Instead of broadcasting their views on a sign, Facebook group or Twitter, some supporters of the Occupy Wall Street protests are illustrating their frustrations on dollar bills.
The group, calling itself Occupy George, is circulating dollar bills featuring infographics with facts about income inequality. One graphic includes a dotted line drawn through George Washington’s face with the words “Richest 400 Americans” on one side and “Bottom 150,000,000 Americans” on the other, indicating that the top 400 earners in America make as much as the bottom 150,000,000.
In actuality, the disparity in incomes may even be worse than the graphic let on: The total net worth of the bottom 60 percent of Americans is less than that of Forbes 400 richest Americans.
Another dollar bill drawing features pie charts illustrating the income growth disparity in the 1920s, 1960s and 2000s. The picture indicates the gap is wider now than it was during the Great Depression. The top one percent of earners netted two-thirds of the nation's income gains from 2002 to 2007, which put income concentration at the highest level since 1928, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The U.S. median income declined 7 percent in the last decade and though economists predict incomes will rise in the next 10 years it won’t be enough to get incomes back to pre-recession levels, the Wall Street Journal reports.
At the same time, tax cuts for the wealthiest five percent of Americans are costing the U.S. government 11.6 million every hour, according to the National Priorities Project. Famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett advocated in an op-ed in The New York Times to end tax breaks for the “mega rich” as one way to close the income gap.
The goal of Occupy George is to inform “the public of America’s daunting economic disparity one bill at a time,” according to its website.
Here are dollar bill infographics from Occupy George: