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Forum Post: A "99 percenter's" comprehensive perspective on OWS, luxury, unity, Achilles, and the 100%

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 18, 2011, 1:46 p.m. EST by Tubby (4)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

http://occupywallst.org/forum/you-are-not-the-99-you-do-not-represent-me-you-don/


I was inspired to write this after reading the post above. I highly recommend it to anyone keeping up with OWS as it is one of the best, unapologetic posts on this forum.

As a roadmap, the major points I discuss have keywords in ALL CAPS for easier navigation.


OWS, I am one of the so called 99% you represent. I don't want to come across hostile to your movement, but I was furious when I read about the damages to the businesses around Zuccotti Park, the lost revenue of innocent people such as taxi drivers, the inconsiderate acts towards the community, and many of the other effects of your occupation. Occupy the subway? Why?? Occupy the stock exchange? If it's a message you want to send, realize that everything you do sends a message to America. I'm seeing is a group of people who, instead of working or working towards some tangible, assertive course of action to help our nation, find it more fruitful to disrupt our economy further.

A necessary sacrifice, you say, for the bigger picture.

But what is the bigger picture, really? It's been said that the 1% pay 40% of the nation's revenue in INCOME TAXES. Much of the businesses that generate this wealth creates and sustains jobs for the American people. The LUXURY ITEMS and other acts of the wealthy you so disdain continue to help circulate wealth within our economy. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that luxury items and lifestyles are one of the best vessels for our collective interests, as they support vital industries that help redistribute wealth from the people who have excessive money to the people who don't.

Is there GREED AND CORRUPTION? Of course! But that has never been exclusive to the 1%. It's simply more noticeable. A quote from the movie Troy, “I want what all men want, I just wanted more.” We are all guilty of wanting more, across every percentage. It's the reason why America thrives as a DEBT BASED ECONOMY. And our crisis derives largely from the fact that Americans continue to spend money they don't have. Are many luxuries grossly overpriced and excessive? Of course! And that's how they can pull so much money from the wealthy back into the economy. Do many luxury items exploit labor and sustain poverty in 3rd world countries? Yes! But so do many other products we buy without a second thought, this problem is its own separate issue. Have many 1 percenters LOST THEIR JOBS and savings in the global downturn? You bet! When the economy suffers, we all feel it.

The point? The burden of our economy lies within ALL OF US.

Now, I do feel that in some ways the system does serve to keep the rich wealthy and the poor impoverished. But THAT SHOULDN'T DEFINE IT. We have enjoyed some of the highest standards of living in the world for some time now. The system creates jobs and opportunities that the citizens of many nations do not have. Some of the wealthiest people in the world started off without even a college degree, right here in America.

If it's peaceful protest you desire, remember the words of its archetype, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” One of the best themes I hear across these boards is that OWS has gotten its voice out, now it needs to learn to LISTEN. Everyone must be ready to admit their own faults. THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO CHANGE. But it isn't evil, only flawed. Attack it with apocalyptic portrayals of 20$ pints of milk and starving babies and you'll get nowhere. The ACCOUNTABILITY you call for is distributed among every percentage. Some of the 1% can and do use their power to exploit the American people, but so do some of the 99%. Villainize a percentage as the enemy, and you may as well attack the rest of us.

My advice, UNIFY with them, and you'll unify us all. Leave behind this 99% versus the tyrants message. Promote tangible, realistic agendas, not targeting only the wealthy, but promoting honest business practices over EVERYONE. Oversee voracious lending practices and prevent careless credit accumulation, and we all do our part to keep everyone happy. Continue to objectify and alienate the the American people as a statistic, and you'll only prolong this pointless class warfare blame game. I am not the 99%. I am not the 1%. I am an American. And my voice is equal to everyone's in this country, and any real, fair policies should affect us all.

I am the 100%.

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10 Comments


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[-] 2 points by foius (4) 11 years ago

I think this post is very timely, however, the prevailing realities of this partisan/political economy called capitalism really is more oligopolistic in its dynamics...a few controlling the many (marketplace). The political and economic realities of this recession/depression causes us to be unable to clearly define our objectives and/or the opposition to what really works best for the 99% of Americans whose voice has been stifled by the massive wealth of the "money changers" and their political lackeys (Congress). What is the goal of government in this 21st Century America? To get rid of "public/private sector unions"? To make a college eduction unaffordable for the majority of people at or below sthe poverty line in this Country? Are the voices and problems that everyday citizens have with making ends meet part of the "political" discussion in corporate boardrooms? We are being overwhelmed by the "no pay, no play" principle of electoral politics. Unfortunately, former IL Gov. Blagovich had it right....our politicians have the, " What's in it for Me?", and "I get to do That!!!" disease of power and privilege. I agree with the populist movement that says "Throw Them All Out"!!!

[-] 1 points by Tubby (4) 11 years ago

I agree with much of what you say, but I have a more lenient perspective on the state of things. 4 points here:

  1. I offer this quote from Issac Asimov: ["The same way democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies. The more people there are the less one individual matters."] The world population has grown from 2.5 billion people to nearly 7 billion in the past 60 years. The world has been hit with this and globalization, the information age, and massive shifts in world regime and economies, all within one lifetime. I argue we are still in the transitional phase as the world continues to change. I understand the frustrations with individualism and having a voice in politics in our day, but these things become harder and harder as population grows. We are just experiencing some of the problems from that and the globalization of world economies. In short, these problems have always been anticipated and this transition stage probably won 't go smoothly, but that doesn't mean our world isn't moving forward.

  2. A marketplace that tends to be oligopolistic isn't inherently bad. Yes, it causes some harm, but I believe much of the progress of our day comes from private industries that have conglomerated into larger entities, as such industries are more likely to have the capital to invest in research that help progress our culture and better our lives. (not trying to sound like a tool, but there are advantages to such industries)

  3. More people have college degrees than ever before. I believe that opportunities for college, such as scholarships earned through our free education system, and the increase in community colleges/technical schools (many of which are not profit schools, although some are), are more abundant than ever before. Therefore while I believe the world can be moving in a better direction faster than we are doing now, much of our qualms are relative only to others of our time, and that opportunities for individualism and the ability to influence our social contract are more available than ever before. The only way to refute this would be to point out a previous state of the world where people had more freedoms and opportunities (including basic civil rights for race and gender, etc.) than we do now.

  4. With power comes corruption. I believe the current world mentality restricts the dominance of abusive governments such as dictatorships, and even democratic tyrant-cy, more than ever before. Revolutions can always agree to "throw them all out", but i think the more important questions are: "how do we agree who replaces them?" and: "what guarantee is there that a massive reform will overcome its risks and truly justify its end?"

[-] 1 points by kingscrosssection (314) 11 years ago

This is the first post I have read that has made sense and that I almost agree with.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 11 years ago

Some of what you say is true - but it glosses over the fact that this is a global movement, addressing issues of social, economic, and environmental injustice.

you speak of class warfare - the repelican party has engaged in class warfare upon the American people, and some of it can be traced to Reagan, and trickle down economics.

I'm not the only one who claims the repelican party has engaged in class warfare - insiders do as well.

Here:

-- Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult Saturday 3 September 2011 by: Mike Lofgren, Truthout | News Analysis http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779

.

He says almost exactly what I said here: -- Upon the Question of Default of Our National Debt July 6th, 2011 http://zendogblog.net/blog/

But he does so with a great deal more clarity and insight.

[-] 1 points by Tubby (4) 11 years ago

I understand the movement's frustrations deal with more than simply economic reform. I honestly do believe that the world has made more progress to overcome all forms of injustice in our day than ever before. HOWEVER, I also acknowledge that much of this progress has come from protests and movements such as OWS, my post simply disagrees with some of their methods. I invite you to read my reply on the first comment for a more lenient perspective on the state of our world.

[-] 1 points by velveeta (230) 11 years ago

every minute of every day a corrupt politician, ceo, policeman, judge, union boss, CIA op, foreign warlord, etc... is destroying the fabric of this country and this world. Any perceived damages from a couple protests are like the flicker of a candle compared to the nuclear destruction that is occuring due to INSTITUTIONALIZED CORRUPTION.

[-] 1 points by Tubby (4) 11 years ago

And as for the damages from the protests, I acknowledge the movement's goals and frustrations. But I don't feel some of its effects are necessary and are even intrusive and inconsiderate in nature. So I do not believe some of their intended ends justify their means, partially because we haven't seen the ends to this movement yet.

[-] 1 points by Tubby (4) 11 years ago

I agree with the core of your argument. But consider this:

Everyday a student maxes out a credit card to pay for a house party, then starts making minimum payments and ends up in debt, a mother shoplifts some jewelery from Dillards, and so fourth. Neither the student, nor the mom, nor policemen nor politicians nor protesters are inherently evil. Everyone contributes to our economy in some way, but everyone can and many do deteriorate our world in their own ways. Two points here:

  1. Destroying and damage implies decline from a previous state, but I argue the world has never been in a blissful state. Mankind has empowered and exploited economies since trade was first established. The information age today simply makes this knowledge more apparent. And there's no arguing standards of living and opportunities are better in our day and age than ever before. Much of the suffering we perceive in our world today is relative.

  2. To better our world, we need to take for granted that greed and exploitation will always exist and, instead of making dire proclaimations of widespread evil, assertively build upon our legal and economic system to further promote transparency within our government and further promote and reward honest business practices.

So I don't think the state of the world is far worse than before. And I believe there are no specific people or groups that can truly be blamed.

[-] 0 points by velveeta (230) 11 years ago

the people, like the student or the mom, have not abused the public trust or taken public money. corporations, cops, politicians all serve at the public's discretion and have a basic contract of trust whichbthey betray. it's called abuse, fraud, whatever

[-] 1 points by foius (4) 11 years ago

I think this post is very timely, however, the prevailing realities of this partisan/political economy called capitalism really is more oligopolistic in its dynamics...a few controlling the many (marketplace). The political and economic realities of this recession/depression causes us to be unable to clearly define our objectives and/or the opposition to what really works best for the 99% of Americans whose voice has been stifled by the massive wealth of the "money changers" and their political lackeys (Congress). What is the goal of government in this 21st Century America? To get rid of "public/private sector unions"? To make a college eduction unaffordable for the majority of people at or below sthe poverty line in this Country? Are the voices and problems that everyday citizens have with making ends meet part of the "political" discussion in corporate boardrooms? We are being overwhelmed by the "no pay, no play" principle of electoral politics. Unfortunately, former IL Gov. Blagovich had it right....our politicians have the, " What's in it for Me?", and "I get to do That!!!" disease of power and privilege. I agree with the populist movement that says "Throw Them All Out"!!!