One objective of this blog is to encourage productive discussion and debate within the "comments" forum. Leaving comments has been made easier. No registration is required. Comments can be left anonymously. A Hassle free and easy forum to leave a comment. However, any inappropriate comments will be deleted by blog administrators. Thank you for commenting so your voice can be heard.

Friday, October 28, 2011

OWS - The Storm or Tide Before The Storm?

[Poster of 99%ers]
The Occupy Wall Street movement is intriguing in that it is hard to say whether it has run its 15 minutes of fame or whether it will coalesce into a true political forum or party.   OWS, the hashtag for the movement occupy wallstreet is already widespread. What started out with a few hundred people in September 2011 at New York City’s Wall Street became a countrywide protest. What are the people protesting for? What do they want to achieve? Is it really a mass movement, organized from the bottom up? What are the common interests (with whom?)? What can really be achieved?

Regardless, it seems clear, with the advent of the Tea Party and now the OWS, that the American people are slowly waking up to express their displeasure with the direction that the great old USA is taking.

As Benjamin Disraeli famously said "Change is inevitable. Change is constant."

The USA has thrived on change. From its humble origins through these times, we have witnessed the birth of a country which has undergone constant change and has embraced and succeeded with such change. Based largely on the notion that every man has an equal chance and that an entrepreneurial spirit was rewarded, the USA grew into the most powerful Country in the world.

 Along the way, we have also witnessed as a few have succeeded and prospered to such a degree that they created staggering wealth; Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Astor, Gates, Carnegie, Ford, etc.. See for example this story by the New York Times The Wealthiest Americans Ever .
While their business practices and the staggering amount of wealth these individuals accumulated was not without controversy, most saw it not as informidable obstacle but as the "American Dream" - that any person had the opportunity to become a Rockefeller.

But today we face a time when people are questioning whether the American Dream is still alive. Can anyone still succeed or have we witnessed the birth of a ruling class who control the vast majority of all wealth in the United States and are now using that power to the detriment of the majority. It has been styled as the clash between the 1% and the remaining 99%. The 1% of Americans who make the most money and own the most assets.
I write often of what I perceive to be the detrimental effects of income inequality; while also stating that I believe in a capitalist system. I do not object to wealth, even great wealth. What I do object to is a system which creates haves and have nots and then limits the ability of the have nots to achieve the American Dream. Income inequality in the United States is at an all time high and is greater than many third world countries. Yes in some third world countries, the average person is better off as compared to the rich than here in the USA.

Rick Perry has said that he doesn't care about income inequality - just blame the less off for being poor. But countless studies have shown that where there is great income inequality, the have nots do not have the same opportunities as the rich. The 1% become a ruling class, an oligarchy, and the remaining 99% become debt serfs. That is not an expression of the American Dream.

The rallying cry of those in Occupy Wall Street is the "99ers" - those who are not members of the elite 1% who make more and control the most assests.

Although the OWS movement has not fully coalesed and there are no clear spokespersons or formalized agenda, OWS has launched a movement against the finacial system of the USA which it describes as corrupted and controlled by the 1%. And it is not just here in the USA but around the world where people are questioning the global finacial system and who really is "in charge."
Regardless, increasingly Americans, be them Tea Party members, Occupy Wall Street protestors, are saying that "change is needed."

Will we embrace this change as we have in the past or has the system changed so much that there is now a ruling class? Only time will tell but as Disraeli said "change is inevitable."


  1. As Herman Cain said: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Should 'Go Home And Get A Job And A Life'

    Frankie in Lubback

  2. Immortal Technique rapper explains is take very eloquently. " When it bleeds it leads!"

  3. Is does seem to me that things have changed for the worse. My grand-children are having trouble finding jobs despite college educations. Then I see all these Billionaries with jets and mansions and I wonder if my children and grand-children will even have a chance to make it.


  4. Bloomberg has 16 Billion plus dollars. Bloomberg is part of the problem.
    Immortal Technique says it well.

  5. Money speaks. 99% stop using your ATM and credit cards. Don't pay bank fees.

  6. OWS is here to stay until change occurs. People are finally rising up. We do not live in a democracy. Our dictators are corporate America. Politicians answer to the money holders. The politicians then have their crony cops try to silent the voices of the American protestors. Janice

  7. The rich bad guys are not concerned with the problems of the poor good guys. Corporate gains are increasing the wealth of the rich bad guys as the poor good guys worry about paying their bills. A revolution of the poor good guys is needed. They would close the bank accounts of the rich bad guys and share that wealth with all the good guys.

    James NYC

  8. I agree with "money speaks." We need to find ways to take our money away from the banksters. Join small community banks. Use cash.

  9. It is the tide before the storm!!! We have not seen anything yet in comparison to the magnitude of what is coming!

  10. The system is broken and favors only those who have lots of money. And the GOp wants to make them even richer. Cutting capital gains taxes benefits the rich, period. They are not creating jobs with that money. For 30 years now we have heard how cutting capital gains taxes will create jobs and it failed! It is a ploy to give more money to the rich.

  11. Obama was the single largest receipient of money from Wall St pacs. Tim Geither should be in the dictionary under tax cheat. Unless your talking about Obamas boy Jeff Immelt and GE. And maybe if Eric Holder could take a few minutes off from running guns to Mexican drug cartels he could look into a few things. But he is part of the same revolving door and doesn’t want to mess up his return to privite practice. Obama is just as guilty!

  12. This is not a left/right movement. If there is one unified message from Occupy Wall Street, it is that the system is broken and we must work together as Americans to bring about change. Big money interests rule this country and all politicians are guilty of responding to the corruption that sustains them. This has been building for a long time, well before Bush or Obama. We are fighting the wrong fight if we simply vote them out of office. No matter who occupies the white house, the senate and the house the system is “fixed”. Term limits would help, limiting campaign contributions would help but don’t expect the people in office to vote against their own best interests anytime soon.

    Ben B. Los Angeles

  13. I like the the French Revolution painting. Great analogy to what is happening now. I experience OWS to be especially fueled by anger at the richest people, rather than more thoughtful large-scale social policy changes that characterized King’s work. There are common points and certainly OWS could continue to evolve into a more cohesive economic change vision, but right now I am hearing it as fairly simple outrage at the wealthiest who are saying by their opportunistic lifestyles “let them eat cake.” I surely wouldn’t mind seeing a few heads roll (figuratively).
    Barney NYC, NY

  14. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
    --sinclair louis

    "One withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas."
    --victor hugo


  15. As Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas - who stood up to the New York police - notes:

    I was involved in a RIOT in Rutbah, Iraq 2004 and we did NOT treat the Iraqi citizens like they are treating the unarmed civilians in our OWN Country. No one was brutalized because our mission was to 'WIN the hearts and minds.' why should I expect anything less in my OWN Country.

  16. This should bug the shit out of everybody. We have become a police state. The government is out of control, the cops are out of control. This isn't Isrealis and Paletinians (otherwise it would be on TV and there would be outrage), these are Americans. Like what they are saying or not; the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to say it. That Marine earned the right to voice his opinion. This should scare the crap out of every American. Cops are killing people more and more and getting away with it. If you would have stepped in and helped the homeless guy in Fullerton, you would be in jail longer than the cops who murdered him. The transit cop who murdered the guy on the Bart got 2 years- a blogger in North Carolina who blogged that the cop should be killed got 20 years. We only have the rights that they let us have. It gets worse every day until you wake up in Soviet Amerika or Nazi America. We are at a dangerous place in history that has gone really bad for a lot of previous peoples. It is justified by the Patriot Act that is there to protect us from terrorists. Who will protect us from the protectors?

  17. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  18. A day may come when the " debt serfs" ( peasants AKA The 99ers) may begin to form an army where they raid the lobbies of the Central Park West and 5th Ave. Doorman buildings to invade the 1% as they did to Marie Antoinette. I can see the OWS's throwing rocks at town cars and limousines. A class war. With a 99% army it could get very dangerous for the 1% sitting in their Penthouses. We live in a very unstable time. I think OWS has just begun and will grow stronger every day. I'm a peaceful 99% New Yorker. Things are going to get ugly.

  19. These OWS folks are committed. I commend them on their dedication. 16 protestors were taken to hospital for hyperthermia in NYC wall street park
    due to their passion in this movement.

    We have not seen anything yet. It makes me want to be in NYC with them.

    Kathy in Ohio