Friday, January 20, 2012

What is Occupy Wall Street?

This is a Letter to the Editor I submitted to the Six Mile Post newspaper in response to Occupy Wall Street–standing up for the little guy and About the Occupy movements.

I hope you enjoy.

     How excited I am to be writing to your paper for the first time! I was reading the latest issue and stumbled upon the two pieces about Occupy Wall Street. I’m hoping that I can counter a few of the points made.
     Occupy Wall Street was a movement that was first suggested in the Canadian Magazine AdBusters on July 13, 2011 and after months of planning and building, it hit the streets of New York City on September 17th of that same year. The message was clear, the people of Occupy Wall Street, who are of all ages, not just the youth, like the main stream media would have one believe, were tired of the Big Corporations and tired of the Big Government. It is true that people drove long distances using gasoline that the Big Oil companies profited from, but I don’t think any member of Occupy would want to do any favor to the government by using public transportation. Remember that Zuccotti park, the original location of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is a private park.
I also wanted to point out that not only should supporters of Occupy Wall Street move their money, but they have. There is an entire website ( ) built and dedicated to directing people to community banks and credit unions so that they can escape the Big Banks.
     But the biggest point I want to make is that this movement isn’t just about protesting the Big Banks or Big Government. You cannot just protest one or the other. Yes, the government did give lots of money to the banks, but why? Did they do it simply because they wanted to? Doubtful. Bush passed TARP, giving banks $700 billion in 2008 after receiving $3.1 million in the 2004 election from commercial banks. After having went to Manchester and worked on a Presidential campaign I can tell you that money is important and judging by TARP, it probably comes with strings attached.
     So then came the populist Barack Obama who was going to fight the banks, right? But instead of doing that, he passed Dodd-Frank. If he really wanted to fix the problem and fight the banks he would have reinstated Glass-Steagal, a law that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both chipped away at. I can’t say if Dodd-Frank is too little or too much regulation, but I can say that the economy didn’t seem to be doing too badly until the partial and then full repeal of Glass-Steagal, which was passed after the first Great Depression and only fully repealed nine years before the so-called ‘Great Recession.’ Is it worth pointing out that combining 2008 and an unchallenged 2012 primary Barack Obama has raised $3.6 million from commercial banks.
     The people of Occupy aren’t saying that the banks are better then the government or that the government is better then the banks. They have protested both and I feel confident they will continue to protest both. We need to break the vicious cycle of the banks buying the politicians and the politicians capitulating to the banks. That is the problem, Big Money! I think that despite the parts of Occupy that don’t believe in electoral politics, they are doing everything that they can to fight both of these HUGE enemies.
Joshua Fisher

"Those that dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find that all was vanity, but the dreamers of the day, are dangerous men, for they may act out their dreams and make them real."

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