My friend on google+ posted this question and a link to this article:
and asked the question today, “Do you support this?”
I do not feel qualified to speak regarding the validity of this movement or lack thereof. However, I do have feelings about it and I shared this with him below. I think for a lot of us, we it’s what we have, our feelings about how the government, business and the protesters act and react so, perhaps sophomoric, perhaps not, but I’m sharing mine as I shared with my friend on google plus. Here was my response:
Some of this, no… not at all, some of it I’m not so sure. Honestly, I’ve not paid enough attention to what the OWS movement is really looking for other than the obvious, “to vent frustration about the corporate owned government”. I’ve talked with friends that are more in tune with the movement and they say that it’s getting people talking and focused on what’s really important, jobs.
I understand that people are frustrated on a massive level. I am too and worry that the company I work for will have reductions, and all the things that big companies do. I even understand the mentality of protest and think that it is in fact a good and healthy thing. However, people breaking windows and vandalizing banks… i don’t get that at all. The typical branch of a bank has tellers, managers, accountants, etc working in it, ie the middle class. So it’s damaging to the very people that the protesters are trying to advocate for.
However, these pictures show only one part of the story. There are other parts in the many graphs and info graphics that demonstrate that wealth is in fact being more and more stratified and there is more and more of an erosion of the middle class. I remember that you shared an image of a “1%er” that talked about how s/he was graduating school debt free, lived within her means, etc. That’s great for her but there are many others that got to the situation that they were in not because they squandered money on frivolous things, but because, even though they worked hard, the horrific x factor of sickness robbed them of their savings, or they lost their job. I think that there are MANY other less dramatic cases of good hard working people that have lost their job through reductions in work force, or whatever circumstance that have mortgages, etc, that have lost a lot.
My ex wife found a great job in 2007 with a mortgage company. She was happy and they were a good company that treated her well. The company as you can well imagine went under though and she lost her job. I left her the house when we split and she lost it. It was rough for her for a few years and we both lost and whatever equity was in the house.
Before the housing crisis, it was the banks that attracted businesses by misleading the masses into thinking that it was ok for a person to make 40,000 to afford a 400,000 home. Was some of this irresponsibility on consumers? Yes, but it didn’t happen in a vacuum. Banks do not exist for the benevolence and good will towards people and neither do corporations. They exist for one thing, profit.
So, yes, the short of it is, I can’t understand why people need to create violence on their own turf, and I do agree that vandalism is violence, but I can understand that people are fucking pissed off. I can understand that there is MORE of a stratification of classes rather than less. I can also understand that it’s going to take a lot to get our country rolling again. I don’t have the answers. I don’t think the protesters have or pertain to have the answers. I don’t support the vandalism. I also don’t support the excessive forces of the police.
I don’t have an answer either… Just thoughts.
So, i’m wondering