Occupy, want the American Dream? Achieve it.

by Dave Lister

In June 1932, during the depths of the Depression, some 15,000 unemployed veterans of the Great War in Europe marched on Washington, D.C., along with their families and set up an Occupy-style encampment on the banks of the Anacostia River not far from the Capitol. Calling themselves the “Bonus Expeditionary Force” but dubbed by the media the “Bonus Marchers,” the men had come to petition Congress to make good early on a congressionally approved bonus to each veteran scheduled for payment in 1945. Awaiting a decision, the men flew the flag, marched and sang patriotic songs, and the women prepared and distributed the food provided them by sympathetic merchants. Strict order was maintained in the camp, and only those who could show military service and an honorable discharge were admitted.

The House quickly passed a bill approving early payment of the bonuses, but on June 17 it was overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate. Having no place else to go, the stunned marchers returned to their camp and hunkered down, hoping for a sympathetic ear from the Hoover administration. Rather than receiving the veterans, Hoover cordoned off the White House with armed troops. On July 28 the order was given to clear the camps. Under the direction of Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, the marchers were brutally driven out of town with bayonets and tear gas and their encampment burned. It was a shameful chapter in American history.

The Occupy Portland protesters, and indeed the Occupy protesters around the country, may see themselves as something similar to the bonus marchers of 1932, but in reality there is little comparison. The bonus marchers conducted themselves in an orderly, disciplined fashion. The Occupy encampments have been crime-ridden, with reports of rapes, thefts and drug abuse. The bonus marchers purposefully kept out anarchists and troublemakers. The Occupiers embraced them. The bonus marchers had a leader, Walter Waters, a former Army sergeant from Portland. The Occupiers tout the fact they are leaderless, leaving no one responsible for anything. Finally, the bonus marchers had a purpose: They were petitioning the government to fulfill, albeit early, a specific promise. The Occupiers seem purposeless.

Calling themselves the “99 percent,” the Occupiers are protesting everything from student loan debt to bank bailouts. They are angry with Wall Street. They are angry with the banks. They decry capitalism and big corporations, even though their retirement accounts, if they have them, are dependent on those entities. They misdirect their anger at the nebulous “1 percent” rather than the fraction of 1 percent, the members of Congress, who created a regulatory environment that required the banks to make questionable loans and opened loopholes for the unscrupulous to be able to game the financial system. If you could synthesize their multiple messages into a theme, it seems they are saying, “We were promised the American dream, and we haven’t received it.”

I am unsympathetic. Blocking streets to prevent commuters from picking up their children and getting home to their families, shutting down banks so folks can’t cash their paychecks and disabling ATM machines with super glue isn’t sticking it to “the man.” It simply does injury to the true 99 percent, the hardworking people trying to make a living, obeying the laws and paying taxes.

The American dream is not a promise; it is an opportunity. The American dream cannot be given; it can only be achieved. And in America, unlike most of the rest of the world, it is achievable. The only thing standing between any person and the attainment of the American dream is that person himself.

Dave Lister is a small-business owner who served on Portland’s Small Business Advisory Council.

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  • Staarfox Email

    how are you people paid to write crap like this?

    it’s as if the people who work in media have a mental block. you can’t see it, but it’s there. the media gets paid to congratulate consumers for shopping, and paid to criticize people who are not. Wow.

    you’re comparing 1932 to 2011. Actually, everything that YOU claim doesn’t work for occupy… is working for occupy. And what are you doing? You aren’t even a part of it. So why is your advice any good to anyone else at all? And… did anyone ask you for advice? You, like the rest of the media, are sitting around pulling criticism out of your… faces. You’re unsympathetic, you always were. I don’t believe in the false “American Dream” anyway. Your life is based on falseness. Stick it to “the man,” huh? You’re a broken record dude.

    • what an idiot you are!

      • Staarfox Email

        look, honey, it’s one those rightwing internet robots that go around saying:

        – “what an idiot you are!” – “what an idiot you are!” – “what an idiot you are!”

        how simple and yet so unaffected by its own ignorance.

        • just doing the math

          As 3H, Valley Person, Ardbeg and myself can tell you,
          get used to the name calling. It is just what happens
          on this site when you express an idea that is not
          rightwing.

           

          • Bawney Fwank

            No, it’s what happens when you spout idiotic liberal talking points like some retarded parrot.  Speaking of retarded parrots – did you hear the protesters at the Washington Legislature?  Talk about living down to the stereotype!  Hilarious!

  • XmasMan

    These occupy people have a valid concern about wealth. It can be hard for poor people to imagine the wanton wealth enjoyed by the few elites. How can this be America if some people hardly have anything and others have more than they can possibly need?
    I ask you, isn’t time we all shared?
    I am willing to give some of my money to someone who needs it. What about the rest of you?
    Remember, often people are not poor by choice, but rather by circumstance. They may have been hurt, or even unable to work. Maybe they chose a poor major in college? Regardless, if someone has a lot they should be willing to let go of some it to make another’s life better.
    This is what I plan to do. This year I am giving a lot of my money to the Salvation Army in the various buckets that I see.
    I plan on giving several hundred dollars.

    • Bite It Loser Boy

      Wow! Another putz that can’t make a decent living attempting to justify why others should give to a lazy loser like him.

    • Wow!  You are going to give several hundred dollars.  You are such a hero!  Please, how about giving them an education that really gives them a chance. Teach them how to set goals.  Teach them reading, writing, and math instead of all the bullshit liberal crap that has turned our youth into losers who have no idea of self-responsability.

  • Teyuna

    Dave LIster, where were you when the banks tanked the global economy, due to deregulation and greed?  Where were you when they expropriated an unprecedented amount of other people’s money, made their money off of it, then high-fived their way into bailouts paid for by those of us who still pay taxes?.  Were you paying attention when it came to light that Citibank paid $0.00 taxes? (to name only one of those banks). Now, in a sluggish economy, those of us in business for ourselves (to name only one sector that suffers) naturally have less in gross receipts.  But since our personal incomes have dropped, we can’t even qualify for a line of credit to carry us over a period of months when we cannot pay ourselves any salary.  WE are no longer credit worthy.  But the banks, causing the suffering of millions, were given huge amounts of our tax dollars to save them, with no strings attached. An orgy of  mergers and executive bonuses followed, and the banks doing better than ever.  

    Bank tellers at entry level earn 12.75 per hour.  The CEO’s of those banks make a few THOUSAND per hour.  Do you really think it was “hard work” and equal opportunity that got them that level of compensation, or that now justifies keeping their own workers’ wages at the poverty level for a family of four? 

    Regular folk who did not gamble with anyone else’s money are tossed from their homes or asked to take a 15% pay cut, going on furloughs to save money, sending their children to fewer and fewer days of school…all so that we can afford to pay down the debt the bankers created, while those same bankers  make unprecedented profits each year since the crash of 2008.  Citibank’s profits last year, to name only one, were up by 74%.  

    You wrote, “the only thing standing between any person and the attainment of the American Dream is that person himself.” Yeah, right.  That, and all the crimes and inequaities I have just listed.  
    GOD BLESS the people who are willing to go to the streets to shout about the root causes of our economic problems!  Thanks to your heroes, here in the land of opportunity, we are in a state of emergency.  Thank GOD someone will go to the streets, since clearly, there is no other political process that has worked for many many decades.  Our politicians, bought and sold to the highest bidder, ensure the loss of the American Dream for all but a tiny few, who are rolling in it.  And most of all, bless those protesters’ hearts for going without the comforts of home and meeting the needs of people long ago marginalized and forgotten, our residents downtown who lack shelter, and bless their hearts also for having the good sense to hold you up in traffic.  Too bad you didn’t use that time to ponder the system of privilege for which you seem to be a principal, local apologist.

    • Bite It Loser Boy

      Oh Boy! Yet another stupid progressive putz with vomititus of the mouth.

    • Get a clue, Son.    Your hero Barney Frank and his buddy Chris Dodd did more to destroy this country in the name of “fairness” than any bank president ever did.  You have no clue as to what has caused the downfall of this great nation.  

      Spending money on government give-away programs so Progressives can buy votes is going to destroy this country and you and your liberal friends are going to find yourselves in “tramp” camps because you helped bring down the greatest system of government that ever existed.  All because you were too dumb to figure out how to contribute to the success of capitolism and benefit from it.

      • 3H

        Capitolism?  Are you sure it’s not going to be failures of the educational system?  And what is with all the name calling by some Conservatives?   Don’t you believe in “Character Counts” anymore?

  • Ardbeg

    Dave, I’m not sure you understand what a democracy is.  It’s not always a pretty sight.  You criticize because you don’t seem to understand the movement.  I’m thankful to live in a country were the citizens can take to the streets and protest it’s own government.  Democracy is sometimes a messy process, get over it.

    • NativePDX

      Democracy is not  a pretty sight!

      That is why we are a representative Republic with the rule of law, to protect  minority rights. The minority is the group that does not have enough votes to out vote the mob.

       A demoacery is like as a lynch mob! The majority decides who they think is guilty and then goes after them, without proving they did anyting wrong or illegal.

      • None

        I’m unfamiliar with “demoacery”. Could you explain?

        You do realize, don’t you, that there’s this thing called the U.S. Constitution, and it has this thing called the 1st Amendment, that ensures the right to peaceably assemble in order to seek redress of grievances.

        • nativePDX

          I don’t recall ever stating I was oppose to the freedom of speech.
          Could you please show me where I did?

           I don’t recall the 1st amendment giving anyone the right to damage public property, without paying for the damage.

  • 3H

    So, if I understand what you just did: you set up a false equivalency…  and then proved it was, indeed, false.

    And, instead of addressing any of the issues raised by OWS, you simply focus on the negative. Which you would reject if I focused only on the negative actions of businesses and corporations.  If I focused solely upon the greed, laws broken, family pensions wiped out, dangerous and deadly products knowingly produced that have killed and maimed people, rivers and lakes polluted, you’d probably tell me that the positives outweighed the negatives, yes?  That the actions of a few bad players doesn’t negate the law-abiding and caring business owners.  Think about it for a minute. 

    So, bravo, on a propaganda hit-piece that really says nothing.

    Oh, by the way, the American Dream can be given.  If you don’t think having wealthy parents with connections doesn’t give you the American Dream (at that level, you can only throw it away) then you don’t understand anything.

  • Anonymous

    Geez, you tell the truth and the “occupiers” send out the forces to shut you down. Give me a break all of you. 

    Simply put, the “occupiers” are asking for a handout form those who are willing to play by the rules. The “occupiers” want those who work for a living to provide them with a free ride…a guaranteed annual wage…ridiculously high minimum wages and a free college education so they can get their MSW and be unable to support themselves and demand Utopia from the rest of us.

    Let me tell all of you “occupiers,” I was broke and unable to make a living at my longtime occupation. So what’d I do? I found something else I could do and I did it and now I make more money doing it than I made at my old occupation. Funny thing is, the “occupiers” could do just like I did. Only they are so lazy they don’t want to expend any effort.

    These clowns are the 99 percent? They’re lucky if they make up even one percent of the population. Fortunately most people aren’t willing to camp out in garbage and dung and demand a living from the rest of us.

    • valley person

      You are assuming “occupiers” don’t work and don’t pay taxes.

      The minimum wage is about 40% lower today in real terms than it was 30 years ago. If the minimum wage had simply kept up with inflation we would have far fewer poor people to deal with.

      A reasonably priced college education is what our generation was given Joel. We didn’t have to graduate with $30,000 in debt. Or any debt. 

      99% is simply math. And you are probably in that group, like it or not.

    • Anonymous

      Your myopia is part of the problem. Today is different from any other day in history. It is great that you were able to rebuild your dream, I would like to see how easy it would be for you to do the same today.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry Schwacke1 but my vision on this one is 20/20…no myopia here. 

        And for your information, I am rebuilding my life today and I’m doing it with Filipino outsourcers. Why do I outsource? Because Filipinos work for about one-fifth of what I would have to pay an American to do the same work and the American wouldn’t put near the effort into the job. I have no need to listen to American workers whine.

        Further, I’ve done this in the past three years…in the depths of the world economic malaise. There’s no difference today…just a plethora of whiners who want the world handed to them on a platter rather than putting in a little sweat.

        • 3H

          So, if everyone follows your model, who will be paid well enough to buy your product(s) in this country?  Or do you just  sell in the Philippines too?  

          • Anonymous

            Clearly, everyone isn’t smart enough to follow my model. But, what’s interesting, is that what I pay to Filipino workers makes them more than middle class. Apparently in the Philippines they haven’t formed unions so the workers can featherbed and make ridiculously high wages for little work and lots of holidays.

          • 3H

            So, all those other people not smart because they pay a wage that allows their employees to buy stuff beyond the basics?  Even your stuff? 

    • Staarfox Email

      Joelin,

      If you’re of the same generation as my grandparents, you probably DID
      make way more money even as a working class person than my generation has. My grandparents had these things called “pensions” and they rode into the 21st Century on
      the wings of them, but just as the wave of unsustainable economic growth was about to collapse… they pulled the strings and opened the golden parachutes.

      My grandpa never made it past the 4th grade, but he’s successful just like how you say you’re successful. He also thinks that it was all because of HIM. Because HE is such a GREAT MAN (and he is) but he is confusing his own personal value with the abundance of commodities that filled their lives.

      He was a union worker for an electricity company in WA State. We are an information economy now. The “benefits” his generation had I doubt I will ever see — social security, a retirement plan, pensions, 401k, etc. Instead we have an enormous debt — nationally, personally, student debt, etc. There are no unions that I know of in the information economy. In the 90s (when my brother was in his 20s) the tech industry was booming so fast you could get a $40K/year job offer as soon as you graduated from college. My brother never went to college and was still making $100,000/yr up until 2009 in the tech industry.

      So what about me? am I just a failure? …. I was an honor high school student and was awarded 4+ academic scholarships to go to a private university where I graduated from the economics department in 2008. Today I am self-employed and I do digital graphic design work, but this is only a “temporary” thing. I treat this like a real business, although I never planned on graphic design work. I am in fact under the federal poverty level, I just looked it up today. I was legitimately unemployed for about 7 months (I had to “quit” on an employer who wasn’t paying me at all.) During that time I was not able to collect “unemployment insurance” even though I had been diligently for this company. I started bartending again. Then the bar went out of business in two months. So I worked at another. It went out of business in a couple weeks. Then I worked “on call” for a healthcare provider (ironic because I don’t have health care myself), and they had such a big on-call labor pool that my hours were usually 8 per week, or less, and never more than 12. Also, it was still minimum wage. Wow. Here I am, probably with more education than you, and I’m making minimum wage providing individualized health care services.

      I have worked in the tech industry mostly, but these people really like young hardworking tech savvy people, and you wonder why? They don’t keep us around long enough to be unemployed when you end up quitting since they haven’t paid you anything. (That’s why.) And there’s an excess of young talented labor everywhere, just the way they like it, so it keeps the price of our labor down… and, so down sometimes they don’t pay you at all. — Employers don’t consider us employees anymore – we are independent contractors. It sounds more professional, sure, but it’s another professional lie. I’m closer to being an illegal immigrant worker than an “American
      citizen” it seems. I don’t get any of the basic services. I want to work, but I just get ripped off, and
      then you criminalize me for camping and take away the stupid “rights” I
      was supposed to have anyway. So, really, this country is going to hell… where we’ll see all the other countries that your generation has brought to hell before. All the work is “precarious work”. Good luck trying to organize a union, or even getting to know people you work with long enough to organize anything. In fact, good luck trying to survive at life. You can’t collect unemployment from an employer you were never technically “employed” with (and… who never pays you anyway.) That has happened to me 3 times in 4 years. I haven’t been to the dentist in 5 years, or to a doctor unless I was really sick (and knew I needed antibiotics) in which case I have to front $200 to get in the door. I owe an emergency room over $1,600 from a 10-minute visit for strep throat. I can’t pay for most things like that, so I’ve ended up saying “send me the bill and I’ll pay it later” and I never do – and in fact, why should I? If they charge that much for 10-minutes in an empty emergency room, they’re asking to never see that money. If you think prices are signals as an economist does… with all this debt I think the insulting prices are just telling us that at some point you’ve got to survive, and get away with what you can. The price doesn’t tell me whether I can go to a doctor. But whether I really need to see a doctor, that’s what tells me I need to go. If I had enough money now I would consider taking those past employers to court. But if I had money right now I would actually buy better equipment for my business instead of wasting time in the past — so these problems never get addressed…. until the people have had enough. I think people should stop paying their bank debts, their medical, and student debts immediately altogether (especially if they have no assets like myself) and we’ll just wait for them to give up. Because I think they’d rather wait for us to die first.

      So… If I am a failure who doesn’t put in the kind of effort that you have, who doesn’t work hard enough in this system that you’re so proud of, and that your generation has given to mine at the premium price… then, so be it. I’ll put all my effort into bringing down the system then.

      My demands? I want the PEOPLE to have the power. I want us to be respected. I want the power hungry fever to desist, and for those people to stop lying, which they never will so we shouldn’t forget it. I want to see some personal transformations. Not just from politicians and police chiefs. I want a BETTER culture altogether, with more local autonomy and more all around solidarity. And I want us to play their silly game only with the FULL DECK of cards from now on.

      • Anonymous

        Well, first Starfox, I’ve never had a pension. Strike one.

        Your grandpa was a “great man” but you won’t give him credit for making a success of himself with only a fourth grade education? Strike two.

        As a self-employed digital graphic designer, if you applied yourself, you could be making well into six figures a year. I know many who are. Strike three and you’re out.

        Sounds to me like you have too much education and you think the world owes you a living because you are so well educated. As an honor student in high school and the winner of four academic scholarships, you obviously know how to work. So put that knowledge to practice and quit whining about how the world won’t give you a break. 

        • The pity party will be held at Strafox’s cardboard box under exit 23 on I-80!

        • valley person

          Wake up Joel, and listen to the dude. His grandpa made his way in a unionized world that had far less income inequality than this one. He is having to do a start up with zero capital and probably a mountain of debt from his schooling. Yes, he might overcome all this and “make it.” But the odds are stacked against him and most of his generation.

          We are leaving his generation in high personal debt, few job prospects, high public debt (which his generation will have to pay off) and a declining environment. He has a right to be pissed off about this.

    • So right you are, Joelin

  • valley person

    When OWS protesters say they are the “99%,” they are referring to an economic reality. Our nation has grown into a situation with a wide disparity between rich and everyone else. Telling people they should simply work harder is nonsense. People who work plenty hard are falling further and further behind, having their homes foreclosed on, are losing their jobs to cheaper overseas wages, and are sinking deeper into debt to try and get some education. Working hard is no longer enough for getting them ahead. That is the point.

    Perhaps Dave should listen and think more about what this movement represents before passing judgment and offering advice.

    • occupiers are the greedy ones

      Today’s  the poor in America have, refrigerators, indoor plumbing, electricity, a car or cars, heat and air conditioning, cell phones , color tv’s, internet access, freezers, internet access on their phones, cd, dvd, vcr’s and stereos etc.

      If you look around the world today that would be considered rich in many countries. And everyone has the opertunity to become well off or rich if they work hard or start a business.

      The greedy in this country are the politicians that take from the citizens and the occupiers that want to take from anyone richer than they are. Or force the citizens ( taxpayers) to fund their pet projects.

       

      • valley person

        The US is a rich country, so most poor people here live better than poor people in 3rd world countries. Big deal. The fact is poor people here are poorer than they were 30 years ago, and the middle class is working harder just to stay even. That isn’t right and it isn’t sustainable.

        Any individual may be able to break through to wealth if they have the right idea in the right place at the right time. But there is room for only a very few individuals to manage that feat. Most Americans face diminishing prospects.

        Greed is wanting far more than you need and hoarding for yourself. 

        • 3H

          That is exactly the flip side of the coin that never gets mentioned. Anyone can make it; not everyone can.

          • Anonymous

            Oh so wrong. Almost anyone can make it…even a blind guy who’s had a stroke and two heart attacks. I’m proof that it depends on your desire. 

            You can sit around and whine and take the crumbs the government throws at you or you can figure out what will work for you. I’m proud to have taken the latter route. I may wobble a bit when I walk but I made the decision I would walk without a cane. That’s just where it begins.

            So, don’t try to tell me that it’s a myth that anyone can make it. It just depends on how much determination you have.

          • 3H

            You didn’t read what I wrote: I said anyone can make it.. the flip side, the side you ignored.. is that not everyone can make it.  Read it again.

          • Anonymous

            Total loser attitude 3H but don’t worry you’ll always have a nice excuse for why you can’t make it.

          • 3H

            LOL.. really?  I suppose misdirection is your way of avoiding admitting that you were wrong.  I accept your concession.  

             (Pointing out you’re wrong is “loser attitude?  That says so much about you Joel)

          • Anonymous

            3H, I know you can comprehend better than you’re letting on…after all you get all of that experience reading the Internet. 

          • 3H

            LOL.. what is it with you and the internet.  You’re reading comments on the internet, you post on a blog on the internet.  Are you really that irony challenged?  Everyone on here gets all that experience reading on the internet.  And, just to round it out, I don’t just read the internet.  I have a nook too.  😉

          • Anonymous

            Nook not the Internet. And just how do you think that stuff gets to the Nook…some kind of magic?

          • 3H

            As I said before, irony challenged.  Lack of a sense of humor as well.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, like anybody but you gives a damn about what you have to say. I guess you must believe that the Nook gets it material through some form of magic.

        • Anonymous

          Poor people here live better than the upper-middle class in the third world. The poor of Rio, for instance, would love to have had the luxury of living in the filth in Lowsdale Square. That’s the problem with the “occupiers.” They don’t know when they have it good.

          • valley person

            Upper middle class? I’m not sure what that is exactly. The professional class lives much better overseas than here because they have cheap labor for so many tasks.

            What the occupiers may know is that  they could and should be having it a lot better than they are. Its like a light bulb went off.

          • Anonymous

            The “occupiers” can have it a lot better than they do…all they have to do is work for it, put in a little sweat and before they know it they will start to see some success. 

            When I started my current business, I started with nothing but my time and my computer. Now the business comes to me (referrals) and I have more than I can handle. When something is put in front of me, I outsource it to the Philippines where I can hire workers for one-fifth of what an American demands and they do a better job to boot.

            I’d be more than happy to hire American workers…all they need to do is not whine while demanding   a handout, and work for about $500 a month. Hell, it would probably be worth $600 or $700 a moth not to have to deal with the time-zone problem.

            So, buy into this “occupier” garbage about there being no opportunity if you want. Just know, you’ll be totally wrong…but then you bought into hope and change too.

          • valley person

            Brilliant. You outsource to the Philipinos who can work for $500 a month and you bitch about Americans wanting a living wage. You are really a piece of work my man. $500 a month in the US would not even pay the rent let alone food, and never mind that college loan payments cost about that much for many.

            But you illustrate very nicely the “let them eat cake” attitude of conservatives.   

          • Deb

            Please don’t lump all of us conservatives together.  I don’t agree with every single thing every other conservative posts on here or elsewhere.  But I don’t always agree with liberal ideas either.   It all depends on what the idea is and whether I think it will solve a problem.

            No one can live on $500. a month, or even $700. a month.
            $700. per month barely pays the rent in most places in my area,
            and that’s for something acceptable.   Of course, rents depend on
            what area one lives in, etc.    Meanwhile, I wish someone would define
            a ‘living wage’ just in general, without all of the name calling and emotion
            attached.  

            I would prefer to see intellectual debates, and maybe some
            of our nation’s problems could be solved if respectful brainstorming were
            given a chance.   Problems can’t be solved with personal attacks.  and
            I’ve seen that from both liberals AND conservatives.

          • valley person

            Well said. 

          • just doing the math

            Joel – You really expect people to live on $500 a month
            in this country? I am convinced you are deluded.
            You do not want to hire American, because you want
            to enhance your bottom line (your profit margin) 
            by hiring cheaper labor overseas. And by hiring overseas
            you contribute to the continuing erosion of the middle
            class in this country.

            So, let me understand; you blast the occupiers
            for complaining about the lack of opportunity, yet
            you expect people in this country to work at your
            business for “about 500 a month”. You just validated
            the occupiers concerns. There is no opportunity at
            Joels’ business.

        • Poor people have been voting of Democrats for the last 60 or 70 years and they are still poor!  Wake up people.

        • occupiers are the greedy ones

          Most of the people that were poor 30 years ago, are middle class or rich today. Very few of them are still poor.

          Most of the rich people of 30 years ago are not rich today.

          The categories may grow up or down, but it is not the same people.

          see

          Income Confusion by Thomas Sowell

          https://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2007/11/21/income_confusion

          • valley person

            Nonsense. America has among the lowest economic mobility rates in the world. If you are born to a poor family you are likely to stay poor, and if you are born rich you are likely to stay that way, irrespective of talent or ability.  

            The only real leveler we have is public education, which is being cut. 

      • Staarfox Email

        That’s it. I’m no longer a citizen. i have decided to start “forcing” the real citizens (taxpayers) to pay the police to spend a bunch of DHS money on me. How about this – you could stop paying taxes. How many times are you forced to pay for crap with your taxes that you don’t want? you want smaller government? don’t pay taxes — teach them multiple lessons all at once. The occupiers cost the government tons of money (not even that much compared to national debts anyway, but i guess it points to the ability of government to incur even more unnecessary debt to finance their crisis) and to police the rights of the anti-citizens. And then the real citizens stop paying taxes. So inflation goes through the roof, the American currency plummets in value, banks close their doors, and Wall Street dismantles. It doesn’t have to an apocalypse. What if it’s just like taking a really smooth dump? There’d be no government spying on you while you crap, and there’d be no citizens either, so you wouldn’t have to worry about any illegal people. But you couldn’t say anyone was costing you taxpayer money anymore (if you were still really attached to that idea) unless they were stealing it directly from you. (But who would do that anyway? Oh right, the government.) We’ll just keep doing the communist occupy thing, and you can keep doing the libertarian free state thing, and together we’d be libertarian communists.

        (they have cell phones and internet in the poorest villages in India FYI. Cellphones are mass produced. A cell phone is $30/month or less even.)

    • Anonymous

      No VP, 99 percent is a state of mind…a state of mind that says gimme, gimme, gimme. Do I assume they don’t work…Nope…it’s clear they don’t work. They wouldn’t have time to camp out in the garbage and slime if they had jobs. Do they pay taxes? Probably not. About half of Americans don’t.

      I didn’t come up with the list of demands…”occupiers” did. And what they want is a guaranteed annual wage (they want to be paid even if they don’t work,) a $20 per hour minimum wage (which is outlandish even by your spurious figuring) and free college tuition (I assume that’s to finance their MSWs.) I even read right here on OC…in a defense of the “occupiers”…that some of them were protesting because they couldn’t get jobs because they chose the wrong college major. Sorry, but that’s not my fault. Just because your degree is in French History and you can’t get a job with it…don’t come crying to me.

      College was high priced when I was going way back in the dark ages… reasonably priced is quite the exaggeration.  Does it cost more now? Yep. But then so does what is sold in my local grocery. Bback when I was going to college my dad made less than $10,000 a year and we did just fine.

      So, by someone’s convoluted math 99 percent may make some kind of sense…but you’ll never catch me proudly proclaiming to be a part of it.

      • valley person

        You have assumptions built on assumptions leading to very confident conclusions.

        There have been surveys of the protesters.   What they find is about 1/3 are over 35, and 1/5 are over 45. About 1/4 are in school, only 10% full time.  Most are employed full time, and most of the rest at least part time. Only 13% are unemployed. They range in age from 18-80, meaning at least some collect social security. Only 27% are registered Democrats, and 2% are Republicans. 70% say they are Independents. About 80% support raising taxes on the rich, the same percent who agree with that nationally. 13% earn over $75K a year, and 2% earn over $150K a year.

        They have no list of demands. They have a list of grievances. I imagine one of them majored in the wrong thing, and Catalyst made a big deal out of that. Grow up.

        College was cheap when you were undergraduate age. Costs to students have gone up 5.6% faster than inflation every year for the past 10 years with some years exceeding a 10% increase.  Read that again Joel. The increases are 5.6% higher PER YEAR than the rate of inflation. A lot more than increases in your grocery prices.

        No, I don’t expect you to identify with the protesters. I do expect you to better understand who they are.

        They work, they pay taxes, they bathe regularly, and they aren’t asking for handouts. Other than that you are incorrect on everything else as well.

        • Anonymous

          >>”They work, they pay taxes, they bathe regularly, and they aren’t asking for handouts.”

          If they work, how do they have time to live in the parks 24/7? Since they obviously don’t work, they don’t pay taxes. Sponge baths in the sinks of public restrooms don’t count as bathing regularly. And what would you call a guaranteed annual wage if it isn’t a handout?

          I’ll give you that the “occupiers” have no unified list of demands…since they have no unity…other than some vague claim that they represent 99 percent of Americans. But some of them are demanding, among other things, a guaranteed annual wage. Peruse the YouTube videos…you’ll find them.

          Based on your “statistics” what the “occupiers” are is a pack of liars. 70 percent independent…do you really believe that? If you do I have some bridges you might be interested in and some great swampland in Florida.

          And the comment about getting the wrong degree was written up there ^ by someone writing in support of the “occupiers.” It wasn’t OC making a big deal out of it. I guess you need to do the growing up.

          • valley person

            Well, they probably don’t “live” in the parks 24-7. They come and go. So the rest of your assumptions again fall by the weight of failure of the first assumption.

            They don’t claim to “represent” 99% of Americans. They claim reality. That 99% have stagnant or declining incomes and wealth, while 1% grow richer, and they are part of the first99%, which appears to be statistically true. You too Joel, are part of that 99% whether you like it or not. I’ll reserve a tent site for you.

            Yes, I’m sure somone on Youtube said something like wanting a guarrenteed wage. I’m sure someone else said they saw Elvis in a spaceship. That doesn’t make either claim representative of a program that doesn’t yet exist. 

            The stats I repeated are not “my” statistics. They are THE statistics from the only comprehensive, credible survey done on OWS.   Look it up yourself.

            Do I believe 70% do not identify with either party? Yes. Though like with the Tea Party, if you dig deeper you would find a large majority do identify with a party at least philosophically. Remember, the Tea Party initially claimed to be a bunch of independents. That dream didn’t last very long. If OWS wants political change they are going to have to crate it through the democratic party, and they will need to figure that out or forget about it.

            Oh…ok. Someone wrote something about getting the wrong degree, therefore all the occupiers think they got the wrong degree. I see how this works in your head. You can attribute one statement to the entire group, and pick any you like.

          • Anonymous

            Fine. Go ahead and believe that the parks weren’t “occupied” 24 hours a day by a majority of the boorish louts. You going to tell us that the “occupiers” worked in shifts? Wouldn’t that kind of go against the whole “occupy” mentality?

            Nope…they were there in case they were needed in one of those stupid general sessions. You know…the big meetings where if more than two people disagreed with something it was off the table. You know…the big meetings where they all repeated everything.

            VP, 70 percent can claim to be independent but that doesn’t make it so. The occupiers are died in the wool liberals. And don’t cite the Tea Party to me. The Tea Party is almost as screwy as the “occupiers” and that’s why the Tea Party movement is dying. It was fun for awhile but now it’s on to the next thing. Of course the Tea Party people had jobs, for the most part, and couldn’t camp out in public parks like the “occupier” louts.

            And nowhere did I say every “occupier” got the wrong degree in college. They may have wasted their time getting degrees in social work or Estonian history, but most college grads who work hold jobs outside of their majors anyway…unless they went to vocational school and got degrees in law, medicine or liberal journalism.

            So, I didn’t attribute one statement to the entire “occupy” group. That was your stupidity and is indicative or how you handle most of what’s written here.

          • valley person

            I’m not telling you anything other than offering a bit of logic. Most occupiers are employed, therefore it is fair to assume they came and went. I doubt there were “shifts” since the whole thing seemed a bit too disorganized for that. But there was probably some networking among friends who shared space and tents.

            I don’t know what “mentality” you refer to. The mentality of protest? Whatever dude.

            I don’t know what incentive a person has to lie to a pollster. If they ask someone what party they belong to, and one is not a member of either, then one is logically an independent. That doesn’t make them liberal or conservative. There is no “liberal” party in the US.   

            From what I’ve seen of the Tea Party, I suspect fewer of them have jobs than the occupiers. Most look a bit long in the tooth. Social Security and annuities are more like it.  Yes, they are as you say equally screwy I suppose. I hope they are dying out already. But I doubt it, given they get their health care covered by the same government they hate.

      • None

        “a state of mind that says gimme, gimme, gimme.”

        This from a man whose state of mind is “work for me for less and less and less.”

  • Cencommand has been created to neutralize the propaganda machines attempting to bring civil and class warfare to the American people.

    Cencommand’s mission is to bring the truth to the people. We carry out missions in cyberspace exposing groups whom use insidious terms such as “American Autumn”, and “down with capitalism”.

    We have uploaded many videos on the Occupy movement, and they are worth your time watching.

    We need your help in continuing our message, making it stand out from the static of the Occupy, 99% and Anonymous movements. We answer questions like,”where did it start?” What do they want? and Who is behind it?

    Please visit our site to increase your own awareness before you sympathize with the Occupy movement. We agree there are many problems with the American political and banking system, however the Occupy movement and its cast of actors is not the way. Take your fight to teh ballot box, sign our petitions to ensure those people that have caused our woes prosecuted.

    Together as an American People we will be victorious. It starts here and now. Join our site, view our videos, sign our petitions and together, we will succeed.

    -Cencommand

  • Anonymous

    You may not like the message, or the messenger for that matter, but there is no question about the validity of their diverse messages. There can be no question about the corruption that is taking down our economy, or the disastrous consequence it is having for those less privileged than yourself. The concepts of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and upward mobility for the middle class and poor are a bitter memory. They are not looking for handouts, they are looking for jobs and justice.

    Keep in mind that these Occupy movements welcome all, including those that society forgot, and share what little they have with them. With this generosity comes problems, but in the end they are good Americans peacefully making their many voices heard. Although this poses inconveniences to you on your way from your home to your place of business, remember that many of the people you pass along the way have lost one or both through no fault of their own. 

    As a fellow small business owner, I would like to remind you that it is in our best interests to help get these folks back on their feet as soon as possible, even it is is only by trying to understand the validity of their messages.

    They are Americans behaving exactly as our forefathers did when faced with injustice.

    The Boston Tea Party Revisited

    They come from many different backgrounds.
    About one-third of them are skilled craftsmen, and a much smaller number are
    professionals, doctors, educators, lawyers, merchants, and the like. Although
    we do not know the occupations of all the participants, the majority are
    students and from the working class. About two-thirds are under 20; few are
    over 40. Most are locals, but some came from great distances. They have one
    thing in common, their committed opposition to a government which ignores the
    needs of the people in favor of the rich and powerful. Regardless of their
    financial or social origins, they work as a team of self-sacrificing patriots
    against an oppressive and seemingly all powerful enemy. Although the words were
    yet to be written, they stood for “the Right of the People to alter or to
    abolish any Form of Government that becomes destructive of inalienable rights
    of men such as Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness”.

    This describes the majority of both the Occupy
    movement and the modern Tea Party, but in fact, it paraphrases the words of the
    Boston Tea Party Association’s description of the participants in one of
    America’s proudest moments.

    Like the rank and file members of the Tea
    Party, the “Occupiers” have the same central agenda; fairness, equity and
    opportunity. They don’t have a Robin Hood complex and do not want to steal from
    the rich, they just want the crimes of the powerful punished and their plunder
    returned to those they stole from; this is not theft, it is justice. They want
    the opportunities enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. Their common goal
    is the return to a world where there was a vibrant and growing middle class
    where anyone who was willing to do the hard yards could improve their lot, and
    that of their families; they are not seeking a redistribution of wealth through
    conscription. Neither ascribes to the mean spirited rhetoric of those at their
    extremes. Nor would they knowingly yield to what appears to be the divide and
    conquer tactics of those amorphous individuals at the highest levels of power.

    In the end, these modern American patriots are
    following in the footsteps of our forefathers; those which led to the creation
    of our democracy, and they are doing it in ways that would have made them beam
    with pride. If they can set aside the voices of their most radical leaders
    while sharply focusing on their commonalities & band together to bring
    their core values to reality, all Americans triumph. If they don’t, they will
    simply cancel each other out while the bad guys win once more.

    • Anonymous

      It’s whining like this that will keep you down. Try working and sweating and you’ll find the riches are there for you to have.

      • Sol668

        maybe for you joe, but you worked and sweated, when we had a 90% marginal tax rate on the highest earners, a trade policy that favored US manufacturing, and the banking regulations of the new deal

        • Anonymous

          Wrong, wrong and wrong!!! I built my business over the past three years and everything I did is completely available to every “occupier.” The difference is that I wasn’t afraid of 12 or 14 hour days to get started. The “occupiers” would rather camp out in a public park, cause millions of dollars to be spent dealing with their illegal activities and whine about how unfair the system is.

          Of course none of what the “occupiers” claim bares any resemblance to the truth but it makes nice copy for the MSM.

          • valley person

            Sure Joel. And any Occupier could have invented the I-phone if only they had applied themselves. 

            You miss the big picture here. There are fewer and fewer opportunities for people to get ahead. Calling out a single opportunity that worked for you does not change the math.

          • Sol668

            So you started with zero capital three years ago, and are now rich? I sincerely doubt that

  • Rupert in Springfield

    As a Republican I fully support the OWS movement. I see it as simply another thing that will help Republicans in 2012.

    Do you think the average citizen deep down feels correspondence with a bunch of louts sitting in a park camping? Not on your life. To most, they wonder – “how are these people able to camp out for months? don’t they have jobs, or at least responsibilities? I have a family, kids I need to take care of, yet these people have endless time”

    Now I am sure some occupiers do take off for a job and return to camp, but the perception is a bunch of people who somehow have endless free time to display their urban camping abilities.

    That last part is the key. Obama is a supporter of OWS and to that extent people begin to lose identification with him. I have to work, and work harder than ever for less, and Obama stands with the campers.

    It’s the perfect dichotomy. This man does not share your concerns, this man is not interested nor does he have any concept in your day to day troubles.

    That’s why I support OWS and that is why I think more Republicans should

    • 3H

      “Do you think the average citizen deep down feels correspondence with a bunch of louts sitting in a park camping? Not on your life. To most, they wonder – “how are these people able to camp out for months? don’t they have jobs, or at least responsibilities? I have a family, kids I need to take care of, yet these people have endless time”

      And then they look at what the Republicans have to offer and they think, Oh Crap!, maybe they’re right.  😉

  • Sol668

    The Average american today can look forward to longer hours, fewer benefits, lower wages (relative to inflation) a later retirement (if at all) and skyrocketing healthcare/ education costs….when compared to their fathers and grandfathers generation

    The point of the occupy movement is simple, the “opportunity” to achieve the american dream is increasingly further and further out of reach.

    While those ontop enjoy an opulence and concentration of wealth never before seen in US history.

    You can call all the names you care to, you can use “personal responsiblity” as a bludgeon against any criticism of your ideas you can smear and talk down to the little people to explain away this trend, but what the conservatives cannot do is produce a set of policies which reverse the trend of less and less opportunity, and fewer and fewer “achievers”.

    • just doing the math

      The problem with conservatives is, they do not want
      to reverse the trend. I guess they are having to much
      fun at our expense.

      • Deb

        Please see my earlier reply to valley person? 
        Thanks.

        • just doing the math

          I did, and thanks.

  • Depression Survivor

    You spoiled little pussies don’t know what poor is.  You couldn’t even imagine it.  

    You think “going hungry” is not being to eat out three times a week, or skipping a midnight snack of imported cheese and crackers. Try living on plain oatmeal for breakfast and beans for dinner every day for YEARS, eating vegetables and fruit only during harvest season.  

    You think being “deprived” is going without cable TV, or having a cell phone that’s only a phone.  Try living without a phone or electricity, heating and cooking with wood you have to go chop yourself, waking up every winter morning to a house as cold as outdoors until you build a fire.  

    You think you’re ill done by if your clothing is last year’s or you’ve got less than ten pairs of $100 shoes.  Try getting by with too big clothing handed down from older siblings, full of patches, and wearing it until it’s way too small, or wearing shoes with holes in the soles you cover by shoving newspaper inside them.  

    You bitch because you can’t get a free college education and $100,000 a year on graduating with your art history degree.  You whine because unskilled jobs don’t pay $25/hr.  Try picking crops during summer break from grade school.  Try digging ditches. Try working on a railroad gang, or in a lumber camp, or on a fishing boat.

    You are pathetic and weak.  You are a stench in the nostrils of decent men and women.  Your parents should be ashamed of you and themselves.  If they could, your great grandparents would rise from their graves to bitch slap your sorry asses.

    • 3H

      I don’t know about your great grandparents, but mine would wonder why putting their lives on on the line to certify and form unions, fighting for a 40 hour work week, safety standards, a pension, sick and vacation pay, and a nod of respect from their employers, is under attack from people who claim to be looking out for the little guy.  

    • valley person

      I don’t know about you, but my grandparents helped fight for social security and bank regulation and the right to organize back in the 30s. People got tired of being screwed and changed the system.  They would be ashamed of me if I let the likes of you destroy what they helped create.

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