Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy - Followup

An article about Occupy Wall Street appeared in a small local Newspaper which generally covers only local news, high school sports and obituaries, to which I responded with the following letter (annotations in brackets):

 I appreciated David F's column in the October 14 edition... Quite honestly, I was surprised that the topic (disparity between the super rich and the the rest of us) was broached - and so well put. I agree that "something is out of whack" and it has been for more than 10 years. When I worked for a homeless shelter several years ago the working poor had already begun falling into the growing abyss between the wealthy and the indigent. Foundations whose mission it is to fund charities began cutting back on grants because they were losing income on investments - as Wall Street moguls, bankers and financial gurus raked billions off the top.

When Obama ran on a platform that endorsed a return to previous tax rates on the wealthiest segment of our society, I had hope that things would turn around - that all Americans would have adequate health care, that seniors would be taken care of, that the quality of education would improve, that our infrastructure would be maintained. President Obama's every attempt to fix what's been "out of whack" has been met with obstructionist tactics by those who hold majority status in the Congress. What irks me is how they then blame Obama for lack of leadership, having no ideas and not getting anything done.
[When it is they who have prevented any and all of his policies from becoming law] How ludicrous!

Mr. F insightfully refers to owners of small businesses, who he wishes "would stop associating their success with the success of the big guys". These financially successful small business owners look foolish when they spout Ayn-Randian nonsense and denigrate those who are not financially successful by implying that all it takes is hard work and determination to succeed. For every moderately successful individual there are thousands of hard-working, determined, talented women and men who, despite every effort, "never make it" due to factors beyond their control. Successful business owners should be allying themselves with workers and the working poor, because they would not be where they are without them.
[Republicans and elitists continue to perpetuate the myth of financial success as a product of self-determination - and harbor a mean spirited refusal to recognize their and the government's responsibility for the welfare of those less privileged - and they deny that assuring everyone a basic level of human dignity could be in the best interest of the nation and their sacred capitalism]

Mr. F says the first step toward a such united stance "is to be honest about the origins of the problem". That, I'm afraid, is the real obstacle. [My pessimism regarding the nation's ability to come to terms seems realistic, in light of many years of growing divisiveness]


  1. Thanks for speaking up so thoughtfully and so clearly, and thanks for sharing it here.



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