Hello members, lurkers and curious individuals,
With the frustration most of us have been feeling in this job economy, especially in our field, do you support what has started in New York, and is quickly spreading across the country?
I have been following this movement for a few days, and while it is difficult to fully understand what the protest means to accomplish, I can't help but to be drawn to it. How do you feel? I know a lot of us are frustrated by the job economy, might be in student loan debt, and are very insecure about the future. The occupations address these issues.
Share your thoughts and reactions.
I am with them. No, I am not against capitalism. No, I don't want Wall Streets money. No, I am not a hippy. No, I don't smoke pot. I am not lazy, I don't want a hand out. What do I want? I want lobbyists out of our government. I want people on Wall Street to play by the same rules as everyone else. I want to know why a black man in Lousiana received 15 years in prison for stealing $100 and turning himself in the next day while Paul R. Allan steals 3 billion and receives 3 years. We do not have the same influence or rights as these people do. It shouldn't be okay for corporations to fund our elections, this makes our politicians beholden to them in order to win. Citizens United made this even worse. We shouldn't have corporations that have profit to gain sitting at the table with government officials that are in charge of making the best decision for American citizens. Capitalism is grand...but it is rabid when it is uncontrolled. Everything can't be sacrificed for greater profit...counting environment, war, etc.
Honestly, I find it amazing that there are people that would defend the very institutions that caused our market to crash. They gambled on the failure of derivatives...and won. We are the ones that lost. And to hear people call the unemployed losers...tell that to the 14 million unemployed and the 9.3 million underemployed. Talk about being out of touch. There are parts of the country with much higher then 9.1 % unemployment. I suppose people find comfort in believing there is something extra special about them that has landed them secure employment. Meantime, my mother, is getting ready to retire but has no idea who to trust with her money. Does she invest with people that have pretty much assured no financial regulations have been instituted? Does she leave her money in the bank...at 0.001% savings rate? Do we buy a house? Or should I worry about losing my job? Should I worry about my house value disappearing? Do I pay my student loans? Or save? In case we get laid off?
These are questions that millions of Americans...include those "stable" citizenry that have done everything right. Where is justice? Why haven't these criminals been at least tried in a court of law? Both parties are taking millions...what can we do about it, but start talking about it. These "losers" have brought the conversation back in our country regarding the causes of the economic meltdown.
Tempted not to wade in, but my take on it is I need to see some focus and I'm suspicious that it will just turn into a socialist or at least leftist movement vs. some new center which is what many disgruntled people are looking for. After all, this isn't like the era of protest that could address a single issue that wasn't such a tangle (ie. war / racial inequality). And notice how after the sixties, 99% of those protestors melted into jobs hosted by government and corporations themselves because that is the nervous and circulatory system in this era, not a wart or tumor by comparison. Wall Street may have created derivatives, but the banks did the loans and the government encouraged them, and both parties taxed and spent like they were smoking something for literally decades. There sure needs to be some protestors down in D.C. as well. So, yes they have the right to speak and their frustration is felt by many who aren't on the streets, but politically (unless you have the shares to vote on internal corporate issues) it will have to either lead to a new party or to one of the existing ones figuring out how to offer a solution that will appeal to a majority.....and voila! there we are, back again at the main divide. Is government action a road to a real solution that doesn't set up new forms of grief or does it need to be tamed because it is already a big part of the original problem?
"We can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies of our nation,"
If they can stick with the above as being their primary cause then I can support them. I hope it doesn't turn into a catch-all for various leftist causes. I could get behind the early versions of the tea party when it was focused on the bailouts and even later when it morphed into an anti-tax movement, but not the later versions that became the storage area for unreconstructed John Birchers. It'd be nice to have a political movement that wasn't about screwing people and that didn't require a forced choice of voting for either a theocrat or a communist.
I don't see how the use of products means protestors don't have a voice. What do you suggest? They use smoke signals and wear olive leaves as clothing? You completely miss the point...and it is obvious by what you choose to focus on. Like I mentioned...I am not against capitalism or even corporations. I am against corporations having all the rights of a US citizen but none of the responsiblities. Corporations are not people. Meanwhile, instead of acknowledging that Wall Street fleeced us we choose to either call protestors hippies, look at the fact that they are wearing clothing(I know...shocking!!!!) or fall into political arguments. Corruption is rampant on both sides. It seems to me we are told if we can't find a way to avoid the use of corporate products...which I am looking for suggestions on how to do that...then we should just all shut up about any sort of injustice that is done. It is like landscape architects working towards walkable cities to reduce greenhouse gas immissions while driving vehicles themselves. Should LAs not try to improve the design of our cities while simutaneously using highways? Surely you are not so idealistic to think that we should all live in the woods eating roots and berries before we have any sort of moral duty to stand up to those taking advantage of us? Perhaps something else to look at would be the mass conglomeration of media that certian companies have amassed and the fact that we do indeed have fewer and fewer choices in who provides services and products. Is it a surprise that most of the media coverage has been highlighting how confused and lazy these people are?
I agree with those that hope the message can say central...I don't want a liberal version of the Tea Party. In fact, I don't want politicians involved down there at all. I know there is a small group in DC right now...that has started protesting there. What is the point of a democracy if all of our policies are based on the needs of powerful corporations versus it's people? I have been surprised to see supporters of Wall Street or those that like to point out that Bush or Obama or both bailed them out...yet the fact is we were screwed one way or another. We either risked another Great Depression or we have the Great Recession. I don't know what I think about the bail outs...I know what we were told. But even if that was the wrong thing...that doesn't change what set the whole thing off.
There are crooks on Wall Street just like there are crooks on my street. However, there are a lot of good people on both streets as well and blowing up either street is not the answer. Having laws and enforcing them goes a long way.
So you blow up Wall Street and stick it to the man. Now what replaces it?
The best thing about our system is that the rules/enforcement is separate from the economy. When there is a problem it is some companies and some individuals not the whole thing as a unit. When the law writers and law enforcement is a separate entity as it is now, those perpetrators can be controlled by changing laws and enforcing existing ones. If you "take it over", ie, the government steps in and controls all of it, there is no outside force. Corrupt people are the same whether they work for the government or for a coprporation. The problem is corrupt people, not whether they are in the private sector or in the public sector. Right now you have these two sides (private & public), both have plenty corrupt people within them, that keep each other in check. If you let one take over the other there is nothing to keep them in check.
How can people who are so discusted by people abusing power possibly not see that all this can lead to is consolidation of power that is all up for grabs with no opposition? That is a whole lot of blind trust coming from people who want to take away power from "the man".
So, what is the hoped for outcome? We'll all love each other and no one will ever try to exploit another in what system? So far, despite its imperfections, the system in the US has come the closest so far. Changing it to be more like others that fall shorter does not seem like a logical choice. Does it?
Government's job is to regulate industry...industry has never, ever been good at regulating itself.
Honestly, I don't truly understand how most of stocks, bonds, etc. works. However, I do know that money corrupts and the ability of corporations to spend unlimited amounts on our elections is dangerous for our democracy. Pretending my vote matters as much as Wall Streets? Pretending that my politicians are going to vote in my best interest as opposed to their campaign donors? We hear stories of politicians in Russia and Afghanistan receiving money from special interest groups...it is always worded so that we understand it is dirty money. In the United States we call that giving corporations their "voice" and we call them campaign donations.
We have a government of checks and balances that is being heavily influenced by a flood of money. Corporations don't worry about balancing our government...our constitution doesn't give corporations the duty to keep the government from consolidating power. What we do see our corporations influencing government decisions...is that keeping things balanced? Corporations have come and gone in the existence of the United States. We are not USA, Inc..
The majority of people advocating change are not advocating getting rid of Wall Street. What could possibly be wrong with setting up regulations and enforcing them to prevent this from happening again and again?