Monday, October 03, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" Movement A Genuine Grass Roots Movement Spreading To 47 States Nationwide, Now Includes Alaska

Note: All posts about Occupy Alaska available HERE, with the most recent post displaying first.

The Occupy Wall Street campaign, which began on September 17th 2011 with an encampment of people protesting against corporate greed in the financial district of New York City, has gone national -- and viral. Although there have been efforts by professional agitators such as, the SEIU, and certain celebrities to hijack the movement, it is, at its core, a new generation of Americans, a generation looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with astronomical debt. Many are of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates. And while their tuition was rising, university officials were being given windfall pay hikes for the purpose of "normalizing" their salaries.

This core is now expanding to become a grass-roots coalition of union members, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. They constitute both sexes, all races, and many creeds. And they are not all progressives or anarchists; most are responsible people encompassing the entire political spectrum. Tea Party activists have even been involved. One formally-declared Republican Presidential candidate, Ron Paul and another possible candidate, Sarah Palin, both echo many of the frustrations of this coalition; Palin recently launched a sharp attack on "crony capitalism".

Occupy Together has become one of the clearinghouse websites to document where the action is taking place. And they now record Occupy Wall Street movements in a multitude of cities located in 47 states; Alaska is now one of them. And it has spread to several foreign countries. Another good resource is

The Guardian describes the problem quite well. Everything we'd been told for the last decade turned out to be a lie. Markets did not run themselves; creators of financial instruments were not infallible geniuses; and debts did not really need to be repaid – in fact, money itself was revealed to be a political instrument, trillions of dollars of which could be whisked in or out of existence overnight if governments or central banks required it. And then, to add insult to injury, when it went wrong for the bankers, we were asked to bail them out. We did -- and the bankers rewarded our generosity by using our money not merely to unstop the lines of credit, but to pay their executives even more bonuses. Senator Bob Bennett lost his job for voting for TARP, and Senator Lisa Murkowski came within a whisker of being fired by the electorate herself.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that the real priority of those running the world for the last few decades has not been creating a viable form of capitalism, but rather, convincing us all that the current form of capitalism is the only conceivable economic system, so its flaws are irrelevant. The careful balance between Wall Street and Main Street which assured access to prosperity for the greatest number systemically shifted to Wall Street until Wall Street completely hijacked Main Street. Prosperity theology so infected mainstream conservatism that superstar compensation for executives became the norm. Instead of growing companies and their respective workforces, the objective of CEOs increasingly became staging hostile takeovers of rivals, downsizing their workers, and getting richly rewarded for the results.

And because of the surplus of labor, corporations are now free to fire workers for nitnoid violations unrelated to job performance, and to increasingly reject prospective workers for issues unrelated to job performance. Prospective job seekers are now rejected in advance because they smoke, have low credit scores, or even because they are currently unemployed. Many job seekers aren't merely finding the job market too competitive; they're being preemptively precluded from competing in the first place.

Oh, and let's not forget the predatory behavior of corporations towards consumers. We've seen the banking industry and the airline industry increasingly "unbundle" various services and piling on an endless nitnoid and indecipherable schedule of fees and surcharges. At one time, when I bought a plane ticket, that was the end of it, unless I wanted an alcoholic drink on the flight. Now there's differential charges for different seats, charges for carry-on bags, charges for meals -- one airline, RyanAir, is even considering coin-operated bathrooms. The new plutocracy has made our lives more complicated and expensive.

This is what Wall Street has done to us -- and Wall Street needs to pay! While the specific objectives of Occupy Wall Street are still emerging, what's important is that Wall Street is facing the righteous wrath of the American people for the first time since the Great Depression.

This is not just a liberal fight; this is a conservative fight as well. Plutocracy and feudalism are NOT conservative values. Conservatism means smaller, less redundant, and more accountable government -- it does NOT mean corporate fascism. The conservative movement has been hijacked by neocons who pander to the rich and favor big government; they mindlessly spend our country's strength and means warring in foreign lands. Paleoconservatives must pry the movement loose from the neocons and, after the manner of Joe Miller, who almost defeated Lisa Murkowski, purge the RINOs from the Republican Party who helped get us into all this economic trouble in the first place.

Occupy Wall Street is a worthy cause for conservatives.

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