I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff about how the Occupy Wall Street / 99% movement is just a bunch of people whining and complaining… Like this:
I don’t really get it and if anything, I suppose a flaw in OWS is that it doesn’t have one single message. To me it seems obvious, but I don’t think it’s to blame Wall Street at all, or expect so-called hand-outs from the government or debt forgiveness from banks.
Like I wrote before, it’s about having a voice.
Polls show that the majority of Americans don’t support the military involvement in the Middle East. (Don’t get that confused with supporting the lives of the people serving – it’s different). Are they heard?
Peace protests alone weren’t gathering the crowds, but now I guess the impact is more personal and direct. Average student debt is around $25,000. AVERAGE. Yes it is POSSIBLE to go to adequately save, work, choose cheaper options… but even so, the reality is that even with scholarships, grants, and savings, it is nearly impossible for most to avoid student debt whether it’s at a community college, state university or private university. Especially with the current job market, you can’t write off the rationale of going to a more prestigious school in order to set yourself apart. And that’s not even enough these days. You have to be able to afford a better education to get a better job, and more often than not, loans are the only way to do so. But has higher education turned into nothing more than a business, rather than an educational system? People should be in an uproar about that! People who hold doctorates that are necessary to their field (that are necessary to SOCIETY) will be in debt for over a decade from loans. And it’s not because they are lazy or rich or don’t work hard or are overspending and living above their means. There’s limited scholarships, and depending on the degree, it may or may not be possible to work as many hours in addition to courseloads.
We are fortunate if we have a job out of university, and lucky if that includes 14 days of vacation, let alone paid vacation. We are lucky if we have a job that provides health insurance. These situations aren’t readily available at all, so it’s not really just about our choices. We are fortunate to be born in our geographic locations to the families are born or adopted into because that determines living costs, wages, and quality of education.
How can you say it’s just the way it is, that we should all suck it up, to stop whining, that people don’t work hard enough…. 400 people have more wealth than 150 million. Do those 400 really work harder than EVERYONE ELSE? We should be asking WHY are we okay with this? How can you not want higher standards? That’s what OWS is about – This mess of inequality is not okay.
It’s not about getting new cars or iphones or being able to go on vacation more often… but the system we have simply doesn’t work to the benefit of the majority of people. Fox news reported on how this “class warfare” against the top income holders is stemming from people on undeserved hand-outs who aren’t really poor – because they have things like mobile phones and refridgerators. “Sorry people, but you’re gonna have to be poorer and then maybe we can start to pay as much attention to you as the oil and pharmaceutical companies.”
It just seems too obvious that we can do better, so why aren’t we? No matter from what party, we all see politicians getting elected and not following through on their campaign promises. We see the mainstream media misrepresent the news in bias broadcasts and censorship. We literally have watched the major media outlets praise the government as it favors big business and the top 1% over the rest of the country, overspend on international wars, all the while cutting back on important domestic social services, voting down universal health care, and cutting back funds to public media.
Maybe it’s 1st world problems, while there’s worse happening in the world, but I’m happy to see more people care for once. Plus the US is apparantly ranked 39th for income inequality (sudden jump from #64 before an update this past August).
Regardless, enough people are unhappy with the status quo and now for once people are doing something about it. It’s not just about Wall Street – clearly by the Occupy protests in nearly 1000 cities around the world yesterday – That’s just where it got started. People are sick of not being listened to. There’s all sorts of ideas being proposed – discussion and debate finally besides the political “fix it” campaigning…. from supporters of all types of political parties in the OWS protests. There’s finally enough noise demanding attention, and hopefully the right objectives will get through to the leaders to GET IT TOGETHER. Don’t know what’s to come out of it yet, but as a movement I still say it’s in the right direction.
Your voices are loud, so USE THEM!