Occupy Movement

I had high hopes for the Occupy Movement. The main premises of the movement are at the forefront of my ideals for social justice at the moment. Corporations should not be a powerhouse in government, and a nation cannot sustain itself if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow to rapidly, especially when the majority of a nation's wealth is in the hands of literally a fraction of a percent of the population. How did so few end up with so much? The correlation between corporations and the government seems pretty self-explanatory.

While I share the ideas, and was glad to see a movement come out with what I think is a big disaster in our society, Occupy's approach always rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like that they were sleeping in parks. I didn't like that people were bringing them food. It felt like a waste of resources. I still want something to change in regard to the problems the movement presented. I want these things to be taken seriously, and more attention to be paid to them rather than tent cities. There was too much going on for a point of change to be made. With eviction notices popping up all over the country, I'm hoping that something meaningful can come. I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the issues. I enjoyed this talk that explains the pitfalls of a large economic gap on societies:

I feel there are misnomers thrown around that aren't accurate. I often hear that the government is money hungry, and I never know how to respond because I'm always like, "But wait, isn't the government a not-for-profit institution?"

Sure, there are shady politicians who like to slip a little extra in their pocket, but if they're in office, it's our fault. It's our fault in more way than one. The obvious reason is that they get our vote. But the less obvious one is being oblivious to where their campaign contributions come from. Corporations get so many people elected or in positions of power to secure the profits of the company. If we know where the contributions are coming from, we can see who that politician will ultimately be working for.

I've also heard a lot about how we're heading straight for socialism because of the government wanting to increase taxes on the wealthiest citizens. I believe the exact phrase is redistributing the wealth. And then I'm like, "But wait, that's part of what it [the government] does." That's how all communities have schools (even though there is drastic difference in quality), that's how there are roads across the nation, and how the elderly can have health care. Every little anything that isn't privately funded is a result of redistributed funds from the citizens of the country. The infrastructure of our country is aging, and with the present deficit and not much hope in terms of revenue, bridges will collapse, schools will crumble, communities will fail. Tax codes define how much is taken from what incomes, but those same codes that take also give breaks, and the breaks and loopholes in our country favor those with the most money, and those with the most money are a fraction of the majority of the American people.

This is a great video about the tax rate and prosperity of the 50's:

I feel like our lack of real interest in how everything works is how we got here. How did we let the power fall out of the hands of the majority of Americans and into the hands of those at the helm of profit driven companies who get all kinds of breaks but have no financial obligation to the country that has allowed them to get that way? How did we let really big things sneak by us? Why are so many adamantly defending 1% of the nations populace at the expense of the 99%? And if you think anyone you know is that 1%, you're probably mistaken.  I read a great quote the other day that I feel is fitting.

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
--Isaac Asimov
And another one because I love it (this was said in protest to the recent budget plan congress would have been willing to pass if presented by the Super-Committee. I think we probably all heard that the plan did not pass):

"This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars -- unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we're going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That's wrong."
--Senator Bernie Sanders, VT 


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