“99%人群”表示，他们抗议的是一小撮控制着全美约三分之一财富，约20%收入的人。到目前为止，针对华尔街及其不端行径的怒火尚未取得进展，但威斯康星大学麦迪逊分校（the University of Wisconsin, Madison）研究20世纪历史的学者威廉•P •琼斯认为，占领华尔街的抗议者已经对政治话语产生了影响。
But the Occupy Wall Street protest, which has been burgeoning in dozens of other American locales, may gain traction with its slogan, "We are the 99%," says Lichtenstein.
"It echoes back to the 18th century," he explains, referring to property-owner rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The white, male landed gentry could vote. The other 85% to 90% could not.
"It's not just a question of income," explains Lichtenstein. "There was a view that there was a small group of virtuous producers, like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett in today's world," he says, "and there was a parasitical 1% of the population, an idea that goes back to the time of the British."
The "99 percenters" say they are rallying against the small sliver of people who control about one-third of the country's wealth and about 20% of its income. Thus far, the anger against Wall Street and suspected wrongdoing has made little headway, but the Occupy Wall Street protesters have made an impact on the political discourse, contends William P. Jones, a 20th-century historian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
"Within a week after the protest started, there was talk of a tax surcharge on the wealthy. That helps to focus attention on the dramatic concentration of wealth," he says.
No financial titans have been milling about Zuccotti Park, so Occupy Wall Street demonstrators last week took their message to the New York homes of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) chief executive Jamie Dimon and billionaire industrialist and conservative movement financier David Koch, taking a page from the post-2008 financial crash where some residences of highly remunerated bankers were picketed.
Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit went so far as to say he'd be willing to meet with protesters during an interview this week with Fortune's managing editor Andy Serwer, but a time and place has yet to be set.
So far, it's all been quite civil, but one of the flashpoints of discontent around the country, especially in the last two years, is about to recur. It's the jaw-dropping billions of dollars in cash and stock bonuses awarded annually on Wall Street.
The award period typically arrives after the New Year, not too long after pink slips are likely to be arriving on the desks of lower-down financial workers at Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup and other major financial institutions whose revenues have dipped.
But even on the worst days, the bonus payouts -- averaging around $400,000 to $500,000 per worker -- are easily 99 times those of any protester's paycheck.