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Thread: Occupy Wall Street and other movements--what do they want to do?

  1. #1

    Default Occupy Wall Street and other movements--what do they want to do?

    I keep seeing all these news articles and people ranting about "We are the 99%" and "Occupy Wall Street". I can understand that people are not happy about the economy right now.

    My question is, what is the goal of these movements? What are they truly trying to accomplish? Ending greed and corruption among the top 1% is what I hear, but the problem is that there is no actual direction these people want to head. If it is a corruption thing, then it should be a matter of getting the legal system to go after illegal dealings.

    If it is a matter of 'greed' then how is this supposed to be fought? By definition, capitalism is a system based on greed and the desire to have better things than you do now. Is this wrong? It has turned the United States into the major world economy and the people who are complaining have never even seen a life similar to what exists in third world economies.

    Personally, I think we would be better off if a Constitutional amendment were drawn up to read: "Congress shall make no law granting special privileges to itself above the people."

    Doing this amendment would force Congress to have the same as the rest of the people for Social Security, medical coverage, insider trading laws, and more. A lot of major problems would be fixed IMMEDIATELY.

  2. #2

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    I recently watched the Occupy Cincinnati movement rise and fall.

    They were out marching around every weekend, and then they stopped marching, and now they've abandoned where they were camping.

    I guess they never figured out what to do.

  3. #3

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    The Tea Party usually had clear goals ("block Obamacare") because they were an opposition party. The decisive goal was to block whatever bill Obama sent to Congress.

    I see the Occupy movement different. It's a group with strategic goals, not tactical goals. In other words, there isn't a list of things which can be checked off and then everyone goes home. The goals are much, much more broad. I feel the biggest goal is to bring more attention to the problem of income disparity- that compensation for the top 1% of Americans has grown markedly over the last [any period of time less than 60 years] while compensation for your average working class schmuck hasn't. That more and more employers are hiring employees to a 40 hour week are but refusing to give those employees living wages while the people running many said companies are taking baths in Dom Perignon.

    It's working, too- the number of times news networks has increased to a statistically significant degree since before the protest started.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightFox View Post
    The Tea Party usually had clear goals ("block Obamacare") because they were an opposition party. The decisive goal was to block whatever bill Obama sent to Congress.

    I see the Occupy movement different. It's a group with strategic goals, not tactical goals. In other words, there isn't a list of things which can be checked off and then everyone goes home. The goals are much, much more broad. I feel the biggest goal is to bring more attention to the problem of income disparity- that compensation for the top 1% of Americans has grown markedly over the last [any period of time less than 60 years] while compensation for your average working class schmuck hasn't. That more and more employers are hiring employees to a 40 hour week are but refusing to give those employees living wages while the people running many said companies are taking baths in Dom Perignon.

    It's working, too- the number of times news networks has increased to a statistically significant degree since before the protest started.
    I understand the idea of bringing the income disparity issue to the forefront; but once it is up in everyone's face, what do we do to fix it?

    On top of that, there are many positions for 'untrained' or 'unskilled' workers out there that pay minimum wage. The reason for it is understood: anybody can do the job so why should you pay higher wages when you can get somebody else who is hard up for money. This is one of the basic ideas of capitalism, that you need to better yourself and your skills to better where you are in the world. I spent many years in school and training to get to have the job that I do, is there a reason I should be paid the same as someone who has no skills?

    I think this is more of a smokescreen than anything. It focuses everyone on the 'super rich' and blames them for what is going on. Honestly, I think more importantly we need to get our representatives to have a vested interest in fixing the issues at hand instead of making themselves exempt from the rules and living off of the people.

  5. #5

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    The Occupy the Stated movement, in a nutshell, aims to make it illegal for the goverment to be bribed into representing only those who can afford to bribe. They're looking for regulation.

    Although, if you watch Fox News, you'd tell me that "They have no goals and they're all idiots." But, Fox News being what it is, there's not much people can do to stop them. :/

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightFox View Post
    I feel the biggest goal is to bring more attention to the problem of income disparity- that compensation for the top 1% of Americans has grown markedly over the last [any period of time less than 60 years] while compensation for your average working class schmuck hasn't. That more and more employers are hiring employees to a 40 hour week are but refusing to give those employees living wages while the people running many said companies are taking baths in Dom Perignon.

    It's working, too- the number of times news networks has increased to a statistically significant degree since before the protest started.
    The problem is that everyone (or almost everyone) already knew this. It's like raising awareness that smoking is bad for you.. everyone knows!

    I think a specific checklist or goal is just what they need. Anyone can whine about a problem.. it takes a lot more effort to actually fix it.

    More importantly, the people they are protesting (those 1%) just don't care. You protest to get people pissed off at the government to a point where the government fears losing votes and changes something. If they were protesting to get the government to change laws/regulations it would make more sense. Protesting to private companies, unless you can make them fear a massive boycott (not gonna happen), does very little.

    My (admittedly not rigorously thought out) take on the solution is more control over influence of law and power. I think people _should_ be able to work hard and make as much money as they want, but I think the ability for individuals to prevent others from doing the same through monopoly, anti-competitive behavior, and lobbying should be greatly curtailed. More transparency is required.. business shouldn't be able to have the kind of backroom deals that lock everyone out, the terms "trade secret" and "proprietary information" needs to become a lot less liberally applied.

    ---------- Post added at 22:08 ---------- Previous post was at 22:05 ----------

    Would add to my post that I'm Canadian, so my thoughts are mainly on the copycat protests going on up here, but I think it's the same basic issues/situation!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    I understand the idea of bringing the income disparity issue to the forefront; but once it is up in everyone's face, what do we do to fix it?

    On top of that, there are many positions for 'untrained' or 'unskilled' workers out there that pay minimum wage. The reason for it is understood: anybody can do the job so why should you pay higher wages when you can get somebody else who is hard up for money. This is one of the basic ideas of capitalism, that you need to better yourself and your skills to better where you are in the world. I spent many years in school and training to get to have the job that I do, is there a reason I should be paid the same as someone who has no skills?
    The issues around minimum wage labor are far more complex than that. One of the bigger issues isn't even the hourly pay, but the lack of hours itself as well as healthcare issues. Socialized healthcare would seriously get us a long way there on this issue. The other issue is a glut of jobs being created are stuck in low pay low skill areas, and that they are not positions that lead to greater opportunities. You should not need to go to college to make more than 10 dollars an hour, and it is slowly becoming more and more the case. Someone has to work these jobs, and if they are more and more common then something has to be done to make them actually livable. You can't let people with money cause housing prices to skyrocket, pay to stagnate, then blame people with no money for having difficulty making ends meet.



    Quote Originally Posted by BoundCoder View Post
    The problem is that everyone (or almost everyone) already knew this. It's like raising awareness that smoking is bad for you.. everyone knows!
    Most people do not know this. There has been some research polling and in fact most Americans have no concept of how massive the income and wealth disparity is in the USA. Most, when asked what it is, were massively off the mark, and when asked for the idea, gave numbers closer to more egalitarian European countries.

    People understand that the rich are very rich, they have little concept of HOW rich they are. People in the USA also still believe the country has a massive of class mobility when it doesn't by comparison among other things. Again, the average American really does not get it or the tax issues.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by frillyfoxy View Post
    The issues around minimum wage labor are far more complex than that. One of the bigger issues isn't even the hourly pay, but the lack of hours itself as well as healthcare issues. Socialized healthcare would seriously get us a long way there on this issue. The other issue is a glut of jobs being created are stuck in low pay low skill areas, and that they are not positions that lead to greater opportunities. You should not need to go to college to make more than 10 dollars an hour, and it is slowly becoming more and more the case. Someone has to work these jobs, and if they are more and more common then something has to be done to make them actually livable. You can't let people with money cause housing prices to skyrocket, pay to stagnate, then blame people with no money for having difficulty making ends meet.
    Actually, one of the biggest reasons that we have this sort of issue is that we have sent almost all of our manufacturing overseas. Seriously--look at how many manufacturing jobs there were just thirty or forty years ago in the United States versus today. The minimum wage jobs used to be dishwashers, day laborers, and various other completely unskilled positions whereas the manufacturing work had some level of training, had a livable wage, and you could hope to keep your job just from good productivity and loyalty to the company. Now, people get laid off because manufacturing is outsourced to the Phillipines, Taiwan, China, or any of a number of other third world countries.

    The reasons are extremely complex, yes. On top of this, there is zero incentive for our representatives to actually DO anything about it. Are they worried about losing their position and getting voted out? No, they spout platitudes to their constituents and get re-elected easily. Politics and elections aren't about who gets the job done, they're about who comes out the cleanest once the mud-slinging has ended. The representatives have no reason to change Social Security--they don't have to deal with it, they have a system set up for themselves. Corruption on Wall Street? Please, the representatives themselves are exempt from insider trading laws.

    So, the question again becomes what is the 'Occupy XXXXX' movement trying to actually achieve?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by frillyfoxy View Post
    Most people do not know this. There has been some research polling and in fact most Americans have no concept of how massive the income and wealth disparity is in the USA. Most, when asked what it is, were massively off the mark, and when asked for the idea, gave numbers closer to more egalitarian European countries.
    Fair enough.

    But to continue my point, so then they raise awareness, people ask "ok, what do we do", and they get a shrug? If there were some actual, non-vague, and well thought out solutions to these problems.. this would have been a great time to get them out there, while everyone is paying attention. I guess awareness of a problem (which I took for granted) is important, and maybe this will start some discussion, but I still have a negative reaction to these kind of protests which complain about a problem but don't propose a solution.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    So, the question again becomes what is the 'Occupy XXXXX' movement trying to actually achieve?
    It seems to be a rise against companies that have been systematically 'gaming' the government to bend to its will for absolute maximum profit. As frillyfox mentioned, to go to college and garner major debt just to end up as a cashier at a local retail store for $10 an hour, is ridiculous. Tack that on to a housing crisis, cut-throat banks and other institutions that took advantage of corporate welfare, but argue that poor people welfare is killing the country.
    It's not just one goal orientated, it's just a rising up of people that are sick and tired of being stepped on.

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