Occupy Wall St Debate - North Port, FL
Discuss the national Occupy Wall St debate in North Port, FL.
Do you identify with the Occupy Wall Street movement?
#1 Nov 8, 2011
No purpose. Why would they in a bad economy shut down a port? Why are they destroying property of small businesses struggling? These people DO NOT REPRESENT the 99%
#2 Nov 8, 2011
You can always succeed in America. You only have to be willing to work hard, take chances. OWS could have some purpose to push people to go for the brass ring and not sit back for a handout.
#4 Nov 8, 2011
It is an open question whether the Occupy Wall Street Movement will achieve its objectives. Launched on September 17, it has not only lasted much longer than most observers had anticipated, it has also gone global. On October 15, there were rallies in 82 countries worldwide from east to west and north to south. During this time there have been attempts to both rubbish as well as co-opt the protest movement, especially in the US.
America’s super-rich — the top 1 % in the celebrated words of Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz — and their hired guns in the US Congress as well as the media have gone hysterical. Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, has denounced the Zuccotti Park protesters as “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential contender, has accused them of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain, the African-American businessman, also a Republican contender, has said they should blame themselves if they are unemployed. He called their activities “un-American.”
The rightwing hysteria has exposed how untenable its position is. By calling the movement Occupy Wall Street, instead of Occupy the White House, the protesters have put their finger on the source of the problem. Even the occupant of the White House is a slave of the super-rich. Despite much media hype about Barack Obama’s tapping ordinary Americans for campaign contributions during the 2008 presidential campaign, his biggest donations came from Wall Street. This year too, he has raked in more than his nearest Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who has started to attract large donations from Wall Street because of the stand he has taken against the protesters. Thus no matter who occupies the White House, it is the Wall Street barons that run the show. As Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column (October 10):“The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.”
The rightwing media has also accused the protesters of not presenting a clear set of demands. They have repeatedly called for taxing the rich and, demanded that people, not banks, be bailed out. One would have to be deaf to claim they have not put forward coherent demands. Even if one were to assume that they did not have specific clear demands, would it matter? People have been demanding an end to the extremely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have contributed in part to the current economic meltdown. Are the elites listening? Obama announced on October 21 the withdrawal of US “combat” troops from Iraq by the end of the year but it was not in response to people’s demand; the Iraqis told them to leave. The US is now threatening wars in other countries, something the people do not want yet the elites refuse to listen to the very people they claim to represent.
#5 Nov 8, 2011
Beginning in 2008, when the financial services industry began to implode under the weight of the subprime lending breakdown and several other highly questionable dealing schemes, President George W. Bush and then President Barack Obama committed trillions of taxpayer dollars to stabilize investment markets. Born was the infamous maxim “Too big to fail.”
If the government hadn’t stepped in, the economic damage would have been much worse. Instead of a Great Recession, the nation would now be mired in its second Great Depression in a century.
Although angry, Americans accepted the bailouts assuming that once Wall Street got back on its feet, the economy would begin to grow, jobs would be created and prosperity would return.
Well, it’s three years later, and while Wall Street and much of corporate America are recovering nicely, tens of millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet with no hope their condition will improve in the near future.
President of the Federal Reserve Board Ben Bernanke capsulized it last week speaking to Congress when he said the economic recovery was on the verge of falling apart.
“Very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening,” he said.“They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington.”
#6 Nov 8, 2011
Glenn Beck: Activists to 'drag you into the streets and kill you'
Conservative talk personality Glenn Beck, commenting on the Occupy Wall Street protests from his web-based GBTV program, characterized the anti-capitalist activists as 'radicals' that will 'kill everybody.'
The long-standing Occupy Wall Street protests that have spread across the country appear to have unnerved Conservative talk personality Glenn Beck.
In comments made on his Internet-oriented GBTV talk program, Beck expressed his outrage with the anti-capitalist gatherings, characterizing the protesters as "Marxist radicals."
"Capitalists, if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you're wrong," Beck said. "They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you."
#7 Nov 8, 2011
Kentucky GOP Official:‘I Feel Like Going Taliban’ On Wall Street Protesters
Covington, Kentucky city commissioner Steve Frank (R) recently took to Facebook to rail against the Wall Street protesters who are spreading across the country. In a post on Oct. 9, he wrote,“Turn out the lights on the Occupiers, I feel like going Taliban on them!!!”
The Cincinnati-suburb politician was not shy about explaining his disgust:
Frank elaborated:”The Taliban, as they see it is resisting occupation. I am resisting the Occupiers and very proud to be a 1%’er.
#8 Nov 8, 2011
United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY went toe to toe with the New York Police Department. An activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Thomas voiced his opinions of the NYPD police brutality that had and has been plaguing the #OWS movement.
Thomas is a 24-year-old Marine Veteran (2 tours in Iraq), he currently plays amateur football and is in college.
Thomas comes from a long line of people who sacrifice for their country: Mother, Army Veteran (Iraq), Step father, Army, active duty (Afghanistan), Grand father, Air Force veteran (Vietnam), Great Grand Father Navy veteran (World War II).
#9 Nov 8, 2011
Scott Olsen, Iraq veteran injured at Occupy Oakland, to undergo brain surgery
The Guardian has an update on the case of Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who suffered serious head injuries after being hit by a projectile fired by police during the Occupy Oakland protests Tuesday night. He will undergo brain surgery within the next 48 hours. Donations collected here to help with medical costs. Updates on responses by Oakland's mayor and chief of police, and reaction from the Obama administration are here and here.(TL;DR: they're pathetic).
#10 Nov 8, 2011
“We are Wall Street”– Wall Street Strikes Back
Wall Street recently struck back by dropping leaflets on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Here’s what the leaflets said:
“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 13,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, it’s not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.
Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back some whatever, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 4am and work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t’ demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.
For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team to $5k extra a summer, thank you very much. So now that we’re going to be making $8k a year without upside, Joe Main street is going to have his revenge right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.
The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but its really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom. We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Main street our food supply…will he? And will they?”
We are the 99%. We sacrificed billions to bail you out. You pissed away our life savings just to keep your fat asses afloat. Then, when you outsourced our jobs, took away our average wages, struck off our benefits, busted our unions, took away our rights, bought out our government representatives and took over our media, you have the audacity to blame US for YOUR problems and say it's outrageous that we should be upset in the first place when we know when we are being screwed in all of this. You're losses should never have been our responsibility. We demand better than feeling lucky when we manage to become a minimum wage slave.
#11 Nov 8, 2011
Former Marine's injury spurs vets to join Occupy movement
Spurred by an injury to one of their own, military veterans are mobilizing to increase their presence and profile in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Wednesday on Wall Street, the New York City chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and dozens of other uniformed veterans known as "Veterans of the 99%" are expected to mass near Wall Street, where Occupy began Sept. 17.
Although they've been participating in Occupy protests throughout the country, vets say their ranks have been swelling since last week, when former Marine and Iraq War vet Scott Olsen sustained a skull fracture when he was hit by a police projectile at an Occupy Oakland protest . Although still hospitalized, Olsen, 24, is expected to make a full recovery.
"His injury has definitely galvanized veterans,'' says University of Illinois senior Scott Kimball, who served in Iraq as an Army specialist. He'll be helping coordinate today's New York City event, which begins with an 11 a.m. march from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Liberty Square.
"We're getting calls from veterans across the country who are extremely angry and appalled that someone who served two tours in Iraq got injured as a well-behaved protester,'' says Kimball, 27. "It's rallying vets across the country. We're just seeing the beginning of it."
#12 Nov 8, 2011
Oligarchy, American Style
Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!
Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.
So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.
The budget office laid out some of that stark reality in a recent report, which documented a sharp decline in the share of total income going to lower- and middle-income Americans. We still like to think of ourselves as a middle-class country. But with the bottom 80 percent of households now receiving less than half of total income, that’s a vision increasingly at odds with reality.
In response, the usual suspects have rolled out some familiar arguments: the data are flawed (they aren’t); the rich are an ever-changing group (not so); and so on. The most popular argument right now seems, however, to be the claim that we may not be a middle-class society, but we’re still an upper-middle-class society, in which a broad class of highly educated workers, who have the skills to compete in the modern world, is doing very well.
It’s a nice story, and a lot less disturbing than the picture of a nation in which a much smaller group of rich people is becoming increasingly dominant. But it’s not true.
Workers with college degrees have indeed, on average, done better than workers without, and the gap has generally widened over time. But highly educated Americans have by no means been immune to income stagnation and growing economic insecurity. Wage gains for most college-educated workers have been unimpressive (and nonexistent since 2000), while even the well-educated can no longer count on getting jobs with good benefits. In particular, these days workers with a college degree but no further degrees are less likely to get workplace health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.
So who is getting the big gains? A very small, wealthy minority.
The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it’s really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.
If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent — the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.
#13 Nov 8, 2011
Me and my wife make 150k a year combined-we worked hard to get where we are. I cleaned toilets to get through college. paid back my students loans. Did not bite on refinancing during the real estate bubble, drive older vehicles which are paid for.
Now we own 2 homes. one was a short sale bought from a guy getting ready to foreclose. Guess what? he refinanced during the bubble, got greedy with his home equity (took a loan out against his new over inflated appraisal), paid off his credit cards-promptly maxed them out again, bought a fancy truck. Then the bubble ended, his mortgage was now doubled due to his home equity loan, the whole place has been built out so he is out of work (he was in construction).
His world came crashing down, but when times were good he didn't think twice about exploiting "the system" I can assure you. He gambled and played his house like a piggy bank-but this is Wall Streets fault??
I was raised in Berkeley CA and know too well the Occupy Oakland types-some of the biggest liberals played the game as described above-and they enjoyed the ride just as much as anybody during the boom.
I have some very liberal friends that made over .5 million dollars on their house in Palo Alto-no remorse from them against the "system" when they cashed out.
Where is personal responsibility? Why do you want to be a victim..this is what turned me off to the liberal way of thinking..if you cannot succeed you are a victim-no sense of uplifting or encouraging hard work to reach our potential.
#14 Nov 8, 2011
Most working couples are lucky that one of them has a fulltime job, let alone both.
Hard work does nothing if you are laid off, your position is done away with, your company closes etc.
Then there are those who were in college before the economy tanked, and now can not get a job now that they have graduated.
You are just another clueless, " To hell with you I have mine."
#15 Nov 13, 2011
Just look around any were here and you can see what wall st did to the housing
#16 Nov 13, 2011
Beck is a joke just like Rush the drugie
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