Are you wondering what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are protesting? Here’s an example: A corporate board of directors decides to give the CEO a salary increase from $15 million last year to $21 million this year when the company has had a 7% decline in revenues (that’s a corporate LOSS) and cut close to 3,000 employees in their “trimming” of expenses (yes, these “trimmed” people are now eligible for taxpayer funded unemployment benefits), there is a huge morality problem. I’m not just making this up for the sake of writing words, see this Oct. 3, 2011 Washington Post article.
In case you were reading it too fast, here’s the simple version:
- CEO making $15 million/year (what was your annual salary last year?).
- Corporate revenues decline by 7% (Company is losing money).
- Cuts expenses by dumping almost 3,000 employees (3000 people had jobs, now don’t).
- Board gives CEO $6 million MORE for what? Losing money and making 3000 people unemployed! CEO now making $21 million/year.
This graphic on the Amgen/peer CEO salary comparison goes with the article in the Washington Post.
So what does one CEO have to do with the Occupy Wall Street protests? It is just one example of many, many, many showing the disparity between ordinary Americans (the 99%) and the rich and powerful (the 1%). I don’t think the protesters are actually protesting the CEO making a lot of money, it’s the underlying rationale for how he ends up with a $6 million raise while 3000 people lose their jobs, their livelihoods and possibly homes, etc. and then are told that it’s their own fault (see Cain, Herman: “If You Don’t Have a Job and You’re Not Rich, Blame Yourself!”); I think the protesters feel that they are not being heard (see Utah redistricting); I think the protesters feel that our government is no longer of, by and for the people, but rather bought and paid for by big bucks from big business.
There has been very little corporate media coverage of the OCCUPY WALL STREET protests, much less coverage than of the early “Tea Party” gatherings (think maybe the word “corporate” has anything to do with it?). The limited coverage there has been could be called primarily the “dissing” of the protest–distant, disparaging, disdainful. Maybe it’s not news that people are sick and tired of politicians making policy that WE THE PEOPLE have to live with that continues to diminish the “least among us” and erodes the middle class while fattening the top end. History lesson here: EVERY civilization, culture or government that has done this either through policy or practice has fallen. Everyone should know that pride fueled by greed will bring a society down. In Utah we have a dominant Mormon culture and hear often referrals to the “pride cycle” so it should look very familiar. One particular movie also comes to mind, Metropolis, the 1927 silent film. Check it out– Sign of the times.
Finally, to answer the question of “Why they are protesting,” I am inserting a comment that I read on the Salt Lake Tribune website this morning (10/7/11) by commenter reunitedstatesofamerica. I can’t say it better.
I would just like to say that it is the democracy of this nation that is in question.
The point is that many of the corporations/special interest groups are buying specific actions from (some of) those people we vote for. Hence, what “vote”, “say”…democracy do we really have?
Instead of seeing losers that should get a job, I see big money that bought the laws to ship our jobs out of this country, and enjoy tax breaks too. Instead of seeing losers that should go home, I see a mortgage industry controlled by big money that bought the laws to sell our mortgage debt plus interest, claim it as profit to soar their stock prices and issue a whole hechovalota bonuses. The same big money, I might add, that reinvented the retirement system into stock market styled plans, thus having millions of people purchase stock in their falsely inflated trading companies. Those bailed out’s fell behind in their mortgage sale loan payments – because people couldn’t pay their mortgage payment – because their job got shipped out to a 4 year old girl overseas making $3 a year (sorry for the sarcasm).
I am sitting pretty with a house, cars, retirement, and a job with benefits. I go to work every workday on time and do a great job. I pay my bills on time, save and plan on paying for my own dang retirement. If they ship out my job and blow my retirement with a shady deal, I will be jobless and homeless with…absolutely no law, no representative changing this risk because of this special interest favor-tism.
1. I CAN’T VOTE FOR SOMEONE THAT WON’T ALLOW MY JOB TO BE SHIPPED OUT BECAUSE BIG MONEY BUYS THEIR VOTE/ACTION.
2. IF THE BANK MAKES A BOO BOO AND LOSES MY RETIREMENT INVESTMENT/PENSION, WHILE PAYING COUNTLESS CEO’s MILLIONS PER YEAR…I CAN’T STOP THEM BECAUSE THEY BUY THE LAWS TO PROTECT THEM, NOT ME.
I live in the United States of America.
Ya’ll my friends, are the exact same as all those left jobless, homeless, pensionless….because if it happens to you, what are you going to do about it?
To the comfortable looking down upon the protesters, wake up tomorrow and pretend you got laid off because your job was shipped overseas, pretend your retirement disappeared because of fraudulent bankers. Then call your mortgage company, explain this to them and see if you have a law or representative to protect you. While you are begging them to not take your house over a measely $4000, turn on the news and listen to the latest round of bonuses to the millionaires that defrauded you out of your job and retirement.
If it happens to you, what are you gonna do about it?
I’m going to revisit this movement as it progresses as I happen to believe it’s about time! Stay tuned.