Occupy Wall Street (OWS) started with very little media attention and now even Fox News has to acknowledge that the movement exists. Sure the Faux News coverage is horrendous and all they seem to be able to do is support religious anarchists on the fringe.) Still, the movement is growing and with that growth the mainstream media is forced to acknowledge the concerns of the OWS movement.
What are those concerns anyway?
Well, like most social-conscious protest movements you’ll be hard pressed to find an agreed upon idea of what should change and when. This is a good thing because it forces people to talk and constantly reassess their priorities and negotiate with one another to improve everyone’s standing.
Business Insider has done a great job of summarizing the plethora of concerns that people have that has lead to the OWS movement.
Do they have legitimate gripes?
To answer the latter question first, yes, they have very legitimate gripes.
And if America cannot figure out a way to address these gripes, the country will likely become increasingly “de-stabilized,” as sociologists might say. And in that scenario, the current protests will likely be only the beginning.
The problem in a nutshell is this: Inequality in this country has hit a level that has been seen only once in the nation’s history, and unemployment has reached a level that has been seen only once since the Great Depression. And, at the same time, corporate profits are at a record high.
In other words, in the never-ending tug-of-war between “labor” and “capital,” there has rarely—if ever—been a time when “capital” was so clearly winning.
I’ll leave you with what I think is the most striking graph and description:
And, by the way, few people would have a problem with inequality if the American Dream were still fully intact—if it were easy to work your way into that top 1%. But, unfortunately, social mobility in this country is also near an all-time low.
And as a final thought and fun thing, here’s Chris Hedges taking Kevin O’Leary to school.
Now it’s up to everyone to play the game of making the economy more just and fair for all the players.