Beyond the 1 Percent

Common sense makes it impossible to understand how economics professor David Zimmerman could possibly say that the idea of “redirecting income from the top 1 percent” is mutually exclusive with “targeted, community-based programs” (“Beyond the 1 Percent,” March 2012). The point of the Occupy Movement is that income must be more equally distributed in this country, and the most effective way to do this is through programs aimed at early childhood. But how are these to be paid for? Zimmerman, it seems, expects the poor and working people of this country to beg for table scraps. The relatively small amount of money donated by the rich must then be directed at the best, most effective programs. The Occupy Movement is about demanding full funding for all effective programs, not politely requesting it and hoping the wealthiest of America start feeling generous.

Francesca Gomes ’99, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Economics professor Jon Bakija answers “Who are the 1 percent?” giving an average income for this group. But he doesn’t answer two questions that seem more interesting. One, how many are there? Two, how much did it take to get them there? It would also be interesting to know how stable this group is (ins and outs over the years) and, most importantly, how many of the 1 percent are Williams graduates.

Thomas E. Foster ’69, New York, N.Y.