Thursday, 17 November 2011

Questions for the Occupy Wall Street Movement

While many can agree that there has been greed and abuse by the corporate and governing elites, even those of us that consider themselves conservatives, realize that questions need to be answered and solutions found on how to stop this abuse and greed.

Socialism has failed in almost every place it has been implemented, mainly because sooner or later a dictator emerges and in the end the people are even more oppressed. 

Thus the questions are:"How to stop corporate greed.  How do you get a structure into society, without giving democratically elected officials too much power?  How do you accomplish better distribution of income, without stifling the economy?"

While greed is an indisputable major problem, so are the powerful lobbies that pay for political campaigns and then get favours in return.   In the United States both political parties are guilty of this and it has to stop.

CBS' 60 Minutes carried a segment last weekend that clearly demonstrated how politicians of both parties enrich themselves.   While they did nothing illegal, according to CBS, they clearly violated moral and ethical standards, if the allegations are found to be true.   Clearly Politicians should not benefit from insider information or  for public service.

Washington is full of career politicians, that have been on the hill far too long and void of ideas and out of touch with the general public.  

Our governing and corporate elite has their cheerleaders, commonly known as pundit.  In a busy world, with a 24 hour newscycle that fills the cables and airwaves short sound bytes and for the most part the sheep in society line up behind the pundits.  Just check out prime time MSNBC or FOX News any night.

Journalism has lost the fine art of investigative reporting, presenting two sides to an issue and coming up with possible conclusions.

Annie Leonard, of the "Story of Stuff Fame," visited the Occupy Edmonton movement yesterday to highlight the fact that we could build a better society together.  See her video "The Story of Broke" below:

While the Occupy Movement has sent a loud and clear message about corporate greed and is looking to somehow better distribute funds, it has come up with very few solutions.   The movement would have more appeal to the general public if the movement had clearly stated goals, clearly stated its concerns - offered recommendations for change.  
The movement should be aware of other powerful organizations that try to hi-jack it for political and monetary gain.  The grievance is clear, but the movement must also provide solutions and foremost remain peaceful. 
NY Daily News Readers Sound Off on Zucotti Park


  1. Thoughtful commentary on this global movement and great accompanying video. The way I see it, we are the 99%, and this is a movement that will benefit us and our children in the long run.

    The thing is, the live-in camps are just a distraction from their message. (And they do have a message - it's posted here and at several forums). Canada's message/demands are somewhat different.

    Setting up camps are both against most city's bylaws and inconveniencing surrounding neighbourhoods. This distracts from their message and gets more media attention than their actual message.

    But we can obviously see it's growing, and cannot be stopped at this point. I just don't think 'squatting' is the way to do it.

  2. I tend to disagree. The message to me is not clear. The movement does not represent me. If we want to change the system we need to change or government and get rid of those that are beholden to an agenda rather than their constituency. Politicians enabled what happened at Wall Street and many of those politicians are those that profess to be sympathetic to the movement. This is particularly true in the United States. How insane is it to be raising $1 Billion for re-election from the same people that are part, supposedly of the 1%. The political elite has lost touch with the common folk.

    Socialism has never worked and in almost every case a dictator emerged. Anarchy doesn't work. That thought is just plain Utopia. It is human nature to follow a leader, either one we elect or one who takes power without consent.

    I don't see the evidence that the movement is growing either. If they truly feel they represent the 99% why isn't everyone running into the streets?

    What would be more effective is to do a clean sweep of those people in Congress or Parliament that don't represent our views.

    I personally feel that most people sit someplace in the centre of the political sphere. Most people are neither one or the other.

  3. Yes, the political elite (and the people backing them) have lost touch with common folk. So what's to be done to shake them into reality, cause the economic gap is only getting worse.

    Stats say for every 1 person living at an occupy movement there are 100,000 that agree with their message. Easy enough to say "go get a job," but how about the 50% unemployment rate of the youth in Spain? Or the outrageous raise in tuition fees in London? And so on, and so on.

    I believe this message will continue to resonate online and throughout the world. I just hope it stays peaceful, as camps are dismantled in Toronto and Vancouver.

    And yes, the money wasted on election campaigns in the U.S. is insane and shouldn't be allowed. But neither should the billions spent on Bush's oil wars, and healthcare for people in Iraq and Afghanistan while their own people are losing their homes to pay for cancer treatment. They scream "no regulations" whereas regulation is what saved us from the worst of it.

    Beats me. We are the sheep. China owns the grass!

  4. What's insane is $15 Trillion in debt and rising. The housing crisis was caused by legislators thinking that everyone should own a house and as a result lending institutions were obligated to give mortgages to people that were never in a position to pay them back. This then resulted in innovative packaging of worthless instruments. Eventually the system collapsed because no one had the money to back those instruments.

    In Canada we have always had a means test for mortgages and a people also needed a minimum down payment.

    The bottom line is legislators made some dumb decisions and then just kept duplicating their errors. Because of election cycles the can is always kicked down the road. The Super Committee non-action is a good example of it. Both parties are to blame for that foolishness.

    We are seeing the results of overspending around the globe now. Sooner or later the chickens come home to roost.