What is Occupy Wall Street?

If you listen to the different news casts, read the different press coverage about what is going on down on Wall Street, you might be a little confused. Some news agencies are focusing more on the “how” rather than the “why” and that doesn’t help anybody. Sure, there are some folks down there who are just acting like turds – but not the majority. And is that what we should be talking about? No. We need to be discussing the why. We just need to be discussing. 

And THAT is what Occupy Wall Street is about – discussion. Group participation. Occupy Wall Street is a model of what the protesters want the economy to be based on. The people have spoken and they are pissed. They are disenfranchised. They are fed up. They are looking for a model of economics that is less capitalistic (read: corporations are sucking the money out of the system. There are no jobs. People are in debt for their education they got to get a job that isn’t there…)

One option is Participatory Economics – an economic system that is based underlying values that seeks to implement equity, solidarity, diversity, workers’ self-management and efficiency. They want to accomplish goals without wasting valued assets. In order for this to work society, culture and politics need to be in harmony, which as we see right now – they are not.

I don’t think OWS people are asking too much. They want a living wage, single payer health care, free college education, alternative energies, a $1 trillion investment in ecological restoration, a racial and gender equal rights amendment, open borders, closing all U.S. nuclear power plants, and complete international debt forgiveness. Sounds good to me. Oh, and an end to corporate greed. no problem.

I think the best thing to come of all of this is the actual protest itself. It’s awesome to see American’s come together and get ‘er done. We need more of that in America. Obviously America is broken. It isn’t working anymore. It fosters inequality over fairness. Some Presidential candidates are asking you to view the protest through very narrow lenses. Cain says if you just apply yourself, you’d be rich. Romney says its class warfare.

But what about the many Americans that have been laid off? What about those poor schmucks that paid for college through student loans and now can not only NOT pay off the loan, but can’t find a job? What about families who got screwed over by the banks that are greedily taking their money? The banks have spent years privatizing profit leaving the people and the country broke.

We are at a tipping point. If the country keeps going along the way it is (“Greed is good!”, self interest over togetherness) we will fail. And that is unacceptable. It is time for revolution. It is time to stand up and say, “Enough!”. Start by boycotting companies that serve only their own self interest. Do what you can at home. Make some noise. 

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