Social Question

philosopher's avatar

What does the occupy Wall Street movement want?

Asked by philosopher (9165points) October 17th, 2011

I agree that there is a Minority in this country that clearly has an Elitist attitude. Most of them have No sense of morality. They think they are owned a life of privilege. At the expense of all other American’s. They have wealth because they were born into wealth and attended the right schools. A smaller Minority earned it by working hard.
I am angry about the bail out and the excessive Bonuses.
I fear that some people in the movement want violence, some support Communist, terrorist and Anarchy. This could all be resolved if, the extremist Right comprehended true compromise. I love America and Democracy.
What we need is to secure the Middle Class and to give working people a fair wage. America should support our true allies and not those that placate Terrorist or Fascist.
I am an Independent and the real problem is we have No real Leadership.
I have been reading comments on bigthink.com, other sites and watching the news. I live in NYC.
Can this movement get the Politicians to recognize them?
I think they can not accomplish much without better leadership. What do you all think?
I wish they could force real change without violence but these Politicians seem to think we ll fall in line forever. History indicates that when people get angry Protest increase. The Hay Market Riots happen because workers became angry. Unions helped create a Middle Class.
What if anything can these Protests accomplish?

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23 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

You’re going to have to ask everyone there. People all want different things.

philosopher's avatar

@Blackberry
I agree but I think there is one thing a growing number of American’s agree on. Which is that working people and the so called Middle Class are being over taxed, over worked and abused. By a small Elitist Minority. It is time for a Party that Represents Middle Class people.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Perhaps to “eat the rich” as Rousseau might say, or at least carve them up a little.

Blackberry's avatar

@philosopher Yes, that’s obvious.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Justice.
Fairness would be a nice second prize.

saint's avatar

Probably somebody else’s money.

philosopher's avatar

@Blackberry
If only we had away to create such a party.
How can we?
I suppose this is a rhetorical question but I wish someone new how.
@Mamradpivo
I share your dream but there is little fairness on Earth.

Blackberry's avatar

@philosopher I probably shouldn’t be, but I’m too apathetic. I’ll really be surprised if congress makes any changes that help its citizens out.

nikipedia's avatar

If you think politicians aren’t listening check out Elizabeth Warren.

philosopher's avatar

@Blackberry
I hope your wrong because I fair that this may get violent. I don’t want to live in such an Environment.
History has many stories of Riots that came out of a Governments refusal to listen to the people. America was suppose to be different.
People like Ryan,Christie and others like them seem unaware of History.
The Hay Market Riots created the right Environment for change and so did the Triangle Firers.

philosopher's avatar

@nikipedia
Why isn’t she running ?

Blackberry's avatar

@philosopher She wouldn’t win, anyway. She makes too much sense.

philosopher's avatar

@Blackberry
We need more people that actually make sense and can express themselves well.

nikipedia's avatar

@philosopher, she is running for a Massachusetts senate seat.

Haleth's avatar

This video sums up their gripes pretty well, I think. But like @Blackberry is right; the movement seems kind of divided. Two protesters, three opinions…

I want to live in a world where Elizabeth Warren is president.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Self-serving attention.

philosopher's avatar

@nikipedia
Is that where you live?
I have wealthy Consecrative family there. The kind that makes me sick when I am forced to listen to their selfish ignorant worthless opinions.
LOL just today they called asking for my husband and said I had to go. He was not home.
I fear what I would say if, they ever preached to me again. Some are Politically involved and I no longer respect them.
The divide in the US is growing and they are beyond self absorbed.

Qingu's avatar

Economic and political fairness.

Different people have different ideas about what that entails. But what’s clear is that money buys political power in America, and certain segments of American society—most notably the financial industry—have managed to secure a huge amount of both money and power at the expense of the rest of America.

In the 70’s, the financial industry accounted for 4% of America’s GDP. It is now 8%. The financial industry once made 15% of corporate profits; at the peak of the 2000’s it made almost 45%. Financial industry workers make almost twice as much as other workers on average and this rate of divergence is skyrocketing.

Basically, ever since the 1980’s, the industry in charge of our money has succeeded in engorging itself while virtually all other workers in America have seen their wages remain stagnant relative to inflation.

Any free market conservatives out there want to explain how finance has earned all of this money? What services have they offered where they deserve to make 5 times as much money as other industries? Besides, of course, causing the collapse of our economy and having to be bailed out by taxpayers.

The other conclusion to draw: this is not a free market. It’s controlled largely by rich bankers, and the rich bankers have manipulated the political system to cement their control over the market. And what “Occupy Wall Street” wants is for this to stop.

philosopher's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES
Can you explain what exactly you mean?
It is nice to run into you here again.
I think the Majority of American’s are dissatisfied with the Status Quo and we want change.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It is slowly occurring to a broad American demographic of all political leanings that there has been a hijacking of American democracy and that control of the government no longer lies in the hands of the the American voter. The only dispute among this demographic seems to be who is the culprit: the government itself, or the financial clout of Wall Street which is said to have wrested control of the government from the voter? (There is evidence that many Americans from the far Right through the spectrum to the far Left are agreeing it is the latter, as shown by their distrust and anger at the Federal Reserve Bank, our central banking system, and the Bank’s possibly unconstitutional power to create money and then loan it to the American government, its questionable management of the American money supply in a supposedly free market system, its domineering role in the bailouts, and its refusal to be audited.)

The Occupiers obviously have laid the corpse of their grievances at the door of Wall Street and a growing number of Americans are quietly watching to see how this plays out, many in silent support.

Americans are awakening to the fact that we cannot have a democracy by the people and for the people with a mainstream press that spews infotainment in lieu of investigative reporting, a Washington lobbying structure that is weighted thoroughly on the side of the corporatocracy, and election campaign financing that converts perfectly good candidates into whores of an oligarchy.

Add to this an inefficient educational system that no longer teaches critical thinking, guaranteeing somnolent constituencies unequipped to derive fact from fallacy.

Change those things and we may get our democracy back.

For all practical purposes, there is only one political party in the United States and it has no interest in representing the people.

Our democracy has all but been stolen from us. Our elected representatives work for the interests of corporations that fund their campaigns and not for the citizens that elected them to office.

Not wanting a wealthy minority fueled by Wall Street capital to dominate our government does not necessarily make the Occupiers anti-capitalists any more than being anti-fascist in the 1930s automatically made a person a communist. Most Americans, if asked, would not want any entity other than the American voter to control their government, whether it be socialist, fascist, or purely corporate—none of which are run on the fundamental tenet of universal suffrage. Most Americans believe in Democracy. Most Americans don’t begrudge a person who becomes wealthy, whether it be through hard work or even inheritance, but when that individual along with like-minded peers unduly influence the government in order to maintain and perpetrate their wealth at the cost of the individual voter’s right to self determination, a line has been crossed. What the Occupiers are saying is that they believe there is a preponderance of evidence that this is the case.

What they are saying is simple and fundamental to American political beliefs:
Power to the People.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

In mid-2011, the Canadian-based group Adbusters Media Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest corporate influence on democracy, address a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis. According to the senior editor of the magazine, “[they] basically floated the idea in mid-July into our [email list] and it was spontaneously taken up by all the people of the world, it just kind of snowballed from there.”They promoted the protest with a poster featuring a dancer atop Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull. Also in July, they stated that, “Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America. “Activists from Anonymous also encouraged its followers to take part in the protest which increased the attention it received calling protesters to “flood lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.”

Adbusters’ Kalle Lasn, when asked why it took three years after Lehman Brothers’ implosion for people to storm the streets said:

“When the financial meltdown happened, there was a feeling that, “Wow, things are going to change. Obama is going to pass all kinds of laws, and we are going to have a different kind of banking system, and we are going to take these financial fraudsters and bring them to justice.” There was a feeling like, “Hey, we just elected a guy who may actually do this.” In a way, there wasn’t this desperate edge. Among the young people there was a very positive feeling. And then slowly this feeling that he’s a bit of a gutless wonder slowly crept in, and now we’re despondent again.”

Although it was originally proposed by Adbusters magazine, the demonstration is leaderless. Other groups began to join the protest, including the NYC General Assembly and U.S. Day of Rage. The protests have brought together people of many political positions. Professor Dorian Warren from Columbia University has described the movement as the first anti-authoritarian populist movement in the United States. A report in CNN said that protesters “got really lucky” when gathering at Zuccotti Park since it was private property and police could not legally force them to move off of it; in contrast, police have authority to remove protesters without permits from city parks.

Prior to the protest’s beginning on September 17, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference, “People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it.“The protests have been compared to “the movements that sprang up against corporate globalization at the end of 1990s, most visibly at the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle” and also to the World Social Forum, a series in opposition to the World Economic Forum, sharing similar origins. A significant part of the protest is the use of the slogan, We are the 99%, which was partly intended as a protest of recent trends regarding increases in the share of annual total income going to the top 1% of income earners in the United States.

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