Posts tagged the99%
Posts tagged the99%
In Portland, Oregon:
A ‘Bat Signal’ was projected on a building in the area of 4th Avenue and Columbia Street Monday night that included statements such as “We are the 99%,” “Free Speech.” and “Prosecute Wall Street.”
The signal also reportedly appeared Friday on the Justice Center building on Southwest 3rd Avenue.
An Occupy Portland protest is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 29th at noon outside the Justice Center called “We Know Our Rights”.
On Saturday, December 3rd, Occupy Portland will march from the Salmon Springs Fountain to Occupy another park.
Try Chile, a first-rate country with a booming economy and a government that leaves its citizens to live in peace with little interference.
#OccupyWallStreet: The Good Side Effects of the Protest.
Uploaded by AlexMerced on Oct 6, 2011
Alex Merced discusses how when he walks by the protest he sees relationships being built among the protestors and even if the protestors don’t have the right solution, at least they have people asking “what is the solution?”
Join the discussion:
Occupy the Campaign!
I commented on the placard pictured below in a previous reblog. I am blogging this again because I think the comments to it below are interesting and to a degree valid. But let’s also remember that many intelligent persons versed in economics and politics believe that true capitalism does not exist in our country nor has it for many, many, many years due to the interference of big government.
What we have is a system of crony capitalism. That system definitely needs to go. One of the great dangers we face in going forward, I think, is that part truths are as dangerous as or more so than total falsehoods.
My response to this:
While I understand where this kind of sentiment of hard-work is derived from I don’t think the author of this realizes the kind of economic privilege that was afforded to them and how economic privilege is one of the main battles the Occupiers are resisting.
Whoever wrote this fails to realize the HUGE economic opportunity that was granted to them by receiving scholarships that covered 90% of their tuition. Like this person, I too will walk away with a Bachelor’s degree with no debt attached to it. Because of a scholarship I won I only had to pay 100 dollars (yes, that’s right 100 dollars) out of pocket to cover ALL of my Tuition AND Room & Board cost my freshman year. After doing the calculations, my scholarship paid for over 99% (interesting coincidence) of my cost for attending a major 4-yeat, Tier-1, research University. Even though since then the cost of Tuition and Room & Board has risen I still have over 92% of all my expenses paid for by my scholarship.
Unlike this person, I realize the privileges that my scholarship granted me but, more importantly, I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as myself (or the author of this). My winning the scholarship means that, inevitably, somebody else lost. Though I worked my “@$$” of during HS and felt that I deserved to win the award, I’m positive the other applicants worked hard as well and also felt like they where deserving. But because of powers unbeknownst to me I was selected and given a great opportunity: an opportunity that most of my competitors were not granted. This is what the Occupy movement is about—the unequal distribution ofOPPORTUNITY based off of capitalistic practices.
I’m sick of hearing that Occupiers want “free handouts” or that they are simply not “working hard enough”. Everyone in this godforsaken country is busting there asses just to survive under the tyranny of the almighty dollar. The author writes that, at the end of the day, it is our decisions that have caused our circumstances. To a degree this is true, and we should have personal responsibility when it comes to making bad decision such as living above our means. However, can we really call it a “bad decision” if one chooses to pursue higher education but it not fortunate enough to the solvency to meet the high cost so they take out loans? Can one call it a “bad decision” if a car crash disables you from working and thus you lose your house? Which, I believe in most cases, are scenarios closer to the experiences of Occupiers over merely suggesting they live above their means.
The last qualm I have with this author is that they note that this “is how it’s supposed to work”. The author is write, this is how capitalism is suppose to work.Capitalism is fundamentally a system that REQUIRES a permanent under class in order to sustain itself. It stratifies people into economic castes in which everyone is suppose to play their role in the production and maintenance of our economic machine. But this raises the question of who gets to decide what economic caste you belong to? Is it something that we’re relegated to and suppose to just accept as our reality? Ahh, in steps the “American Dream”
From the time we were born United States citizens (arguably, this could be expanded to anyone born under the capitalistic practices of the West) are taught that the key to success if hard-work and determination; Furthermore, that with these two things that we can achieve anything. However even this “American Dream” is effected, once again, by the economic opportunities that one is granted. American customs promote the entrepreneurial spirit as a way of gaining economic success and individual opportunity, thus creating a caveat in capitalism’s rigid hierarchy for which, supposedly, anyone can achieve more.
Just yesterday in one of my classes our professor brought in a guest lecturer who started her own business, and has found, admittedly, relative success. Just out of curiosity I asked her how she managed to raise her initial upstart cost for her business to which she replied, “My partner and I did what’s called a ‘Friends & Family’ round of investments in which we rose 180, 000 dollars”. I turned to a friend next to me and said “that’s what I thought” because I knew that there was some unusual circumstance that had enabled her to create a business. We are so often taught that creating business is the way to generate personal wealth, but what is one to do if we don’t even have the initial upstart cost to sustain our ideas and dreams? What if our ‘friends and family’ don’t have 180, 000 dollars collectively to let us borrow (more accurately, risk) in order to pursue our dreams? One can hardly turn to banks in this economy and even if one could we would once again have to put ourselves into debt (which is STILL counterproductive to the author’s goals) So with this we even that this idea of individual entrepreneurship is tainted by the economic circumstances one finds themselves in.
I cannot speak for all of the Occupiers, but this is what the movement means to me.It means an acknowledgement of our fundamentally flawed economic system in which it’s sustainability is achieved by maintaining a permanent underclass. Our author wrote “that’s how it’s suppose to work”, but my question for them is why do you feel like this is the only way in which it can work? Are there not alternative economic systems that can be implemented? Or does capitalism’s alluring charms of individual success make it too hard for one to see how, as a community, we can all help each other and build collective success? Capitalism fundamentally exploits our natural human tendency for self-preservation and turned it into personal greed—“I can achieve more if I do x, y and z”. We are taught to strive for economic success in order to produce the most comfortable lifestyles for ourselves. And although that idea inherently is not dubious the way in which Capitalism has heightened our sense of individual opportunity has created the avarice we see today so prominently in Wall Street. You can say what you want about this movement, but we are people who see the flaws in our system and want to see something done about it. At best, capitalism has pulled the wool over our eyes in order to keep us blindly pursuing the “American dream” (assuming that it does, in fact, exist). The difference between the Occupiers and everyone else is that we have pulled the wool off of our eyes.
*I kind of went through and typed what I felt. I realize that I strayed from the original topic a bit, but I really just wanted to use that image as a spring board for ideas that have been circulating in my head. This is also just draft I wrote straight through so please excuse any typos or grammatical errors I may have committed.