15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. RAAckerman @ Cerebrations.biz
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 09:56:03

    Stuart, you hit the nail upon the head.
    I think OWS has, at best, an amorphous agenda. The one issue that (could and should) resonates is “fairness”. But, I also believe in their (whoever “they” are) desire to garner publicity is affording others an ability to join the crowd. This is always a dangerous issue. We need numbers to get our message across. But, we don’t want our issues- however broad they may be- to be altered or diffused.
    I feel for the homeless. They need answers- last decade. But, when the homeless become a significant component of the protest, the protest loses. Because, then the issue is the homeless and not fairness. When the “Screw America Always” groups become part of your group, the entire group becomes marginalized.
    And, most importantly, while it was the absolute RIGHT first place to dod so, continuing to demonstrate in front of Wall Street is not going to change Wall Street. The demonstrations need to move to the Attorneys General offices for each state, to the US DOJ, and to Congress. The only places where change can be forced.

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  2. TheWritingReader (@WritingReader)
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:07:01

    Agreed. Making it us vs. them never works. A collaborative effort with as many points of view as possible is best, but all parties need to come in to it willing to compromise. Too often we see the politicians stuck in their old ways of thinking. I believe that’s why we are seeing the protests, even though as you correctly point out, they are counterproductive financially.

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  3. Nelieta
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 14:28:36

    This is sad to read, yet so real. I wish there was an easy solution to all the problems of the world.

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  4. Blognostics
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 14:30:31

    Amazing how people just walk away from the real problems that faces people.

    On behalf of the BNostics team.

    Reply

  5. Amethyst Mahoney
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 15:20:11

    When you can’t find a job, I say create your own. I bet if someone had the where-with-all to sell bottled water, food, or tents at the protest sites, they could have made a killing. You are right that we need to look for answers. Too many people are complaining but have no solution to offer. That’s pretty sad.

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  6. MPax
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 15:42:47

    Write your congress people about the legislation to censor the internet.

    Reply

  7. J. R. Nova
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 18:05:43

    I am really put off by the “us versus them” mentality. I don’t have time or energy to waste being angry at rich people who have never interfered with my life. So I feel that the 1% is still way too broad. That’s 3,000,000 people. Many of whom make life better for me. Why should I hate Bill Gates? Why should I hate Warren Buffet? What has Sam Walton’s kids ever do to me? What about Oprah Winfrey? Rock stars and athletes and writers? Movie Stars? 3,000,000 people who have no power to do anything.

    I’d like to see someone point the lens a little closer. What about politicians (almost all of whom are lawyers) and bankers? Any good writer knows to make a story work he has to get inside the details. Generalization kills the story. Description helps the reader envision it.

    There are less than 1,000 people in this country who are really responsible for the mess we’re in. These are people with the power to pass laws (congress) and policy within the key sector that broke down (banking). Put the microscope on them. Stop throwing people under the bus for no other reason than having money. Don’t ridicule people for their luck. That’s the “jealous, greedy” American talking. That’s the “American” the rest of the world hates, but which seems to be most exhibited in this bad economy by all socioeconomic classes.

    Most importantly, understand “our” place in this mess. The common American is hooked on consumerism and can’t live without the next new product, and this plays a large role in what America has become. Consumerism itself isn’t bad–it’s great! Imbalance is the problem. It’s buying so much that you need to max out your credit cards, or take out a second mortgage. We’re as much the problem as we are the solution. We’re all in this together. We need each other. So why throw up walls?

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  8. Li @Flash Fiction
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 19:13:29

    Bravo, Stuart. The Occupy movement has gotten the attention of the media, and the nation, and glavanized thousands of people. Time to harness that energy. Blocking bridges and disrupting downtown businesses hurts…..who? Mostly the 99%, who are trying to get home from work, make a living from their shop/restaurant, etc. It doesn’t touch the “fat cats”.It’s business as usual on Wall Street.

    What can we do? A lot. Take “Peer-to-peer” lending. I don’t know the facts, only hearsay and snippets of news, but there are grass-roots sites which match people with a little money to invest with people who need small loans. Risky? Perhaps. But from what I’ve heard, it seems to work. Skirt the banks entirely; people who need a small loan get one, people with a little cash to spare earn a little extra and help someone out.

    They put together that wonderful Occupy lending library. Again, great. But how about putting together resources to help each other find jobs, daycare, etc? Or a network (similar to Craigslist) where people could barter their skills to help each other out? (You help me fix my roof, I’ll tutor your son in English.)

    Our last elections (for local gov’t) had a turnout of well below 50%. Great. Want to change things? Try voting. Lobby. Send letters. Vote people in (or out) of office.

    Last, but not least, we need to educate ourselves. Many people got caught in the original mortgage mess because they did not understand, and had little knowledge of, mortgages, interest rates, etc. No one wants to say this, but we as Americans have to assume a little personal responsibility as well. Yes, many lost jobs or were hit by major medical crises or personal tragedy, but there were also those who spent wildly and saved nothing, so that when the tides turned they were left completely underwater.

    Protesting, and expressing opinions, is everyone’s right. But it’s also important to do something.

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  9. jan
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 19:51:27

    I have no idea what the answers are either, I only know that something creative does need to be done. There have to be some changes somewhere because as you say we are not united. ❤

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  10. Penelope J.
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 14:28:05

    I know some not-so-ugly people who are just like your ugly woman. The problem is that the Haves do not have any empathy or understanding of the Have Nots. I know both sides well, having belonged to the Haves and then the Have Nots. However, I have to agree that while initially, I applauded the Occupy Wall Street protest, when pressed to explain what they were/are demonstrating about, all I could vaguely say, “Against Wall Street and its manipulative practices and tactics.” But what is the solution? Down with Wall Street? Demand they change and how? As you say, if we protest something (e.g. a war or a decision), we also have to be prepared to offer a solution. I learned that way back in the business world. You don’t march in and say we have a problem unless you can also provide some kind of solution.

    Unfortunately, I know from experience as a past protester (anti-Establishment) that many have only the vaguest idea of what they are protesting, others have personal or nefarious grudges or agendas, some just like to protest for the hell of it, a lot have valid reasons (jobless and homeless) for protesting, but only a few can or would come up with any kind of solution. And definitely, creativity is sorely needed to resolve this issue. Because something HAS TO BE DONE to set things straight in this country before it hits an even lower point. For God’s sakes, think out of the box, draw on the best creative forces in the land to come up with a solution that isn’t the usual stopgap measure that will fall apart almost as soon as it’s set up.

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