I have been avoiding this post. But this post will not avoid me. It is plaguing me. I think about this post all.the.time. I have to write this post- if not for you- but for my sanity. I am cautious- because I know how brutal the internet is…but here goes nothing…
Image from We are the 99 Percent site
I am confused. I am conflicted.
And I am feeling somewhat bi-polar when it comes to all things related to Occupy Wall Street. I have moments of pride and compassion and JOY to think of people rising up and taking action. And I have moments of disgust and anger at people whining and complaining and doing nothing constructive with their energy.
And so I give you She Said/ She Said.
A post that allows both sides of me to say what they want to say on the issue. If you don’t like what I say- then go read the other She Said section and you might.
She Said: The 99% are everything wrong with America.
I went to the 99% website and read lots of the personal posts there, talking about credit card debt, school loans and being over-qualified for jobs and I shake my head in disgust. Where has personal responsibility gone? Credit card debt is your fault. If you can not afford something –YOU CAN NOT AFFORD SOMETHING so you don’t use a credit card. And no way in hell should you be asking ANYONE to help you out of that mess. That is your mess. CLEAN IT UP. Same goes for school loans. School loans are foolish. You should have worked your way through school like thousands of kids do each year-and come out debt free. I especially love the guy who says he is 99% because he has 2 master degrees and can’t find a job to pay off his loans. TWO MASTER DEGREES? So while living off your loans and avoiding reality for years while prolonging your college lifestyle you expect someone else to help you with YOUR DEBT? Maybe if you had been working all those years, getting experience you would be employable. Oh and the woe is me people who are ‘over qualified’ for jobs. How about you stop writing about your dissertation on ‘The Philosophy of Politics’ on your application for Wal-Mart and maybe you will stop scarring off the 19 yr old hiring manager. You are only ‘over qualified’ because you make sure they know that you want a CARRER not a JOB. Well guess what? Careers are born out of JOBS. Real heartbroken that you are trained as an anthropologist or have a nifty degree in journalism and you can’t find work. Time to suck it up- and take a job ANY job, pay your rent and stop acting like you are too good for it. Remember you only have a college degree -you haven’t been knighted by the Queen.
And in typical lazy-entitled-American form, your plan of action is to go and camp out on Wall Street. No wonder you can’t find a job. I can not imagine a worse plan. You have no specified goal. You have no target. You have NO PLAN AT ALL. You hold signs and chant ambiguous things like “Corporate Greed Kills” and “Wall Street is our Street” and you sit around and WAIT for SOMEONE to come rescue you from your problems. Is life hard? Hell yeah. Is it unfair? HELL YEAH. But can you make it better for yourself? YES YOU CAN. And sitting around playing on your laptop on the steps of Wall Street is not how you do it. Occupy Wall Street is the laziest, lamest DUMBEST protest movement ever- and that is why it is having little to no effect on policy, legislature or government decisions. All it is doing is making you feel productive- but you are wasting your energy. And what a shame that is……Just think if the 99% fought hard for ONE piece of legislature to get past that would make things a little better. JUST THINK if the politicians actually KNEW what you wanted. You would be powerful. And now you are just pathetic. I pay my taxes. I work my @$$ off to make that happen and I will never expect anyone to rescue me from my own delusions of grandeur. My government doesn’t owe me anything.
She Said: The 99% are everything that makes this country great.
To see the power of the collective voice come together in this way reminds me just how amazing it is to live in America. Thousands of people in many cities joining to be a force to be reckoned with. Our health care system is in shambles, property values have destroyed personal wealth, our schools and education are the lowest priority and the job market is disappearing. Sure people are losing their homes, but not because they over borrowed and were foolish with their investments- but because companies they worked for went out of business. And they went out of business because our government failed to protect their interests globally and regulated and taxed small business to death. All while offering tax credits to the wealthy and largest corporations. Something is wrong in America. Something is broken. And the government seems to me covering their ears to the cries of its people. We need to learn to help hold up those who need help in times of need to bring strength to the country as a unified force. Without that, we are a fragmented society and lack any moral conscious.
The 99% aren’t looking for NO TAXES, but they want things to be fair. If most of us have to pay 33% taxes on our income then the corporations and top tier executives should have to as well. Instead they get all kinds of help from the government often avoiding taxes all together. So in essence we are all working ourselves into the ground to hold up the top 1% of society. The people who need the tax breaks the most; the ill, the poor and the unemployed do not get the same breaks as the wealthy. Doesn’t that seem wrong? We should all have decent health care, a way to provide for our families and the opportunity to afford an education. Those should not be only available to the wealthy. Things need to change- and since government seems to be ignoring the desires of the people, going and taking a physical presence outside places like Wall Street to get media coverage is the smartest thing they can do. Look at all the attention- at least now someone is listening. Someone can hear their dissatisfaction with the American dream.
And now for a 3rd personality (I am a complicated woman) view point: Despite which of these “She Saids” you agree with, one thing that I have to add is that the lack of concrete focus on specific desires is killing the 99% movement. No one can understand what the 99%-ers want SPECIFICALLY. I predict if they do not raise up a leader internally to act as the voice of the group, and craft asks around legislature and tax reform they will lose their momentum and potential for effectiveness. Without a goal, it is nothing but noise and is doing more harm than good. It is actually fragmenting the society MORE and not creating empathy by those in a position to make change.
There are 9 million blogs and press stories explaining the grievances of the 99% and none of them offer any solutions. We need ideas. LET’S LOOK FOR A SOLVE. We all know the problems- but what we need is answers. And camping out and getting arrested doesn’t seem like it is on the path to solving anything.
Oh and if you are looking to me for ANSWERS? I have none. I don’t know how to fix America. Except to say that everyone should pay the exact same
amount percentage of tax on their income no matter what. Not have bazillionaires pay MORE and working poor pay LESS. Everyone should pay the same amount. That is the only thing I feel really strongly about. Well that and free birth control. But that is a whole nuther story.
Here are links to both sides of this story: