Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Rant - 11/16

The first question usually is: "What do they want?"

Dutifully we walk our newly awakened friend through the Occupy saga. If they are a conservative acquaintance this comes with a big dose of dispelling the rumors and lies they have gleaned from Fox News or Ann Coultier. If you get your information via Rush Limbaugh, I simply ask you to lose my email address and crawl back in your cave, some people really are too stupid to live.

Yes, I am a bit annoyed today.

I saw Tom Brokaw on Charlie Rose last week and when he was asked about Occupy Wall Street he said all the right things but ended with "what is their end game?" There it is. A seasoned and rational news anchor with over 40 years experience, too damn lazy to take an hour to figure out a grassroots movement that is transforming the entire Middle East and is now prepared to change America and most of the Western world.

Take some responsibility. Educate yourself!

First step, you're already here, I have been writing about Occupy for over six weeks - Read My Blog! Then send the link to a friend.

Next, get yourself a twitter account, it takes two minutes to set up. Follow the posts from #Occupy #OccupyWallStreet and #Occupy_Together plus your local Occupy protest group, they are simple to find. Fresh new articles and reports will be linked in the twitter posts and you will have plenty to read to answer your burning question: What is this all about?

But wait! Why can't I just tell you? Well, it's complicated. This is a big country and an even bigger world. It's all tied together in a even more complex economic system. But you want the short, dirty, nasty version - here goes:

You are a victim. You are a victim of an economic system that has been rigged for you to fail. The unchecked greed of a small segment of our country has conspired with the government to hoard so much of the nation's wealth that they nearly collapsed the entire world's economy a couple of years ago. We, all of us, bailed their butts out and now they are preparing to do it again. "Our government" has been so corrupted by corporate money and the lobbies of big business that it will not regulate them to prevent another crisis. Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse which will be followed by civil unrest and riots. The rule of law will break down and the entire planet could well be plunged into a depression that will last for decades. Indeed, there will not be a full recovery within any of our lifetimes.

Think this is paranoia. You need to pay attention. The U.S. Congress is about to miss it's own mandated "Super Committee" budget cutting deadline and yet they will do nothing about the federal deficit for another year and a half. The Republicans are intentionally doing nothing to support economic recovery because they can use the bad news to defeat Obama. On the other side, Obama is a talking head with sweet words and no clue how to actually do anything to control the vicious greed of Wall Street. The suits on Wall Street and the CEOs in the corporate boardrooms continue to drain money and jobs from our economy yet Congress will not pass any regulations to prevent what happened just three years ago from happening again.

The Occupy Movement wants to force the government to respond to the extreme prejudice the American economy gives to corporations and the super wealthy. The word is "force" not "ask" not even "demand." For now the Occupy Movement is attempting to use non-violent tactics to force the government to act. How long that will hold is anyone's guess.

Once again, the whole world is watching. This time they are also hoping and praying that the United States of American gets it right because if we don't, if this economy collapses, there will be no place on earth that will not follow us down the black hole.

That's what Occupy is about - Care to join us?


BJ Nemeth said...

I've been reading and reading for weeks, and still have no clear idea what -- specifically -- the #Occupy movement wants. The general goals they talk about (a complete restructuring of our government and financial system) imply nothing short of revolutionary war.

"The Occupy Movement wants to force the government to respond to the extreme prejudice the American economy gives to corporations and the super wealthy."

What does that mean? What is an acceptable response? Can you give a few examples? Are they Congressional bills, or constitutional amendments, or what?

Your use of the word "force" instead of "ask" or "demand" is an interesting one. Because it further highlights the fact that the protesters don't know what they want. They want a response, but have no idea what that response should be. So they won't ask, or demand, but will simply keep protesting until something happens.

Watching today's protest on CNN, I keep thinking this is a group of peaceful protesters that are itching to become violent protesters. To what end?

The Shrink said...

Good questions BJ, but let me turn this around on you. Suppose you had lost your job or had your retirement funds lost in the financial crash. Your home is underwater or even already foreclosed. You want these things to change, you want a fair chance to have a job and a home and not be unfairly effected by the manipulations of Wall Street.

OK, so write a bill or a law or a set of financial reforms to fix all that....

Wait! That's not your job. Legislatures and Presidents are elected to represent our needs. Occupy and the Tea Party are making demands on their government to fix this mess. We are demanding our elected officials do their jobs.

BJ Nemeth said...

I've seen several agendas proposed by factions of the Occupy Movement that I would be willing to support. Constitutional amendments pushing for Congressional term limits and a restriction on "political free speech" by corporations. Strengthen the campaign finance laws. Increase regulation on the banking system.

These proposals seem to target the big issues that concern most Occupy protesters. But the loose leadership refuses the very concept of having an agenda.

Now I ask you to take the side of a politician who is sympathetic to the cause of the protesters. This politician wants to make the Occupy Movement their #1 priority.

What should that politician do?

I have no problem with the majority of rank-and-file protesters focused on the problems rather than the solutions. But in this entire movement, you're telling me there's nobody in the entire movement who thinks they have better ideas than the current politicians?

If the movement's central claim is that the government is corrupt and broken, how can they "force" it to fix itself?