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I know a blog on my personal website about my political views is not the best idea. However for as many sites as I write content, this is the only place my political views really fit. These are MY political views after all.
So if you’ll indulge me for a second, here’s a little politic-speak for just a minute… I promise not to stay very serious, I know it’s a real buzz kill.
I support Occupy Wall Street. I don’t think I’ve made that very secret. But after a rather annoying conversation at a party recently I decided I should hammer out WHY I support the movement and leave it someplace I can direct people too, while I stare at them incredulously.
First of all I should state at the outset that I have a LOT of disagreements with Occupy. I don’t think they’ve done a very good job at getting their actual message out. I don’t feel they have worked hard enough to boil down their grievances to something concrete, and I fear they have so overcompensated against the “status quo” that their own prose is hampered by being too open minded and lacking a sense of the immediacy of the problem.
But… but… BUT! I do agree on one key thing…
Our current economic system is broken, and while it’s not clear what the steps should be, we NEED to take every step toward trying to fix it.
Further our economic disparity suggests it’s not just the system that is broken but our very humanity.
In a world where anyone is starving, nobody should keep BILLIONS of dollars to themselves. Let me break it down for you:
Many of the people criticizing our system have been compared to socialists.
Any attack on the way things work is painted as an attack on capitalism and by some tenuous connection “The American Way”. I would suggest that the promise of equal chance of success for anyone who “pulls themselves up by their bootstraps” is very American, and for a long time the capitalist system supported that exact statement. Have a great idea
? Have an overabundance of work ethic? Have a desire to get rich or die trying
? Well America offered that by way of pure capitalism for a very long time… but not anymore… and here’s why:
(Attack on current capitalism here… you may want to copy and paste from here on for any hate mail or flame posts)
Capitalism like ANY system that’s treated as a deity and not a mutable form of commerce has gone off the rails… here are some examples of “GOOD” capitalism:
- Big companies preventing small upstart competitors from being any real competition by strangling them with unbeatable price fixing is GOOD capitalism. (WALMART)
- Breaking the back of unions so people can be paid increasingly less competitive wages is GOOD capitalism. (also WALMART)
- Stealing patents, products, or expert staff and then using your wealth to insulate you against legal reprisal is GOOD capitalism.
- Paying your employees progressively less and less because the economy will dissuade them from jumping ship is GOOD capitalism, as is continuing to pay yourself more.
- Using lobbyists to change government policy to prevent competition, reduce overhead (at the cost of the environment or other small business), or allowing debasement of your labor force is GOOD capitalism.
- Banks adding huge and even hidden fees into the system to nickel and dime people… That is GOOD capitalism.
- Pharmaceutical companies resisting cures to keep more people on daily medication is GOOD capitalism.
- Insurance companies doing everything they can to avoid paying out for a myriad of reasons is GOOD capitalism.
- A whole big BUNCH of things regarding resisting paying taxes. GOOD Capitalism.
My point is that in a world where success is all that matters, so much so that any DIRTY hippy who isn’t Fortune 500 shouldn’t have a valid opinion. Well, all these practices are tacitly OK.
Do you want these things to be OK
? Do you think that a country can claim this “American dream” if a big company can manipulate the system to make competing with them impossible? What about a country where the court system can be bought supports this ideal?
Do I have a big solution package to offer here? No. I’m just one guy who spends most of his time making jokes and has a media degree. But I do see that something is wrong.
The system IS broken. I may have come to this conclusion form a different place than the general #OWS folks, or maybe I haven’t. The point is they have made at least one thing clear… they ALSO don’ t like where
things have gone.
Bank bailouts while people are starving…are made to re-enforce a system that is broken.
Occupy is a movement’s response to this glaring fly in the ointment that more “established” people don’t seem to
see. Perhaps they do see it but they ignore it because it benefits them.
Perhaps they see it and can’t accept it because they have been a cog in the system for too long. A lot of the Anti-#OWS folks sound like they have Stockholm syndrome.
Either way, the mode of operation and total message aside, I agree with Occupy’s first contention overall: It’s broken, let’s fix it.
But probably the biggest reason I support the movement is not because I agree with their major contention… but because I promote the rights in this country of ANYONE to peaceably assemble and state their case. For anyone who doesn’t remember; this country is founded on doing this very thing…repeatedly. Civil rights and suffrage are just two great examples of people having
an issue with the system and saying so.
Of course that same protection also falls on those who have negative things to say about the movement, and we can agree to disagree about that too. But their right to speak, assemble, protest, and do whatever they can to get their message out… well that’s not open to debate.
It’s a right, and it IS the American WAY…
I think the system needs an overhaul from the way we do business, to the way we conduct our politics, to the way we treat each-other as humans.I hope a peaceable attempt can be made out all of it. Peace and Truth are still the strongest weapons anyone can wield. Yes, stronger than money.
I do feel that in the end, after all the examination we should be thinking about our goals as people and if it’s ever ok to have such an economic disparity even if the system wasn’t broken. But this is long term goal stuff, and hard to really put a face on.
Personally if I had enough to live comfortably (by even the most stoic definition) and some money left over in case of big unexpected crises (illness, accident) I feel it’s my duty as a human to give as much back from the overage as I can. I know you’ll all “believe it when you see it” but anyone who knows me personally knows I tend to be helpful even when that which I lend or give is the fine line between me and food that month. So I think my track record will speak for itself. I hope.
So that’s it, my little rant on why I back the #OWS. Judge away if you must. It’s what my mind and heart agree on is the best choice for our future.
… … … … … … … … …
Ok… my REAL opinion is thus… I want it to get better, or go all “Mad Max” style Apocalypse all at once. So let’s either make the w orld a better place
or push the fucking button already. I’m done with this slow decline of man shit… FUCK!. (See… the other part was way nicer… let’s go with that)