Thursday, December 1, 2011

Occupy Wallstreet

Do you miss my political blog posts?  Me too.  I've been silent, but I'm not sure why.  Partly because I don't want anyone to dislike me for my worldviews. Partly because the biggest thing going on right now is Occupy Wallstreet and people are downright mean about this protest.  Even reasonable people who are generally kind, are rude and unwilling to look past the people who are causing trouble to see that there is an actual movement here.  But in the last three days, two people have sparked conversations with me regarding this current event, so I thought I'd tell you how I feel.

I think people are going a little crazy.  It's been five years now since the market started to fall.  In that time, people started to lose their jobs, their retirements, their homes.  If they've been lucky enough to hold their jobs, their pay hasn't increased and their costs of benefits have skyrocketed (see: health insurance premiums).  They are struggling, and they are frustrated.  There is a group of people who are experiencing an opposite phenomenon, however.  The bankers and the CEOs of major corporations are taking home record bonuses.  In the hardest economic times since the great depression.  Our government continues to protect them and their tax loopholes, because -- in theory -- they're creating jobs.  We've actually labeled them "Job Creators."  But the people in the first group I mentioned...well, they're not seeing those jobs.  So they're not mad at people for being rich, but they're mad at the disparity between the situation of those thriving financially and the majority of the people who are struggling financially, and who are hurting.

Occupy Wallstreet (OWS) isn't sponsored or promoted by anyone.  No big corporation or corporately-funded group is building smooth websites and putting out the OWS message.  There is no group of billionaires behind it.  Therefore, the message hasn't been clearly distributed.  But that doesn't mean that it's not legitimate.  It just means you're going to have to dig a little deeper to find it.

Increasingly, corporations and politicians are in bed together.  The corporations pay politicians to protect their interests by way of funding their campaigns, and then the politicians make policy that does just that.  They have to, so they get money for their next campaign.  And the cycle continues.  And I think people are sick of it.  I think they're becoming aware that the corporate voices are more powerful than the peoples'.  And know what?  That's not democracy.  That's a corporate oligarchy.  I think that most Americans, right and left, liberal and conservative, are interested in preserving the democracy as laid out by the Constitution. 

Therefore, I do not understand the anger against the protestors.  I don't understand why we don't support not only their right to assembly, but their message. I don't understand why we can't all get behind what is happening here. 

The very best part of this movement, in my opinion, is that people are involved.  Probably the best way to make a difference, and promote good change, is invested citizens.  Tea Party, OWS, doesn't matter.  Be informed.  Learn the issues.  I think we'll find that we actually agree on some of this.

One friend posted this article today.  It's written by a conservative blogger (columnist?) in the UK.  They have a big battle going on over there, not completely different from the OWS movement in the US.  They're calling it an extension of ours, but the conservative legislature in the UK is trying to take away many rights of the people in the name of budget reduction.  They're as frustrated as Americans are.  But this author said basically the same thing I've been saying:  I think we actually all agree on much of this.  We'll make more progress united. 

So there.  That's my political opinion du jour.  You're welcome to comment here or by email or on the phone or come on over.  I'll pour you something to drink and make you something to eat.  And between us, we'll solve this thing. And I'll convince you that you don't actually have to delete me from your friend list this time.


Mrs. Gorbe said...

LOVE this. It's a scary time in the political world . I know here in Michigan the legislature is bound and determined to make teaching a minimum wage job. I don't get why people are so upset either. And the funny thing is the ones who are PROFITTING from these legislators are the ones that scream the loudest. I'm saddened that so many people are so QUITE about what is REALLY going on. I WISH I could run for office, but sadly as a teacher I don't have the funding to do it..

Leslie said...

Well said Leanne. Thanks.

Nate said...

I agree with you. It's wonderful that people are voicing their opinion about whats happening- it's unequivocally their right. I have huge problems with the great Eugenical feeling that is pushing down the lower and middle classes and enriching the wealthy. i agree for the most part, save for a few things-

1- These people remind me of folks who are angry they missed Woodstock. They want a reason to camp out, sing campfire protest songs and complain, drink, smoke weed, rub patchouli oil all over the place and and have indiscriminate relations with one another-

2- I had a customer tell me about going to the Hollydazzle parade and a group of these folk running into the procession. They need to understand that there are legal ways to protest, and illegal ones.

3- the whole thing boils down to the great 'it-not-fair' why do they deserve it and not me bunkpile of trying to instigate a class war. This is not a class warfare issue, not should it be- it should be about crony-ism, backroom gladhanding and free passes to people who dont care about others. If these people (the 1% ) made their way to the top by hard work, they should be an example of the right way to do things, and not be expected to pay the way for everyone else.

I would never unfriend you. thats just silly.

I wish these folks well, im glad they are there, what theyre sayin needs to be said. they just need to do it the right way.

Leanne said...

Couldn't agree more, Nate. With all of that. There should be consequences for those who break the law. And we have the right to disrespect the idiots. Thanks for your input.

Elizabeth said...

I think your political posts are interesting, we certainly don't agree on a lot, but it's still interesting! Thanks for your 'angle' (not the word I'm looking for but my brain is feeling dead today:)