No such problem in Fairbanks, Alaska. At least 12 people with Occupy Fairbanks showed up in support of the nationwide May Day protests. They began with a march from the University of Alaska Fairbanks to the Noel Wien Library, where the Occupiers had set up a tent with speakers for a small rally. They ended up waving signs at the northeast corner of Airport Way and Cowles Street in the afternoon. Organizer Ethan Sinsabaugh reports receiving plenty of supportive beeps and thumbs ups from passing motorists. Occupy Fairbanks has earned some respect within the community for scrupulously obeying the law and for being willing to maintain an outside presence during the entire winter, even when temperatures dropped to -50F.
Occupy Fairbanks has some legitimate issues. The gap between rich and poor continues to open up in this country. Unfortunately, this is not only attributable to natural market forces, but it has been exacerbated by public policy. Don't forget how the big predator banks and brokerages got TARP bailouts from the federal government, and how some financial predators used TARP funds to pay bonuses to executives. They also take issue with unnatural superstar compensation for corporate CEOs; the average CEO-worker income ratio has risen from 100:1 twenty years or so ago to nearly 400:1 now in some cases (this can vary based upon different definitions of income).
One area where Occupy Fairbanks and the rest of the Occupy movement stumble is in failing to highlight the role illegal immigration has played in exacerbating growing economic inequity. Illegal immigrants not only have stolen jobs from many Americans, but the illegals themselves are subject to greater exploitation because many of their employers know they won't dare complain for fear they'll be turned into ICE. Our tolerant policy towards illegal immigration actually fosters greater plutocracy because illegals are more subject to abusive exploitation.
Public opinion about Occupy Fairbanks continues to be varied; a sampling of comments from the News-Miner is presented below (after the jump):
freebill7 May 2nd 10:30 A.M:
I just have to question why when Obamas old communist drinking buddy Van Jones alerted the media and everyone else what was gonna happen May one places weren't more prepared for these idiots and their destruction of property. So I'm wondering if everybody knew about this why did Obama skip the country? I don't really think he needed to go campainging over there. Next point I'm 54 and have worked since I was 14. No hand outs. Everything accomplished by my own will. I know libs don't feel you should have to work hard and pay your dues but we who do work are tired of paying for those who don't
rationalcitizen May 2nd 11:15 A.M (in direct response to the comment above):
No you just like to think Libs don't want to work hard and pay their dues, perhaps because it makes you feel better.
Be sure you never take social security, medicare, or unemployment...ever, because the second you do you are benefiting from a liberal idea.
And unless you built every last thing in Alaska by yourself, you haven't accomplished everything "on your own". And no your tax dollars, especially as an Alaskan didn't pay for all you see.
rextrailbigfoot May 2nd 10:00 A.M:
I thank these brave people for reminding us how corrupt our political and justice systems have become. Our politicians have been bought and paid for with campaign funds from the wealthy. Our tax laws are written to favor the rich. The $billions spent on lobbying is a disgrace to what our nation was supposed to be.
Our so called republic has evolved into a oligarchy and our supreme court now caters to the rich corporations.
The USA is no longer a land of the free but a land where the wealthy control every part of our government.
Thank you Occupiers for standing up to this corrupt system. The sheep say nothing and even defend this corrupt system because they know no better or are so far in debt and afraid they can't see a way out.
MyAlaska49 May 2nd 11:00 A.M:
Stop covering these bums already! Nobody cares and it's pathetic that they think this is affecting any change. Go get a job like the rest of us and stop protesting like a bunch of hippies! I worked 14 hours yesterday which put me up to 30 hours worked in 2 days....these lazy people disgust me.
The last comment requires further discussion. I don't know what MyAlaska's specific employment situation is, or if MyAlaska voluntarily worked the overtime, but perhaps if MyAlaska's employer was willing to pry open the wallet and hire another employee, then MyAlaska wouldn't be working 30 hours in two days. On the other hand, Obamacare and other federal mandates make it more expensive and cumbersome for employers, particularly those who run small businesses, to hire additional employees. If Proposition 5 had passed in Anchorage, this would have imposed yet another burden upon employers. Both Democrats and Republicans have obstructed business; the former by using social engineering, and the latter by embracing corporate plutocracy.
Economically, we need a government that will put a shorter leash on large corporations and a longer leash on small business.