Occupy Wall Street (and other places)

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Major, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I haven't closely followed the "Occupy XXXXX" movement. I really don't know the details about the protests ...... my fault I know but I'm pretty fed-up with both the left and the right. That's the reason I'm preparing for a possible nationwide revolt against everything.

    Have any of you teachers (or non-teachers for that matter) participated in the "occupy movement?" Are any of you for or against the "occupy movement?"

    Would love to hear your thoughts on "occupying" ....... as I go about preparing for possible chaos. (Please note I said POSSIBLE chaos .. and not that I'm predicting it.)
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 15, 2011

    Nothing like that around here.
     
  4. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    I am from Oakland and my parents still live there and while I agree with what the movement stands for, I am getting a little frustrated by what is happening in downtown Oakland. Small businesses are being affected negatively, people I know who work downtown are not able to ride the bus or BART system because public transportation will not run certain mornings, and during one march graffiti was sprayed everywhere and windows were broken.
    This movement needs to get organized and needs some leadership. I think it has the potential to make a difference they just need to figure out how.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have yet to read an intelligent explanation of exactly what they're protesting against.

    Yeah, I know the economy is in a hole and the employment numbers are a nightmare.

    But I haven't read exactly what they want to be done, or by whom. As far as I can tell, they're angry at "Wall Street" for having money.

    Wall Street, of course, is a location. And to the best of my knowledge, they're not targeting anyone for having gotten money illegally. They just want things fixed by someone, somehow.

    I know 2 people who got laid off last week. One did work in the financial market, the other in publishing.

    Instead of protesting, I spoke to my sister. Her company is hiring, so I emailed the info to the friend who might possibly be able to find a job at her company, with directions to send his resume to my sister.

    High school sophomores whine and complain and blame everyone else for what they want and don't have.

    Adults do something about it. And a protest that takes money away from small businesses in the financial district is NOT helping anyone.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2011

    The OWS crowd was 'raided' this morning. They are occupying a privately owned park,have set up a tent city in which there is public drug use, reported sexual assault and growing viral infections. The park owner has been more than patient as has the city of NY. With plans today to expand themselves to other spaces in an attempt to 'shut down Wall Street', I guess they had worn out their tenuous welcome. Mayor Bloomberg has stated they may peacefully protest, but that camping will not be allowed any longer.
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    snapples, exactly what difference are "they" trying to make?
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    From the OWS.org website - Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.

    The occupations around the world are being organized using a non-binding consensus based collective decision making tool known as a "people's assembly".

    Sounds pretty intelligent to me. I find it incredibly narrow minded when people like Cain say "Why don't they just go home and get jobs." If they could find jobs, they probably wouldn't be protesting.

    There are aspects of the protest that I don't like, like the grafitti-ing and those kinds of things, but I am pretty much on board with what they are fighting for.

    As far as I can tell, for someone who has no job and no options, this IS doing something about it.
     
  9. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    cza, I didn't realize they were occupying a "privately" owned park...... I don't understand occupying "public" property .... much less "private" property......

    And I guess I still don't understand "what" the protest is actually about........ so here goes a dumb question...... do they want the wealth of the country to somehow be divided up equally? That is everyone is the U.S. (including illegals) get an equal share?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2011

    No one from OWS that I've seen can sum up their main focus. It seems to me to be a frustration with the economy...a problem which can be twisted and turned and interpreted and misinterpreted many ways.
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    While I haven't activity participated, I do get their frustration.

    I do support the movement to move your money out of the big banks and into credit unions!
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    If it's jobs they are looking for, I just watched on Rock Center that Williston, ND is hiring 18,000 new workers. One company alone is hiring 500 truck drivers. Taco Bell is paying $15 an hour.

    There are jobs, just maybe not where people want them.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I don't believe it's about getting a job. It's about corporate greed. It's about bailing out banks and companies and having them return the favor by sending jobs overseas. It's about anger at politicians on both sides of the aisles being controlled by lobbyists.

    Shutting down "Wall Street" isn't the answer. It's about rethinking the power these company owners have and their lack of a social conscious. It's about laying off thousands of workers because it isn't profitable, or driving out small businesses in order to decrease competition.

    As with most protest movements, it can get quite ugly. This one seems to be run by people who haven't got any answers and are so concerned with their right to protest that their message is lost.

    Standing on a street corner shouting and waving a cardboard sign makes you look like a fool. Speaking intelligently about problems and solutions gives you credibility. Running a company or getting elected and acting the way you feel sends a far more powerful message.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 16, 2011

    :yeahthat:
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I still haven't seen anything that explains exactly what they want to happen. Yes, I know they want change. But specifically, what changes, made by whom, and how?

    At which point, will they say "Yes, THAT'S what we wanted! We've accomplished our goal." What will have to happen, who will have to do it?

    When Ross Perot ran for President, I agreed with every single criticism he made. Yet I didn't vote for him. Because all he did was point out the problems; he didn't offer a single solution. His response was along the lines of "I'll hire the right guy to look into that."

    I'm all in favor of solutions that will help our economy. I haven't seen any. All I've seen is complaints. Valid complaints, but no solutions.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Exactly, Alice.

    One of the most important lessons you learn on any job is "Don't bring the boss a problem unless you also have a suggested answer for the problem."

    So far, all I've seen from the OWS crowd (which, admittedly, isn't very much) is a lot of generic complaints, but not suggested solutions. As shouldbeasleep said, they seem more concerned with the right to protest than actually finding or offering a solution to the things they think are wrong.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

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    I may be cynical :whistle: but I think the reason we don't see much coverage of their message is because who owns the big media outlets? We see coverage of the bad things they are causing.

    There were 4 protesters arrested here last week because they put plastic tarps over their stuff in the rain-that was considered a tent which was against city ordinances. Part of what they chanted then was that they were getting arrested and all these Wall Street bigwigs who literally brought down banks were never prosecuted.

    I actually thought it was interesting to see a nationwide effort to protest something-I often think people today are too apathetic to pick up a sign-definitely in the numbers that they have. They are committed.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Don't forget there was political pressure and government policies involved in the high risk mortgages....and those politicians continue to be reelected and are still spending tax dollars like drunken sailors...you CAN'T spend your way out of debt....:eek::dizzy: there should be some protests about the way money is spent in Washington.:2cents:
     
  19. Cerek

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    Fair enough.

    So, what solutions are they suggesting?

    Being committed is great, but what effect are their protests really having on the Wall Street bankers, politicians or corporate leaders? Not very much, from what I've seen so far.

    Protesting can be beneficial if it actually addresses the problem or affects the entity or issue being protested. So far, I've not seen either of these from the OWC crowd.
     
  20. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't see what is wrong with protesting that something is wrong and expecting politicians to figure out how to fix it. I don't know how to fix the economy, I just know that it isn't right to run it the way it is now.

    They have, however, supported or denied specific bills and called for specific actions. They have asked people to vote for keeping unions and collective bargaining to protect workers. This worked in Ohio. They have asked people to drop their big banks and move to local credit unions. These are examples of specific actions they supported.

    Cza - If people want to protest spending in Washington, they should. If not as many people are coming out, then maybe the majority doesn't see it as much of a big deal as the corporate spending and bailing out of banks.
     
  21. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I have participated in the Occupy Houston movement, and I have contributed financially to support the movement nationally.

    I'm protesting government sanctioned economic inequality. I'm out there on the weekends (and once on a work day) because I want politicians and the big corporations to see that I am paying attention to what they are doing. I see their greed and concern only for their own wants, and as a citizen of the US, I want them to STOP and be more responsible members of our whole community.

    What do I want done and when will I be able to say, "Yes! We accomplished something""? Well, firstly, I want tax reform. I want loop holes closed that allow corporations that make BILLIONS in profit to not only NOT pay taxes but to get tax refunds. I want legislation passed that will reward businesses that build and hire in America. I want minimum wage to increase and benefits to improve so that the gap between CEO salaries and those of their workers decreases. I want lobby reform so that votes don't go to the highest bidder. I want term limits for all political offices so that we actually have "civil servants" working for us rather than career politicians who retire with better benefits as a "government worker" than many of us will EVER see as teachers.

    And I want corporations to acknowledge that *I* am as much of a job creator as they are. *I* am the one that keeps them in business by purchasing their products. Our roles in this are EQUAL, and as such, I should see the rewards for some of their success (via higher wages, lower prices, and TAXES fairly paid that go back in to the community services that we ALL use.)

    That's why I am a part of the Occupy Movement.
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Very well said. I live 3 hours from the nearest city that is "occupying" so I have not participated, but support the movement. I also agree with the comments above that it seems everyone is so politically apathetic these days- just the fact that they were able to organize a country wide protest in a matter of days that has lasted for months is amazing. Think of the things in our history that have been accomplished by peaceful protest- obviously civil rights is the big one. I wish I was a social studies teacher so I could talk about this in my class- what an awesome time in history to be a part of. I don't understand the "these people aren't doing anything" comments at all. Sitting around whining to your friend is "not doing anything." Organizing a nationwide peaceful protest is doing something HUGE. I just can't fathom how that would be seen as "whining." Were the people that organized the peaceful protests for civil rights "whining"?

    As for the message, I think it's extremely clear. They're saying "we are the 99%"- how could you possibly get any more clear and concise than that? I think bandnerdtx summed it up really well so I won't repeat what she said.

    Kinder, I do think the media is only reporting the bad stuff. I've seen footage of the occupy movement in my home city and have been nothing but impressed. Of course that's not the footage that makes it to the news. They have signs everywhere asking people not to even drink alcohol because they don't want to hurt their cause in any way. My home city btw, is in Ohio, and as silverspoon mentioned I think the occupy movement was huge in making sure that issue 2 (the union busting bill with loopholes that allowed politicians to get huge raises while taking from everyone else) did not pass. All of the footage I saw had a lot of support for voting the issue down. It was voted down 2:1, and with the media bashing teachers left to right, I think the fact that it was voted down by such a huge margin (in a swing state too) is downright amazing.

    As for telling these people to "go and get jobs" as I've heard recently, that's just plain ignorant. One of the big reasons they're out there is that they CAN'T get jobs. I know I'm extremely fortunate to be in the very small minority of people that got a full time job in my field right out of college. I'm not going to act smug because I have a job while so many other people I know don't. I know full well a big part of it was just luck of the draw. Yes, I am qualified and I do think I'm a good teacher, but so are thousands of other applicants who haven't done anything to deserve unemployment. When there are 5,000 people applying for the job, there are a whole lot of high quality "cream of the crop" people that are still being denied an opportunity to work.

    Sidenote- Are political threads back to being allowed? I really wanted to post a thread about this weeks ago but assumed that was going against the rules. Just curious.
     
  23. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    Major, I think one difference the movement has already made is to promote awareness of corporate greed and the affect it is having on everyone, especially the younger generation. I can say that I have been majorly affected by the recent economy crash having just graduated college 5 years ago and struggling to find a teaching job in CA.
    I think everyone needs to be educated on what is happening with the bank bail outs and how this will affect our future. The fact that the protests are starting conversations like these where we are talking more about what needs to be done and how is a good starting point.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 16, 2011

    Peaceful protests are part of our American fabric. However, tomorrow is the 2 month anniversary of the OWS in NYC....protesters were recorded by the news today saying the will ' burn the city down' and 'Molotov cocktail Macys'....not exactly peaceful. Nor is the various sexual assaults that have taken place in the park, public urination, defecation and 'self stimulation' in public view.:dizzy:


    The mainstream media is pretty liberal. The fact that any negative publicity is being broadcast is amazing.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Just...horrble. :(
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    And the people who live near Zuccoti park are having a real hard time of it as well... noise at all hours of the night, the horrible stench, the increase in crime in their neighborhood.

    Small businesses are suffering as well; people are staying away from the area. Big business isn't hurting them; OWS is.
     
  27. KinderCowgirl

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    I disagree. I know a lot of bumper stickers say that, but if you watch shows like Today/Good Morning America, anything Fox owns-they are actually very conservative in what they broadcast-especially when it comes to politics.

    Bandnerd-I wholehearted agree with everything you wrote and really applaud your effort to step up and get involved. :thumb:
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I dont find Today or GMA conservative. I do find much of the local NYC news to have a liberal slant...those are the stations who are actually on the OWS site...and the fact that they are showing ANYTHING vaguely negative about the protest is quite remarkable.
     
  29. bandnerdtx

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    I think mainstream media has a SENSATIONALIST slant; I don't think any of them (except Fox and NPR) are specifically oriented to one political side or the other. The media wants to sell a story, so if they can find something disgusting or disturbing to report, they'll do it. Reporting honestly and ethically is rarely seen anymore.
     
  30. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Very sickening cza ...... but I believe the majority (not all) of the "occupy" crowd is capable of these despicable acts.....:(.... Many of them would love to see the government take control of everything..... and dole out to the "subjects" what it sees fit. Talent, ambition, hard work, etc would no longer count. Everyone is a subject.... except of course for the the politicians ......

    As for the mainstream media being liberal ..... that's been obvious for decades.

    Other than that ....... I'm in Utah having a great time on the jeep trails. Haven't seen a single "occupy Moab" person around .... and that's good...

    And when I get back home there wont be any occupy people there either....... Have a good night......... :):)
     
  31. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Wow. I'm really speechless. I would like to ask if you read my reasons for being a part of the Occupy movement and what you think of them.

    And for what it's worth, having actually ATTENDED several events and seen things first hand, I have not witnessed any such "despicable" act. Does it occur? Yes. However it seems to me that whenever anyone brings up reasonable points supporting the movement, the counter argument quickly moves to these few criminals. It's happened in this thread.
     
  32. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Very well. I'll address the points you made in your previous comments

    You may have a good point about letting politicians (especially) know that you are upset at the way they conduct themselves. However, the best way to get a politician's attention is in the voting booth. Unfortunately, many people keep voting in the same politicians over and over, which empowers them to continue doing business as normal despite the protests of people in the parks.

    As for big corporations and their CEO's, I really doubt they care if you like the way they do business or not. The "Occupy" Movement may be nationwide, but it still represents a small minority of the people in the U.S. - which means there are more than enough people who WILL continue doing business with the "big corporations" to offset any business they may lose to the protest movement. Also, hurling verbal mudballs at the collective entity of "big corporations" has about the same effect as throwing a real mudball against their building - not much at all. If you want to get the attention of corporations, you have to choose a specific corporation to target and then organize a boycott of that corporation rather than gathering in the park and assuring one another "We don't like those companies." I realize that is an oversimplification, but the point is the Occupation Protests are doing zilch to affect the bottom-line of the "big corporations". Until that changes, the only attention you will get from CEO's is one of mild amusement (or disdain) as they ride by on their way to work or home.

    Someone mentioned earlier that people should take their moneys out of "big banks" and put them in smaller credit unions. My response to that would be, "What makes the credit unions any better than the banks?" If everyone takes their money out of the "big banks" and puts them in small credit unions, it will affect the "big banks", at least somewhat, but it will also make those "small credit unions" into "larger credit unions" and, eventually, THEY will become the new "big banks" and will indulge in the same basic business practices and procedures the commercial banks have been doing.

    You do realize that allowing those tax breaks to big corporations is PART of the reward system established to encourage businesses to build and hire in America, don't you? When a state, county or town wants to entice industry into their area, they have to show that company what their area has to offer and prove the benefits of locating there are better than the benefits of locating somewhere else. A standard part of that incentive are tax breaks for companies that locate there. Other factors include infrastructure, education and training of the available workforce, shipping and distribution logistics and other concerns. But one of the biggest enticements offered are economic incentives for the company to come there.

    Once again, these two goals are somewhat mutually exclusive. The primary reason companies located overseas to begin with is because the labor costs are so much cheaper in other countries. So, telling "big corporations" you want them to bring their business BACK to America, but also pay the employees here more than they were being offered before is NOT going to be a strong argument.

    As for the jaw-dropping-pay-gap between employees and CEO's; WHY should the employees at Microsoft or Dell make almost as much as the two men that created those companies from nothing? (just to give an example). In these two examples, Bill Gates and Michael Dell not only came up with the ideas and products that created the companies, they also invested heavily into the creation of those companies, so it is natural they would get the bulk of the return on that investment.

    Even if you look at the examples of the big banks, the CEO's have much responsibilities and pressures than the average employee. I agree some of their salaries are outrageous, but they are the head of the company and the high salaries are compensation for ALL of the extra responsibilities, requirements and pressures that come with being in charge of the entire company.

    Let's put it into the perspective or our own field. Why do Superintendents make so much more than regular teachers? Because their level of responsibility is exponentially greater. Teachers have to worry about making differentiated lesson plans, adhering to IEP and 504 requirements, teaching the content to the kids and meeting the state-mandated standards for their grade level and content. They also have to worry about committees, meetings, working with team members, handling parent complaints and concerns and making sure they know all the medical concerns of the children they see each day. Naturally, they tend to think their problems and concerns take priority.

    Principals recognize those problems and concerns, but have to balance those with the problems and concerns of all the other grade-level teams in the building. They also have to make sure their school is in compliance with the latest directives from the central office, as well as any new state or district legislation that has been passed. They have to be aware of proposed legislation and what effect it might have on their district and their school. Then they may have to write letters to their district or state politicians expressing their concerns or support of a proposed bill.

    Superintendents have to take ALL the concerns of the principal from your school and balance that with the concerns of the principals from every other school. They have to be even more aware of any new or proposed legislation and also have to figure out where they will find the money to pay current employees while keeping enough set aside to hire any new employees that may be needed...all while making sure the funds they already have are allocated and distributed properly (money for transportation being used on the maintenance and fuel for busses, etc).

    As you can see, the higher up the ladder you go, the greater the resopnsibilities and requirements become. So it is understandable those higher-level jobs also offer higher salaries, because the job requirements are significantly greater than those of the regular employee.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think the lobby reform will be easier to accomplish than the term limits and that will be MUCH easier to accomplish than the elimination of lifetime benefits every politician receives. I completely agree our government representatives should either be offered the same benefits given to the ordinary citizen OR the ordinary citizen should be offered the benefits provided to the politicians. These are changes I feel could be accomplished over time, but only by voting OUT the current politicians and voting IN new ones that would agree to these changes.

    The suggestion that you are as much of a job creator as the corporation and that your roles are equal is highly debateable. The hard fact is that, even if EVERY Occupation Protester decided to boycott Walmart or Dell, it probably won't have a significant impact on their bottom line. These corporations are global, so a few thousand lost customers in America really want make that large a ripple in their money flow.

    For the sake of argument, though, let's say the Occupy Movement DID make a dent in the corporations bottom line - enough of a dent that they actually have to lay-off or fire some employees. At most, a company like Wal-mart, Target, Big Lots, etc might have to lose a few employees. Let's be generous and say the local Wal-mart loses enough business that they have to lay off 10 employees. They still have more than a hundred other employees that didn't get laid off and a few of those will now have the chance to work some extra shifts to cover the employees that were lost. So the Occupy Movement might cost a company the loss of 10 or so employees, but when that corporation provides jobs to more than 100 people at each store, there is no way you can legitimately say your role as a job creator is equal to theirs.

    Finally, let's take a look at the businesses that ARE being affected by the Occupy Protestors. Most of these have been smaller businesses (you know, the ones the movement is trying to protect or support).
     
  33. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 16, 2011

    Cerek, while your post is intelligent, I find some of the arguments a bit weak.

    For high-paid CEO's you pick out Gates and Dell, who both did form their companies, but most of the CEO's of top companies did NOT form them. Also, I think likely their salaries probably aren't where they made the bulk of their fortune -- they've owned stock since the company's IPO. Likely every single person who owned MS at its IPO is wealthy, regardless of their salary since. There are many other CEO's who stepped into their position and took huge packages for very little work.

    I'd also add that your comparison of teacher pay to superintendent pay is instructive, but perhaps not in the way you think. Superintendents make, let's say, between 150 and 200 k? And teachers roughly 50k (it's more than that in my area, to be sure, but let's just lowball it a little). So the superintendents make about 4 times what the typical teacher makes. CEO's in the US make 142 times what the workers make. That's not really a small difference, Cerek, and its the kind of income disparity you find in third world countries.

    One final note, you say the best way to affect politicians is in the voting booth. To an extent that has an element of truth to it, but the best way for a single person to influence a politician isn't to promise them a vote, but to give them a large roll of bills (over-the-table -- I won't talk about the under-the-table gifts). That's squarely in the province of the ultra-wealthy. They then use the money to secure favorable media attention. If you want to stop that, you have to bring contrary media attention, which is what things like large-scale protests do.
     
  34. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Like many "movements" in the past, OWS is like lighting a pack of matches at first it is a big flash then it burns down and out, unless the matches are applied to the kindling the light and heat is lost. Both Cerek and 3Sons are saying the same thing, it takes action to affect politicians and that action is voting or monetary support.

    I do not like the catch phrases "we are the 99%" well, I am part of the 53% that pays taxes.
    I find many of the items being protested about are really poor decisions made by people. Ex. the housing problem, I was too smart(or chicken) to get a loan when the payments were ballooned after a few years, many people never should have been given a loan BUT many people did and the good and bad were mixed together and we ended with the market value of homes falling like an avalanche.
    Education loans some people do not need college but we have had this push that everybody goes to college and now many career fields are over stocked and Grads now have a great deal of debt without a job that can pay the debt off.
    A nanny goverment that people want it to solve all of the problems that the bad choices have created.
    Businesses are in the business to make money. if you want to change a business, you vote with your feet I did, I closed my accounts at Bank of America (after being with them for over 25 years), and opened new ones at the my credit union.

    The real time demographics of the OWS crowd, leans to the left.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Today they're going to "occupy" and close down 16 subway stations at 3 pm... just in time to strand tens of thousands of school kids without a way home from school. (FOr those of you not from the area, most NYC kids don't get a school bus. They get a Metro card and take those busses and trains and subways to and from school.)

    3 pm.... nice timing. If my kids were attending NYC schools, I would keep them home today. I doubt I'm alone.

    Note that while Wall Street is in Manhattan, most of the subway stations are not.

    How this helps anyone find a job, I'm not sure.



    "Occupy Wall Street protesters are planning a major day of action on Thursday to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement that began Sept. 17.

    Here is the schedule as posted by the protesters:

    7 a.m.: Gather in Liberty Square in front of the New York Stock Exchange to "confront Wall street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic justice."

    3 p.m.: Gather at 16 subway hubs to "take our stories to the trains."


    Bronx


    •Fordham Road on the 4 line
    •3rd Ave 138th Street on the 6 line
    •161st and River on the B, D and 4 lines

    Brooklyn


    •Broadway Junction on the A, C and L lines
    •Borough Hall on the M, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines

    Manhattan


    •125th Street on the A, B, C and D lines
    •Union Square
    •23rd Street and 8th Ave on the C and E lines

    Queens


    •Jackson Heights-Roosevelt on the E, F, M, R and 7 lines
    •Jamaica Center/Parsons/Archer on the E, J and Z lines

    Staten Island


    •Staten Island Ferry Terminal

    At 5 p.m., protesters plan to gather at Foley Square, along with a gospel choir and marching band.

    After that rally, they plan to march "to our bridges" but did not specify which ones."
     
  36. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Your implication is that we aren't doing both. Of course voting out politicians is the most effective way to change things, but that shouldn't mean that we can't protest as well. As someone mentioned earlier, protesting is a long tradition in this country.

    Again, does that just mean we should be quiet and take it? Of course not. We don't like it, we want people (not just the corporations) to know we don't like it, so we protest. It's that "disdain" of the CEOs that we have such a problem with. They see us (the 99%) as unimportant because we don't have money (and therefore no voice in government). We are choosing to scream and scream some more until people listen. Is it effective? That remains to be seen, doesn't it?

    This wasn't in my original list of arguments, but I'll address it. The difference between keeping your money in a "big bank" and a "credit union" is simple; credit unions are non-profit organizations. They are required BY LAW to return profits back over to their members, and they are regulated pretty heavily on how the money can be given back. You will not ever see the CEO of a Credit Union making a ridiculous salary because it simply isn't allowed by law.


    And you do realize, don't you, that it doesn't seem to be working that way at all. We've given American corporations unprecedented tax breaks and deregulations for 30 years. They are still leaving. The idea that somehow they would stay if labor was cheaper is ludicrous. So we should return to a serf/lord system to keep them here? Where is their responsibility to the community they serve? Is there only loyalty to the money? They don't mind selling me a product, but they have a problem with raising minimum wage to a level where people can actually, you know, LIVE.

    I'm not saying that the workers should make as much, but I am saying they should be given a liveable wage. If you make minimum wage in this country and work a 40 hour week, you will only earn $16,500 a year. That's not enough to buy a home, a college education for your children, or in many cases, live in a safe place. How is that fair and productive to us as a community? If you say, well, if you don't won't to work minimum wage jobs, get a better education, then I say, that's not realistic. Even if we ALL had bachelor's degrees, someone would STILL have to make the fries. If you work hard and you're willing to put in your 40 hours to make McDonalds run, then you should be able to make a living doing it!

    Agreed. :)


    I can't address the last few arguments right now because I'm on my way to school. I'll try to come back later today to finish the conversation. :)
     
  37. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Can't get a good feel for how successful Occupy **** was today. Local TV doesn't really cover it....... In Utah (where we are presently hanging out) people are very independent, self reliant..... as they are in my home state of "western" Colorado (note: this doesn't include the front range...:()

    Sooooooooo ....... is the movement still on and are we headed for full scale socialism???????? Hope not but I do have a survival plan...... hope each one of you do........... :):)
     
  38. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2011

    I didn't say you couldn't protest; I just questioned the effectiveness of doing so. I also question the effectiveness of "Occupation Protests" in general. Most effective protests in the past have been in the forms of marches, short-term gatherings for special events or individual acts (such as Rosa Parks). Long term occupation of an area leads to several problems, as seen on the news of the vents; trash piles up, Port-a-Johns become overfilled and the whole area becomes somewhat unsanitary - affecting those small businesses in the area being occupied. All this does is turn people against the whole "occupation" movement. BTW, the coverage I saw today was on CNN, certainly not one of your "right wing" media outlets. Another problem with the Occupation Movement (as Major and I have illustrated) is that many people don't really know what the Occupation Movement really wants.

    I was also pointing out the most effective way to bring about change in politics is at the voting booth. A better approach, in my opinion, would be to hold marchers or 1-day gatherings. Invite the media to cover the gathering, hand out literature and encourage those who come by to make their voices heard at the next election.

    I agree the mega-CEO's don't really care about the 99%, but part of the problem with the OWS crowd is that, despite their claim of majority, they do not represent the "99%". If they truly represented 99% of a corporations' business, then you could definitely affect the bottom line of that corporation with a boycott. However, the OWS crowd, in reality, represents only a small fraction of the 99%. So the real numbers are not significant enough to have a lasting affect on the corporations revenue.

    That's true and a very good point. However, if people begin to transfer their saving en masse to credit unions, then the credit unions will grow in size and leverage and, eventually, might be able to get those state laws changed or find ways around them.


    The main reasons corporations haven't come back to America is because foreign labor is STILL cheaper....and your suggestion is to raise the minimum wage so labor costs would be even higher here?

    Also, corporations are not the ones responsible for raising minimum wage. That is the job of the federal government and it has been raising the minimum wage over the last several years. When I was in college, I believe minimum wage was around $5.25. Now it's up around $7.50 (IIRC). No, it isn't enough to get rich on, by any means. It also isn't enough to have all the gadgets and technology you might want, but my ex-wife and I did live (for a number of years) with each of us working a job that paid less than $7.00/hr.

    Are corporations only loyal to money? Uhm...that is part of the idea of a capitalist society, like we've had for over 200 years. Yes, it IS nice when corporations also have loyalty to their communities, however, this is usually exhibited through donations to local charities, sponsorships of sporting events and/or teams and other community events. It usually is NOT exhibited in the form of higher wages, especially when there are dozens of other people willing to work the same job for the current wage being offered.

    I worked for the hospital in our county for 13 years. It was the largest employer in the county and did pay licensed personnel fairly well (nurses, therapists, techs, etc). But I worked in Purchasing and my ex-wife worked in the Business Office. Those jobs were considered "un-skilled", so even after 7 years there, I was still making less than $7/hr. If anyone on my level complained about the pay, the CEO would say "There is a file cabinet full of applications from people willing to take the job for this amount of pay." Yeah, it sucked, but that's the way it was. The CEO was responsible for keeping the bottom line as low as possible and that was one of his approaches to doing that. While it sucked for me, I couldn't really argue with the logic. It's a basic matter of supply and demand; there is more demand than available jobs, so employers don't have to raise the wages.

    If you want to make a living working at McDonald's, you're not going to do it by staying on the fry station forever. However, having worked at McDonald's for 6 years (off and on through college), I can say that it IS possible to make a decent to very good living working there by working your way UP the ladder. From crewperson, you can become a shift supervisor or swing manager, then a regular manager. If you work long enough and save enough money, you might be able to move up to franchise owner. A friend of mine worked at McDonald's with me and DID become a full-time manager there for several years. Her husband worked at a local plant and made a good salary as well. Her eventual goal WAS to save enough money to buy her own McDonald's franchise, but that didn't work for a couple of different reasons. Still, the plan itself was solid and doable.

    So the minimum wage job would just be temporary if you are a good enough employer.

    Even though I wasn't a manager, I did get regular pay raises while working there (except for a period when a couple of managers decided they didn't want me to get a raise and tried to get me to quit). Other than that, though, I made enough money (at the time) to pay what few bills I had and still have some spending money. I also learned some of the best lessons and skills for future jobs while working there.
     
  39. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Oh, I'm sure you'd do fine under socialism, Major, and have nothing to worry about. After all, the military is an example of "full scale socialism".;)
     
  40. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2011

    I just wonder, at the end of the day, what the final tab will be for costs incurred by local governments from these protests. I heard Portland's already at the $1 million mark and NY at $6 million? I don't see how that's helping the economy any...
     
  41. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2011

    I agree completely with your post, especially the part I placed in bold.

    Many of the problems being faced by the OWS crowd are consequences of their own decisions; buying a house (or car or both) they really couldn't afford, buying things on credit instead of paying as you go, etc. I have an aunt in her 60's that still has to work two jobs to make ends meet. I don't feel sorry for her, though, because the reason she can't make ends meet is that (a) she is a compulsive shopper and (b) she puts everything on credit cards. When a card gets maxed and she can't afford the payments, she just transfers the balance to another card. After her first divorce, she owned two very nice houses and sold one of them for a nice profit. Instead of saving that money, she spent it. She has had a good job with a chain retailer for years, but again, she spent her money (AND bought more items on credit) instead of saving it. A few years ago, she took a second job and said "I'll put THIS money into Savings." BZZZZZZZ! Didn't happen. She just spent that too.

    Of course, it's easy to talk about other people, so I'll also explain my own situation.

    I've never had a lot of money. My family was middle income while I was growing up, but some family problems and poor decisions pretty much wiped that out. When I got out of college, I wanted to be a stockbroker and make a 6-figure salary. I gave it a go, but it didn't work out. Part of that was the firm I went with, that kept NONE of the promises they made when I interviewed with them, and part was the fact that - in that climate - I just was not cut-out to be a stockbroker. While I do manage to make enough money to pay my bills and still have some to spend on minor extras, I have former high school classmates that have become very successful and spend more money on weekend trips than I've ever had in my bank account. Am I jealous of that? No, I'm not. I'm glad they have been successful and they've earned the money they have. As for myself, I've had some health problems and the divorce that I could NOT control, but most every other situation leading to my current status is a result of choices *I* made....and I accept the consequences (both good and bad) for that. I don't expect to ever be rich, but I expect God will always provide me with what I need in whatever situation I'm in.

    So, when I see and hear the OWS crowd complaining about the debt THEY have built up for themselves and marching down streets demanding the government "create jobs" for them, I really don't have much sympathy. Our government does not OWE anybody a job. You have to EARN a job on your own. Yes, we are in an incredibly difficult market and that means you may not get the job you WANT right now, so you have to look for jobs you don't want, but will pay the bills. A cousin of mine recently graduated and had difficulty in her job search, partly because she arrogantly kept saying "I'm not taking ANY job that pays less than 50k". This, despite the fact she is a single mother (her own choice) with a small baby to feed and care for. After a few months, reality finally set in and she realized ANY job was better than NO job, so she lowered her demands, widened her search parameters and did find a good job working in a doctor's office. Not her dream job, by any means, but still decent.

    Right now, I would LOVE to be a full-time teacher, but I'm not. My position last year was not renewed, even though I spent my own money and time to get an extra certification in Middle School Science to meet the former requirements of that full-time position. So I'm working three part-time jobs: substitute teacher, 21st Century after school program, and hotel desk clerk. Does it suck having to work 3 jobs to make ends meet? Yeah, it does, but you do what you gotta do. Instead of complaining about the low pay, I find the things I can enjoy about each job while I'm doing them.
     

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