Occupy Wall Street Why?

OWS Protestors
OWS Protestors | Source

To be honest when the "Occupy Wall street" protests began I was scratching my head. What was their cause? What did they want to accomplish? Upon checking across the internet, TV and newspaper I have to admit I still didn't really understand why they were protesting or what they expected to happen. Now today I have read quite a lot of why people were and are there still in some places and it seems that most are protesting because 1% of the country is rich and the rest are not.

One thing I will say before this piece really begins is that I am not rich, not even really very well off. I have worked manual labor jobs with horrible conditions and I have worked some that were not so bad. But after everything I've read and taken into account I can honestly say Occupy Wall Street doe not speak for me.

Most people I have spoken to don't want to get rid of the 1% anyways they simply want to become part of it and they want everyone else to just give it to them for free. Why? Because in their minds their rights somehow entitle them to it.

I've heard arguments from different people that a lot of the people have no jobs but the OWS protesters themselves maintain that most of their ranks are employed. So that begs the question why would people with money in the bank and jobs to go to be protesting. Also I know I don't have enough money to leave my job and indefinitely camp out in a park, if your doing that well you don't need to be protesting at all.

In reference to those protesting due to economic inequality all I can say is we live in a democratic country which by default makes it a capitalist country as well. Anyone can go make a business and in some cases some become rich through innovation, technology or other means. Some of their businesses have grown over time established by their father, grand father, great grandfather but it was earned by someone. Some people become rich by stepping on others. That is life. The government isn't going to storm the homes of every millionaire and billionaire in the US and take their belongings, drain their bank accounts and then head for the nearest OWS location to divide up their cash. They built their businesses and earned the money.

Protesting because some people are rich and you are not is petty. It doesn't matter how much you sugar coat it with righteous ideals it just isn't right. If you want to get rich go and work for it. Increase your knowledge, find your niche, create something. Even in a downed economy people are getting rich all the time. Ask Zuckerburg what his net worth has reached over the last few years all from creating Facebook. People are getting rich and at an incredible pace, much more so than in past decades.

I know as well that protesting seems to have become a fad, the Middle East did it, Africa did it, Europe did so why not us right? Wrong. If you have a problem, a genuine issue, work through the system that is already in place. This is what was lacking in the Middle East and African countries.

For those with no jobs I will say this. I know right at this moment I could quit my day job, put out resumes tomorrow and have another very quickly. Maybe it wouldn't be in my field, maybe it would be horrible but it would be a job. So it isn't that there are no jobs. We live in a democratic country that has all kinds of social programs and hand outs to those trying to better themselves through education, money for those creating businesses. Check the internet it has a wealth of information on these programs. Also if you start a business and it fails, then it fails try something else. If you take a bad job deal with it but do everything you can to find something better and eventually you will, trust me.

With all due respect to those out there in the parks, occupying Wall street keep in mind you are just sitting there, you are not making the economy and situation better. Why not pool all your man power and resources and do something like supporting and helping those looking for work. Think about what you could do with that many people. Help everyone get a job.

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Comments 42 comments

Vapid Maven profile image

Vapid Maven 5 years ago from California

I think the biggest myth about the movement is that they are asking for handouts in which they are not. What they are looking for is opportunity which is not as plentiful as it once was. They are protesting corporate control over our representatives. They are protesting the loopholes in the tax and regulatory systems that allow jobs to leave our country. They are protesting that while the 1% (the rich, mainly large corporations and not individuals) is either maintaining or gaining wealth, the middle and lower class are loosing theirs. I do understand how the movements message is un-clear but there are a lot of lines, rhetoric and false media you have to get past before you can see it. Thank you for the read.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

You are welcome for the read, I do agree that opportunity is not what it was but there are jobs if people really want to work. I believe the loss of jobs from our country has more to do with foreign countries than corporate greed. US companies offering wages negotiated by unions with benefit packages and more can't compete with companies from foreign countries paying their workers almost nothing, or better yet paying young children next to nothing to make their products. But the OWS aren't any different than anyone else in that respect as they won't think twice next time they buy a bunch of items sold in a dollar store all made overseas. Or purchase that foreign made car. Faced with the fact of not selling their products (which would cripple their companies and cost many jobs anyway) they move jobs overseas but who can blame them. I work for an american company that employs thousands on US and Canadian soil. Why would I want the government to put the squeeze on them to pay even higher taxes. That's liable to make all the jobs go overseas not stop them from going overseas.


mistifields profile image

mistifields 5 years ago

I agree with you 100%. I am tired of them still collecting unemployment when they are definitely not looking for jobs, only pooping in the streets. I'm completely fed up with the half of the country that believes everything should be given to I them. I think we need to put an end to welfare and foodstamps all together and then they might want to actually work hard and become successful themselves.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Thank you for commenting mistifields glad to see you agree. I wouldn't go quite so far as to say welfare and foodstamps should be be taken away completely but I do think as you do that the vast majority of people don't need it and could work if they really tried. Some do need it but I've known a lot of people who really do not. I do think people need to give it all they can to get jobs.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

Terrek,

I can't agree with you more. The only way Americans can make a real difference is with our few dollars and how we spend them. Well done!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

tammyswallow - happy to see were in agreement, I think with a lot of old fashioned hard work we could right our economy and get back on track. Whether that will happen or not I guess is the question. Thanks for commenting.


Jennifer Essary profile image

Jennifer Essary 5 years ago from Idaho

I support the protesters. It isn't because I want to be rich and those out there don't want to be rich either. They just want to have enough. If you look at the Occupy FB page you will find all the reasons they are really out there. Personally I'm tired of the 1% controlling the government. They buy policies, politicians, and agencies. That is why the 1% are angry.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Jennifer Essary - I respect your opinion and you are certainly entitled to your opinion but Occupy Wall Street doesn't speak for me. I've said my piece above and stand by it. But I do thank you for commenting.


RP1010 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Voted up Amen to all that. Here in the UK this stupid movement seems to have no leadership, no direction, no values and no idea, yet they want us the silent majority to support them.

Get a job pay some tax and help society that way!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Hi RP1010, yes I had heard in the UK it got pretty bad with riots. I don't know how people think looting, vandalizing and burning down businesses will help the economy. I was sad to see that type of thing going on anywhere. I also heard people were getting together in groups to protect their shops. That is pretty brave. Thanks for commenting RP1010.


RP1010 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi terrektwo - we have our own "movement" here in the UK and they have pitched up outside churches and other places. The most noticeable one is St Paul's Catherdral which is next to the London Stock Exchange. Unfortunately the genuine protestors seem to have long since vanished and or been assimilated into a movement of the usual great unwashed whom are now defacating in the church, drug dealing, threatening people and all other really helpful things which will of course bring down capitalism! (If papers lodged with the high court citing why they should be removed) are to be believed.

I've heard / seen a few interviewed (too many to claim they are badly represented) and they simply come across as an incoherent bunch of naive fools. One repeatedly wouldn't say what she wanted to achieve in her actions whilst another idiot hid behind mask (probably becasue he has a face for radio) and simply spouted incoherant rubbish when he had TV time on the BBC to put his point across.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

RP1010 - oh nasty, sounds like a bunch of winners there, well hopefully they realize they aren't accomplishing much and eventually go home. If they are drug dealing and breaking the law they should really be removed. Winter will be here soon maybe the cold will drive them out.


RP1010 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi again, sorry should qualify my comments from a bit earlier, its alleged drug use rather than dealing!

Don't want to accuse something them of something that isn't correct!

I'm sure it'll fizzle out, It's not the most pressing matter on most peoples minds to be honest.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Fizzling is good, I understand, thanks for commenting RP1010


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@terrektwo - Greetings can I join the choir?

You have voiced what many of us "normal" folk perceive the OWS protesters to be.

Which is a shame, because if you could just not "see" the; I wanna, you owe it to me, and gimmee gimmee people that are its face, the OWS movement could have gotten the public's attention on a lot of issues that need it.

Not the wealth of the 1%, but the corruption and insider-created inequities, and in many cases criminality, ( or should be criminality), of too many of its members.

There is no such thing as a bad corporation - just bad people running it.

And had their cry against the "unfairness" of the system, been instead focused as a scream of indignation against the corruption of our political representatives...

Then OWS could have been a good thing, as it is, they presented themselves as the antithesis of what us "normal" Americans want from the system.

And instead of doing good, they have done harm. They just gave the "other" side one more ridiculous image to use as a defense against legitimate complaints; "we're not crooked or bad guys...these folks are just idiots... look - see, these are our accusers, what do you expect"

GA


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

GA Anderson - thanks for commenting that is a lot to take in. I can see your very passionate about this issue.


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

I think there is a major fact you are missing here. Big coorperations are responsible for the massive influence on how the countries budget is allocated.Take for example the War situation,it is not that everyone in the USA wants that, it is because some big company is supplying the weapons and profiting of it. Look at the argument on the EPA now, environmanet protection is everyones concern but because some big company does not want to work along with this, they are sponsoring politicians to speak againgst Environmanet protection.

Before we simply dismiss the Occupy Wall street protests, it is necessary to understand the mechanics of politics and civil society. The arguments presented here against the movement are not well substantiated. I think it is selfish and naive to say people could work "if they tried really hard". What is the basis of that argument against the fact that the job market is flooded with well qualified professionals?

It is easy to say so if you have a job and have no need to go looking for one.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Alladream74 - While I am aware that corporations do benefit from contracts overseas which includes not just arms for the military but infrastructure rebuilding and many other things I wouldn't agree that corporations told the government to go to war and then we did. I think there many much more complex reasons why we are at war. Starting with 9/11 and on.

With your comments on the environment I do agree that everyone should be trying to save the planet. However I think human consumption, supply and demand has more to do with pollution than simply corporations. Activists will protest things like the Alberta Oil Sands for example from which a huge amount of gas is supplied to the United States. You could blame the corporation responsible but what would happen if they turned off the pipeline? With millions of cars, planes, boats, etc. guzzling away at this very moment the price of fuel would skyrocket. It would hurt everyone paying more for fuel, it would breakdown the economy even further. If you want to save the planet the only way it will ever happen is if everyone turns their backs on gasoline. Which of course isn't going to happen.

In reference to your remarks on the fact that my arguments are unsubstantiated I would say that their really not arguments just observations. Also I would call the arguments for Occupy Wall Street to be not only unsubstantiated but unclear as well. From all I've seen and read on the subject there are people with hundreds of different reasons protesting.

Maybe it seems selfish and naive for me to say that people should be out looking for jobs and that if they tried really hard they would have one but as said I know today if I quit my job I would have another very shortly. I live in a city that was very bad economically even before the meltdown in 2008 so if I can do it so can they. As you said there are a lot of well qualified professionals and that may be part of the problem, everyone is waiting for the perfect job one that is in their field and gives the best pay and great benefits. That won't happen right now. You need to find something and continue to look for something better.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

niall.tubbs - I'm not sure if that was directed to me, but either way I've said honestly what I think, you are certainly free to draw your own conclusions and opinions from it. Thanks for commenting.


RealConception7 profile image

RealConception7 5 years ago

I agree 100%. You're a great writer. You have a unique opinion on things.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Thank you RealConception7 I suppose my opinion is unique on some things. Some people seem to agree others not so much but that's ok, even if I don't agree with others opinions sometimes I do respect their opinion. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions :) Thanks for commenting too, have a good one.


natures47friend profile image

natures47friend 5 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

Too true...there will always be 'the one percent' no matter what country we are from. We have no riots here, but we are sick of the few who avoid paying taxes through good lawyers and accountants. We have an election tomorrow. I don't want National to win...but the polls so far are leaning that way.

It is a waste of time to block up Wall Street, but I s'pose then folk will notice and then everyone tosses their opinions around.

I myself have a benefit being a solo parent and working part time. The work I currently do cant provide 20 hours a week. Hours are not guaranteed and they will not let me get off the dpb for that reason. Annoying as it is...the benefit is considered first employment so any work over and above is taxed at a secondary rate....boohoo...not a lot of incentive. Don't know if the US is similar, but there are lawnmowing jobs and gardening. There is always something manual around which you wont use any qualifications for. Great hub. You are clever.


jimagain profile image

jimagain 5 years ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Great Hub. I enjoyed your responses to some of the comments almost as much as your Hub. Very compelling take on the OWS! I concur.

I fail to see the virtue how imposing 'economic equality' is such a great idea in business, a system that thrives on competition. Once we relied on our industry and work ethic to be the best, now we embrace the entitlement mentality, as if somehow the life owes us a free ride.

If OWS desperately wants someone to blame for the economy, there are no shortage of culprits to blame than just the rich. That is so passe! They should get with the times and come up with something new than resuscitate the same worn, tired old failures of the past. Do they need culprits? Tell them to look to Congress, not Wallstreet. The problem was created by Washington; therefore can not be solved by meddling politicans interested only in perpetuating their own self-interests.

Supposing you could actually find two OWS protestors that could agree on what they're protesting, what remedy do they propose that won't be worse than the malady they protest? Socialism? Anarchy? To think that socialism is going to solve more problems than it creates is ludicrous. The end result will only be to rob the masses of the opportunity to better themselves than the lowest common denominator mandated by the gov't. If their solution is to reduce everyone to the same state of misery, that seems to be a cure worse than the inequality it seeks to remedy.

I am relieved to find not everyone has bought into their philosophy.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

A lot of interesting points jimagain you are right when you say that I haven't bought into their philosophy. Thank you for commenting


fotolady49 profile image

fotolady49 5 years ago from Cleveland, OH - USA

Great insight on this subject....what you've said makes a lot of sense! If people would take their frustrations and direct that energy in a positive way, just think what they could accomplish!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

fotolady49 - I know, can you imagine if all those people worked around the clock trying to help everyone finds jobs instead of building a shanty town to "occupy" somewhere. Seems to me it's more like taking up space that isn't yours and doing nothing while asking for something that your demanding instead of working toward getting it.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Don't you think people are entitled to greater equality. Its all very well to support democracy, which I do, but the schism between rich and poor is so very wide that it just keeps getting wider with big businesses and companies having a ball game in exploitation. There must be greater control and regulations so that ordinary people have at least a modicum of decent lives.


richardmohacsi profile image

richardmohacsi 5 years ago from Florence

Interesting.

In Paris, the same is happening. The French protestors are surviving at La Defense (essentially the CBD). And I mean surviving. They don't have jobs. They are passionate that something is wrong and are trying to draw attention to it. And they are probably right.

I walk past them everyday and respect their peaceful protest. This is a democracy, they have the right to protest. Maybe something will come of it, but I doubt it because they don't seem to have leadership, no real ideas (maybe just ideals) and for the most part, I assume that they are generally not well educated.

Let's face it, this financial crisis has occurred due to a few greedy capitalists gambling other people's money. Many corporate crimes have been committed, but it seems that penalties for much lesser crimes are more harshly punished.

I do disagree with your take on the Middle East and African countries. When was the last time you had your civil rights taken away? The Middle East couldn't just "work through it" as you put it. Something more drastic was required. And it did happen and it spread. And perhaps it gave the idea to inflame the "First World" into protest.

Enough of my ranting. I am working, well enough off and agree that you should get up, work and vote with your feet. If it doesn't work, then move on. I agree. But I have utmost respect for peaceful protest. In the words of Ghandi:

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.


richardmohacsi profile image

richardmohacsi 5 years ago from Florence

Bu I'll follow you because I like good topics!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

richardmohacsi - just wanted to clarify when I said "this is what was lacking in the Middle East" what I meant was that they lack a system to work through it like we have in the western world. We have ways to make our problems understood and to try and get peoples attention whereas they don't. So we agree on the Africa/Middle East issue. Sorry if I wasn't clear. Not to be long winded but I do however think that their protesting is not going to mean much as history has repeated itself time and time again. They will only shed one dictator for another in their fight for democracy that will never happen and realistically the next dictator may be worse than the last. I'd rather live in a relaxed regime with most of the rights that the western world enjoys than be severely persecuted or killed at random by a regime that barely tolerates the populace.

As for OWS or the French protestors I still say they should combine all their efforts and help find everyone a job. Create a global organization for support and pool every resource to repair the economy instead of making shanty towns in public places and accomplishing little more than a public nuissance while really doing nothing but sitting, standing, holding signs for months.

I respect your opinion of the protestors though and hope I clarified what I was saying about the Middle East, possible I should edit that so no one else misunderstands. Thank you for Ghandi's words, very true.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

marwan asmar - maybe your right I just don't thing OWS is a solution when they can't formulate any real answer.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Hello, terrektwo, while I may take issue with your position on this topic, I appreciate being allowed to become a member of your team. I can see that we will have much spirited debate in the coming weeks. Cred2


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Credence2 - bring it on! ha ha! Seriously though thank you for commenting. Even if we don't agree I respect everyone's opinion so feel free to comment and say what you think.


pseudo-scripto14 profile image

pseudo-scripto14 5 years ago from Philippines

I appreciate your guts terrektwo and writing hub about OWS is quite censorious. But you have a point,It's ironic that the entities they are protesting against are the one who are giving them jobs.Besides, affluence is just a state of mind. Happiness is not entirely about money or valuable things, I'm not saying I don't want to become one but I'm contented with what I have. friends and families make me rich. I consider them jewel that is priceless and the joy they bring is unquantifiable.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

pseudo-scripto14 - your right it is a touchy issue for a lot of people, I did have to think about whether I would write it but in the long run I could try all the time to not step on anyones toes or I could just say what I think. So I will just say what I think. You are right as well family and friends make life worth living. If I was a single millionaire with no family or friends I would be miserable.


lionel1 profile image

lionel1 4 years ago

terrektwo you said lots of things is your post that I was just not aware of, like "Most people I have spoken to don't want to get rid of the 1% anyways".

I find most of your posts really interesting but this is one awesome post. Thank you, much obliged, and have a happy Christmas.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

lionel1 - well as in the article it seems people that are not the 1% rather want to figure out how to become the 1% not get rid of the 1%. Glad you found it of interest and thanks for commenting.


jhaggenmiller profile image

jhaggenmiller 4 years ago from Syracuse, NY via Jersey City, NJ

Hello, I can see I'm a little late to this hub (just stumbled upon it today). I was just wondering if anyone's perception of Occupy Wall Street has changed in the last few weeks, as the message has morphed into "money out of politics?"

Thanks for your time, and it's a really well written hub. And, full disclosure, I do support the Occupy movement.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

jhaggenmiller - Hi, not sure if my position has really changed but it seems as though the Occupy movement is fading fast. I haven't seen a single story on it recently and not it awhile. Not really sure what's even going on anymore.


jhaggenmiller profile image

jhaggenmiller 4 years ago from Syracuse, NY via Jersey City, NJ

Understood. The lack of visibility is an indictment of our media (I think). There was just an "Occupy the Courts" (protesting Citizens United) day of action, where people were arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court. It got barely any coverage. If you're on Twitter, check the hashtag "#J17" for related tweets about that day.

But, there's a good amount of things happening regionally and a bunch in the works for when the weather gets better. There are people organizing for the G-8/ NATO meetings in Chicapo in May.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Perhaps I will research the issue again, if only to answer questions from my perspective :) Thanks for commenting.


Jenna 3 years ago

There seems to be a basic misunderstanding on how corruption w0rks. It's not just legislators who are corrupt,confining it to our system of government,it crosses professional lines. Government officials and some large businesses have a mutual understanding: You pass a law for me, I fund your campaign. They have a mutal relationship where certain ridiculously wealthy people can buy politicians vote. This isn't just typical partisan bickering. It's citizens vs super wealthy duos of politicians and companies. We are looking in all the wrong places.

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