Occupy Wall Street: Like the Tea Party it Should Be Taken Seriously
Over the past month the country has experienced a wave of protests throughout its most prominent cities, and some less prominent cities known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Discussion surrounding OWS has been met with mixed reviews, some praising it for its call for accountability by Wall Street and some with skepticism over its organization and unified message, or rather lack thereof.
Like the beginning stages of the Tea Party Movement, there’s been much confusion as to who characterizes the average Occupy Wall Street protestor, and what the movement proposes as a solution to their grievances. For the most part, the answers to these questions remain to be seen, and will prevent Occupy Wall Street’s longevity.
According to the unofficial defacto page of the movement, OccupyWallStreet.org, “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. ”
Another piece attributes the protests to anger over the 2008 Wall Street bailout that they say allowed banks to reap huge profits while average
Americans suffered high unemployment and job insecurity.
Although some political leaders seem to sympathize with OWS’ concerns, many have hesitated to sign on to voice strong support for the movement.
While polls released as recently as today claim that forty-six percent of Americans agree with the movement no one seems to be completely sure of how the protestors expect as an end-result.
Most notably, NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated, ““If the jobs they are trying to get rid of in this city – the people that work in finance, which is a big part of our economy – go away, we're not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean our parks or anything else."
Whereas the Tea Party movement sought clear legislative proposals to reign in government spending, OWS protestors seem to be interested in just that -- protesting. What they hope will result from their protests Furthermore, the offenses of Wall Street were not the catalyst for the recession -- it was the collapse of the real estate boom and government’s enabling through legislation passed under the Clinton Administration that was the starting point. As it stands, while OWS is much larger than most traditional protests its lack of a clear solution to what it claims to be so angry about makes it no different than Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity.
That’s not to say that Occupy Wall Street’s efforts are without due concern.
The media, political leaders and everyday Americans should take both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movements seriously as a reflection of the real problem going on in the country -- economy and jobs.
The motivation behind both movements amplifies prolonged distress consuming the country. Americans are out of work. They’ve been out of work. Prices continue to rise, bills still need to be paid, and food still needs to be put on the table. And everyone, liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans, moderates and everyone in between are angry. They want answers, and they want solutions.
Thumbnail photo from minnpost.com
Homepage photo and article photo from stompmud.com
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