Tuesday, October 04, 2011

It's a Beginning

I am certainly not opposed to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. I am, in fact, encouraged that people in this nation are finally beginning to object to the way they are being treated and are speaking out together against it. It is to be expected, I think, that some of the message will be silliness when anger begins to boil over. I do hope they get this sorted out, because mere undirected expression of anger leads nowhere but to more anger.

One of the first tasks in resolving a fight is to find out what the parties are fighting about, and, in viewing this movement, it seems to me that we have not yet done that. That can be seen in the “grievances” of the movement as expressed in their “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” all of which are against major corporations and not against the government.

Some of the grievances have a legitimate point to make, certainly, such as, “They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.” But others are, in my opinion, either misdirected or just silly.

“They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.” They are not suggesting that the foreclosure is illegal because the homeowner has made all of the payments faithfully and on time. They are not suggesting that the foreclosure is illegal because the foreclosing agency did not pay out the money of which the loan consists. They are saying that because of an error in the way that paperwork was transmitted, the lender should lose the money that he paid out in good faith, and the homeowner should be able to keep the home without having to pay for it. Where are the American values in that?

“They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.” Corporations do not harm us when they offer money to politicians, politicians harm us when they accept that money.

This protest is a beginning, but until it is directed at the legislators in Washington, it will change nothing. Right now it is actually comforting those legislators, because it is keeping the anger directed away from them and providing them with a false sense of security that allows them to continue to pursue the same course, because it shows them that the American people blame the “rich and corporation” rather than government.

If it continues long enough and becomes big enough, it will spill over into Washington, though, so… Onward.

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