I love tracking data. This is one of the best bits about working where I do: we collect a lot of it. Here’s the release associated with the chart above, but the thing about a good chart is you don’t really need any words. Kudos to the folks in our graphics department who put it together. I’m still pondering why it is that respect for the sector declined so rapidly over the past year, when all the facts about the financial crisis had been readily available for a couple of years already. I would guess it’s the realization that our economic misery here and back in the UK – especially unemployment –  is not about to go away. In the UK they’ve also had an opportunity to change governments and it clearly hasn’t done a thing; check out this from the NYT on the failure of austerity.

A couple of other useful things from around the internet on this topic: a conversation from The Awl between a guy who sympathises with the protesters but isn’t sure what protesting is for, and his friend who is a hardcore protest dude; a Tumblog that collects economic hardship stories from “the 99%.”

From the above-linked conversation:

They adopted this sort of very basic stance toward the world of, whoever runs things runs things, and it’s not me, and things are just going to keep being shitty, because some other people who have a lot of power and money are going to be the ones who decide what happens, basically.

LOGAN: Unfortunately, I think I might be the poster child for this.

SAM: And so as a way of concluding a really long rambling answer to this question of “what is the point of street-based activism,” I think one of the main purposes in this case, and really the initial purpose, is to make a space, to open up a space, where people go and talk to other people about what they want to have happen.