Occupy Wall Street: I'm Mad As Hell...
"We are the 99%." So began the cry on Wall Street and soon was echoed by grass roots organizations across the country. I have not been to the mountaintop, but I have been to the fountain. The fountain in Kiener Plaza where Occupy St. Louis as taken root and grows day by day. Arrests have been made, and still the people come. The police have been courteous. The occupiers have been courteous. Let's hope it remains so, but they (we) will not go away.
Occupy Wall Street and its many city localities is a way of standing up, going to the window and, like Howard Beale from the movie "Network," yelling, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
Effecting Change in Government
I do not have answers, only questions. Lots and lots of questions. But unless we stand up and demand answers and reform, it will never come to be. The problems and challenges this country is facing are so extensive they are beyond addressing with a simple list of demands. in New York, they are now splitting up into concern groups--those whose interest is the destruction of the environment gather over here, those whose interest is the Federal Reserve gather over here--for each sub-group to come up with their own statements.
As for effective ways to make change, the traditional ways are not working. Say it at the ballot box? Doesn't work. Write your Congressman? Doesn't work. Perhaps this beginning--this tiny ember in the pile of leaves that are the problems in the country--will find its stoking wind and spread until the fire demands attention. Already the fire has begun to spread.
The Problem with Politics
I may not know the answers, but I know this: In a country where the Supreme Court can declare that corporations are people and thereby open the road to corporations controlling politics; where government agencies that were created to protect us have been sold out to corporations that genetically engineer crops or add sythetic protiens to milk and heaven knows what additives to our food supply--all so corporations can get more profit at the expense of the people's health; where political parties can gerrymander voting districts to disenfrancise those that might vote against them; and on and on, then something is horribly, horribly wrong. Not to mention the crises of distribution.
Özlem Onaran, a senior lecturer in economics at Middlesex University, Britain, wrote at Internationalviewpoint.org, "We are in a new episode of the global crisis: the struggle to distribute the costs of the crisis. This crisis has been an outcome of increased exploitation and inequality, since the post-1980s across the globe. Neoliberalism (not to be confused with traditional liberalism) attack on workers. The outcome was a dramatic decline in worker’s bargaining power and labor’s share in income across the globe in the post-1980s."
Some would argue that the destruction of American began in 1913 with the creation of the Central Bank.and the Federal Reserve. Thomas Jefferson foresaw the problem many years before when he wrote, ""I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
For the People; By the People
This country was created as a republic, for the people by the people. Hardly seems like the people have anything to do with it any more. The income tax was created to redistribute wealth, from rich to poor (within reason), but it has reversed, redistributing wealth from the poor and middle class (which is practically poor anymore) to the rich.
Well I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.
I am but one. But we are the 99%.