Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As the Occupy movement has continued to grow, expanding to Denver and Des Moines - and even Idaho Falls - along with hundreds of other places, both inside and outside the United States, the topic has also begun to take a growing share of breath from the media.

For all the arrogance, bluster, and fake surprise being thrown at the Occupy movement from the corporate right, we can honestly say what's happening on Main Street everywhere shouldn't really be a surprise to us or anyone in the legitimate media.

The factors that have caused this movement to finally spark have been building for many years. Take the problem with lobbyists.

Anyone who hasn't been blinded by the right-wing propagandists (that even THEY don't trust anymore) has known for more than thirty years that lobbying and lobbyists have become a real problem in our American form of government - especially over the last decade. Companies that have bought and paid for the best lobbyists apparently seem to have done SIGNIFICANTLY better than their competition or the market over the last decade. The data, released by Thomson Reuters, merely proves what we already knew: that the richest corporations are willing to pay off everyone - including and especially politicians - because in the end, it helps their bottom line.

It was also highly predictable that the money the government gave to bail out the Wall Street banks and investment firms near the end of the Bush Administration could have been used more wisely. As a Reuters chart created by Nobel-prize winning economic journalist David Cay Johnston shows, if the money used to bail out the Wall Street banks and their wealthy corporate friends had been used differently, we could have funded Social Security for another 21 years. We could have funded Pell Grants, at current levels, for over 400 more years, or unemployment benefits for the entire country for another 92.6 years.

Again, we're not surprised. Members of both our media profession and the general American public have seen this kind of fiscal waste building towards events like the Occupy protests for many years now.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post noted over the weekend that there may have been different things the Obama Administration could have tried over the last couple years to mitigate the circumstances our economy is in now. As Klein discovered on further inspection, the chances are good that no matter what the President had tried, our country would still be suffering from a hangover caused by thirty-plus years of mostly irresponsible governing.

The reasons behind the economic disasters we're all living through range from the relaxation of all kinds of banking regulations, to the near elimination of campaign finance reforms. The end result is a series of events that many Americans have predicted for years, our staff among them.

For far too long, the greedheads on Wall Street, already the cathedral of avarice in America, have been willing to burn their pages of the social contract - the contract that gives every one of us a shot at the American dream  - in exchange for raking in a few more dollars.

What the folks on Wall Street - "the haves" and the "have mores" as former President George W. Bush once called them - never thought would happen would be that the bulk of the American people would finally stand up for themselves, and that the idea of protests would once again catch fire, like they did in the 1960s. That the people might change their own politics directly has been an idea the Wall Street pigs have only had passing nightmares about for some time.

To us, their shock and surprise is just further proof of how disconnected the Wall Street types really are from the reality the rest of us face daily.

There are a great many things this movement can be called - but unexpected isn't one of them.

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