Soooo...nobody gives a shit? I've seen so little about this on television, only read a few articles. Supposedly it's now spreading "across the country" but I'm not really clear where. To me, the most remarkable thing is how resoundingly it's being ignored by the "media."
I know that some women were pepper sprayed last week and that there were several hundred arrests in one day, but they've been mostly peaceful. That it's grown out of some of the European protests, but this one started by a Canadian magazine's call for action, as it were. Sounds like it's mostly young people disillusioned about the future of America.
There's been a few of them in a dominant area of downtown STL. That was fun because the Cardinals had a playoff game at 4, and Obama gave a little speech around 6. Even with all that, the streets of downtown still looked empty. (I work right by the stadium.)
I heard the story about the Occupy people on NPR this morning, and it just totally reminded me of Animal Farm - the book about Communism I had to read in 7th grade. The kids are trying to organize without any organization, but quickly realize that some folks showed up unprepared with no sleeping bags... so what to do? Dip into the general fund and buy some for them ($2000 for 120 sleeping bags is what they said they needed)? Buy material and MAKE sleeping bags for them? Or, what? Maybe they're on their own since they knew what they were getting into, and didn't come prepared?
I think they'll quickly realize that they need SOME sort of leadership and rules, and that mission statement is jibberish (This is the mission statement from their site):
Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.
Right? I can't figure it out. I've seen enough on the web to let me know that the current crop of 20-somethings feel like the world has been screwed up royally by us old folks and that we now owe them...something. A job. A sleeping bag?
All I know is I was a "slacker." I was GenX, the generation that was going to ruin America. If this is what we're raising..then maybe they have a point. Heh.
Huh, they had Ben Bernanke talking about their viewpoints sympathetically while he urged Congress not to make draconian cuts in this economy - so I think they're doing a pretty damn good job. Presumably the only option other than cuts is to tax the rich, and basically that's what they just got the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to tacitly endorse...
Who knows. But when the Fed Chair is expressing his sympathies, you're getting coverage. Which for a protest is the ultimate goal. I feel like they're having an impact, and they might even right the seriously off course trajectory of a tea partier or two - which in itself is a huge win.
I found that story - New York Magazine. He said he wasn't taking them into account specifically, but that "everyone" should be unhappy with the economy.
Is it the so-called liberal media's fault their voices aren't really being heard by a wider audience? I'm not sure they'll come anywhere near the organization (read: actually swinging elections) of the tea party. I saw something about them lamenting more people "over 30" need to participate. I'm just not sure in what. I'm not too pleased with the current state of things, but that's why I keep my money in my mattress.
Ok, I read that one, too. I'm still perplexed. This guy is telling me that I'm out of touch and "don't get" this 21st century protest, right? They are having "teach-ins" - teaching each other about the economy and what sucks about it and how the housing market collapsed and derivatives and so forth. That the media is treating them like a bunch of imbeciles because they're operating on a 20th century assumption of how a protest is supposed to work. Fair enough. I'm not being obtuse. I get that "the system" is broken. I think protest is great, but if you can't operate in "the system" as it exists, then maybe you should reexamine where you do want it to lead. I'm all for continuing a conversation..but isn't part of that making a cogent point? They want to "upend the system and make it work like they were promised it would work." I'm all for grassroots and ardently believe it's the only thing that will bring change, but you (in general) know what that sounds like, right?
I'd read that it was spreading. I'm just not sure what "it" is. Does this make me Grandpa Simpson?
I didn't say that at all, nor did I call anyone an idiot. I"m talking about this one specifically and reading up the thread I don't think I'm the only one questioning it. That CNN article seems to corroborate what I was thinking - that the media has been ignoring it, until now. It's been going on since what, mid-September?
Why are you putting words in my mouth? Because I don't automotically agree with you? That's no way to be.
The ultimate aim of protesters is 'coverage'? You really are a lobbyist, Squid! The ultimate aim of protesters is change, hanging bernanke from a lamppost, the blood of the capitalists running through Wall Street into Battery Park or something; coverage is the means to that end.
I think it's good that something is activating the students now. No draft = few War protests - but no jobs = this. Despite their proto-mature political stances, does anyone believe that they're not an important intellectual contribution to our national conversation? Folks always seem to lament that the students aren't activated like they were in the 1960s - then they rank them for being... what? Hippies? When they do activate?
Sure it started small and with little coverage. Now it's grown and is getting coverage. They're a pretty articulate bunch, and I doubt you'll see a "Keep Gov't out of my Medicare!" sign carried by this crowd...
Hey! I went down to Zuccotti Park tonight and took some pics. This is the second time I've used my camera so I'm not so great with it, especially at night.
I've seen this kid on HuffPo a lot and said hi. He was nice and let me take a couple pics..
They have a "kitchen" there and had GOOD! free food. I got some food and donated $5.
Signs and stuff
I was there for about an hour and a half. Honestly, I got kinda bored. There were a lot of people lying around on sleeping bags and things like drum circles which I see in NYC a lot anyway.I got bored but when I left I wanted to go back in case anything cool happened, and I'm going back tomorrow because a friend of mine asked me to go with her. It does have this sort of drawing energy to it but when you're there it's..blah. I would like to see more good speakers or bands, but most of all maybe some RESULTS!
My town has been occupied as well. It's funny - they've got all their signs lined up too. And they've got a "Needs" board - asking for things like sleeping bags and food and whatever. It's not a monitored board - so someone wrote in:
"I wish I could fully access my trust fund."
That made me laugh right there on the street.
Overall, they seemed intelligent and I wish them well.
I haven't read much about OWS, but I think they want more governmental regulation, less mega rich people, and that basically everyone has a shot at having a job, even if it is a govmnt created, not-really-existent job.
I say, Let's Switch Countries!
We have PLENTY of what they're asking here. PLENTY. Come get it kids!
Mayor Menino has implied that Boston will be cracking down on the protesters if they don't go away soon. They are starting to make rich people uncomfortable.
On the upside, if they want they can probably get jobs cracking the skulls of their former friends when the MAN starts dispersing their little pep rally. We're not Egypt, we've been crushing protests since the 1920's.
While I'm sure there is an element of folks in OWS that want guaranteed goverment jobs and true socialism, by and large the movement is more about the growing divide in the US between rich and poor and the disappearance of the middle class.
I think most people understand that not everyone can have the same material goods. some trade doing less work to have more time and less $$.
The issue is, its become impossible to reach a higher level of achievement in the US because of the amount of debt necessary to get access to higher education.
Other points the movement is making - the role of money and corporations in influencing political outcomes, the lack of accountability on Wall St. for the financial meltdown, the lack of fairness in the tax code.
I know it might be easy to look from the outside and think this is about people wanting something for nothing, but its really about just making at least a little fair.
That the 99% of us have effectively been reduced to the role of the horse character in Orwell's "Animal Farm" - whose only response to unconscionable injustice was to say, "I will work harder." Sadly, the way the current system is crafted, that approach won't get many anywhere.
""The guys in Washington are supposed to be helping me, but they don't get it with their mansions and their millions," says an unemployed nurse at the protest on Wednesday, who declined to give her name. "They don't understand my situation and they don't want to hear me. Well, now they'll have to hear all of us."
I guess when you start pulling out phrases like "unconscionable injustice" in regards to these American kids, I start to wonder what you think about things like the stoning of women by Muslims, the fact that certain parts of Mexico are completely lawless due to the weekly beheadings and intimidation of the drug cartels that have caused even law enforcement to run for their lives, the fact that untold amounts of children die from easily preventable malaria in third world countries.
I wouldn't argue that there aren't problems with the financial system, and you can sell your "unconscionable injustice" hyperbole all you want, but I'm not buying.
"A lot of us are already in debt and we haven't graduated yet. A lot of my friends, even though they work 20 hours a week, that is not enough to cover their expenses," said Rick, 19, a psychology major.
It took me at least until I was in my early 30's to start feeling financially on my feet, and before that time I had some pretty lean times trying to make ends meet, even being what some might refer to as homeless for a week or two here or there, living out of my shit Subaru. I deferred my student loans lots for "hardship". I worked shit menial jobs, and by some perspectives I probably still am working a shit job. Me and Mrs. bought a house in 2008 and watched the market crash around us. We got lucky, I suppose, and are still employed so still able to meet our obligations, but if one of us lost our job for a significant amount of time, that would probably change. If it did change it would suck, but I don't think it would be the government's responsibility to start paying the mortgage for me.
The fact that these protesters keep trying to protest humorously and ironically tells me exactly how serious the protest is.
I say this with all due respect, but these kids are actually doing something.
Here's all you need to know:
Unemployment Rate for Young Adults (18-29) with High School Degree:
The unemployment rate for young Hispanic Americans is 35%, and the rate for young Black Americans is 42%.
I don't get it - we rail at youth for being apathetic then rank on them when they get involved? What's not to like about civil protest?
And yes, their plight is not worse than female circumcision or whatever the fuck. But if that was our yardstick for action nothing would ever get done. Christ, it doesn't get done anyway, so at least this seems like something.
I agree that it's cool that "the kids" are rejecting apathy and getting involved. But I also feel like this is saying CONGRATS FOR DOING SOMETHING RIGHT FOR ONCE! you know, bar is set pretty low there.
I would contend that for the majority it is about hanging out and getting on the news more than it is the true issues at hand. I was in Lincoln last week and there was an Occupy protest Friday night downtown. I can tell you from what I witnessed these "kids" were more interested in walking in the middle of O street causing traffic issues and mugging for the cameras than anything else.
I dunno. Yes, I feel bad for them, but I get this sense of entitlement from the whole thing that I find hard to swallow.
I was on the tram at Disneyland once and I heard these two young girls talking behind me. One said she was applying for a job there. And the other asked her if she wanted to work at an attraction, or what. And the first girl says with all this anger in her voice "Are you kidding? I want to work at city hall. I have a high school diploma!"
Like that was such an amazing feat which entitled her to any job she wanted.
I think the real point that should be made is that education is ridiculously expensive. I mean, I don't advocate free education but give me a break, it shouldn't cost more than a house to get a simple bachelor's degree.
Capitalism: God's way of determining who is smart and who is poor.
How dare these people live in America and complain? If they are mad about how much CEOs get paid, why don't they just become CEOs? All you need to do is be born to the right parents and get sent to the right schools. How hard can that be?
The (mostly) young people involved in the 'Occupy' gatherings are expressing dissatisfaction with the current economic and social direction the country has taken with peaceful, almost festive gatherings, not a list of demands or riots. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people detached from this country's youth, history, and the reality of other people's suffering.
Since this IS the United States, we don't stone women or have weekly beheadings by drug cartels. This country has helped to end malaria in other countries in the past. If you have done well in this country, through struggle or by birthright, that's just fine. You can't speak for millions of other people that are not in your shoes. Saying things like go to another country and see how you like it just makes no sense at all. Parents and ancestors died for this country and the millions that emigrated here.
It might seem that there are situations where the people can't discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. But some of history's most epic collapses started out looking much like a bicycle accident. A young man named Paris ran off with a woman that was married to someone else, and the civilization of Troy began to unravel. A middle-aged black seamstress, riding a bus, had tired feet, and an ugly social order began to collapse. A night guard at an office complex in Washington D.C., found masking tape on a doorjamb, and a presidency began to unravel.
In all honesty I can't tell if this is the beginning of an important movement or a huge bicycle accident. I'm glad young people are coming together to be heard. My generation has done some damage, and created some positive things. It's their turn. If a sense of entitlement means demanding a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, then they should feel a sense of entitlement.
Lastly, is there anyone that actually heard any of these people say someone owes them a job?
It means Tr00 that you have skills that the employer's clients aren't using or are considered out-dated.
I finished reading an article this morning that the problem with the Occupy Wall Street movement is that it's using the same idealogical language used in the 60s (i.e. Stop the War, Clog the Machine). Blah, blah, blah, change the world. Socialism is grand!
It's a protest, at it's core, with no real meaning.
That FB post is so absolutely clueless I can barely stand it.
OF COURSE you are the 99%, Jackass! It's not a chosen group, it's a statistical economic reality.
You are exactly the person they're standing out there for! You're doing everything right, and you likely won't get ahead unless you're really, really, lucky. Your best shot currently at joining the top 1% is probably to go to Hollywood and try out for a few movies, if you're beautiful and talented. Or try the PowerBall lottery.
You PERSONIFY the horse who says, "I will work harder" in a system stacked against you. Unless you wake up, enjoy your life of being a tool of the man - he'll sure as shit enjoy employing your labor to enrich himself.
That person is why trickle down sells. So fucking stupid. No matter how many beautiful graphics anyone creates carefully depicting how they're getting ass raped, they won't believe it until they're homeless, hungry or unable to pay a medical bill themselves. They have no empathetic ability to see the pain all around them.
Good for you, you're debt free. Don't you see that there was some luck at play in that as well? The existence of those scholarships perhaps? The good schools you were lucky to go to that taught you well, paid for my TAXES in presumably a good neighborhood? Your parents who weren't crack heads?
"I chose a moderately priced, in-state public university."
"I expect nothing to be handed to me."
Um-kay, Sparky. Is your grandfather the one with the "keep your government hands off of my medicare" sign?
My one complaint with this whole thing is pointed at the media. When are they going to focus on the real majority, who aren't occupying anything and find the Bachman's and Perry's of the world to be children in adult clothing?
I pretty much did everything in the list the person did. I went to a local community college, then university, supported myself all through my college years as a bank teller with insurance. I never lived on campus found an inexpensive place with a roommate and had a blast. I never failed a class, came close many times, but was stopped by the fact that I was paying for it. I always had used cars that were safe but far from new with a small monthly payment. I never accepted any monetary help from my parents and came out owing 5 grand. So I guess I don't understand why this would be a negative? I hate to admit but I can not find the rationale. There were choices and I had a hell of a time while getting a decent education.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL YOU OCCUPY WALL STREET OR OCCUPY BOSTON OR OCCUPY ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT GARBAGE PIT YOU CALL A BEDROOM UNTIL ITS CLEAN, DO YOU HEAR ME?
BUT THIS IS A PIVOTAL MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
NOT ONLY AM I HAVING A DINNER PARTY THIS WEEKEND AND NEED THE HOUSE TO BE SPOTLESS BUT THEYRE TRAMPLING AMERICAN FLAGS TO CHOKE WAR VETERANS AND TOSS THEM IN PADDYWAGONS OUT THERE. YOU TOOK CELLO LESSONS FOR SIX YEARS. YOU STILL LIVE AT HOME AND READ MANGA. DO YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU IN JAIL? WITH YOUR DELICATE SKIN AND SOFT FEATURES?
BUT WERE THE 99%.
JUST FORGET ABOUT IT, TERRY. WE MIGHT BE THE 99% BUT UNTIL YOU START PAYING RENT OR IM OFF THE PAPERWORK FOR YOUR STUDENT LOANS YOURE 99% MY BITCH. CLEAN YOUR ROOM
I have taken to stating "Occupy ____!" all the time now. At work, it is "OCCCUPY the BOARD ROOM!" and "OCCUPY the PRINTER!" and at home I've been known to "OCCUPY the SOFA!" and at bedtime to "OCCUPY the MASTER!"
I'm sure it is getting old and wearing thin, but that's half the fun
The point cardude is that there is everything to be proud of in all of those things, but it's not necessarily how it's supposed to work, and it's definitely not how it works for many, many people.
The FB picture suggests:
1) If it didn't go this way for YOU, somehow you're a slacker.
2) It's dripping with the seven deadly sin of pride
3) Unless that person is a multi-millionaire now, they are in fact part of the 99% as a point of reality. Somehow if they were actually a member of the top 1%, I don't think that picture would exist.
4) That they are distancing themselves from the protesters by saying "SAVE UP AND WORK HARD YOU SLACKERS!" is radically misguided.
For many, many, many people in this country, it is nothing fucking approaching a 'decision' to be part of the 99%. Think about that for a minute - NINETY-NINE PERCENT! That's pretty much everyone! This person is saying they're cooler than everyone?
No one is slamming the fact that this person (or you) for working hard and accomplishing great things with frugal means - it's the ipso facto assholery of this person that sucks. It is absolutely identical to the notion of "Hey, I've got a job, how come those ghetto kids ain't workin? I'm sure McDonald's is hiring! Ain't they always?" logic that is so utterly one-dimensional and unhelpful to a real discussion on economic equality.
I'll be the first to admit that when they stray into shit like looping in transgender rights or whatever, they harm themselves mortally.
I try to listen to what they are saying rather than looking at them myself. In my heart, I believe they're there in part for "Precious" too. Because both they and she are part of the 99% of us getting screwed by the control over our entire economic and political systems.
I understand that, Squid, and essentially I agree with you.
But the reality of the workforce is not that simple. These people don't suddenly release a ton of cash and miracle of miracles all the Occupiers are employed at whatever their dream-job has been all these years.
We own some sub shops and to compete with Subway we offer $5 footlongs, on which our margins are teeny. But peeps like the $5 foot longs because they're cheap. If we raise the price of the $5 subs to put more pay in the sub makers checks, we lose business since the customers were only coming for the price-point. If we pay the employees more, we go out of business. What to do?
You can mock McDonald's all you want, but McJobs are a reality of our economy.
Please help me clarify what in your opinion would make things better. I did not have the same reaction as you did to the FB post. I actually thought well this is similar to how I started out at 17. I got the monopoly reference and can somewhat understand but not there yet. We all have opportunities to make something of ourselves. Do you believe large corps have taken that away? I just don't understand what the protesters are protesting. I see injustices but I also see the ability to have freedom of choice. I have read a few articles and really don't get what would be a solution. I understand like many issues there may not be an easy answer but would enjoy hearing your ideas.
ftr, when I posted the pic, I wasn't saying I agreed with it. I really don't know enough about the subject to say anything one way or the other. I just saw it on fb and pasted it here since that's what the tread was about.
None of the things listed in that FB picture will make you a millionaire. In fact, going to a moderately priced in-state college will almost guarantee you will never be a millionaire. Look up a few CEOs of major corporations and see how many went to moderately priced in-state colleges. I'm betting most of them know Ivy League fight songs.
A serious illness will still render that FB person homeless. And conservative douche bags will still call him lazy.
It's the government's fault, it's my parent's fault, it's society's fault, it's the fault of the fast food places who make the food that makes me fat, it's the fault of the CEOs in the corporations, it's the fault of the educational system, it's the fault of television, it's the fault of Wall St., it's the fault of everything except . . .
The very act of focusing this on the individual level anonofry is to miss the point entirely. I 100% grant that there are motivated individuals who pull themselves up by their bootstraps and succeed under our system. I submit that there are vastly more that earnestly try and fail, or systematically underperform. There are of course also examples of people who are lazy fucks.
The problem is that it's not a normal bell-shaped distribution given the way the deck has been stacked in favor of the rich since 1980. In a truly equal system there'd be winners, losers, and a majority middle doing just fine. We don't have that right now at all. Our middle class is shrinking. The lack of a prospering middle class has proven historically problematic for societies.
Here's a completely unscientific graphical representation:
So in my view, and I think the Occupy Wall Street crew's view, is that in many ways it IS the Government's fault, as virtually indistinguishable from the interests of the top 1%. With half the income in America, the top 1% has a 100,000 megawatt sound system repeating over and over again to our elected officials what matters to them. Their interests are systematically disproportionally represented in the decisions our Government makes, and they are bald face in their disregard for the interests of anyone but themselves with few exceptions.
I'm sure in most cases it's not even evil - it's the short term selfish thinking of people who who feel entitled to their earnings lacking a larger view of what it takes for society writ large to perpetuate successfully. In some cases it's out and out evil - like the Koch brothers.
It was the Government on behalf of the top 1% that deregulated business activity to the max, deregulated the communications industry to allow for all the mergers that killed the 4th Estate and spawned Fox News, deregulated banks to make them brokerage firms, cut taxes on the rich at every turn, looked the other way on credit default swaps, ran up huge debt in two wars for not much more long term impact than actually getting to blow up a lot of ordinance that we already had, thus creating orders for new ordinance for 1%'er Military Industrial Complex types, that allowed the income disparity to grow and grow and grow, and so on. Taking it all together, it's systematic and intentional.
Oh, and Amber - to be clear I made no judgment about why you posted that, I reacted only to the content within. I promise you, I wasn't associating you with that message in any way. It was a great post that's added lots to this discussion in my mind.
Cardude - you're still thinking too micro. Hep responded more or less - but the point is that you can't look at any individual case and say, "Gee if everyone just did what I did..." because no solution works for everyone, and it's the playing field that's not level. You and the top 1% don't start on the same yard marker, and it's so bad now that it's probably impossible for you to win. My Monopoly analogy was admittedly facile, but the point stands - who would voluntarily play that game given those rules? Shouldn't we all start at Go with $200 and the same chance to land on and buy boardwalk? Sure some players will be better than others, and maximize their opportunities through wise moves, but everyone began with the same basic chance at winning. In the skewed game, no matter how hard you practice or study Monopoly strategy, you won't win - you'll just come to the conclusion that it hardly makes sense to play, and that will demoralize you and ultimately make you angry.
When it's 297,000,000 out of 300,000,000 who are getting angry - you start to get a scary situation. It's these disparities that allow for nutjobs to rise and start convincing people that the answer is to restrict freedoms, clear out undesirables, and radically alter the social order. In my reading of history, I can't think of a single example where it doesn't get worse before it gets better.
I must disagree with the micro thinking. A few points in my mind are I am not in Bosnia watching my family shredded in front of me, Somalia begging for food and clean water, Xica having a home invasion, here during the depression searching for coal that fell of train car to heat my home. Life can be tough and so the economy is stacked against for the moment.
No, and I'm not worried by daughters will be stoned for driving a car in my lifetime.
Yet - part of why I'm not is because our founding fathers built the best system in human history to date to prevent such things from happening. The realities I'm harping on have changed that system, and while I'm not going to be Chicken Little here, the checks and balances that used to exist to prevent us from devolving into a Bosnia or a place where women stoning happens are by no means as strong as they once were.
Which is not also to say that there is not shocking and horrifying social inequality within our own borders. The failure to pass meaningful immigration reform, the outsourcing of jobs, and the creation of a de facto third world economy on our own farms has led to no small amount of human misery. The Government at the behest of the 1% has looked the other way because in order to keep our GDP humming along, we need an illegal cheap labor force to be competitive in the world market.
So again, so glad you and I don't deal with that - but there are people living in this country who are.
It's like, if I was a collection of crabs on some hippie's pubes, and like, 1% of the crabs had an entire half of the pubes available all to themselves, and the rest of us 99% had to scramble for the rest of it.
Or wait, no, its like, if there was a shit-ton, pile of cocaine on some Wall Street banker's bitch's cleavage waiting to be all snorted Robo-Cop style, and the rest of us 99% have no blow at all. Fuck that shit. Don't Bogart all the blow, assholes!
I'm going to chime in here, mostly because I view this Occupy Wallstreet as a pretty cheap political ploy to marshal the troops to deliver some momentum to the sagging campain year ahead. Why wasn't the outrage fervent three years ago when the governent was bailing out Wall Street? Why now?
Several people on the site Anne posted beg to be taxed more.
It's not difficult to give over and above your minimum required tax. If they feel they should pay more then they can. Here's betting that not a single one of them has voluntarily written an extra check to the IRS.
I second Doc Z. Also, I wonder how many of them think they're with the 1% but really have no idea what kind of wealth we're really talking about here.
Kinda like when Hep was talking about being a millionaire - which is cool, but a million dollars isn't nearly as hard to get your hands on as it sounds. In fact, most of us on this board will probably have more than a million dollars course through our checking accounts on the way to elsewhere during our work lives.
I honestly don't think the left is that organized Citizen, but not impossible. I agree that there's been a lot of bandwagon jumping by unions and Dem elected officials as the press started covering the phenomena more.
The problem in my mind is that easy, simple, defensible soundbites are elusive on this issue. The sheer length of my own posts on the subject are indicative to me that it's a tough sell. There's no "Hell no, we won't go!" or "No blood for Oil!" anti-war slogan in this. The ill effects are pretty clear, but defining the road the collective 'we' took to getting there is vastly debateable. All it takes to wobble the foundation of any public campaign is to cast doubt on one or two pillars. Or to use the 100,000 megawatt microphone to disparage they dirty hippies stinking up the parks.
Given that the left sucks so hard at message and language in general, it's no suprise this isn't a laser focused "Joe the Plumber" message that even stupid and lazy reporters can convey in a 150 word AP article.
My "Occupy ____" obsession has inspired my Work BFF's Halloween costume. She is going bar hopping and will wear a cardboard sign that says "Occupy (Bar name)". Then, for every new bar she goes into she will cross off the name of the previous bar and write in the name of the new bar underneath.
To me, being a millionaire means having over a million dollars in liquid assets at any one time.
While I'm sure most people here will earn a million dollars or more stretched out over the course of our lives, I don't consider that to qualify us as millionaires. I'm sure the 1% would love for you to see it that way, however.
I'm dumbfounded by all of these pictures of morons bragging about working two jobs, having no health care, and living frugally as if that makes them better than everyone protesting. You are the people for which they are protesting, numbnuts. You just happen to be too thick to see it.
Isn't the US the place that allowed people like Steve Jobs (middle class parents, son of an immigrant, adopted, no 'valid' college education), Bill Gates (middle-upper class family, college dropout), Jeff Bezos (I guess upper class, Ivy League college education) just to name a few, make billions in businesses that didn't even exist before them?
I apologize in advance for what I'm going to say, most probably I have no idea of what I'm talking about, but to me, from a distance, those OWS people just sound like spoiled brats, who don't really know what it is like to really don't have chances in life. To really try and standout and do something for you and your family, to be better than your peers, and that a heavily regulated system, in which anyone considered to have 'more' is taxed to amounts going up to 60% and more of your hard earned money, will and does take every measure possible to make you 'pay' for your good fortune.
Ever wondered why there aren't more entrepreneurs in Latin America or the so called "developing" countries? The answer is easy, at least around here, everyone doing better than your peers is looked at with suspicion, taxed beyond imagination, and looked closely at by officials, because you most certainly are being successful by abusing those less fortunate.
Are Chinese and Indians complaining about all the foreign investment coming to their countries to pay lower rates for labour? No, they're thrilled with the opportunity. Are Russians complaining about the deregulation that allowed them to start their own private businesses that just one generation ago, they could not dream of? Don't think so.
Again, sorry if my words offend anyone, it's not my intention by far.
Not offended in the slightest, Xica. I've always appreciated that you bring a different perspective.
It's hard not to feel like some of the inequities in our country are systemic. The U.S. has the highest percentage of incarcerated citizens in the world. It's been repeatedly demonstrated that every dollar spent on better education and after-school programs for youth in at-risk communities results in three dollars less being spent on prisons. Obviously, most of us would rather have our money spent turning out productive members of society instead of felons, but education and social programs are the first thing to go when there is a budget cut. The politicians don't care. Nobody ever got kicked out of office for being hard on crime and the effects of their spending decisions aren't seen until at least a decade later. So yeah, we could have it worse, but it also wouldn't take much to fix a few things.
I see all parties involved as essentially spoiled brats, of one sort or another.
The occupy crowd seems to be comprised largely of young, college aged kids, who have had to, or will have to pay 2 or 3 times what the price was just a few years ago to attend a decent university. And they see that pattered continuing with just about everything, from buying health insurance, to owning a home. So while "the middle class dream" doesn't really exist in your country, it's quickly fading in ours. The spoiled part is that they don't see, or don't want to compete with those in the 3rd world who are very willing and able to do the same jobs, for much cheaper. And while that's definitely tied to the whole corporate greed equation, I think it's also part of a growing mind set in the countries mentioned above, that they no longer have to just accept 1/10th the standard of living as those in the West.
On the other hand the Tea Partiers are spoiled in the brain. They're either unwilling, or too lazy to look beyond simpleton, anti-government rhetoric to see the bigger picture. That is that they're essentially pawns for large multi-national corporations, who are paying little, or no taxes. Yet those same corporations are reaping larger and larger profits every year, while moving their assets outside the country, where it's neither taxed, or invested in the very country that provided the corporations with the environment and infrastructure to be so successful in the first place.
I can't listen to either side, without throwing up. We do, in fact, have to work harder and smarter to keep up. The field is just a hell of a lot bigger than the ones our parents played on and the competition more educated, determined and fierce. That's just life and no political movement is going to change that fact. On the other hand, we absolutely need comprehensive tax reform, so the multi-nationals pay at least the same rate as small businesses, and we can continue to offer the bare-bones government services that we still have today.
I think there are different reasons why there are fewer self made people in other countries besides social or governmental reasons. Access to capital has been one of the primary reasons that you have a Jobs or a Gates. Also it's the migratory workforce that exists in the USA that has helped it's diversity. No other highly educated workforce in the world is willing yo move as quickly for work as in this country. There is also a drive for success fueled by competition that helps motivates the workforce here. For good or bad, this is why capitalism works- the reasons why it's hard to marshal the troops behind this movement is because at the end of the day- most everyone has enough food to eat and clothing on their back. When people arent starving then protest can be seen as a luxury...
I'm with Mevin. I can't really get behind either side. If absolutely forced to choose, I guess I would side with the OWS people because they are just naive whereas the Tea Partiers are straight up ignorant.
A side note that is really apropos of nothing...
Three of my FaceBook "friends" have been bragging about attending the Occupy Boston rallies. When they worked under me in retail hell, they were three of the laziest, most useless, and most self-entitled people I ever had to manage. One of them was a hair's breadth away from being terminated for performance when he came into my office complaining about his pay and asking for a raise. I've no doubt that all three saw me as part of the system that was keeping them down.
Sure the US is the place where many, many great things happened.
Let's keep it that way.
It's also important to remember that horrific atrocities here within the last 100 years. The line between chaos and order is shockingly thin - which I'll venture Xica knows much more profoundly than I do. I remember you detailing people trying to work against the collapse of your free society - and the OWS people believe that's exactly what they're doing.
99.9% of the population isn't sitting on their ass on Wall St. singing Kumbaya, smoking ciggies and holding hands.
I hope this selfish self-centred bunch of whiners will find out at some point in their lives that most people don't give a shit about their problems. More likely is that they'll spend a decade whining about whinging about why they deserve our sympathy.
I find the arguments to be simplistic and reductionist.
This is far-leftist communist b.s. The 20th century has taught us that workers seizing the means of production, living communally and engaging in class warfare against the 'CEOs' hasn't worked. Ask anybody who has had to live in a Marxist-Leninist society if everyone was equal. They were not. There was always some cadre that was a 'leader' eventhough everybody was supposed to be on an equal footing.
Some of the rich are rich by virtue of inheritance (Paris Hilton), but there are plenty of others (Herman Cain) who got their through their own hard work and perserverance.
But I guess that doesn't matter to the hipsters down on Wall St. We all know that Cain is an idiot and he should fork over all his money to help out the spoiled brats who grew up in well-to-do suburbs with fawning soccer Moms and never failing at anything because . . . . well . . . that'd be just too cruel.
I haven't heard one person asking for communisim in OWS.
I honestly haven't heard a single proposal in the last 10 years that even approaches socialism, let along communism. Even the Chinese don't qualify as commies any more. The system is dead, and just using the term immediatly mortally wounds my opinion of any argument in which it is invoked.
I can't believe I'm saying this - but Mevin said the smartest thing on this thread, period.
Squid, you're not going to get anywhere with that in "middle America." Yeah, yeah, I get it. I do. It's unfair. Welcome to Planet Earth, 2011! They still come off like a bunch of whiners. What's being accomplished? Nothing. Because we have food on the table and clothes on our backs. Thanks, Citizen.
The other thing that's changed since 1980 is we have a "global economy." Competition for resources (and jobs) is greater. NAFTA..now, where did that come from? Oh yeah, hiding all your assets overseas and calling it "free trade." Yeah, that's the ticket.
And these morons pictured here clearly have no idea what the 1% is. In fact, if anyone else says 1% or 99% to me again today, I'm going to kick 100% of their ass.
I just walked through our local "Occupy __________." Inspired by this thread.
Ok. Can't they at least hold up the signs? I mean, a bunch of people laying on the ground with some signs scattered around them isn't exactly inspiring. But I did think the old hippie on the bicycle had some interesting things to say about Nixon. I'm not sure he knows where he is, though. Pizza looked good. And my money was welcome there - lots of signs about that. They're killing the grass - except for what they're smoking. Very pungent!
I've been reading a lot of reports lately about the "progressive stacking" technique that the OWS people have allegedly been using in their rallies. A lot of the reporting has been from conservative sites, so I have to take it with a grain of salt, but having been around during the uber-PC '90s it doesn't seem too far fetched to me.
If they are operating with that structure, fuck them and fuck their movement.
For those unfamiliar with progressive stacking, here's a C&P from another site:
"Occupy Wall Streets General Assembly operates under a revolutionary progressive stack. A normal stack means those who wish to speak get in line. A progressive stack encourages women and traditionally marginalized groups speak before men, especially white men. This is something that has been in place since the beginning, it is necessary, and it is important.
Step up, step back was a common phrase of the first week, encouraging white men to acknowledge the privilege they have lived in their entire lives and to step back from continually speaking." - Legal Insurrection blog -
Typical liberal PC douchebaggery. Equality is not the reversal of inequality.
Majority of NY'ers support Wall St. protest: poll
By ERIK KRISS, Bureau Chief
Last Updated: 10:18 AM, October 18, 2011
A Siena College survey released today found 58 percent of state voters felt Occupy Wall Street protesters "represent the 99 percent of people that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the remaining one percent" while 27 percent disagreed, saying the protesters are copying those in Egypt with the potential to cause riots.
A Quinnipiac University poll of New York City residents released yesterday also found strong support for the protesters.
Geeze Anon, you really are clinging to your point of view here. you're not even open to the idea that the laws/politians are unjust against the poor and middle class and some people think its time for a change?
That article doesn't mention the exact wording of the question either. I mean was it worded like this?
What do you think of the Occupy Wall Street protester?
A) They represent the 99 percent of people that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the remaining one percent.
B) They are copying those in Egypt with the potential to cause riots.
Appalled, I'm kicking 100% of your ass. Or something. I GET IT. I GET IT. I GET IT. I GET IT.
Here's an idea - why don't some of these people FORM AN AGENDA and HAVE A POINT. I'm so sick of this shit. Healthcare? Wall Street? Corporate greed? Schools? IT ALL SUCKS. Spending the night in the park will...what? ORGANIZE AND VOTE. I could barf on the 99% at this point.
Talking about what? No, really! What?? That they're..there? The "nonnegotiable" points the people in my city have made before they'll agree to leave a public park is: lower bus/train fares, no frisking by police (ever), and stop trying to pass an immigration bill. Other than that, they are screaming into TV cameras that they won't move. That somebody has a sick kid and needs money. That their unemployment was cut off. PERSONAL problems, or petty grievances. Spark of change? Until you vote out the assholes in power and remove their hands from the pockets of big business, nothing will change. Sleeping in the park and holding up a sign about "NO WAR" - missing the point much? Please. If these people were half as organized as the godforsaken tea party, we might have something to look forward to in Nov. As it is? First cold snap and all this is forgotten.
As the urban poets of LMFAO have so eloquently stated, "Hatin' is bad."
Anyone have any insight or input on the "progressive stacking"? It sounds like this movement, like most liberal movements since the 60s, has been or is being hijacked by the usual radical university bred political correctness posse meatheads.
Wish I could speak to this, but all I've seen are some college dudes and homeless people. Not too many females/minorities sans mental problems. Even though they don't have "leaders," the leader here is an earnest young man in a red skull cap that locks arms with one of our illustrious crack dealers (I don't think Skull Cap is privy to this, but I've been seeing him for years) and shouting about not moving. Yet to see an actual speaker with a point.
Local radio got out there and started asking questions. It was embarrassing. The ones he encountered were tired of talking to "the media." The point. You missed it.
I'll be honest - I think the organizers of any public campaign think very carefully about how its presented to/ plays in the media. Why wouldn't any group want to maximize coverage using the 'science' of communications theory?
I read your thing Hep, and am I missing something? It wouldn't piss me off at all.
I mean, it's not like the white guys aren't actually RUNNING it - who cares whose on the podium?
Okay. How about if during the Tea Party rallies they had a system in place that favored white males over any other type of speaker and shouted minorities and women to the back of the line in any queues to podiums? I'm betting that would irk you a bit. I didn't pay much attention to the Tea Baggers, but I do remember there were things claiming to be women at their rallies. For the sake of argument, we'll just assume that there were also some minorities.
As I said before, equality is not the reversal of inequality.
"The greatest hoax of the last couple of decades has been the ability of the right wing to co-opt members of the struggling lower middle class and lower class and pretend they speak for them while enacting policies that enable the super-rich. Theyve used wedge issues like gay marriage and abortion and the baby Jeebus to alienate folks from their own economic interests, feeding them a steady diet of hatred of minorites, the educated, science, and, well, reality to create a voting block of people so guided by hatred of the 'other' that they would crawl over broken glass to cut their nose off to spite their face."
And so the decline begins. Got a few laughs from this article as our small local Occupy Charlotte movement implodes - ironically because some members accuse another of hiding donations in a bank account he opened.
Attorney Ken Davies this week sent a letter to founder Tom Shope informing him that the group expelled Shope for "untrustworthy" conduct. The letter accuses Shope of having opened a secret bank account and depositing contributions into it.
Shope, 47, a Charlotte gem cutter, said Friday he has done nothing wrong and that he won't quit. He accused a small group of about eight young people at the camp of being too radical and spreading "rhetoric and lies."
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for lunch and the bill for all ten
comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it
would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, thats what they decided to do.
The ten men ate at the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. Since you are
all such good customers, he said, Im going to reduce the cost of your
daily lunch by $20. Lunch for the ten now cost just $80.
The first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But
what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they
divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted
that from everybodys share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would
each end up being paid to eat his lunch.
So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each mans
bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued
to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to
compare their savings.
I only got a dollar out of the $20,declared the sixth man. He pointed
to the tenth man, but he got $10!
Yeah, thats right, exclaimed the fifth man. I only saved a dollar,
too. Its unfair that he got ten times more than I got Thats true!!
shouted the seventh man. Why should he get $10 back when I got only
two? The wealthy get all the breaks!
Wait a minute, yelled the first four men in unison. We didnt get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next day the tenth man didnt show up for lunch so the nine ate
without him. But when it came time to pay the bill,
they discovered something important. They didnt have enough money
between all of them for even half of the bill!
Meanwhile, the 10th man continued to make a larger and larger percentage of all the money available until, finally, he had all of it. Then, something unexpected happened. His money became worthless because nobody else had any. Greed made the system collapse and the world switched to the British Pound.
Um, yeah, that's where the story falls apart. In reality, the "rich man" hires an accountant, a tax attorney and a math wiz from Stanford. They come up with a convoluted plan to shrink RM's lunch bill liability, with exotic financial instruments and Swiss bank accounts. In the end his actual bill comes to 63 cents, which he thinks is outrageously high. Bill O'Reily then comes to his defense, labeling the poorest guys leeches on American productivity and against Christmas. Homeland Security then has them arrested on domestic terrorism charges, but they end up with community service gigs, mowing the lawn and washing the underwear of the rich guy.
America is back, fade to black and roll credits...
Sad, but true. My old boss used to bitch bitch bitch about the big checks he wrote to the IRS for his main business. Yet everything else (which was most of it) was sheltered in LLPs - all suffering huge losses, of course, so nary a penny paid there - or hidden in overseas accounts. His private banker used to DRIVE OVER when we needed to deposit a check. I can only imagine what that guy was doing to make himself useful.
Wait..I'm working up a tear just thinking about it that poor, poor man.
Don't get me wrong - I don't begrudge success. But that shit ain't fair.
Apparently they have raised $500,000 in donations, and the low-ranking protesters are mad that they have to fill out paperwork when they want some of it. (if over $100, I understood...)
They say in the article that the main bulk of the money goes towards food. Understandable. But then the next tier is "clothing, medical expenses and credit card fees from processing the online donations." Clothing? Are they literally setting up a shanty-town on Wall St., and living off the land there? Clothing? They went to a protest movement with no clear goal (unless it's just "awareness?") or end-date (not that I'd expect an end-date, but a goal, for sure), and expect the non-organization to provide clothes?
I totally get the message... but what is the goal? Do they want to get a bill passed? When will the protest be considered a success or failure? Or is this a fair-weather protest, that will likely fizzle out when it gets cold? Or maybe they'll re-locate in Miami. heh. There's probably 50 or so people still camped out in the middle of STL. Which has only slightly distracted from the World Series brouhaha.
My favorite quote from the article was this:
"The New York Post reported groups of protesters were upset for having to fill out paperwork to access funds, such as money to reimburse drums that had been vandalized one late night."
Honestly, I LOVE a big, phat, stinky, hippie drum circle. (I really do.) But that cracked me up. They brought their swanky, hand-made drums to the deal, but would like a fresh pair of underpants, please.
The one here has been collecting clothing and food the whole time. I didn't get the clothing part, either. Tents, sleeping bags, propane tanks, drums, poster board, markers? Check. Ironic t-shirts - somebody get on that.
Really, though, I think this movement attracted a lot of wayward, "homeless" youth. Couch surfers that like to wax poetic. Not saying that's all of them, but they are definitely there. And need clothes.
Did you hear the Russian guy talking to one of the protesters - I think it was in NY? He asked her if she knew the difference between North and South Korea, or what socialism is. It was disturbing. There are some seriously stupid people in this country. It's a shame.
I occupied Washington DC last week. First I occupied a hotel. Then I occupied an excellent kabob joint. Over the next few days I occupied a conference. Intermittently I re-occupied the kabob joint several times; never before have I had such good chickpeas. Then I started coming down with a cold, so I occupied Walgreen's. Later I occupied Smithsonian Natural History and Air and Space Museum. That day I also occupied the National Mall for a bit, but it was rainy and nobody else was there. Then I occupied seat 14D on a jet home. I am the 99%!
@Afro, The attitude by some extreme lefties who desire a socialist/communist system and the language used by conservatives to label anyone who thinks the government can play an active role in social programs, as a socialist and/or communist. Basically neither group has any experience or understanding of what they're saying.