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Survey: 3 in 10 Americans identify with Occupy, Tea Party movements
An Occupy Wall Street protest in Los Angeles on Thursday.
November 17th, 2011
03:47 PM ET

Survey: 3 in 10 Americans identify with Occupy, Tea Party movements

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Both the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements identify with the values of just under a third of the country, according to a survey released Thursday.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans say the Occupy Wall Street movement shares their values, the same proportion who say Tea Party shares their values, the survey found.

The poll was conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service.

“Americans are deeply divided along partisan lines in their evaluations of these movements,” according to the survey report, “although Republicans are significantly more likely to say the Tea Party shares their values than Democrats are to say the Occupy Wall Street movement shares their values.”

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the the Tea Party does not share their values, compared to a statistically equal 56% of respondents who indicated the same about the Occupy movement.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans and just 14 percent of Democrats said their values were in line with the Tea Party. When asked about the Occupy movement, 40% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans say their personal values match the values of Occupy Wall Street.

The Occupy movement, which celebrates its two-month anniversary Thursday, is an international protest movement that has called for a number of different reforms, including resolving income inequality and modifying the tax code.

Though respondents said their beliefs didn't align with the Occupy movements, the idea of combating inequality, when asked on its own, did survey positively.

"Majorities of nearly every demographic group - including all major religious groups, age groups and education groups - agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor," reads the survey.

Over two-thirds or 67 percent of respondents said the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Less than one-third said the government should do less.

Americans are also divided over whether churches and clergy have provided enough moral leadership on the country's economic problems.

Forty-six percent of respondents in a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Thursday indicated that churches have not provided enough leadership during the financial crises. Forty-five percent indicated the opposite.

This division, which is within the survey's plus or minus 3 percent margin or error, was seen throughout almost all religious denominations, including Catholics, evangelical Protestants and mainline Protestants. With 64 percent responding that churches had not done enough, minority Protestants were the only denomination to not show a division within the margin of error.

The survey sampled 1,002 adults from November 10 to the 14 by phone.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Politics • Polls • Tea Party

soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. MEDIAREFORMS

    CNN is lying and no one should believe what they are saying....who is this RELIGIOUS GROUP WHO TOOK THIS POLL....anyone know them that CNN is willing to site this poll to a national audience? I THINK CNN IS SCARED OF BOTH THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT AND THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THAT RIGHT AND LEFT ARE CLOSING IN ON THEM FROM BOTH SIDES! THIS IS WHAT I THINK.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • 33 is not 99

      Ummmmm, 3 in 10 is not 99%. The idea that all Americans other than the top 1% want reform is exactly why this movement will not last long. In an America of about 300 million, a protest of 1000 in New York is absolutely insignificant and only worthy of news if it applies to the spin suited to the network...CNN...

      November 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Arthur

      Get back to your job at Fox News.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  2. oops

    also don't forget the teabaggers have been around much much longer for the indifferent middle to understand what they are doing. ows is much more in alignment with average americans, truth will out.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Colorado

      oops – you're an idiot; oops is what your momma said in the back seat of the '74 Vega during your conception

      November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • John P

      Typical liberal who likes people shouting at buildings accomplishing nothing and calling people names that want to bring change for the good. This country is doomed if the majority of people in the U.S. are just like you.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  3. sounds even to me

    sounds about right. 1/3 right wingnuts, 1/3 progressive grassroots, 1/3 ho hum this is all ok with them. i do have to say that last third is a bit alarming in this downard spiral of u.s. economy and government.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Wes

      Right on. The key will be how the trend evolves.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  4. Reality

    The latest data show that a big portion of the federal income tax burden is shoul¬dered by a small group of the very richest Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per¬cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent—those below the median income level—now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. These are proportions of the income tax alone and don’t include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare."

    http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes

    Obviously, we need more rich people to reduce my tax burden !!!

    November 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Sick of the new Hippies

      Instead of continuing to Occupy Wall Street, or some cities' Town Hall Squares, take a break and go Occupy a shower, then Occupy a job, make a little money so you can go buy, then Occupy, a coffin. All that is being shown is clear envy of those WHO FOLLOWED THE RULES. If you are upset with the outcome they have gotten, take it to the rule makers, CONGRESS, not Wall Street. It shows pure ignorance to go after those who followed the rules, no matter how unfair they may seem, instead of the people who made, and make, all the rules. Try lobbying your Congressmen instead of creating a disgraceful showing around the world of our country.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Lesieie

      About 75% (I'll get the exact number if you really, really need it, but I bet you don't want it) of OWS is employed. Compared to 44% of TPs. Easy to make stupid assumptions, isn't it?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Brad

      This isn't going to sway anyone. Even with the tax rate, the rich have far more expendable money as a percentage of their income than someone making 50k. In short - they can handle the taxes without a problem where someone making 50k ans spending within their means will have trouble. Get the picture?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Lesieie

      And by the way, Sick, you forgot to mention how TP rallies disgrace democracy.

      Or was that because you'd have to actually examine your assumptions and your logic, and maybe conclude, in your thinking, that protest disgraced the democratic beginnings of this country?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Willy Loman

      The reason they site only income taxes is of course to skew the data and make it look as though we have a much more progressive system of taxation than we actually do. In reality, our system is ever so slightly progressive with the ultra wealthy paying a significantly smaller share of their income in terms of the only relevant measure, total taxes paid. It's foolishness like this that drives the conservative movement. I have a newsflash for you GOP. Tax dollars are tax dollars. Stop citing information on income tax alone. Even if you are not intentionally misleading, it makes you appear so.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • 2Late2Duck

      This is not just about tax rates. It is about who owns the means of production in a highly interdependent society. As automation elimiates more jobs, the unemployed are effectively "dead," with no access to food, or shelter. People cutoff from access to the means of survival are not going to make OWSers look giddy by comparison.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • donnie

      Rulemakers in Congress and the White House are Crony Caplitalist puppets bought off by the elite on Wall Street and Corporate America.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Lesieie

      @Reality (what a joke of a handle): You forgot, in your spew of statistics, to point out that the top 10 percent have 40% of the dough.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Sick of the new Hippies

      Lesieie, Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.[1] Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.[1] It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. So how is the Tea Party Rally a destruction of Democracy? All the Tea Party has been trying to do, for the most part is get the government interference with equality possibilities out of the way. Less government means more Democracy, just in simple definition. So again, it just sounds like a bunch of whining babies envious over the rules that their government put in place, which goes back to what I said, lobby your Congressmen to change the rules, stop coveting what those who played by the rules. It's just a simple fact that if you CHOOSE to live in an area where minimum wage is impossible to survive on, then it is up to YOU to work harder to achieve what you want, just by the simple definition of Democracy. If you don't like it, you could always just leave.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  5. Post American

    The Tea Party and #OWS are nothing but narcissistic and partisan sound and fury signifying nothing.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      Not name calling. I mean really tell what you think the Patriots/Tea Parties are about, i.e., stand for.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Lesieie

      Yeah? You form that opinion while sitting in front of your TeeVee?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Ram

      As if CNN needed any more, this is yet another unforgivable stain on their journalistic integrity.

      Apart from being vocal about the status quo of the country, there is almost nothing the two have in common. Last time I checked, the T.P. has not broken any laws, have not been arrested, do not scream vile names at the cops, do not mouth off anti-semetic remarks to anyone who is listening, have urinated in public places – and have not caused public mayhem.

      The list is longer, of course...

      To package the two together is another slap down of anything even remotely close to conservative views.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Lesieie

      Oh, Ram (does that handle have symbolic value for you?): You're WAY wrong about your assertions. TP private property damage, bodily assault, much less name calling–and that's only in the one state I follow.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  6. DJC

    The group I hang out with isnt a very political bunch other than a couple of us. All middle or upper middle class and when politics comes up we dont all agree. However, ALL of us side with either the Tea Party or OWS with most being the OWS. 3 out of 10 sounds pretty light to me.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      I would like to see respondents say here what they think the Patriot/Tea Party organizations are/stand for.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • o.k.

      Weldon–there being no formal manifesto, I don't think you'll get the same answer from tea party supporters. For many, its the increasing debt, for others its only about taxes, other the bail-outs. I think you'll find a general consensus, however, that many supporters simply believe the government's answer to everything is to throw money at it.

      Let me throw this one back at you–what do the OWS folks believe that movement is about? Watching the news reports, I've heard everything from shady lending practices, to "not paying a fair share," etc. I've even heard some simply say that their tired of they way things are–when asked for specifics, they had none. Again, I think you'll find a general consensus that there is a group of believe that (as it is perceived–rightfully or wrongly) who are treated on better terms by the government.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • o.k.

      sorry for the typos above...

      November 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  7. James

    For the homeless its the Church who needs to stand up and help, not the government. Why can't we the people help the homeless. Didn't Jesus teach us this ? The most basic life lesson is to love our neighbors as ourselves. It doesn't matter what party you belong too.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      Yeq!

      November 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Lesieie

      Wail about that all you want, it's the top incomes whose charitable donations have DROPPED in the last two years; the lower incomes have increased. Of course, top income giving would cover a whole lot more lower incomes' "widows mites." I guess it takes one, who knows one, to care about one. Or maybe the top incomes really are feeling poverty-stricken? (I said "feeling," not "are.")

      November 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  8. jack spratis

    That's not even close to the 99 % they been bragging about, what a bunch of phony bolognas 😉

    November 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Lesieie

      "Fifty-nine percent of Republicans and just 14 percent of Democrats said their values were in line with the Tea Party." Odd. The Republican percentage, that is. Do they know that 56 percent of Tea Partiers are unemployed? I think that's odd, because the Republican first and only priority is to make sure Obama is not re-elected, not to make jobs. Hmm. That's odd too. Because they're trying to do it with a slate of clown candidates.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      The Patriiots/Tea Party organizations DO have a set of ideals and aspirations which I have not seen expressed by even one critic or opinion writer. But, they do have a lot of critics.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  9. WDinDallas

    Tax everybody!

    November 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • us1776

      Tax fairly for a change.

      Instead of putting an unfair burden on the middle-class and poor.

      .

      November 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  10. mark ducharme

    How many people polled actually even know either of the groups values. I am predicting a lot less than the 66.66 percent that didn't agree with them. LOL

    November 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      You are right! The "critics" from what I see and hear, know nothing of the Patriots or Tea Party organizations. I have seen them waylaid on the news, particularly Ed Schultz, but never the written values and aspirations of the organizations.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • gmccyclist

      You hit the nail on the head. Considering that the majority of Americans probably couldn't tell you who the current Vice President is, why do we think a majority know the values of the OWS or Tea Party are? That would be Biden as VP.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  11. JohnnyDH

    You are the 29%. The 71% who don't like you will prevail.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • oops

      try again. that's 3 thirds, not 2/3 vs 1/3. no two thirds agree, derr...

      November 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  12. Jason

    So, the 99% are actually 3%. Another point the 3% that support OWS must also support unprovoked violence which is odd becuase the left always claims that Tea Party supporters are violent. Too bad the facts eventually came to light.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jason2

      No, I think it makes them the 30% (3 out of 10)

      November 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      People of all walks of life can be violent.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Dave836

      3/10 * 100 = 30%....

      They should really not call themselves the "99%" though. If they didn't do that then I really wouldn't care what they do...

      November 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • J

      Unfortunately Jason, you are the 3%.

      The 3% that doesn't know math.

      3/10 = 30%.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Lesieie

      Oh, Jason. Got back to school. You really are not ready for adult discourse. Start with reading, then go on to math.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • oops

      you obviously don't know what the 99% means. you are part of it no matter what you think, or you are a part of the 1%. it's a measure of wealth. just shows how you pretend to be against something that you don't even know the most basic information about.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  13. hjs3

    3 in 10? What was your control group?
    I think the percentage of people that identify with the spirit of the movement is
    ten points higher...

    November 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  14. Atheist 1#

    Occupy has done pretty good for an unorganized group.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • theStugatz

      pretty good at what? sh * tting in the park?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  15. Ph.D. from M.I.T.

    If your American Dream is to work hard, live comfortably, and to be able grow old and actually retire – then you should be with the OWS / 99% movement. If your Amrican Dream is to become one of the 1%, then I can see why you would not be with the OWS/99% movement – but I think you are kidding yourself. And if you are already in the 1%, then agan, I can see why you might be against OWS/99% movement – but again I think you are not acting in your best interest. The gap between the wealtiest and the rest that has grown dramatically over the last 30 years will cause increasing social unreast. Better to address it now, before it gets out of control. You will still be billionaires. One more word about why american middle clas USED to be able to retire. Based on three things: (1) pension, (2) savings, and (3) social security. Safe, secure, stable pensions are now gone. Replaced by unsafe 401(k) dependent on Wall Street. Banks used to give 10% – 15% interest on savings. Now gone. You must put your savings in – you guessed it – Wall Street. Only social security remains and guess what – the 1% want to privitize it and make you put your money in Wall Street. DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN NOW?! Wall Street / the 1% want to become more obscenely wealthy by cheating everyone else out of the ability to even retire. Think about this and tell me where do you stand!

    November 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ed

      I agree with the need to address the wealth gap now rather then wait till later however the problem with social security is is was always destine to fail and was never meant to be permanent. as for 401K then can work fine if your careful and make a good plan and stick with it. Most people panic whent he market goes down and dump everything then move back in after t goes up the sell low and buy high. that is what causes their losses it really is not Wall streets fault.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "Only social security remains and guess what – the 1% want to privitize it and make you put your money in Wall Street"

      Social Security only remains because we have no other choice but to put into SS. The government has already spent my SS money and is asking me to prop up the retiring generation. Its not my fault that the baby boomers spent all of the SS money for them and I shouldnt be responsible for helping them retire, nor should my kids.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Rabble Rouser

      My two cents:
      Privatizing ANY government function is nothing less than a bid to destroy our government one piece at a time.
      It is rank treason usually suggested by those who's clear purpose is the destruction of our government.
      They have already destroyed our representation through the use of bribery, undermined every local, state, and federal office, but somehow this isn't profitable enough for them. They must destroy every helpful program that our government has in place.
      Serious stuff, yet what is everyone doing? What CAN they do?
      If you take everything away that people need to live, then they will have nothing to lose and violence becomes a very real and viable option. Perhaps the only option they ever really had, considering the total control these traitors have over our country.
      They are criminals who have given up certain rights by committing these crimes against America.
      Time to destroy them. Felony treason is punishable by death. If they control the courts, and they do, then they should not be given a "fair" trial. They need a visit from a lynching party. All of them.
      That's probably the only way this will ever be actually addressed. But I hate hurting people, yet my anger is great and they have destroyed any chance for the people to seek justice in court.
      Without other options, severe and violent actions are ALL that is left to the people of America.
      But, hey, don't really kill anyone. I'm just pssed off at the moment. Destroy their power. Figure it out people.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Snoozie

      Bravo for that explanation, which does indeed nail it.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      Horrible advice. Investing in wall street is unstable at best. Want something solid? Invest your money in gold. MIT doesn't teach common sense. Good luck paying your student loans back. Thanks for being part of the problem.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • John

      Well said, PhD.

      It is almost funny but more sad to see the decline of the middle class, but we brought it on ourselves. We hate unions, which protect our standard of living. We support corporations, which profit from us. We are constantly manipulated by lobbyists, politicians, and wealthy organizations to vote for what benefits THEM, not what benefits US. You better believe the 1% are voting not just with their ballots, but with their unfathomable money, for the things that help them. While the poor middle class... we are still fighting about whether we should dump our OWN social security and medicare. The wealthy are wealthy because they are smart. There's a reasonable the rest of us, as a whole, are not doing so great....

      November 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Snoozie

      Yes, Ed, but why SHOULD we have to wish, hope and pray that we made the best decisions with investing our money? That means, only the very brightest among us get to have a nice retirement.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Jason

      You do realize that you can invest your own money in safe and secure things which have a much higher return than Social Security. The fact is that the OWS movement at absolute best represents 5% and those are the folks who want things given to them. People who work hard do not support unearned hand-outs. You might want to leave acedemia and check out the real world once in a while. Lazy malcontents like OWS are not the future.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Snoozie

      Clay, I am a baby boomer and I would like to know what you think I spent my social security money on, because as far as I can see all I have been doing so far is paying in.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Jared

      I don't ever recall a time when banks would give you 10-15% on savings. Ever.

      Pension plans are unsustainable and have driven a lot of businesses out of business. 401k plans are. Your 401k plan though isn't setup by Wallstreet, it is setup by your employer and most don't make you invest in Wallstreet and even give you a stable fund to lock your money in. The stock market has never been a guarantee. Your education should have taught you that if you really have a PHD. And as for Social Security. Don't make me laugh.

      I'm living my American Dream, why aren't you? No one ever said it would be easy. No one promised you a job when you finished your degree and if they did, then you should talk with them. No one made anyone take out massive student loans, but you did sign each and every one of them and agreed to pay them back. No one made anyone sign a mortgage they couldn't afford. No one forced anyone to withdraw their money from the stock market when it crashed. I didn't. I rode it out, doubled down, and actually made enough money to pay for our wedding. I own two successful businesses, two homes, and live comfortably enough. I didn't come from money. In fact my parents nearly went bankrupt. I made my choices. You made yours. The next time you want to complain about how you aren't living the American Dream and want someone to blame. Look in the mirror.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Ed

      @snoozie, Don't think I mentioned wishing hoping or praying. But you can get guidance from many places some of them for free. I work with retiremnet plans. I can tell you from personal exprience must people don't have the know how the problem is many people refuse to listen to people trying to help them.

      Yes I am in the finance industry I give guidance on 401Ks every day. I not one to the rich CEO decidely middle class. I'm right there with the 99%. But I see a lot of people not willing to listen when I try to help

      November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      Wow! I have reached a Positive Group. Most people one these comments are real downers. They complain about everyone and every and not from personal contact experience.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Ed

      social security has always had the current earns pay for the current recievers it one reason it was destined to fail. The baby boomers didn't cause it and can not fix it. It does need fixing, but lets blame just one generation

      November 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  16. Harold

    WHERE are homeless people supposed to live?????

    Consider their situation. Every bit of property in the USA is either public or private property and NONE of the public property is set aside for homeless people!!!
    In the middle of a city like NYC, where do you go? An abandoned building on private property? A public park owned, strangely enough, by a private person? The nearest alley?
    And then, having found a nice cardboard box, how do you get a job without being able to clean yourself up?
    Answer is: You don't.
    Nobody will hire someone who doesn't have access to a bathroom or shower, who doesn't have a fixed address, and who's only crime is being without access to the most basic of human needs!!

    All these pieces of sht who like to snidely remark that these people just need to "get a job" should be banned from getting jobs themselves. That would be true justice.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • claybigsby

      why should public property be available to people who dont pay taxes to pay for the upkeep of those properties? You're asking me to pay for that?

      November 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      Many homeless people are the product of their own poor decision-making.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Snoozie

      Why is it that every little thing comes down to "I'm not paying for anyone else but my own self". How about because you are fortunate enough to be in a position where you CAN pay taxes? And, by the way, homeless people pay taxes, too. They may not pay income taxes, but they are taxed like you and me every time they make a purchase. And you never answered Harold's question of exactly where these people are supposed to go. I know, not your problem, right?

      November 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Snoozie

      And that means, what, PhD? How does that change any of the facts? And, many aren't as well.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      Sorry. But I didn't make bad choices. I didn't become an alcoholic, drug addict or a gambling addict. I pay my bills. I've seen enough people get sucked into doing stupid things and lose everything. I'm not paying for their mistakes. Many of them knew the consequences but simply do not care. No, it's NOT my problem. You can shove your bleeding heart communist mentality that it is mine to deal with. No thanks. I work hard for what I've got. I'm not working twice as hard to carry the weight of someone who made the decision to flush everything down the toilet. I've given homeless people money before. I've watched them go straight to a store and come back out with beer or hard liquor. I've given homeless people food. And they've complained because they didn't like what I'd given them. So you know what? Screw them. They want handouts. They're happier asking for money so they can have a choice, and they clearly continue making terrible choices. You think those of us who work to support our families deserve to carry the weight of people who don't care about anything but their next drink or joint? Maybe you haven't noticed, but the economy hasn't been in the best shape for a while. A LOT of people are struggling as it is. You think they too should carry even more dead weight on their shoulders? Maybe we should just be like the Soviet Union. It worked out great for them.

      No, they aren't my problem. I'm paying for myself and my family. People create their own problems. It is not my fault they ended up in the situations they are in, and the money I work hard for should not go to trying to fix people that don't care enough to help themselves in the first place. Period.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      There are individuals, churches and social organizations everywhere doing this type of work. Go to one and help!

      November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      PS: I am talking to Harrold and those of his thought.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • What

      Weldon
      So you want to let the problem get worse? You want to see us address a few symptoms and none of the causes?
      You think all anyone has to do is open up a soup kitchen and all these problems magically go away?
      Please stop being so simple-minded. It's ignorant well-wishers who end up supporting the criminals while oppressing the defenseless victims of injustice. You are too easily manipulated and simple-minded to help anyone beyond giving them a damn sandwich. I wish some people were not allowed to vote.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  17. hippypoet

    if I didn't have a family, just a wife – I would be in this photo...i completely undestand there reasons and i agree with them. WE live in a world were the few control the masses but yet we are in a democary! something needs to change.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Ed

      Agreed, the playing field needs to be leveled. Ithink a ntional day of strike sounds like a good idea. everyone earnong less then say 100K house hold income don't go shopping or to work or rent a movie from paypr view for 1 day then the government that has forgotten the middle class will take notice and the wealthy will realize they need ti middle class and remeber to treat us with respect. I don't want a handout. But when some bank needs my tax money to bail it out then increases my fees so the CEO can have another 60 million dollar bonus and a 20 million salary then whines about his or her taxes ist ridiculous.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      Ed, and something tells me you still haven't switched banks. Way to go, computer chair commando.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      We are in America. We are not Controlled. And, I resent the inference.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Ed

      Sorry PHD but I did buts thanks for the as-sumption

      November 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  18. Nonimus

    So they are actually the 29%?

    November 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  19. Occupy My Own Damn Space

    I am a protester who has been protesting for decades. You guys have it backwards. The Occupy movement is just a bunch of people who are finally getting behind people like me, but you won't see me getting arrested by those police thugs because I see no advantage to being oppressed any more than I already am.
    While I appreciate these people for trying to make a difference, they are not doing much beyond getting free meals in a local holding cell. The thugs keep working for the sleazeballs and no one is being held accountable. No good changes are being made here. Just more oppression without any inroads being made against it.

    To the thugs and their sleazy masters: all you have to do is provide these homeless people with free housing and a good job, but I suppose you prefer to act like prlcks, since that is all you ever do.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Ed

      so give everyone a houe and food and a job. Got it your answer is you want a hand out.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Occupy My Own Damn Space

      Way to act like yet another prlck, Ed. You only prove my point.
      Plus, you dumbfck, if they had jobs, where's this "handout" you speak of? They'd be working at minimum wage jobs that no one can live on.
      You can't afford rent on minimum wage. This isn't the 1920s. At some point there needs to be affordable (sic) housing for everyone.
      You are the sort of person I would LOVE to fire from your job, take your home and all your possessions, and toss YOU into the street to fend for yourself.
      You would starve without a handout. You would have no place to live without someone "giving" it to you. You would have no job because you would have no water, no bathroom, no shower.
      Nobody would hire your stupid ass and then maybe you would shut up and quit being a prlck.
      Maybe.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Mark

      A job is not a handout Ed, but your the type that would think so. But I bet you have nothing to say when Exxon gets $4B in subsidies

      November 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Ed

      "provide these homeless people with free housing and a good job"

      you ask for a hand out then say were is the hand out I speak of. You throw vulgar insults then call me a pr-ick, go look in the mirror. Don't ask for a free house ask for help to get on your own feet so you can get your own house. The world owes you nothing but the oppurtunity to work hard and earn what you get. This is all that I have asked for is a fair chance to earn my way. I understand people need help sometimes. Fine help them but to give them everything. Give the ability and chance to get it themselves.

      As for me I am middle class not wealthy I agree there are changes need to make the system more fair. I have work all my life was a paper boy at nine and have been unemployeed for only 2 months of my adult life. All I ask for for a fair chance to earn my way. You ask for a hand out.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ed

      @Mark I did not say a job was a hand out but free housing is. I did say quite a bit when Exxon received its subsidies and you have know idea what type I am

      November 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Ph.D in Common Sense.

      You're oppressed, eh "Occupy?" Have you been held in captivity or forced into slave labor? You sound like someone that's done some hard time in a concentration camp.

      Poor "oppressed" protestor. While you protest, I'll be working and paying taxes. As usual.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ram

      You haven't traveled much, have you?

      Tell you what – for you and those who think there is police "oppression" by "thugs" – get a plane ticket an go to Syria.

      If you make it back alive – tell us what you see about how protesters are treated there.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Well Now

      Here's the joke: Government helping you pay your rent because not only is the rent too damn high, paying rent is throwing money in the toilet.
      If the government is going to help people pay for housing, it might as well provide the housing in the first place instead of putting money in the pockets of landlords who like to sneer while they take the money.
      Free housing can give a minimum-wage worker the financial elbow-room to actually survive and pay all their bills.
      Free medical also does this for people, giving them the financial leverage to survive. What good does it do to get medical help and then get tossed out to live in the street because you had to file bankruptcy because the medical sector is gouging the hell out of everyone they can?
      The bottom line is that most of these protesters used to work, used to support themselves when they had a job, but now they are not only unemployed, there is no hope of getting another job thanks to Wall Street, Banks, and all the corrupt politicians who violate the people's trust and commit malfeasance every day by not representing the American people.
      It's these corrupt, unethical, and unAmerican greedheads who are always demanding government handouts like subsidies, special tax breaks, de-regulation, etc.
      And they fight against people earning a living wage, against people having jobs. They want MORE pressure being put on the defenseless American citizens, deliberately fostering every crisis they can think of so that they can PROFIT from it.
      Free market capitalism is just outright thuggery. They don't want any regulations. They want to be able to act as criminal and vicious as possible without any control, regulation, and refuse to pay anything at all in taxes.
      Rich as Midas, they would gladly kill children to save a fraction of a penny just to see their stock prices go up.
      That's the sort of "morality" this out-of-control "free market capitalism" has brought to this country.
      Nothing but criminal intent is behind de-regulation. Those regulations took decades, sometimes centuries, to be implemented to protect the very lives of EVERYBODY, yet they are spending millions of dollars in bribes to poison our food, water, and air in the name of their bloated profits, stock prices, and personal wealth gotten at the expense of others.
      AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS!
      Yet all we hear is right-wing puppets repeating the llines they have been given by Rush Limbaugh, saying these starving, homeless people who cannot get a job are lazy bums looking for a handout.

      When you are cheated out of money, poisoned, given cancer, gouged at every turn, and then have a bunch of thugs wearing uniforms come and spray pepper in your face, you might feel more than justified in calling for justice.
      Yet where is the justice? Nowhere. We demand a redress for our grievances from the government at every turn, but all we get is felony assault done to us by paid thugs who have no shame. What a surprise.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  20. Aunty Establishment

    What values? You mean they've actually made a list? Whaaaat?

    November 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.