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
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
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%.