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The Occupy Wall Street Movement : A Personal Reflection
The drawn-out recession has spawned much discontent and in unrest. Job opportunities are at its lowest and the income gap between the richest one percent and the 99 percent middle income and lower continues to grow. This has generated the Occupy Wall Street Movement, also known as the 99 percent movement. Two young economists, UC Berkeley professor, Emmanuel Saez and French economist Thomas Piketty have been credited with coining the phrase “We are the 99%” from their research on the income inequality in the United States. Their research revealed a U-shaped graph, magnifying the drastic drift between America’s middle and the wealthy classes over time.
They reported :
"from 2002 to 2007, the top 1 percent of American households accounted for about two-thirds of all income gains. In that time period, the top 1 percent saw their incomes increase more than 10 percent a year when adjusted for inflation, while the rest of the households – the 99 percent – had much more modest income increases of 1.3 percent a year."
If this disparity were just numbers on a research papers, it would just be that…facts on a paper but the truth is the economic downturn has affected lives…many the likes of us. Husbands have gone without jobs for months, even years. Houses suffer foreclosures..Many have made sacrifices to make ends meet… snipping coupons, visiting thrift stores or juggling three part-time jobs. It is no wonder that the 99% movement has found sympathy with the common man because at the core of the movement is a call for democracy, a call for more economic equality.
Without attempting to get political or technical with details, here is my attempt to verbalize the ramifications of the economic downturn:
Growing Mounds of Discotent
The mounds keep stacking
The mortgage is due
The kid needs new shoes
And it has to be Toms’ to be cool
Or her life is screwed.
The mounds keep growing
The car engine needs to be checked
The oil leaks by drips and gags
To fix or not …is not the question
When safety mocks your discretion.
The mounds keep building
No more wants, only needs
So many, which do you weed?
The mounds grows
Stacks of bills
The desk tips from its fill
Pay up or suffer the consequences
If only they knew the circumstances
Not for want of trying…
Already 300 resumes sent and counting.
A gangly stash…riddled
Hopes made of stubble
Desperate dreams of ash
About to collapse.
99% versus 1%
99% or 1%
Makes no sense
Which side thrives
And which dies?
The undignified woes of broken dreams
Pink slip, severance pay....”you’ve been let go”
A byword today
And tomorrow still
Standing in line
For a spot
It’ll be there
When the lines are done.
The 1% gets fatter
By the lard of their own greed
Feeding their own pleasures
While the rest scrambles
Needy mice in the wheels of life
Peddling, huffing for a little share
Desperate refrain that echoes down Wall Street
And comes right back.
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