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Forum Post: Them vs Us

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 12, 2011, 5:07 p.m. EST by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Lately all I am reading is the "them" vs " us" stories on this forum.

I will start out by saying I am not here to degrade, humiliate or defend

I am here because I am me and have a voice that also needs to be heard.

Is every 1%er some kind of evil non caring greedy money hoarding troll under the bridge?

Is every 99%er, the homeless, out of work/overworked, poor me kind of victim?

Is everyone who votes Republican some kind of holy roller who has no care for those in need?

And is every Democrat some wonderful kind giving kumbaya kind of person?

I say no, to all of it.

What I do know, is that most of this country's population is tired of alot of the policies in this country. The corporate money in politics has to stop. I also know there are many other issues that need to be addressed in Gov't., such as health insurance and rebuilding the work force in our country which angers and frustrates many of us.

But I do not think that there are only 2 " camps" that are represented out there. In between the 1%ers and the 99% ers there are people, myself included ,who just don't identify on either side.

There are many of us out there who feel the same.. people who work and don't feel we are working as slaves. Some of us even like our jobs. People who own/rent homes and do pay our taxes and mortgage payments, and don't feel envious of the guy with the bigger house. Folks with college degrees who did find work in our field of study and other like me with an art degree who now do something entirely different.

Sure there is corporate greed, as I am sure there are a few select OWS folks who are reaping the benefits of the donations. Being a self proclaimed 99% does not mean everyone is on the up and up. It is no different in any other group of people. Is it right? That all depends on who you ask. But it does happen .

What I would have really liked to see with this movement is a coming together of the American people on a few major issues. Everything wrong in the world cannot be fixed at once and frankly, I think we need to concentrate on our problems here in the US first.

Sure there are hungry kids in Somalia, but any aid or monies sent there unfortunately falls into the hands of thier very corrupt government, and never reaches the refugee camps. I would rather see kids here never go hungry or go to bed cold . I was raised with the saying " Charity begins at home".

Maybe I am just your average single working mom who was raised to work hard to achieve my goals. Which I have. Maybe I am just your average mother who has raised my son to be a polite, well mannered, and hard working young man. Who I am very proud of. Maybe I'm just your average lady next door who rescues cats and plants a veggie garden in the spring, and gives the extra tomatoes to my neighbor Maybe I am your average working mom who saves up to go on vacation and really enjoys that pina colada on the beach.

Maybe we really aren't all that different when it comes down to it, but I think collectively we all need to look deep inside and see how we can help each other, and understand ,without the name calling ,closed minded nonsense that is so prevalent here on this forum.

The division of the " them" vs " us" really needs to stop if anything is to get accomplished.

Maybe I am you.



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[-] 2 points by utahdebater (-72) 12 years ago

Great post.

[-] 2 points by AnnRevolt1 (4) 12 years ago

This is a very good post, balanced and well written. I for one am very, very worried about the corruption of or democratic Republic by corporate interests. Congress has been taken over by big money. Obama's campaign war chest which is huge is an example of the awful role money has taken in our political system. The role big money has in ruling Congress has got to stop. I respectfully submit that there is one person, Buddy Roemer, who is running for president who believes this as well. He is a moderate not a right winger. Some may say well he is a banker and therefor evil. This is goofy. He started a small town bank. Small town banks are much better at helping local businesses than the big boys who are only interested in supporting the big businesses. Roemer is not big money and he is accepting no PAC money. He has been barred from the Republican debates. His voice they do not want to here because it effects there pockets..Democrats also do not want to here from him for the same reason.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Thank you for your response and kind words. You also have alot of good stuff to say and I am going to look into Buddy Roemer myself, as I am totally disenchanted with both parties. Again thanks for letting this be a dialogue of ideas and thoughts, done with respect to our personal views.

[-] 2 points by naepius (15) 12 years ago

Kudos - excellent post. At the heart of the problem is that too many Americans, in my honest opinion, are not capable of the simple task you have challenged of them - to see how they can help others.

'Time is money' and 'Money makes the world go 'round' we have been taught over the years. Many have bought into the lies and are incapable of finding any worth in helping others when there is no profit to be had doing so. A documentary entitled "America Betrayed" delves into the issue of disaster capitalism which illustrates, on a corporate level, the concept of a near complete lack of altruistic values in our society.

The disparity comes from the teachings that we all are individualistic and should embrace our unique individuality while at the same time we are taught to view others in collective terms, thus ignoring others' individuality. We have, in turn, been taught to be selfish consumers with no empathy - people more easily pit upon each other than even pit bulls.

You and I really aren't all that different at all. We see past the BS. I just rescued and brought into my home a stray tabby last week :) Each time we make our voice heard is a chance that someone else begins to see past it too. Keep up the good work!

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Thank you, I appreciate your response to my post. Without stepping up on the soapbox, this past weekend was my annual Holiday Toys for Tots party. This was someting started many years ago in a nightclub in my 30's that I have continued for close to 20 yrs. It just reminds all of us that there are so many who have less then many of us and we try to do a small piece to put a smile on a kid's face. For me it's all about the little things we can do to help out . Can't always do stuff on a grand scale. And the cats of the world say thank you : )

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

For me, Occupy Wall Street and affiliated movements are about two things. In a vague, ideological sense they want us to have a willingness to embrace social progress; that technological change can and should be matched by social change, and that the only important parts of an idea are how many lives it betters and how much it betters those lives. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather that we continually reevaluate the social contract under which we live, and when it fails to serve the people as well as it is able we seek the minimum amount of change needed to rectify that failure. We believe that continuous incremental change is part of life, but that a sudden upending of our world is often counterproductive and should only be used as a last resort.

If you want to talk about what it means to me in terms of policy, it means that I accept that our fortunes rise and fall based on the flow of capital between industries and enterprises, and feel that choking off that flow would be in very poor judgement. I do, however, believe that capital is inherently an amoral force (not immoral, but amoral) and thus should be directed, firmly but gently, toward the enterprises where it can do the most good for the most people.

To that end I want to see a robust regulatory environment, in which small businesses are allowed to grow and flourish free of most burdens, but in which the natural pressures that lead the markets toward oligopoly and monopoly need to be countered such that the larger a business is, the more difficult it is to continue growing and thus an equilibrium will develop such that economies of scale can be realized without driving the little guy out of business.

It means that I also believe in protecting the environment via direct regulation and by pollution taxes, not because I enjoy placing burdens on our industry but because on some level we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and live under the same climate, and irreversibly fouling any of these things may be profitable in the short term but is bad for everyone in the long term.

It means that I believe in a strong social safety net for our poor because our economy is strong enough that doing so should not impose an undue burden on those of us who are not poor, and a form of collective poverty insurance (think something similar to Social Security to supplement welfare) is a good idea because as few people should be sleeping on the sidewalk and having to live on spare change as possible. It also means that I believe (at least right now) in some form of economic protectionism until we reset our balance of trade, because a reset balance of trade means more jobs for Americans and thus a route out of generational povery for those who wish to take it and a road to the top for those who are smart enough and ambitious enough to pursue such a position.

It means that I side with the left on most if not all social issues, because I believe that as long as no undue harm comes to people there is no reason to regulate how they conduct their private lives, and that most actual stupidity is either self-correcting or can be corrected at far less of an expense to the community and to the nation than it would take to punish it.

The only "us vs. them" that I'm interested in has to do with policies counter to the intent of this agenda, that are far more likely to produce further inequality, further suffering, and further curtail personal liberties. I'm not here to fight a given group of people, I'm here to push for a different approach to economic and social policy and if that means a war of words then that's very unfortunate but it won't change my mind.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

And I thought I typed fast : )
I fully agree with everything you have said here. And I thank you for responding to my post. We absolutely all breathe the same air, drink the same water and live under the same climate and we all have a role in changing the regulations that enable us to have all that equally. I also am a big supporter of boycotting the companies and products that I deem unhealthy or dangerous. Small change in the scheme of things, but baby steps and lets me sleep with a clear head at night.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Good to know; I just want you to understand that while the rhetoric may be flying fast and thick on all sides what we're pushing for (at least what I'm pushing for) and what you and most others like you would hope for America to become aren't all that different. OWS is currently running with no leader and only a very general platform, which means anyone can walk up and say, "I am Occupy Wall Street and I demand XYZ" even if said demand is inflammatory, useless, and counterproductive. The more people like you take a close look at us and like what you see, the more likely we are to be able to quash the crap coming from all sides and look at building actual solutions for this country.

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

There are alot of " me's" out there who want some of the very same things. I am thankful to have such a broad spectrum of friends from all walks of life and backgrounds, who are able to discuss the issues around the kitchen table. What we do discuss is what can we each do to help another, and to me that is where it all starts. Small steps on the way to a bigger solution. Not all of us are able to be " on the street" with the protesters, but we certainly are behind fixing the big wrongs in this country.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

Really well stated!

It's posts like this that make me wish there was an Occupy-oriented magazine(or web magazine) so we could take the most potent and eloquent essays and put them somewhere they'll be read by many. Too often, many of us are stifled while defending the movement against accusations of being too vague. However, you seem to have captured it very well.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

As advised by poster 'ZenDog' and re. The Excellent Documentary Film 'INSIDE JOB', please do try to see : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28189.htm .

Narrated by Matt Damon ... "It's a powerhouse of a documentary that will leave you both thunderstruck and boiling with rage."

Also for those who wish to download a copy : http://occupywallst.org/forum/inside-job-documentary/ ...

fiat pax ; fiat lux ; fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 0 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

Your first link doesn't work anymore..


The weird subtitles are annoying on this one. But what can ya do?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

@"TLydon007" : Thanx. You are right. Sorry to anyone who clicked my link. + Very Grateful for your Excellent Goodwill in backing up with your link. YOU did a gr8 job ! ;-) Much appreciated !! + 4 U (& re.'Lydon') : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzNjmIWbns4 !!! pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

Your post is well written, and I believe in less division. When we segregate each other, be it "democrat", "republic, "rich", "poor", or in any other way, we hurt ourselves by concentrating on what we disagree on instead of what we have in common.

I have a job, and pay my bills. I can't be out on the streets with OWS because of these and other responsibilities. But I support their ideals, and actions. I'm not against business owners, nor am I envious of those who "have more". What I am tired of is corruption, and the pervasive extent of Profits-Over-Humanity.

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I too am tired of the corruption. I am also tired of the one size fits all sort of thing I hear on these posts so much. The divison of the classes, politics, races, religions is what is going to stifle any change. I support many of the ideas, not all of the actions. But I do think there is room for a multitude of ideas on how to make solid changes.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

The trolls here don't want to help no how, no way. They are here only to disrupt, attack, and divide. They have no intention to help anyone but themselves.

They are selfish and disrespectful. SO. no, we're not alike and I don't share their contempt.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 12 years ago

In Lak'ech

...or, I am another you.

we definitely need more people like you. I hope you take the time to continue making yourself heard.

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Thank you. Quiet and demure has never been a strong point for me, so yes my voice is going to be heard and hopefully some of my small actions will inspire others to do similar things.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 12 years ago

I'm not satisfied living in a world where 1,000's of children die every day from preventable conditions where people like you place a higher priority on saving cats. This planet is our home, not your little neighborhood and charity isn't the answer.

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Wow, you sure are full of assumptions aren't you? What does my post have to do with 1000's of dying children? Where did I say I placed a higher priority on cats than people? As for the planet, you have no idea what I do or not as far as caring for it. And as far as charity and helping others,, it sure does help and I am going to continue helping the ones I can. One small step at a time. Oh and as far as my little neighborhood.. I call it Manhatten. People like me, thank goodness are taking care of the things we can , our way. Perhaps you should take the time to get to know how some of us think and operate before blasting the typical " you people" slogan. Thus my post. You really don't know who we are.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 12 years ago

Its just a number thing.

the 1% have a disproportionate piece of the pie in comparison to the 99%

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

It's MUCH more than numbers !

There used to be some kind of collective belief in The Notion of Trickle Down Capitalism but this is now being rapidly replaced by a clear view of the abject and unconscionable "Hoover-Up Kaputalism" ; Extreme Private Wealth for a tiny minority and Mass Austerity and Public Impoverishment for The 99% !!

This SH!T can NOT go on for much longer, without some kind of Push-Back !!!

radix malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Welcome to the biggest attempt at class warfare our Country has ever seen.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Saddens me to see it, thats why I felt compelled to write this in between work and loads of laundry .

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I feel worse for those who do not know they are participating in nothing more than an attempt to divide for political gain.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I'm not sure if I feel worse for those participating physically, but would like some to understand there are plenty of folks like me out there who need to be heard too.

[-] 2 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I have found that they will not listen. Which leads me to believe there is something more sinister behind the curtain.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Seriously? This nonsense again? Just because our methods are loud and raucous and disorganized doesn't mean we're all filthy rabble, and demanding that corporations be subject to regulation to protect the economic and environmental interests of the people doesn't mean we hate corporations. Advocating for a change in the current tax structure to close the most obscene of the loopholes doesn't mean we're out to steal from everyone who makes more than us. Tossing around phrases like "class warfare" doesn't make you right; it just makes you sound more and more desperate. Grow up already and start talking about actual solutions.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Refusal to get organized. Refusal to dismiss the radical element attached. It all paints a negative image of distrust and secret agendas.

[-] 0 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

To whom exactly? I mean, anything can look like a secret agenda if you've been reading too much of David Icke's crap, but given that you haven't started spouting off about snake people and how all Jews are evil I'm going to assume that's not the case for you. Honestly, the fact that it is this unorganized and messy is what one of the indicators that it is in fact a grass-roots movement, because everyone wants their say and nobody wants to wait for everyone else and when people are pissed they don't always think before they speak.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

To everyone who isn't running around chanting 99 percent and trying to disrupt society. If it wasn't the case, the support would be at a much higher level. I really respect those who really want to make things better for everyone. But, these people need to break away, shed the 20 something nonsense and get serious. Get a platform people can stand behind.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Honestly, from what I can tell most major social movements in our recent history began with a great deal of anger and no real plan for implementation and then a plan eventually evolved when the initial, unorganized efforts began foundering badly enough. This doesn't seem to be much different: we started out with a lot of angry people living in parks and yet now OWS seems to have spun off a number of online communities and an attempt to force the issues with Congress via the 99% declaration. It's also begun to change the national dialogue such that talk of income inequality is no longer verboten. Is this perfect? Hell no, but I'd rather be working with it trying to clean it up than fighting it over fairly topical issues.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Hence why I think OWS hasn't manifested into what it will eventually become. I think people are just trying to give constructive criticism. One thing that needs to stop on this forum: Anyone who disagrees gets labeled a troll from the one percent. Just stop that crap. It looks weak and makes trolling worse.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

I haven't called out anyone as a troll unless they were posting conspiracy crap about 9/11 or lizard people or the evil of the Jews, or putting up one-sentence posts that are obviously racist and inflammatory. I prefer having an actual dialogue with people who sincerely disagree with us or don't understand what we're trying to do. The reason I yelled at you at first was because "class warfare" is a big fat buzzword that one whole group will trot out whenever they disagree with re-regulation or modification of the tax code.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I have been called a troll merely for not endorsing tax hikes on the rich. Why do I not endorse them? 1. They impede business growth. 2. It does nothing to bring down the debt. 3. I don't trust our Govt to spend the money on issues that are important to the well being of the United States.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

OK, fair enough. Not to mock you, but where exactly did I suggest abolishing currency? We're in no way ready to do that and I'm honestly not sure if we'll ever be. We agree on corporations and outsourcing, and even though we're not completely on the same page as far as taxation on the wealthy you've been quite accommodating and open-minded on the issue. Thanks for the debate!

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

You are welcome ARod. I also appreciate the honest debate. I have thought about many of the issues you have brought up many times. As long as people like you and I care, a solution will eventually be obtained.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

The problem I find is that the way out of this mess is targeted, efficient spending. While I don't completely agree with Keynes that simply pulling money out of circulation is the way to go, when nobody's spending or lending the government has to be the one who picks up the slack. If you don't want us to run deficit after deficit we're going to have to pay for that somehow.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Well, I'm not sure how society can operate without money. The notion of a currency free society sounds nice, but it is generations away. We need to focus on the imbalances we have now. I see what you are saying, but I am just not sure if that is a feasible solution for right now.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Because any such plan to cover part of our deficit by taxation would include a similar change in the way the federal government spends its money similar to the one I described in the second half of my post: no more insider trading, no more no-bid contracts, and more money allocated to the municipalities for things like police precincts and fire stations and schools, while uncapping the FICA would allow Social Security and Medicare to get over the Baby Boomer hill without going bankrupt (while the SS-Medicare money would be made legally or Constitutionally untouchable for anything but SS and Medicare).

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I am all for reformation on what our Govt spends. However, keep in mind that any addition to Govt results in more taxation, and more govt intervention in our lives. I think you will find more conservatives will support tax increases once our economy is stable, and Govt spending can be controlled.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

There's nothing wrong with acquiring wealth, but a 38-43% effective marginal tax rate at the top isn't exactly theft or prohibitive taxation. I'm still keeping well over half of every dollar I make even when I'm a billionaire, and as far as taxes are concerned a 38-43% rate instead of this 17% BS we have now should be more than enough to cover the worst of the deficit and give us enough money to work with.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

If we are not gathering enough tax revenue to keep the United States in operation, why are we sending so much money to other countries? Why is the Govt spending so much of our money on programs that helps no one?

Even if the rich are getting some kind of break, how does taxing them more benefit you? How does it carve away at the 15 trillion we are in the hole - considering they continue to spend spend spend?

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

What exactly do you mean by legislation dictating who can acquire wealth?

[-] 0 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Well lets think about the entire OWS message. Rich people are evil and causing hardships for the majority. A small group has reign over the majority.

This is bogus in my opinion. No one is stopping anyone from becoming rich. The band Silverchair on the 90s put is perfectly.

"You say that money, isn't everything, But I'd like to see you live without it. You think you can keep on going living like a king. Oohh babe, but I strongly doubt it."

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

A better statistic to use is to look at the share of tax they pay compared to the share of income they take in; the way it stands right now the top 1% of earners alone take home roughly 40% of the national income. According to the Wall Street Journal and the Economist (both of which are objective in nature but mildly conservative) the share of the national income made by the wealthy grew five times faster than their share of taxes.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I think this has more to do with advances in technology. A lot of millionaires can accredit their success to the Internet. Let's keep in mind that this technology is not even 20 years old, and it has only become highly efficient in the last 10. The Internet in 1995 sucked. The World is changing, but I don't blame it all on greed.

I would agree with you if there was legislation in place dictating who can acquire wealth.

I would have no problem with legislation restricting corporations and campaign donations. I would be happier if legislation was in place that controlled what our Govt spends our money on.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Fair enough; I'm not going to demand that you agree with me. Just check it out and tell me what you think.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

Here is my take on your link. I agree that corporations need to pay a fair share in taxes. I also agree that they need to stay out of our political landscape.

What I cannot get on board with is the notion that ultra rich are not paying their fair share. They may experience special loopholes and favoritism, but the data is clear. They pay the majority of federal tax. We also have almost half of our population escaping taxes altogether. It is a mathematical impossibility that tax hikes will solve our debt problem. It is also pretty much a guarantee that most of our taxes are wasted or misappropriated by the Govt.

I am interested in solutions that eliminate job outsourcing. I want to see ideas geared towards domestic production. I want our border secured. I want to see the drain illegal immigration imposes on this country eliminated. I want to strengthen our world standing. Tax hikes do none of this. I also feel that the true nature behind a lot of this OWS stuff is to create anger and division. All in hopes to bring down our capitalistic system and impose more Govt control.

Just like atheists cannot stay away from anti religious campaigns all the time. I think it is all part of the same plan to weaken our standing.

I am not saying you or all of the people behind the movement feel this way. However, I am convinced the sentiment exists.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

I vehemently disagree with you on that issue, for reasons I outlined and defended in a fairly long post on another site, which I ask that you take the time to read and then either provide counterarguments or consider the possibility that the issue isn't as simple as you were told it was. The link to that post and the subsequent debate is here: http://www.themultitude.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=585&p=3835&hilit=prescription#p3627 That said, I would only consider you a troll if you look the evidence in the eye, fail to counterargue any of it, and reply with something to the effect of "Blah blah blah I can't hear you" or "Why should I listen to you anyway?"

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I will look at what you posted. I am not promising I will agree with it.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

What did you call it when the jobs were being sent overseas? Huh? What did you call underemployment to make sure that people could not acquire health care? What did you call it before? Huh?

What was it called before?

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

That's fine, but the OWS is not clear on the causes of this. All OWS is doing is blaming the rich for every problem on the planet. People see through that. It's not logical or correct.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

It is BS Brandon, you put up your straw man and say it's ours, Bullshit!!!

We're talking about income inequality. The rich have tripled their income in the last few decades while the middle class has shrunk, many more are now poor and the bottom 80%, our income rose a meager18% compared to the rich's 275%.

Now, do you see the problem Brandon. Many see this as the American Dream going down the toilet. You know how to add and subtract I'm sure. What does this mean to you? You don't care? You don't see how greed for money is more and more rapidly destroying the very planet we live on?

Do you believe in Global Warming, or is that some hoax to you?

Do you have absolutely no problem with greedy money grubbers who love to steal other people's money?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

I call bullshit, Brandon. You know as well as I do that it isn't the case.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I'm not trying to bullshit you man. This is my honest take on the situation. I am not going to slam you or anyone who is trying to "better" our society, but I don't agree with the methods.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Then you have not bothered to pay attention. Did you see the thread that came down with the million/billionaires that signed a petition stating that their taxes should be raised?

Did you take a stand when they were sending R & D and Tech jobs overseas? How about legal and banking jobs?

Did you take a stand against illegal foreclosure of homes?

Tell me Brandon, what do YOU stand for?

Thus far, I'm not seeing you address the problems or the issues that we have currently. You don't like the methods that are being used now.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Tell him, it's not one thing, it's everything.

It's the cabal among the rich, who attempt to control politics and pricing.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago


[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

The Only 'Class War' is the one that has been waged by a Parasitic 0.01%, using a 1% against the 99% Working Class (coz if we need to work to pay our bills, that IS indeed what we are ) !

Thus, KAPUTALISM Push-Back = REVOLUJAH, Brothers and Sisters ;-) !!

So, no ; No and thrice NO to The Privatising of Profit, Gain and Opportunity and the Socialisation of Loss, Cost & Risk; The Duplicity of Double-Entry Book-Keeping; The Tyranny of Accountants and THE INFERNAL DE$POTI$M OF THE BANK$TER$ !!!

per ardua ad astra ...~~~*

[-] 0 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

anyway. Try living your life without banks and corporations. All corporations were mom and pops at one time.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago


Give me a break! Are you asleep?

Wake UP! Here's a movement. It's called Occupy Wall Street !!!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

WTF Are You Talking About ? How much thought went into your post ? Or are you just 'Reacting' ?

nosce te ipsum ...

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 12 years ago

I could ask you the same question about the post I was responding to. What was that?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 12 years ago

Ahhh ! Indeed, sauce for The Goose is sauce for The Gander, so fair enough ( + a bit embarrassingly I was just about to tell you that I was responding to "Brandon37's" post, when I noticed that you are in fact The Very Same Dude !!) Dhoh !!!

I withdraw my tripartite question immediately above and apologise for my rudeness and ironic haste !! I still stand by my post which referenced "class warfare" though, as it was indeed 'in reaction' to your initial use of the term ;-) Nevertheless, to you and yours ...

pax et lux.

[-] 1 points by nolongerasleep (57) from Cleveland, OH 12 years ago

We are very much alike. I can identify with the movement on many levels but I am completely against any form of socialism/communism on the basis that such a system cannot function as long as humanity has any control over any part of it. In regards to the us vs them, the elites saw it that way first. All 1%'ers aren't bad just like all 99%er's aren't good, it's more shades of grey, but the one thing we know for certain is that corruption is rampant, they contributed to the financial collapse (we let it happen) and we need real change. (which may include redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottom through training and back to work programs and an increased top tier marginal tax rate - which is what fixed the USA during the great depression)

If OWS fails I believe one of two things will happen. 1. This country will be unrecognizable in the future 2. War

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I am with you on the elitists and the division,, Just glad my dad raised me to see people first, profession and money were not a part of it.
And yep yep and yep on the many shades of grey. Thanks for responding.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

hey . . . .

wanna watch a movie?

I hear there is one playing . . .

It's called

  • Inside Job

I hear it's really excellent -

kind of a docu-horror

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

That's the one. That movie: Inside JOB. I think it should be required viewing for anyone serious about this movement.

And for those who have over-bundance of empathy for the extreme rich in this country while telling others less fortunate to either get a job or starve because there's something wrong with them for not being rich, --you should go find another forum--. You will never like it here because we don't particularly care about you either. You have to earn respect. Some here, get no respect, and deserve none.

Thanks ZenDog

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

just tryin' to do my part man.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

And it's a good part as well. People need to be educated in the Truth. ANything we can do towards that end is always worthy even if it's just for ourselves. The truth always matters and it can be quite a beautiful thing when revealed.

Nobody's right, if everybody's wrong.

I remind myself often of that one. If I'm the only one who can see it then so be it!

Good Luck ZenDog!!!

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

likewise man

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

No problem : )

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Ive seen it, but I wrote this purely on my perspective and thoughts. Thanks for the link tho.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Very well said. I've thought for a while now that OWS is lumping everyone together when many of us believe very differently from others.

[-] 2 points by Puzzlin (2898) 12 years ago

Aren't you a troll MVSN?

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Thank you. I do believe there are more commonalities amongst us than many care to admit. As in any group there are the more extremes at both ends.. real life I say.

[-] 0 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

Is every 1%er some kind of evil non caring greedy money hoarding troll under the bridge?


Is every 99%er, the homeless, out of work/overworked, poor me kind of victim?


Is everyone who votes Republican some kind of holy roller who has no care for those in need?


And is every Democrat some wonderful kind giving kumbaya kind of person?


[-] 0 points by Supplysider (53) from Richboro, PA 12 years ago

"Is everyone who votes Republican some kind of holy roller who has no care for those in need? Yes." -- Moron

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Could be.

But, there are major differences between some on this forum. You are either for the privatization of social security or you are not. You either support drill, baby, drill.........regardless of the cost to our water supply (and thus food supply) and the earthquakes or you do not. You either support Big Agra or you do not. You either support illegal foreclosures and speculation on food commodities or you do not. You either believe in affordable health care and shelter for all or you do not.

[-] 1 points by Supplysider (53) from Richboro, PA 12 years ago

Not true and you can't break it down that simply. What if I wrote it this way:

You are either for allowing people to save for retirement and earn way more money or the government can take it and then give you back much less.

You support energy independence and using the natural resources we have safely or force everyone to live in caves and forage for nuts and berries.

You support the enforcement of contracts (mortgages are contracts you agree to pay for in exchange for your home) or just let people off the hook because you feel sorry for them.

You believe that something worked for and earned is way more valuable then something that is handed out as a free government give-away.

So, you can spin it to force a certain perspective or you can be realistic about things.

I want energy exploration that is reasonable, hell, I even bought a Prius several years ago, to save the planet? no, it got damn good gas mileage and I drive a lot. I also replaced most of my light bulbs years ago for the same reason. I do things because they are economical to me.

Try not to paint things in such good versus evil terms.

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

You are in my head with your response. It certainly is not so cut and dry as many have made the issues out to be. There is so much out there in terms of fixing that it boggles me and millions of others. And there is no one right way to do it all, and certainly not all at once. Thanks for your insightful response to my post.

[-] 0 points by Supplysider (53) from Richboro, PA 12 years ago

Thank you CatLady2, I too appreciate your post. I agree that there are a lot of problems. I guess my take is that we have to stop turning to elected bureaucrats in Washington, who are more than happy to take our tax dollars and promise us far more then we can afford all the while wasting it on their pet projects or which ever lobbying group they owe a favor. I think the American people can solve all of the problems we are facing, but at the individual or community level, not by becoming a massive social collective that thinks it can do things more efficiently, but has never worked.

I for one have put my money and time where my mouth is, which is why I am so frustrated by the size of the current federal budget. I donate to local food banks and habitat for humanity and my time tutoring math to inner-city kids and Honor Flight taking WW II vets to see the memorial to their fallen brothers and sisters. The last two I think I get far more benefit from then I could ever give back. If you get a chance to spend several hours sitting with a vet and just listening it will make you forget all of your own problems. One little anecdote if I may, my first trip down to the WW II memorial, they had told us before hand that if might be very emotional for some of the guys and to just be supportive. As we were walking through the opening, I started thinking about my dad who fought in the war and contributed to it's construction, but never got to see the memorial built and I got a little emotional, my 90 yo, frail veteran, reached over, put his arm around me and said, "it's alright son, your dad would be proud of the man he raised" That is truly the greatest generation and they never wanted any credit or recognition for what they did and many are even today, very embarrassed about the fuss we make over their contribution. Every single one of them has told me, "We were just doing our jobs, we were never heroes, just ordinary Joe s".

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I was raised by parents who taught me the value of a dollar and that charity begins at home, which many do not understand. " Home" being your local community, whether the food bank or volunteering at a senior center, or delivering meals on wheels. All of which I have done and more.
I don't need any big recognition by the small acts I do. but instead it is what allows me to lay my head on the pillow at night and know I may have touched someone.
As I mentioned in another reply on this before earlier, this past weekend was my annual toys for tots party.. a tradition that started back in my 30's in a nightclub in NYC, and 20 something years later I have continued it and grown it to a huge she-bang that everyone loves being a part of. It's a great fun gathering that gives folks a chance to think of those with less than us. And yes I agree with the WW II generation's attitude , my folks are a part of that time and much of the lessons I live my life by have come from them. Life lessons I do my best to pass along to my 22 yr old son. Simple things like being decent and honest and right and wrong and standing up for those who can't and trying to make a small difference in our communities.
When we realize that all of us really have more in common than not, then true change can occur. Be well and thanks again

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

CHILE’S PRIVATIZATION FAILURES The Century Foundation conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues, including inequality, retirement security, election reform, media studies, homeland security, and international affairs. The foundation produces books, reports, and other publications, convenes task forces, and working groups and operates eight informational Web Proponents of privatizing Social Security often look to Chile as a model system, most recently in an April 26 New York Times column by John Tierney. A closer look at the Chilean system's performance over the past quarter century, however, reveals high management fees, low participation rates, unexpectedly heavy dependence on an inadequate safety net, and prohibitively high costs to government. This has led to largely disappointing results, leaving many Chilean workers with no reliable retirement plan. Is this really the model the United States hopes to replicate? For more about Chile's failed privatized pension plan, read recent articles by Greg Anrig, Jr., vice president of programs at The Century Foundation, No Way, José! and Lost in Translation, by Richard C. Leone, president of The Century Foundation, about the serious disappointments caused by changes to pension systems in Britain and Chile. Continue reading to understand how Chile's privatized system was supposed to work, what went wrong, and why it would be a mistake for the United States to follow Chile's lead. Chilean Privatized Pension System: How It Was Supposed to Work In 1981, Chile's military dictatorship sought to reduce government spending and labor costs by privatizing the oldest social insurance program in the Americas. The Chilean pension system was, by all accounts, in need of reform. The system's deficit had risen to 25 percent of Chile's gross domestic product, yet 93 percent of retirees received only the minimum pension benefit. Today, some people argue that American Social Security is also in need of reform. They urge America to follow Chile's example by allowing workers to redirect all of their Social Security contributions to personal pension accounts. A closer look at the Chilean system's performance over the past twenty five years, however, should be cause for caution. General Augusto Pinochet's regime created a system of private funds—called Administradores de Fondos de Pensiones, or AFPs—to manage and administer workers' individual retirement accounts and survivors' and disability benefits. The new system was mandatory for all workers entering the labor force after 1981. Workers already in the labor force had the option of participating or remaining in the traditional government program. • Every worker participating in this defined-contribution system designates an AFP to receive a mandatory payroll deduction of 10 percent of salary (up to $22,000), plus an additional 2.5 percent to 3.7 percent for death and disability insurance and administrative fees. (Employees may voluntarily contribute up to an additional $2,000 a month to their retirement accounts, although only the mandatory contribution is tax-deductible.) • When workers who have contributed to an AFP for twenty years retire (at age sixty-five for men, sixty for women), they can use the accumulated funds to buy an annuity or draw down sites. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan and was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene. HEADQUARTERS: 41 EAST 70TH STREET – NEW YORK, NY 10021 – 212.535.4441 – 212.535.7534 (FAX) – INFO TCF.ORG – WWW.TCF.ORG DC OFFICE: 1333 H STREET, NW – 10 TH FLOOR – WASHINGTON, D.C. 20005 – 202.387.0400 – 202.483.9430 (FAX) – INFO TCF.ORG – WWW.TCF.ORGtheir account according to an actuarially determined schedule. • The government requires AFPs to pay an average annual return equal to at least 50 percent of the average return of all AFP accounts or two percentage points below it, whichever figure is higher.
What Went Wrong: The Reality of Chile's Privatized Retirement Plan A quarter of a century since privatization took effect, Chilean's retirement security is on shaky ground. Recent reports by the World Bank and the Federal Reserve have highlighted some of the many problems with Chile's system. A combination of high management fees, low participation rates, unexpectedly heavy dependence on an inadequate safety net, and prohibitively high costs to government have led the system along a path of failure and left many Chilean workers with no reliable retirement plan. Is this really the model the United States hopes to replicate? There are prohibitively high expenses and fees. Voracious commissions and other administrative costs have swallowed up large shares of personal accounts. It is estimated that roughly 28 to 33 percent onequarter to one-third of contributions made by employees retiring in 2000 went toward fees. • The brokerage firm CB Capitales calculated (see English language discussion by Stephen Kay of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta here) that when commission charges are taken into consideration in Chile, the total average return on worker contributions between 1982 and 1999 was 5.1 percent-not 11 percent as calculated by the superintendency of pension funds. That report found that the average worker would have done better simply by placing their pension fund contributions in a passbook savings account.
There are low participation rates. Half of Chileans, primarily the poorest, do not contribute to a pension fund at all. The New York Times notes, "Many [Chileans]—because they earned much of their income in the underground economy, are self-employed, or work only seasonally—remain outside the system altogether. Combined, those groups constitute roughly half the Chilean labor force. Only half of workers are captured by the system." • Even the military does not participate in the privatized system. While the military imposed the private accounts on all other workers entering the labor force after 1981, it continues to receive pensions under the old, favored governmental system.
There is unexpectedly heavy dependence on an inadequate safety net. Stephen J. Kay of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta recently found that investment accounts of retirees are much smaller than originally predicted-so low that 41 percent of those eligible to collect pensions continue to work. • The New York Times revealed in an article earlier this year that under the old pay-as-you-go system, the maximum monthly benefit is $1250. Under the privatized system, a worker would have to contribute more than a quarter of a million dollars over the course of his or her career to receive as much in retirement benefits each month. Just 500 of the seven million participants in private accounts, has been able to do so.
There are unexpectedly high transition and supplementary costs. The transition costs of shifting to a privatized system in Chile averaged 6.1 percent of GDP in the 1980s, 4.8 percent in the 1990s, and are expected to average 4.3 percent from 1999 to 2037. Those costs are far higher than originally projected, in part because the government is obligated to provide subsidies for workers failing to accumulate enough money in their accounts to earn a minimum pension http://tcf.org/commentary/pdfs/nc962/chilefactsheet.pdf

You can bullshit some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

It's not about good and evil. It's about differing material interests and the 1% running the world and with most of the money are by no means necessarily personally evil. They just have fundamentally different material interests than do the 99% who control virtually nothing including the Democratic Party.

If you are getting the idea from this forum that OWS supports the Democratic Party you are most certainly getting the wrong idea and nothing could be further from the truth. As a movement OWS sees itself as a politically independent social movement. Many OWSers see the Democratic Party as nothing more than one of the two parties of the 1%, but it is certainly not our party, not a party of the 99%.

In terms of how you present yourself, you certainly sound overworked. A few people in the 99% are lucky enough to have intellectually, spiritually, and economically rewarding jobs. That would probably include writers, journalists, perhaps teachers, lawyers and social workers and perhaps some successful artists, but most of the 99%, even if they like there jobs and make a fairly good living would probably prefer spending much of their time doing something else and in a more rationally and democratically organized society they probably would be able to do so.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Overworked? Nah.. hardworking, absolutely. And not complaining about it. I have a great balance in my life between family, friends, hobbies, interests, travel and work. The best of all, for me. Again I wrote this post purely from my point of view.


[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Now Simon, seduction comes in many forms, yet why take sides? Can't there be a little from here and a little from there to make things happen. As for standing up to be counted.. Oh but I am counted. As for shutting up? I don't think shutting up is a part of who I am. Thankfully I come from a world that lets me voice my opinion whether popular or not.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 12 years ago

Your opinion is to quote Rodney King. Didn't really work out for him, did it?

And yes, I regress, the census has counted you, so you have made your point there.

[-] 2 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Hey you are free to post whatever moves you. I am more about closing the gaps and creating real action with small deeds, but thats the beauty in all this. We can all have our own opinions and thoughts. Not sure where I quoted Rodney King though.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 12 years ago

---but I think collectively we all need to look deep inside and see how we can help each other, and understand ---

Why can't we all get along?

In the absence of examples about closing gaps and creating real action with small deeds you are saying absolutely nothing.

So, what would you do if you were Queen?

[-] 1 points by CatLady2 (248) from New York, NY 12 years ago

You don't have to like or agree with some of my statements Simon and thats cool. If we all thought the same , man what a boring dull world we'd live in. No where in my post do I proclaim to be a know it all or have all the answers. As for being Queen, no thanks, I rather identify with being a diva in comfort shoes with not quite so many responsibilites. As for what would I do right now? Right now Id like to see this country get back to work. One thought that comes to me is to take those empty foreclosed houses and put crews to work on them to make them habitable again and up to code. Many trades and skills come into play. Right there, jobs are created and the materials used keep the economy flowing. Those houses would provide homes to those in need, but not as a giveway. Work to own, they should be offered very low interest rates on loans and feel the pride that comes from doing something on your own while having a safe warm place to raise a family. Idealistic, perhaps. Just one of the many ideas I have. But , IF I were queen, I would have dirty laundry that washed itself and a hot dinner that magically cooked itself nightly. Oh and litter boxes that never got dirty : )

[-] 1 points by simplesimon (121) 12 years ago

Everybody works to own. That's what happens when you buy a house on credit. We tried the free ride no downpayment property loans and they didn't work out.