Monday, October 10, 2011

Hanging By a Thread

As we've been pointing out for several weeks now, and as we addressed pointedly last week, the Occupy movement - which is beginning its fourth week today - doesn't appear to be a temporary event. It continues to grow, with Occupy movements even popping up outside the U.S., in places sympathetic to the American worker.

Unlike the Tea Party movement of the last couple years, this movement has NOT been paid for by wealthy, secretive corporate backers. In fact, the Occupy movement is - in some ways - an answering call of reality to the ginned-up outrage of the Tea Party. Tea Partiers were mad - but they either weren't really sure of why they were angry, or they were angry for reasons many of them still refuse to honestly admit, like their own disgusting racism and classism.

What the Occupy protestors are angry about is the social contract they were sold - and on which most Americans have now been shorted by their own country.

There are those who expect the protestors to deliver some kind of list of demands, as though disgruntled Americans were simply another specialty group to be placated and then ignored. As another editorial over the weekend put it, "It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That’s the job of the nation’s leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself."

Politically, it's easier for politicians today, especially members of Congress, to focus on evil-sounding boogeyman ideas, like voter fraud - which really doesn't exist in America today - than the real issues that are dragging our economy down, and keeping the middle class hanging on by a thread.

One of the biggest single economic problems facing us is the irresponsible conduct of the banks, that was allowed after we got rid of the laws like Glass-Stegall, which were put in place after the banksters screwed the country the last time and plunged America into the Great Depression.

The disastrous real estate crisis for which the banks are responsible has yet to be dealt with in any serious way. Until the banks are forced to eat, swallow - and quite possibly choke to death on - the lies and the unheard of pile of debt they sold to unsuspecting Americans to feed their own greed, they can't honestly clear their balance sheets. Until the banks can get a grip on their situation, they truthfully shouldn't be lending - which means borrowers can't really get a grip on their much smaller portion of responsibility in this mess either.

The sociological problem we face is also a massive one. Even more than the massive economic issues, this is what the Occupy protestors are really railing against.

As George Carlin said in his legendary rant about the American dream: the super-wealthy in America don't give a damn about the working people in America, or really anyone else. They've bought off the system, and they think they can do what they want. "It's a big club - and you ain't in it! You, and I, are not in the big club.

"By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head...  with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy... Good, honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good, honest hard-working people continue... to elect these rich... suckers who don’t give a [damn] about you..."

Far too many of the 99% of Americans have been conned into thinking our politics is a football game, and they must root for the team that might someday help them - if they can somehow, magically become wealthy. The fact is, there is no magical way to become wealthy - and as we've said before MANY times, politics is NOT a game.

As Carlin reminded us, "It's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." These protests are Americans finally waking up. That they are rightfully angry terrifies those who stole their opportunities away from them while they were asleep.

One of the scariest things about this whole situation is that many of those currently in power don't yet seem to realize - it is they, and not the middle class, who is hanging onto their status by a thread.

No comments:

Post a Comment