Me with my sign. :D
Not the most flattering picture of me, but I did it for equality, not vanity.
Lots of folks have been saying “WELL WHY AREN’T YOU IN MIDTOWN, THAT’S WHERE ALL THE MULTINATIONALS WENT, DON’TCHAKNOW?” Location doesn’t really matter. The target is the entire system for some of these folks protesting. The system that told them to go to college and do what they love, no matter what the cost, only to graduate and find an inhospitable job market. The system that destroyed dreams of home ownership and illegally forecloses on mortgages. The system that lays off people and destroys life savings of entire families. The very same system that was provided with unprecedented monetary support by our very government in order to prevent a larger economic collapse…a collapse that is slowly occurring irregardless. People SHOULD be questioning the fairness of a government that supports institutions like Bank of America, AIG, Bear Sterns, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup while neglecting the needs of the citizens affected by their crimes.
The only reason most people in America are “okay” with capitalism is that we have a government mandated safety net, there to protect the weakest and the poorest, created by the government policies of the very same man that I quoted, a man who was dealing with very similar enemies to the ones we have today. FDR understood that you cannot have an America that is solely focused on profit margins. (Greed has no logical endpoint; money can be amassed ad infinitum.) You cannot build your country’s economy on the backs of the people without giving them some margin of security, some way to cope with the inequality that is an integral part of any capitalist system. That is why you provide them with affordable health care, Social Security, public education, unemployment insurance and benefits, and so on.
Now, the oligarchy is trying to cut it up, piece by piece, all for the sake of sparing “job creators”. What are the so-called “job creators” doing now? Probably sitting on fat wads of cash, complaining about how much they’re taxed already, while mentioning nothing about how they actually get most of their money (i.e. Capital gains). Probably waiting for Obama to be kicked out of office so they can push their agendas through Congress with nothing more than a weak-willed Democratic majority in the Senate to oppose them.
I’m jobless. I have loans to be paid back. I accept some of the blame for the decisions that got me to this point. But even if I had a job, even if my loans had been paid in full, I’d still be protesting, because there are plenty of people that believe that the economic system in this country has turned against them. I seriously question whether its orientation was towards helping people in the first place! A corporation isn’t alive. It doesn’t breathe, eat, shit, piss, think, love, get sick, have children…it exists for one reason only: profit, and profit at any (human) cost. It is ludicrous to think for one second that it can or should be treated as an individual when it treats living, breathing individuals as nothing more than risky debt to be bought and sold in credit default swap schemes!
My friends and I are on Wall Street to make our presence known. That’s what matters; our beings and our words.
Hearts and minds.