Well not to over simplify, but for me protesting corporate greed is simply that corporate profits are at all time highs, while foreclosures and unemployment are also at record levels.
This means corporations are not supporting Americans, when they choose to send jobs overseas in order to make more profit.
In this country, it used to mean something to "Buy American" or "Made in the USA". These days it is next to impossible to buy anything "Made in the USA".
If these protesters showed up naked with sandwiches they made at home, aren't they still supporting Kraft? Unless they have their own farm, and then they are supporting the corporations who buy the crops. So its hard to really understand the usefulness of your image imo.
To me the protests are simply a way of saying "enough is enough", "start supporting Americans again and don't be so greedy". Sure there are tons of idiots protesting. There are tons of idiots, period. I wouldn't expect the ratio to dramatically shift. But the reason people are protesting in the first place is because they are unhappy with the way they are being treated.
But naturally corporations are not entirely to blame. Only when Americans will purposely buy American, even at higher expense, will things change. Only when Americans care less about The Emmys and more about whether or not their retirement fund will exist, will things change.
I think the problem is somewhat symbolic of our education system. Every President in modern times as stood up and said "America needs to be #1 in education, and we will be". No we won't. Throwing money at the problem clearly is not the answer. The enormous shift over the course of two to three generations is not about money. It is about family. Look at how your parents and grandparents were raised vs how you were raised or how you are raising your own children. Now compare the average kids life here, hour for hour in a week, to an average life of a child from Japan, and there is an enormous difference in terms of their "social life" vs hard work, education, discipline, etc.
Zondor said the approval rating for congress is 10%. Yet we continue to elect them. Why do you suppose that is?
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Last edited by Big Mike; October 13th, 2011 at 05:54 AM.
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Simply because congress is a faceless group. I.e if you ask the average person to name 5 congress persons, or even THEIR OWN congress personel, they usually can't. So typically when people are polled about them, it is easier to just give negative opinions on a group of faceless people.
This is different than the white house where everyone knows who that one individual is.
Last edited by forrestang; October 13th, 2011 at 07:47 AM.
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It could be a very interesting scene at Occupy Wall Street this Friday.
Azi Paybarah at Capital New York reports that the owners of Zuccotti Square, Brookfield Properties has sent a letter to the NYPD asking for help in clearing and cleaning the park for "sanitation" purposes.
And though Bloomberg doesn't want to forcibly remove everyone, he has asked that the protesters leave Friday for "cleaning" the park, after which they can return.
We'd be pretty surprised if anything like a temporary cleaning of the park goes smoothly, or if protesters willingly go along with the cleaning (again, even if it's temporary).
So something dramatic could happen.
Also worth noting is that Bloomberg visited the park yesterday, a gesture seen by some there as impressive.
In Jane Jacobs book the Death and Life of Great American Cities she notes the vitality of any city is evidenced by the number of pedestrians on the sidewalks. If sidewalks are full , it suggests people feel safe. When people are in regular face to face contact - small shops etc - you build a sense of community.
In a society where everyone moves in fast moving vehicles behind locked doors looking thru glass windows - everyone is an independent actor and it is thin line between cooperation and competition on the busy roads. Most new "communities " do not even have common spaces, side walks. This is all subtle but it creates distance, distrust . We become xenophobic. Tribal."Gated" Communities are perfect example .
The term communal has now become subversive in America. Nationalism is for Europeans but in America we are patriots. It is all mind games to divide and conquer. I would bet my life that 99.9% of the population who call Obama a socialist or communist never read Karl Marx. The utility of hot button terminology again gets people off the point. Most with nary a clue as to what they are actually defending.
If nothing more than connecting with others is accomplished thru the Wall Street protests, it is a good foundation for change. Survivalists miss the point in apocalytpic hoarding. We need each other. I applaude and celebrate BigMikes as a model for community that works.
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Thanks for posting this video, about the unheeded warnings of securitizing and trading subprime debt. If someone was warning back then about subprime, everyone should be quite concerned right now about PrimeX. This is another securitized, derivative index related to prime (higher rated) debt and is traded by those with pretty sizable accounts (i.e. banks).
Here is a good primer on PrimeX. Be sure to click on the video, it's a bit easier to follow than the article.
PrimeX has been dropping and dropping, and the credit default swaps (CDS) insuring these things, are at very high levels. Yes, people who supposedly can still afford to pay mortgages are quickly falling into the ranks of those who can't, and it's getting worse by the week (by the day??). If PrimeX breaches certain critical support levels (which we are very close to currently), then it's hard to imagine a soft landing. I can't really comprehend what kind of TARP, son of TARP, or QE-to-infinity that the government and the Feds would be able to cook up if banks are are found sitting on trillions of dollars of prime debt gone bad.
So to second Tiberius, and in agreement of what is at the heart of the problem inspiring these protests. All the government spending, money printing, bailouts, handouts, etc., can be linked back to the original problem. Namely lots of people going into excessive debt who were/are unable (for whatever reason), to make the payments. Secondly, allowing this debt - good or bad, to be bundled into securitized and tradeable instruments IMHO should have never been legal.
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Give the JOB CREATORS a break.
That's not enough. The top 400 deserve better than that. Unlike YOU, they worked hard for their money, so they deserve your money, too! Their wealth should be a source of PRIDE to the protesters. The taxes paid by those 400 need to be cut, NOW. A 9% tax rate for those folks would be, if anything, TOO HIGH. Wake up, Herman! These people are our Royalty. They should receive money raised by taxing the serfs, not pay taxes.
We all should sympathize and identify with those top 400 since we all aspire to be in that group some day, DON'T WE? Let's see.. if I can top the Velocity Leaderboard every day at around $300,000, in just five hundred years I will have enough money to be allowed to shine David Koch's shoes....
Maybe the concentration of wealth has something to do with the fact that most of our cities and towns are starting to look like they have been bombed out. But who cares, that's why god (Ronald Reagan) gave us Fortified Golf Communities.
As these four hundred seem do despised, I wonder would the good Old U S of A be in a better position today had they all been born elsewhere. Apple could be French for example and called Le Crunch!!.
I'm sure your Country must have benefited somewhere or other by having Mr William Gates as one of it's number. Or perhaps I'm wrong.
Another puzzlement is, how much money is obscene??. I notice that the saintly spiritual leader of the liberal pack (Mr M Moore) Had a net worth of some $50 Million. Is that amount known as just mere soft porn perhaps. I am perplexed!!
I also have noted the irony in the use of the word Liberal by people of this, shall we say, political leaning. The word implies someone who is generous in temperament or behaviour, tolerant of other people, traits that I note from this thread are sadly lacking.
Anyway, I'm off for a round of Golf!!! (Sorry Zonder)
Why do you always have to be so dramatic with your sentiment? With the talk of royalty, and giving someone with money special treatment? Nobody that disagrees with you thinks the rich should be allowed to keep MORE of their private property than someone with less money, or special rights for the rich.
None of it is necessary, how about everyone just be taxed the same rate and everyone pays their fair share? Whats so wrong with everyone having the same expectation to THEIR own private property as everyone else?
That idea is just too simple right?
Last edited by forrestang; October 16th, 2011 at 10:38 AM.
Good post, but unfortunately Big Mike's is a virtual community, not one you can live in. I see you're in Windsor - I'm currently in Southern Ontario, among other things to see how I'd feel about living here. I have to say I find the continuing spread of highways, subdivisions and shopping malls filled with chain stores very bleak. It seems a perverse paradox that the pursuit of 'rugged individualism' should have lead to such lifeless repetition. I can see why people are so focused on consumption of more junk; their environment is so devoid of any real satisfaction - which largely comes from community and meaningful work.
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