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Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Occupy Wall Street Means to Me

Over the past two months, people have taken up residence in Zuccotti Park here in New York City. As part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement they say they’re protesting corporate greed, holding American corporations accountable, and the need to bring jobs back to the United States.

Many have dismissed these protests as a bunch of spoiled brats throwing a tantrum.

I see them as heroes.

These kids occupying Wall Street see the bigger picture of America’s future. And they don’t like where they fit into it.

The United States is going in the wrong direction. And I’d say it’s been going in the wrong direction since 1970. Since the Nixon Administration America’s leadership has been completely out of touch with the needs of We The People. Congress spends more time bickering than making laws, the U.S. Courts spend more time processing non-violent drug offenders than interpreting laws, and our current President is so emasculated he isn’t man enough to force any of these morons to work together towards getting this country back on the right track.

Right now the U.S. economy spends more than it takes in. Most American households spend more than they take in. And the revenue streams are starting to dry up for everyone.
We have over 100 Million Baby Boomers who are going to retire in the next twenty years. 100 million people who will be insisting on getting the Social Security and Medicare that they paid into the system. 100 million people who are going to be requesting to cash in the IRAs they paid to invest in. 100 million municipal and union employees who will be cashing in their pensions and retiring on payments equal to 70%-80% of their former paychecks. 100 million people who are going to be paying less tax revenue into the U.S. economy and demanding more from a system that doesn’t have enough money to pay back what they put in.

We have 100 million Gen-X (my generation) Gen-Y and Millenials who have been prevented from competing in the job market. Most of us have been unemployed or underemployed for the past twenty years due to corporations shipping our good-paying jobs overseas and eliminating more good paying jobs for the sake of increasing corporate profits.

Thanks to these greed-centered corporate policies, the members of my generation (Generation X) and the next two generations (Generation Y, Millenials) haven’t been able to get those stable long-term jobs that allow us to pay taxes into the U.S economy.
 On top of being underemployed underpaying jobs many members of these three generations are bogged down in debt from student loans of over $100,000 or more. This is crushing debt that will have a long-term impact on the U.S. Economy the same way the deficit has on Federal policy.

On the course the U.S economy is on where we spend more than we take in there will not be enough money to pay for social programs at several hundred billion dollars per state and billions more for Federal programs like SSI and Medicaid. There will not be enough money to pay for Social Security when 100 million people retire. There will not be enough money to pay to continue to process and house non-violent drug offenders through the courts at $100,000 a person and $70,000 a year prison stays. Heck, there won’t even be enough money to pay for the lights in the White House!

Why? Because these young people don’t have good-paying jobs. Jobs that pay taxes. Tax revenue that pays for those social programs, Social Security, Courts, The Post Office, and lights in the White House and every other federal and state government function.

Most of those underemployed youngsters don’t make enough money to pay taxes to go in Federal and State government coffers. Right now 50% of this country’s workers make so little money they don’t pay any taxes in April. Most of the Young people working in the Starbucks and other part-time low wage today get a tax refund and extra money the government doesn’t have from Federal Earned Income tax credits.

While they get a nice tax refund in April, they don’t make enough money at those low-wage jobs to join the middle class. And each year they are kept out of the middle class has a devastating trickle-down impact on the U.S. Economy. These are the people who are being attritioned out of participating in the U.S. Economy due to bad corporate policy that sends American jobs to China, India, Vietnam and other third world countries for the sake of profits that only benefit an oligarchy of the top 1% percent of wealthy people and not everyone else.

In the larger scheme of things, Gen-X, Gen-Y and the Millenials were supposed to the people who were supposed to take the place of the 100 million strong baby boomers in the U.S economic system. The people who were supposed to bring revenue into the U.S economic system and sustain it as the Baby Boomers left the U.S economy.

But we can’t join that middle class if we can’t find jobs that pay enough to allow us to pay our fair share of taxes or deal with crushing student loan debt loads of $100,000- $500,000 and minimum payments of $400-$1000 a month.

Long-term if we can’t get out of this debt that’s going to have a domino effect on the U.S. Economy over the next twenty years. Right now many people in their twenties and even their thirties still live with their parents because they don’t make enough money at those low-paying part-time jobs to establish their own households. Worse, most of us don’t keep a job long enough (most part-time-low-wage jobs are only 3 months to two years) to establish secure full-time employment.

And because of the short-term low-paying jobs and long-term student loan debt we have a hard time establishing the good credit that’s necessary for us to continue participating in the U.S economy.

As we get older, we’re not going to be able to establish credit that’s strong enough buy homes or cars. That’s going to have a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy and the cost of living. On the current course of low-wage jobs, high debt, and limited job security, our standard of living will be worse than their parents.

Why? Because no one is paying enough taxes into the system to sustain the government programs that have been subsidizing the economy for the past 80 years. As today’s young workers grow into older workers who don’t pay enough taxes and depend on government programs for their sustenance, the question that has to be asked is: Where is the money going to come from to sustain the overall U.S economy?

 Corporations who do business on Wall Street pay next to no taxes. They make billions in profits on the backs of the American citizen. They send American jobs overseas, and pay full-time workers next to nothing while making them work 12-16 hour days. They underemploy young, able-bodied American adults in low-wage jobs that don’t allow them to make enough money to join the middle class. Their backwards approach to business is stalling the overall U.S. economy and keeping it from being competitive globally.

Thanks to their incompetence, India’s economy is booming. China’s economy is booming. Vietnam’s economy is booming. And nothing can change to maintain the American quality of life due to U.S. corporate greed and bad government policy poisoned by corporate lobbying by a treasonous few.

All of this mismanagement has gone unchecked for close to 40 years and the bill is coming due. Worse, no one at the corporate offices on Wall Street or Washington has an idea on how to pay for it when the baby boomers start retiring en masse on Main Street USA.
American CEO’s are worse than infidels. They don’t take care of their own people. They don’t take care of their own country. They take care of themselves at the expense of everyone else.

As I see it, the patriots Occupying Wall Street just want their fair shake at the American Dream. They see the direction this country is going in and want to change course before that dream slips out of their hands. Moreover, they understand that the U.S. Economy is a system where everyone is interdependent on everyone else and that everyone has to pay their fair share for the system to work. They realize that these U.S. corporations who have been taking American jobs overseas are biting the hand that feeds them. A CEO shouldn’t be making $300 million a year. That’s excessive and I’ll even say an abuse of corporate policy. Nor should they be allowed to spend money like it’s going out of style on bonuses, raises, corporate jets, and expense accounts. These employees need to be held accountable for their mismanagement, incompetence and failed leadership that has partially sent this country into the downward spiral it’s currently in.

These Americans Occupying Wall Street understand what We The People in the Constitution means and understand that we have the power to change our country and our government. Thomas Jefferson once said that if government isn’t working we should throw it off and put on a new government. Personally, I think it’s time for us to put off this corrupt government and establish a new government. One that serves the people, not corporations and special interests. And maybe this Occupy Wall Street movement is the start of the revolution that will lead to the change America desperately needs.


  1. Shawn, this is gorgeous, more like the work of a very mature statesman than a young man like yoourself. But then, you're an old soul.

    I wish this could be posted on every possible venue. Republicans and their minios and sympathizers speak of American "going the wrong way," as if it began with President Obama and his administration. Lord, don't we know this to be a lie. As you point out, we began faltering with Nixon and were it not for a few Democratic brains and hearts, we would be a third world country by now.

    Keep up the good work with your cudgel and your sharp, sharp brains and compassionate feelings. To me, with this blog, you have totally arrived. Congratulate youself as I and others congratulate you!

  2. Wonderful post! looking forward to reading more!