Ten Things to Know About Wall Street’s Rapacious Attack on America
This is an excellent article by Les Leopold from AlterNet that offers a succinct story about what OWS is about. Though OWS is thus far a rather nebulous movement, most all agree on these points that are included here in bullet point only - full information included in the article. Very worthwhile reading in its entirety.
What took us so long? How much worse did it have to get before public outrage would finally focus on those who caused the problem and those who are milking us dry? Several of us have been pleading in blog after blog for more than two years to build a broad-based assault on Wall Street. Where was our answer to the Tea Party? Well, here it is.
Already you can hear the chattering classes mumble about the lack of focus, the lack of consensus and the lack of a coherent agenda in this nascent movement. But they have this coherent call: We are the 99 percent, and we demand our fair share. The irrefutable fact is that 99 percent of us really are being screwed by the 1 percent who are looting our country (actually it’s more like the top 1/10 of one percent). So if you still harbor any doubts that Wall Street is the right target, here are 10 reasons to consider:
1. Wall Street caused the crash
2. The Wall Street crash directly caused the gravest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression
3. Wall Street profited from the bailouts and remains unaccountable
4. The super-rich are getting richer
5. The super-rich are paying lower and lower taxes
6. Financial elites pay lower taxes than their secretaries
7. None of those who caused the crash have been prosecuted
8. Wall Street is much too big and its salaries are much too high
9. Wall Street still owns the regulators
10. Financial innovation is a joke
Does Wall Street pay or do we? In the end, it comes down to a clear-cut struggle between the few and the many. (There’s that 99 percent again.) Who is going to pay for the jobs we need? Who is going to pay for the debt that was created to bail out Wall Street and prevent another Great Depression? Wall Street wants us to pay in the form of cuts in Social Security and medical coverage, reduced wages and higher taxes (for everyone but them). In fact, they want the kids to pay by working longer before they retire (if they can ever find a job), paying higher medical costs as they grow older, and turning their Social Security accounts into Wall Street playthings no one can rely on. At the same time financial elites are arguing for fewer regulations and lower taxes on themselves and their fellow millionaires and billionaires. Financial interests are hoping we’ll simply forget who caused what and instead focus on debt, more debt and still more debt. They’re hoping we’ll blame government, regulations and taxes, while they laugh all the way to the bank – their banks. Some of us may be old and tired and fatalistic about all this looting, and sour about the chances for change. Thank god the kids still have their wits about them—and a fighting spirit.
Get out there and join them. And if you’re too old to stay overnight (like me), visit often and urge your unions, churches and community groups to join the fray. A progressive populist uprising only works when it’s large, vocal and full of spunk.