Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominees (Video)

by Robert Greenwald

The Occupy movement has drawn attention to how too many in the 1% get to play by their own rules while exploiting the 99%. But who’s doing the most to damage our economy and democracy?

You tell us.

We at Brave New Foundation have launched a website where you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more. Then we’ll make a series of videos exposing the ones that you rank as the very worst. As our friends at Fox News might put it: We film. You decide.

Got some ideas?

Let’s look at some examples. Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs, is one of our nominees. He touted mortgage assets to clients while privately betting$10 billion they’d fail. Then he lied to Congress by claiming that Goldman Sachs had not, in fact, bet against its own clients. These actions helped spur the excessive risk-taking that led to the financial meltdown and put millions out of a job.

Or take a look at Paul Singer, who has earned the nickname “the vulture capitalist.” He exploits poor nations by buying their defaulted debt for cheap and forcing them to pay in full–plus interest. The Congo was one of Singer’s victims. That country had just gotten out of a civil war and half of its citizens live on less than a dollar a day. To Singer, that was a business opportunity. He bought the Congo’s debt for pennies on the dollar and then sued to win far, far more than he had paid for it.

Of course, simply bandying names about isn’t the point. The point is that the activists fueling social movements like Occupy need to be able to understand exactly how oppression works and which individuals are controlling the process. Where would our nation be if, in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, activists had spoken only of the systemic issue of segregation and didn’t have George Wallace and Bull Connor to single out as perpetrators? We at Brave New Foundation are helping build a narrative so that citizens can draw a straight line between the cheats and bullies misusing their wealth and the economic predicament in which our country is now ensnared.

A powerful coalition

We aren’t alone in this effort. Our partners include progressive media truth tellers like AlterNet, TruthOut, the Nation, PoliticsUSA, CARE2, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Young Turks, Campaign for America’s Future, Free Speech TV, Thom Hartmann, and MichaelMoore.com.

So who do you think deserves to be exposed? Vote and make your voice heard.With the Occupy movement at a critical point, this is the moment to double down on illuminating our nation’s vast inequalities and–just as important–how things got this way. This is a chance to take our democracy back.


Read more:

Occupy Wall Street Finds Goldman Sachs Guilty In Mock Trial

Veterans Of 4 Wars Support Occupy Wall Street [Videos]

Will This Photo Be the Face of the Occupy Movement?

Photo from 1 Percent website


Edward B.
Ed Burns6 years ago

All those mentioned above are part of the problem but the biggest cause of our, and the worlds problems are the 300 or more families who own the Federal Reserve and other banks though-out the world, and who make money out of thin air, as one member above stated.

These people control 50% of all the money in the world. They are sometimes called "The Illuminati", "The New World Order" and "The Globalist" "Shadow Government", among other names! They are Democrats, Republicans, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, etc..

There are many sources that back up these statements. One is a book I recently read by Henry Makow Illuminati: The Cult that Hijacked the World. Available from Amazon.

In this book he list many of the people who are members of The New World Order... you will be surprised and shocked!

Toby Seiler
Past Member 6 years ago

Teresa, Hope and Liz,

Good comments all.

We have a fundamental flaw in our monetary system because money, the US FED NOTE is all debt. The FED is a for profit entity, they make all of the US money by issuing debt from thin air and collecting interest on it. They have a monopoly.

Only candidate Ron Paul dares approach the issue and untill the war industry complex is converted to peaceful use, so we can stop actively destabilising the middle east for the Zionists, we will get saddled with a massive yoke that is not bearable, trying to pay for it.

I support OccuyUS and Ron Paul. Please consider the impact that changing the monetary system and reducing 800 to 300 foreign bases would have.

lis Gunn
lis Gunn6 years ago

This is a great start. Please add to the list.The electorate needs to know who, when and how the 1% exploited, manipulated and distorted people and issues in their own self interests. One name that might be considered is Mitt Romney. How did he make his millions? Another name might be that of the CEO of Nike which has shipped jobs off-shore to poor countries to maximise its profits. And what of George W. whose inherited wealth bought him so much?

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

Th super wealthy put the robber barons of the mid 20th century to shame. That was where American big businessmen amassed huge fortunes immorally, unethically, and unjustly. It applies today and includes the corruption of politicians through their use of money and power.

If they had paid taxes as they did from 1917-1921 and 1932-1981 without tax breaks and loopholes it would have curtailed their greed, broadened the middle class, and we would have no deficit.
Way psst time for them to pay up. Raise their taxes and take out the loopholes and tax breaks not available to the average citizen.

There should also be a limit to how many companies a corporation can own. At the rate we are going there will be only one or two hundred corporations that will be employers since they put thousands of small businesses out of business.

Teresa P.
Teresa P.6 years ago

I think that the list is a good start. But the Koch brothers to me are the worst offenders. I know there are a lot of "super rich" people who do nothing with their money but throw fancy parties and claim it is for a charity event when most of the money doesn't even go to charity.I know Bill Gates is very rich, but it is what he does with the money he has. He would be more than happy to pay more taxes,as the good rich people would. But the Koch's and Murdoch's of this country,are the evil money makers. Glad they both are on the list.

Toby Seiler
Past Member 6 years ago

How about a list for a political platform?

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

Whether it is fair or not, to single out a few of the transgressors, isn't the issue. In fact, it's a start.
If there's the slightest possibility that it may keep another offender from committing the same act, it is worth it. The wealthy, continually, escape the justice system, due to their limitless cashflow. Just because all criminals are not held accountable, should not suggest, that NO ONE be held accountable.

Possibly list No. 2, will follow.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 6 years ago

Hi Glenn...Being a Canadian, I cannot do much about your political parties but observe. I really think you need a third party at the very least so you can have another option. As far as my protests & actions at home, I am politically active. I will go to forums & question candidates, study the behind the scenes BS & throw it in their faces. I have participated in & led on-line & in-person protests & almost always vote for a minority party so the government that does get in does not hold a majority & must compromise in order to get things done. Recently I led 4000 people down University Ave. in Toronto from Queen's Park (Provincial Parliament Buildings) with my pipes to protest moves to privatize health care. I have done writing campaigns & presented speeches to groups on my own time & at my own expense. Is there anything else you suggest I do? At least I try, probably in vain, but I TRY. If everyone did the same, we might get somewhere. It saddens me to see the American people getting screwed for the almighty dollar.

Doug G.
Doug G6 years ago

All of the 1 % should be investigated by grand juries along with their bought off political dogs that have been aiding and abetting them for so very long. these people need to be scrutinized throughly since it is clear they resort to any mean to further their own greed while promoting a bogus image of themselves and their corporations.

A rich man never got that way without screwing many along the way. Since so many right wingers identify with Jesus, how does his teachings square with the actions of these people? I remember reading in the bible "it is easier for the camel to go through an eye of an needle than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom of heaven". Also, "how you treat the least of these is how you treat me"(jesus). They must have overlooked those passage to be so supportive of these cutthroats.

Identifying the top 1% is a great idea, far better than occupying wall street which will do little. Shining a light in that rat hole at the top and their political flunkies is a good start, followed by active pursuits of criminal charges I am sure they have engaged in.

Lyn B.
Lyn B6 years ago

At a 160 comments I'm probably too late in getting anyone to check out the article I was talking about in my previous post. You don't have to read the whole thing just the parts about about John Paulson and the others in his circle. These people and what they did is scary. If I could find a way to make him a write-in candidate for this poll I would definitely add him.