moochers. The 99 Percenters, by contrast, are trying to suggest we're all in the same boat.

The 99 Percenters may have the upper hand: Although the messages on the 53 Percenters' Tumblr blog urge the protesters to get off their lazy asses and get back to work, their economic situations seem frequently to be just as dire as those of the demonstrators they disdain.

Founder Erick Erickson, who also founded RedState.org, began the blog with his own message (click to enlarge, above) which states that he works three jobs and has a house he cannot sell -- "But I don't blame Wall Street." It's an odd position, considering that the collapse of the real estate market was triggered almost entirely by Wall Street's demand for unsustainable subprime mortgages. He also seems to be suggesting that it's OK if the American Dream turns out to be composed of dead-end jobs and real estate debt.

Once you've looked at both blogs, the impression you come away with is that the recession is as devastating to conservatives as it is to liberals, but that conservatives regard their misfortunes as their own fault whereas the liberals see structural forces at work -- lack of health insurance, student loans -- that they cannot overcome.

Here are 9 more 53 Percent messages »