Nov 052011

I’ve been watching events related to the Occupy Wall Street movement and I just have to align myself with that measly one-horse 99% institution. I’m with the 99% because I don’t want to live in Potterville. I’m unemployed with some significant experience, but most of kids who graduate from college don’t know whether they’ll be able to find a job within the next year, two, or more, because they’re unemployed and without experience, so I totally understand their frustration and if they meanwhile go to Wall Street to cause some comotion and warn they’re still here, more power to them. They’re just demonstrating something is rotten in the state of Denmark… or is it America? Here are some reasons why I’m with the 99%:

– I am for the republic. Lincoln said that government of the people for the people and by the people should not perish from the Earth but we see it perishing before our very eyes and turning into government of the money, for the money, and by the money.

– I hate what I see in this proud and once rich land of ours – hungry, poor people, defaced public services, with over 46 million people living in poverty and nearly 50 million without health insurance (I now belong to both groups).

– There’s over 13.9 million unemployed people in the USA (I’m one of them). Telling all of us to “just get a job” sounds kind of like the “let them eat cake” quote.

– Unlike in most other civilized countries, many people can’t pay their medical bills. Any serious disease or surgery can cause bankruptcy and over 60% bankruptcies in the US happen because of high medical bills.

– According to a senate study, we are among the last four countries in the world lacking a national law mandating paid time off for maternal leave: Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and the United States. FMLA act allows only for 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave. How does a low income single mother keep her child alive if she has to work and can’t afford any help?

– When you owe anything between several hundred to a few hundreds of thousands and you are late with your payments, you get treated like a criminal and harassed by collectors. When you owe millions, you’re a business partner. When you owe tens or hundreds of billions, or trillions, you are an important market factor that every politician wants to save. It’s time we do something about corruption and those buying our country.

– It’s outrageous that most banks not only rip off borrowers with sliding high percentage loans and credit cards, but they also rip off those whose money they guard, hold and manipulate. They should be paying you to keep it with them, but instead, on top of making more money for themselves with every penny of the funds you keep there, they charge you when you want some of it back. It’s time we move our money out of the big banks back into our community. Open an account with your local community bank or credit union.

– The 1% and their supporters want to get rid of civilizational achievements such as Social Security and Medicare so they’d have less things to pay for their employees. Then they can tell the employees to pay their own retirement and health benefits, and again and furthermore cut the wages on behalf of profit. They don’t care if you die of hunger after you get old and sick and can’t work. They need your cheap labor while you can work.

– Although we are supposedly in a recession, the corporate profits are skyrocketing, while (or because) the little guy is still screwed with unemployment or underemployment, increasing benefit costs and lower employer participation, bad health insurance, diminishing sick and paid days off.

– All countries of the European Union have laws that mandate minimum of 4 to 6 weeks of vacation annually and also the right to work no more than 48 hours per week for every starting full time worker, while some countries even go as low as 35 hours per week. No such thing in the USA – vacation is frowned upon, and while full time jobs are being destroyed and replaced with underpaid hourly contracts without benefits, many people are forced to work two jobs. No wonder we have so many sick people, dysfunctional families and gangs. We work people to death.

– The Wall Street is fighting against environmental protection and representing it’s “against business”. Then when they make billions on selling junk to poor they shelter their kids and buy organic, while the masses have no choice but to buy mislabeled and messed up junk food they can afford so the 1% profits may rise further while killing the planet and the 99% with pollution and related diseases. The question is where they are going to run when they kill all the resources worldwide.

– I am 99% because Wall Street analysts keep telling Costco to cut their employee wages and benefits. I keep buying at Costco because they keep refusing it.

– Instead of focusing onto disabling the terrorist groups, we the people and our tax dollars were misguided into a wrongful war against a country without any true link with Al-Qaeda, “justified” by lies of fictitious and nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, where we wasted too many lives including thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of lives of Iraqi soldiers and civilians and trillions of dollars. There’s more Al-Qaeda in Iraq nowadays than there was before the war.

– Tens of billions of our tax dollars are still slipping through the cracks in Iraq and Afqanistan. And yet, they’d rather have us all starve than cut the military budget, just because that means less money for military contractors owned by the 1%.

– We need at least one more party. Current corrupt politicians need to be voted out of politics forever. Republicrats are the instrument of multinational corporations, while the Demoblicans cater to them as well. It’s bad on both sides, and our judicial branch is not different at all – look how the Supreme Court sold the country and allowed for contributions to political campaigns from multi-national corporations and other interest groups. It seems that a great majority of our politicians is ready to sell their constituents’ interests for contributions and favors.

– The rich and their naive supporters keep repeating that lowering taxes for the rich gives this country a “stimulus” and lets the money trickle down back into the economy. Well, yes, the economy of China, India, Brazil, Mexico and whatever and wherever else they can send that money to make a bit more profit than here. There’s no compassion in profit making. There’s no honor. They send the money where it makes more money, where people don’t have to be given 8 hour work days with breaks and benefits, where they can work them all day and night for a fraction of the cost they pay here and even use child labor.

– The 1% controls not only most of the media but also our government institutions (look up who in the FDA and even a Supreme Court justice and a former Secretary of Defense used to be on payroll of Monsanto and other industry giants).

– Lack of regulation now allows the biggest SOB to win, make more money and kill the competition in the stampede towards monopoly while many politicians are turning a blind eye to maneuvers to cut corners and work human and natural resources to death while continuously destroying the environment, retirement, or health plans of employees and their families.

– Lack of regulation is also increasing risks of oil rig explosions, spills and other environmental disasters that kill people and destroy this planet, only to get followed by cover-ups. Although the oil industry has record profits, it keeps neglecting security with lethal results for employees, local population, economy and animals.

– Our patent system is unethical, inefficient and it’s choking innovation and protecting old technology and status quo. Big companies are using their big legal teams for patent bullying and destruction of smaller competition. Big food companies are patenting genetic code, and software code, modifying organisms and using patents and expensive but wrongful lawsuits to destroy small farmers not using their products. What’s next? Someone being allowed to patent the air, so we all have to pay to breathe it? The government still exists, but it’s stuck in its golden cage while the “big fellas” are running the show and bastardizing the country. Sherman Act, anybody?

Our legal system needs a “loser pays” reform. Frivolous lawsuits keep increasing insurance cost, while legal abuse of big corporations keeps destroying small businesses who can’t afford to defend themselves even though they would win the case. The reform would prevent these unfair practices, fuel competition and improve quality.

– The recording industry manages to impose hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines for hosting tens of $1 files on your home computer. Then in one case a judge calls it unconstitutional (based on the eighth amendment – cruel and unusual punishment) and reduces the fine ten times, while the next court reinstates it under recommendation from our “Main Street champion”, the Obama administration.

– Michelle Bachman said out of pure ignorance, as I don’t believe her sponsors would appreciate tax increases, that she would reinstate tax rates from the Reagan era, not knowing how much higher they were. I say be my guest. That would be a good start towards balancing our budget.

– We don’t need the discriminating flat tax which would make the rich pay smaller share of their income and the poor pay the biggest share proportionally. I say do the opposite and reinstate higher progressive tax rates. Destroy tax shelters and have the rich pay a fair share back to the country and the society that brought them up just like the poor do. Heck, the millionaires with honor and common sense are currently asking for their taxes to be raised.

– What about the poor? Everybody keeps talking about the diminishing middle class, but the poor pay the highest price in this society. Whatever seems mildly expensive to the middle class, looks like an astronomical cost to them, and mostly nobody is fighting to help them. They seem to be the best kept secret of this seemingly rich country. Every gas price increase, vehicle sticker, engine repair expense, parking violation can start the vicious circles of insufficient funds and overdraft charges. Every one of unplanned financial events can be that last back-breaking straw and don’t say it’s their own fault. When you’re poor you lack skills to plan and funds to prepare. All fines should be progressive and based on percentage of annual wages so the poor don’t pay the same price as the CEOs to whom parking tickets appear as a bit pricey garage fees. I personally experienced poverty and wealth in my life, oscillating between four and six figure income and I can tell that it’s really easy to not think about the little man’s hell, but it still exists even after you move up.

– The party of 1% supporters claims to be pro-life, but only cares about that life as a number on a spreadsheet, and it does it only until it’s born. Then they let it suffer, use it like cattle, meanwhile trying to remove every assistance the government should provide with education, health insurance, or disease prevention, and work them to death or till they get sick so that the health-death insurance industry can profit more on human tragedy.

– I am the 99% because of George Bailey’s words from “It’s a Wonderful Life”: “Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about…they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, it is too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book, he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.”

– The government is ceasing to have a regulative purpose. It used to break monopolies. Remember Ma Bell, or better, remember Theodore Roosevelt who sued 45 companies or Taft who sued 75. Who’s being sued nowadays? The government’s great purpose used to be to prevent the biggest SOBs from using the dirtiest unfair competition and robbing this country off of quality products and quality of life. Now the government has been turned into servants of the biggest SOBs. It’s a shame what they’ve done to capitalism.

– I am the 99% because this country, its government, and most of all, the people are being sold out.
– I am the 99% because letting the poor die out is not an ethical way to extinguish poverty.
– I am the 99% because I don’t want this to get worse. I’m afraid of revolution. I know it can be bad, so the rich better release the leash instead of saying “let them eat cake”. The sooner the progressive tax rates and caps increase, the less mess we’ll have later.
– Most of all I am the 99% because Jesus protected the poor, healed the sick and fed the hungry. We should do the same.

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