|Posted by Tsach Gilboa on October 20, 2011 at 11:35 PM|
It is about time! With the economic collapse, the recession that followed and demonstrations all over the world, with the much spoken of“Arab Spring”, an American protest movement was inevitable and long overdue. We are after all a Democratic country, and participation in the process is the corner stone of any Democracy. No longer will people vote against their economic interest, we hope. No longer will there be those that are “More equal” in a country that is supposed to be equal for everyone. It is up to all of us to make it happen. and the peaceful Occupy movement is the way to go and win the hearts and minds of the American people.
There is no doubt that money–although cannot and does not buy happiness–does makes life much much easier for those who have a lot of it. Money, however, should not make the one that has a lot of it–their issues, life and vote–worth more then those who don’t, although in real life America 2011, it certainly does, as it did for the past 200 plus years. The critical question is the degree to which money endows the haves with power and a much larger share of the national pie then is reasonable or fair.
This issue now is not dissimilar from the issue that prompted the city elders of Lyon, France to create the first primitive welfare system. Faced with a poor, hungry and angry mob that dared to leave their dilapidated part of town and violently come calling to the rich and civilized part of town, leaving mayhem and damage in their wake, they knew they had to do something. That something turned out to be a very simple idea. Let's give those people enough to make sure they stay in their neighborhood. Put it down to the cost of doing business. After all, we are all benefiting from those people. Their cheap labor and sweat, their small buying power, and how great it is to have them to feel superior to!
The American people are very forgiving and reasonable. It seems that most people still believe that everyone in America can become rich. Herman Cain clearly stated that if one is unemployed or poor, they have only themselves to blame to cheers from the Republican crowd. As such, we the people respect and admire those who are successful and do well and we want them to keep a large chunk of it. However, and in the wise words of Elizabeth Warren, those that are wealthy got to be that way not only due to hard work and luck. They got wealthy because America afforded them those opportunities via infrastructure, financing, skilled labor force, skilled professional services, large consumer market and use of national resources and sometimes generous subsidies, all paid for by the American taxpayer. Those that make it should keep a large chunk of it, but they should also pay their fare share to support the country that made their wealth possible. It's simply the cost of doing business and getting so much from the country and its people.
The gap between the rich and soon to be ex-middle class has gotten obscenely large. American’s were happy to have the rich be the rich, with special privileges and power, as long as the rest of us could maintain a reasonable standard of living, a good steady job,a home, a vacation a year, a car, college for the kids, a comfortable retirement, good affordable health care…
All we ask is to be able to work for that and keep it and we have no problem with your lavish, albeit decadent and empty, money "Culture". The kind we can see in “The real housewives of…”, but one example of many depictions on TV of the “Rich and Famous lifestyle”.
The occupy movement would never have started–nor would it have become the global phenomena that it is–if average hard working middle class people did not find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own, unable to find a new job, loosing their homes, their savings/investments and college funds for their kids, while those that went to college and graduated have to move in with them since they can’t find jobs either and are burdened with large college loans they can’t pay. And while all of this pain is happening to millions and millions of people, the financial institutions executives responsible for this mess are doing well and collecting huge multi million dollar bonuses with no accountability for the mess they made. The rich coprporations and their executives are laying off many thousands of people to maiontain a profit margin and keep getting large bonuses and great perks, including a fully paid for healthcare, pension and retirement benefits, and lets not forget, the tax incentive for the private jets. And lets also not forget our elected officials and representatives who seem completely disconnected from reality and unable to get their heads in the game and approvea jobs program and revenue bills to get us all out of this mess.
I, for one, am delighted that the Occupy Movement is here. It has already changed the conversation in the country. When one talks to the protestors, it is refreshing and energizing to hear them discuss the economy, jobs and fairness and NOT making abortion and gay marriage illegal, defunding Planned Parenthood, repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and making sure Obama is a “One Term President”.
This movement has given all of us hope. Hope that America can get back on track and be the kind of country we all deserve and can be proud of, as well as one rest of the world can respect if not try and emulate.
Categories: Age of Rudeness & Mediocrity