Occupy George is looking to inform the public of America’s daunting economic disparity, one bill at a time. By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, they hope to focus attention on wealth disparity in America.

As the prints below show, its a fun idea with one small problem: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints about 16,650,000 one dollar bills each day.

So get crackin’, Occupy George! In the 90 seconds it took to read this, you have fallen another 17,344 dollar bills behind!

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click for larger bills


Category: Currency, Digital Media, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

32 Responses to “Occupy George Turns Dollars Into Infographics”

  1. John says:

    Barry,

    The phrase at the top of the first bill, “Disparity of Wealth”, is better than the phrase “Inequality of Wealth”. However, a much better phrase would be “Excessive Concentration of Wealth”.

    There should be inequality of wealth because people do different things that create different value for society. But there should not be excessive concentration of wealth, especially if unearned or obtained illegally, because this is a problem for society — and that is what the infographic depicts.

  2. AtlasRocked says:

    What will be accomplished by bringing the CEO’s pay down? Will worker’s pay get higher? By how much? Why are CEO’s pay disparaged, but not professional athletes or movie stars?

  3. Don says:

    Barry,
    I’m sure you’ve seen this but it looks like (all) the ” Occupy” people might be starting to have an effect (we’ll see if it goes anywhere).
    Dylan Ratigan for Pres btw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIcqb9hHQ3E

  4. Frilton Miedman says:

    It’s sad and scary to see how the Koch brothers have distorted Milton Friedman’s message on the concentration of power to mean governments only.

    Milton’s original statement –

    “We have been forgetting the basic truth that the greatest threat to human freedom is the concentration of power, whether in the hands of government or anyone else.” – Milton Friedman

  5. ashpelham2 says:

    So defacing government issued notes is the solution to the problem? How about every American suddenly start saving 1% more of their pay.

  6. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Economic disparity is an interesting topic, and one that is frequently discussed on this blog.

    Barry, you have recently called for a return to real Capitalism. And yet, many protestors say they are against Capitalism. If we assume we want real Capitalism, can we agree on some things?

    1. The complaints about taxpayer bailouts of businesses is good. In a true free market, failing firms would go out of business. If the protestors say they are against crony capitalism (favored business interests are supported by the government) then I am against that too.
    2. But if they mean the free market, then they are fools. When allowed to work, the market has lifted more people out of poverty than any government ever.
    3. To the extent economic disparity results from crony capitalism, it is a bad thing. However, even if we had real capitalism (as you refer to it) there would be economic disparity. It’s a byproduct of freedom. Some people are more ambitious and driven. Think Steve Jobs.
    4. Should we be looking at our living standard improving or what the gap is? Even the poorest 20% are still better off than they were 30 years ago. Also, there are other things other than simply income. Thanks to the innovations of entrepreneurs, today in America, even poor people have clean water, TV sets, cars and flush toilets. Most live better than kings once lived — better even than the middle class lived in 1970.
    5. Entrepreneurs have made fortunes by pleasing consumers. That’s capitalism.
    6. Competition drives down prices, makes businesses stronger, and benefits society as a whole.

    Wall Street bailouts and crony capitalism are bad things. Just saying that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Can we agree that truly free markets work for the benefit of all?

  7. Moe says:

    I don’t want to be a killjoy because I do love the idea – but ..

    Isn’t it illegal? and if so, it gives the ‘authorities” reason to jail and/or behead people. After all; if closing an account at a bank can get you arrested, and standing on a street can get you pepper-sprayed… just think what manipulating their little green bills will get you!!

  8. Frilton Miedman says:

    Capitalism is a product of a free Democracy.

    At the point Capitalism over-rides Democracy as the governing entity, it’s Fascism.

    As one of the founders of Fascism put it:

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Musollini

    No one is protesting Capitalism, they are protesting Fascism, Corporatism….Corporate control of a Democracy is no longer a Democracy, it’s a state the allots personal liberty based on power and wealth.

    The founding fathers risked their lives to prevent that.

  9. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    ashpelham2:

    Fiat currency always devalues over time. Always. Saving fiat currency is a great way to lose value. The person who saved dollars over the past 30 years lost value big time:

    http://observationsandnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/100-year-declining-value-of-us-dollar.html
    _________

    Irwin:

    Freedom is a funny thing. In it’s purest form, might would trump all. It would be chaos (which some mistakenly equate with Anarchy, which relies on the scruples of the individual to be fair and honest, and therefore, will never work). Free markets are exactly the same. Well regulated markets can keep the economically mighty (who depend on the brawn of the government they sponsor), from creating the situation we find ourselves in, currently. Deregulation and trickle-up go hand-in-hand (as with Anarchy, a deregulated market depends on the scruples of the individual, and as far as I can see, the individual, if left unchecked, has no scruples).

    As for unregulated Capitalism, it’s highest goal is for the capitalist to be able to own his workforce.

  10. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Correction:

    . . . it’s highest expression is for the capitalist to be able to own his workforce . . .

  11. arbitrage789 says:

    “…they hope to focus attention on wealth disparity”

    ____________________________________

    “Wealth” that is measured by assets is a somewhat different issue than “wealth” that is measured by income.

    Particularly where taxes are concerned.

  12. Moe says:

    Petey Wheatstraw

    …Like George Pullman did in the 1800s.

  13. Frwip says:

    Defacing the currency is illegal and this operation would likely fall under US CODE TITLE 18 / PART I / CHAPTER 17 / COINS AND CURRENCY /SEC 333

    Mutilation of national bank obligations

    Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or
    unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank
    bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national
    banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal
    Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note,
    or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined
    under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    The intent to render the notes unfit for reissue or even whether or not the overprint would make the notes unfit for reissue are open to debate. IMHO, I don’t think the ability to reissue the notes is jeopardized by that. It just makes them more informative and I really like the idea but … I also believe existing jurisprudence would tip towards answering yes to both questions.

    Ask the Treasury and the Secret Service.

  14. Frwip says:

    Sorry,

    Here’s the linkie for the applicable texts

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C17.txt

  15. Don says:

    Irwin
    No we can’t. Humans must be watched and kept in check – regulations, laws, whatever you want to call them will always be needed to control us animals. Your “points” are pretty weak and filled with clichés:

    1. The complaints about taxpayer bailouts of businesses is good. In a true free market, failing firms would go out of business. If the protestors say they are against crony capitalism (favored business interests are supported by the government) then I am against that too.

    I’m OK with that one. Just scrap the word, “true” it’s too subjective.

    2. But if they mean the free market, then they are fools. When allowed to work, the market has lifted more people out of poverty than any government ever.

    You just pulled that out of your ass didn’t you? Please give a footnote or elucidate. China alone will have over 500 million middle class by 2015 – that’s more people out of poverty than the entire US population – and they did this under “communist rule”.

    3. To the extent economic disparity results from crony capitalism, it is a bad thing. However, even if we had real capitalism (as you refer to it) there would be economic disparity. It’s a byproduct of freedom. Some people are more ambitious and driven. Think Steve Jobs.

    It’s not as much about income disparity as it is about trillions of dollars being stolen or taken from “the people’s” coffers and put into the (offshore) banks of the few. All this being done with reckless abandon. Take the cash now, don’t worry about tomorrow and then get backstopped by “the people”. Capitalism when there is money to be made, socialism when it’s time to pay.

    4. Should we be looking at our living standard improving or what the gap is? Even the poorest 20% are still better off than they were 30 years ago. Also, there are other things other than simply income. Thanks to the innovations of entrepreneurs, today in America, even poor people have clean water, TV sets, cars and flush toilets. Most live better than kings once lived — better even than the middle class lived in 1970.

    So do the people in most countries around the world – most of which (if any at all) are not “true” capitalist nations. Are we still the country where it is the easiest to climb from poverty to middle class (hint, not even close)? A lot of the innovations you speak of didn’t even come from America and certainly most are not manufactured here.

    5. Entrepreneurs have made fortunes by pleasing consumers. That’s capitalism.

    That is capitalism – I don’t see the word “true” needed there. Regulated or not, it can still work.

    6. Competition drives down prices, makes businesses stronger, and benefits society as a whole

    This too can be true and can also not be true. Really just a platitude.

  16. Moe says:

    let’s all save an additional 1% and give it to the banks for safekeeping – brilliant!

  17. bocon007 says:

    What I like about the Occupy movement so far is how intelligent it is.

    Are there people in Liberty Square who endorse extremely radical agendas? Of course there are. I suspect we could go down to the square and find at least three of everything at this point: Lyndon Larouche wannabes to those ethically apposed to strip mining the Moon. But there is obviously a very intelligent core of people at work here, and they are determined to make substantive changes to the public discourse in this country. They will not settle for getting Occupy candidates elected into office; they want all candidates to adjust their messages and priorities in light of the Occupy Movement and the injustices it reveals.

  18. Frilton Miedman says:

    Don Says:
    October 19th, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    …….5. Entrepreneurs have made fortunes by pleasing consumers. That’s capitalism.

    Don, explain this to the heroine dealer who’s doing time for selling on school grounds.

    Again, no one is opposing Capitalism, but this entire movement makes light of an extreme, unbridled, unregulated Capitalism in combination with bribery, is no longer Democracy.

    On you’re atement that the lowest clas sis better off then 30 years ago.

    Correct, but they’re also indebted ten times over….as the defaults increase, we all pay, one way or another beit decreased consumption & economic activity, or increased government debt to stave off mass homelessness & hunger.

    We then get into a convoluted debate on a Les Affaire appraoch, as if we’d be able to ignore hungry, homeless angrily rioting mobs that consist of the growing majority of America..

  19. “…2. But if they mean the free market, then they are fools. When allowed to work, the market has lifted more people out of poverty than any government ever.

    You just pulled that out of your ass didn’t you? Please give a footnote or elucidate. China alone will have over 500 million middle class by 2015 – that’s more people out of poverty than the entire US population – and they did this under “communist rule”…”
    –”Don”, above

    like, really?, Wow…

    “Don”, you know, at the min., try some of “… Please give a footnote or elucidate…” ..

    and, as is Said.., “For X-Tra Credit”, prove this one..”…even poor people have clean water…”

    GL w/that~

  20. Frilton Miedman says:

    EDIT: “On you’re STatement that the lowest class is better off then 30 years ago.”

  21. Frilton Miedman says:

    Mark Hoffer, I agree, but never mind China’s example, we have our own.

    DARPA and NASA account for the advent of global technology in the last 30 years.

    Cell phones, microwaves, GPS, computers, the internet, on and on, all created as a result of U.S. spending.

    The key isn’t to cut government, but to make what our government is spending on transparent.

    I.E. Are we doling out billions to defense contractors because they’re friends with the Vice President?, or are we doling out billions because the contractor has a viable chance at finally inducing cold fusion?

  22. Don says:

    Sorry Milton and Mark, I guess I didn’t make it clear – I was questioning Irwin’s “Points’” above – those were his points, I was disagreeing/commenting.

  23. Frilton Miedman says:

    Don, sorry for jumping the gun.

    I missed this -
    “Irwin
    No we can’t. Humans must be watched and kept in check – regulations, laws, whatever you want to call them will always be needed to control us animals. Your “points” are pretty weak and filled with clichés:”

    Off to my corner for a time out.

  24. cfischer says:

    I want to see equally colorful graphics about how much federal money is spent on the bottom 80% versus everyone else.

  25. Moe says:

    Frilton Miedman:

    Are you making a veiled reference to Dick Cheney?

    If so, I do not appreciate it. He is a fine man. He would not stand for the slightest impropriety.

    The man is also generous to fault! He offered to pay for my knee replacement surguryafter our last hunting trip (his gun misfired – totally my fault).

  26. Moe says:

    cfischer Says

    You may have a point – the vast majority of Fed money goes to the military – and we all know the top 20% aint gonna be found there.

  27. Jerk A. Jerkhead says:

    “The founding fathers risked their lives to prevent that.”

    Our “founding fathers” were bootleggers that tried to be the ones at the top of this short and stout pyramid. What is this obsession with having to hero worship a bunch of dead people? They’re dead. It’s time to be your own man, woman, or other rather than always looking to a bunch of slave owning dead people.

    That last line is going to be my campaign slogan.

  28. Frilton Miedman says:

    Moe, there was nothing veiled about my reference.

    Haliburton made a fortune off the “proof” there were WMD’s.

    On his massive charitable contribution in 2005, it was from options he positioned specifically for charity in 2003 on HAL stock, using his inside knowledge on HAL’s guaranteed contracts in Iraq, he was able to attain a $1 million tax refund atop paying no taxes on the actual $1 million he really made for that year.

    He netted a profit of $1 million through insider trading, and walked away as if a hero….the waterboarding, though it gave me pleasure to see those scumbags suffer, was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention.

  29. victor says:

    @Don: I read your critique of Irwin’s comment, but please:” China alone will have over 500 million middle class by 2015 – that’s more people out of poverty than the entire US population – and they did this under “communist rule”. If Irwin pulled the statement about the free market out of his axx as you put it, then where in the hell did YOU pull yours from? I do business in China and have travelled intensively , nope not even close! GDP per capita as of 2009: $3,744; assume 9% increase/yr (generous for more than one reason) and you get $6.279 in 2015. Compare that with US GDP/capita 2009: $45,989. China has currently 350 million practically homeless people biting at the chomp to move to the “cities” on the East Coast so they can work in the factories at low wages, no labor protection laws, zippo enviro’s reg’s. Their movements about the country are strictly regulated via a hated internal passport system, extremely discriminatory: religion, sex, domicile, # of children, and above all age and of course political connections. The Going rate for a Visa to the US is $25,000; the lucky one then buys a two way ticket (must) but never returns, he simply becomes another illegal in our country. THIS is the middle class you refer to? Make no mistake, China’s growth comes from raw capitalism operating under a political system that calls itself communist, but Chinese style: red tape, corruption and all. And most all men smoke, the country smell of cheap fried stuff, toilets are dirty, bad teeth galore. But, overall a very able people who would truly flourish under Democracy and free markets.

    @ Irwin: #3, you’re right on: ask not why he/she is poor or rich; instead ask why he/she is not poorer or richer. That says it all, I got it from Nassim Taleb.

  30. victor says:

    @ Filton Miedman: if you added the name Soros (or Buffett) to the Koch Bro’s you’d be fair and balanced…

    ~~~

    BR: Don’t the actual facts — dollar amounts, think tanks, specific actions — come into play?

    Or is all the world a “he said she said” dance to you?

  31. Frilton Miedman says:

    Victor, to the credit of both Soros and Buffet, they’re willing to pay their fair share instead of bribing Congress, Senate or the Supreme Court to avoid taxes..

  32. victor says:

    The info-graphics above illustrate yet another unsustainable trend in the social/economic fabric of our nation. Wealth/income distribution joins trade deficits, budget deficits, dollar devaluation, illegal immigration, health costs, tax code(s), demographics, education, incarceration rates, climate change…I’m sure I missed quite a few. Larry Lindsay wrote a book that addresses some of these issues: “What a President Should Know . . . but Most Learn Too Late”. He has a pretty good overall record except for the Bush tax cuts which I think should have been aimed at the middle class only.

    Here’s my two cents contribution to redressing the obvious skewed wealth/income distribution to more desirable proportions, some call them fair. I dont know what those would be but the 1960 income growth pie chart looks OK to me. Intuitively, without citing think tank sources or getting into specific numbers I list the following themes; please do not take them as social/economic engineering attempts:

    1. Increase the size of the total pie via growing the economy, ex THAT portion of financial services we all know about.

    2) Increase (gradually) income tax rates on the “rich” and keep the tax bite on the non-rich at present levels. Start a Swiss/French type wealth tax; but first reform the tax system: loopholes and the regressive payroll taxes.

    3) Take money out of politics. Putin jailed oligarch Khodorkovsky until 2016. No need for such drastic measures. But taking special interests out of the system would be work in progress for a long time.

    Some consolation can be had though: The composition of the super wealthy lot tends to continually change: new faces replace older ones. Some of the super rich give all their wealth away (Gates, Buffett, curiously not Jobs at least while still alive, his will has not been published yet). Most of today’s wealth has been created in the past few decades, a smaller % has been inherited. More and more billionaires step up to the plate and proudly request that their taxes be increased, not withstanding what their accountants (and wives, children too?) probably whisper in their ears. Shareholder rebellions against CEO abuses (corporate activism) seems to be on the rise.