Patriotic protest

In a recent article about the “Occupy Wall Street” protest, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was quoted as saying that those activists are “un-American,” and that (the protest) is not the way America was built.

Evidently, Cain missed school the day the American Revolution was discussed. The citizens then were protesting against unfair taxation.

Today’s activists are also protesting unfair taxation, i.e., that multi-millionaires and large corporations pay a lower rate of taxes than the rest of us, which is seen as patently unfair. The excuse for their lower taxation is that they need it “to create jobs.”

They’ve created jobs all right. Unfortunately, most of them are in foreign lands where the wages are lower and, therefore, the profits higher. The rich get richer while the middle class disappears.

The political right continues its mantra of “no new taxes,” in spite of the fact that the nation’s revenues are not enough to cover expenses. Slashing money from education, Medicare and infrastructure projects just isn’t going to cut it.

At the very least, officials should let the Bush tax cuts expire, as they were meant to do.

If the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Koch brothers had their way, the U.S. would be back to being a feudal society.

My grandson, a junior at UMass, is participating in “Occupy Amherst,” and I am proud of him and his compatriots. If I were 30 years younger, I would join them.

Dolores Hoeh, Bethel

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Jason Theriault's picture

Here's the deal

Ignore what you hear and see on the tv. They are spinning it for the story/ratings. I got this from a third party who knows people in OWS, and could give a rational breakdown of what they are after:

"The problem is the major news media seems to be spinning the hell out of the protests in order to discredit them as a bunch of clueless dirty hippies, since they are backed by the very people everyone is protesting against.

The legitimate issues that I have seen voiced, which the movement seem to be genuinely centered around, are systemic problems in the financial sector which are leading to an ever widening income gap. Adjusted for inflation, wages are at an all time low, while corporate profits are at highs. Owners of capital are basically just keeping larger shares of the pie than they did 20 years ago. The three main grievances and solutions I keep seeing repeated are:

-The banking sector is corrupt. People are pissed that the repeal of Glass-Steagall has allowed commercial banks to turn back into investment banks, the result of which was the financial meltdown of 2008. They're also pissed because more and more people are learning how the Federal Reserve banking system works, and think its insane that banks can, for example, borrow from the fed at almost no interest, and turn right back around and lend that same money to the treasury at 2%+ interest... basically printing free money, and footing tax payers with the bill.

They suggest: Reintroduction of banking regulations and some monopoly busting. Too big to fail? Too big to exist.

-The current corporate system encourages executives to achieve short term profits at the expense of long term success. CEO's slash and burn companies in order to get a quick rise in stock "value", so they can exercise their options and cash out. Once they've "got mine", they jump ship with their golden parachute, leaving a damaged company behind.

They want things such as: Introduction of regulation to the derivatives markets, and perhaps progressively tax short term investments over long ones. Only owned a stock for a minute and 38 seconds? Pay a higher tax on your profits than the guy who held it for a year. Remove the Capital gains tax, and charge a more normal income rate for your tax bracket. Also big support for introducing transaction taxes... small fees attached to each trade to discourage things like HFT manipulation.

-Get the money out of Washington. OWS protesters feel that both Republicans and Democrats will claim/say whatever it takes to get elected, and in the end they all pander to Corporations over the people. They do this, of course, because Corporations (and rich people who own them) are the ones who hire lobbyists and fund campaigns.

They suggest: No one really knows yet, its such an encompassing problem.."

Discuss:

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

A little clarification

When I mentioned that countries like India, S.Korea, Germany and China are examples of countries that have thriving economies in the midst of a world wide recession I was not at the same time praising their human rights record or even comparing their income disparity although theirs is mostly going in the opposite direction than ours. I was simply making the point that job creation, the greatest desire of the demonstrators, does not require Laissez-faire capitalism. True there is a lot of poverty there and years ago companies moved there for cheap manual labor but today they are moving there for cheap trained technical labor. That means education and training and those governments are providing it along with the modern infrastructure necessary to service those companies.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Lilly was right ...

... earlier. If you get all your info on the outside world from left-wing sycophant sources (most of them), all you will ever see are images of the Tea Party, or any conservative group, that put it one small step from the Ku Klux Klan and its ladies' auxiliary. Similarly, if all you listen to are the right-wing sources (some radio and one cable channel - unless you like the taste of Breton's koolaide), the OWS is comprised of only hygiene-impaired communists yearning for the good old days of Stalin and Pol Pot and, of course, Che Guevara.

The truth for either side is something else, not likely to be exposed by commenters here.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hoeh, what is your grandson's major there at Amherst? Is it sociology, the last refuge of the incompetent? Art history, really in demand there in Bethel, I bet? Emily Dickinson studies? What will his expensive education qualify him to do out in the real world? Perhaps he will work for an evil corporation and help to invent the next generation of networking, so the groups bent on destruction can be even more coordinated.

Luck is not chance, it's toil; fortune's expensive smile is earned.
- Emily Dickinson

OMG, she valued individuality! I bet your grandson never heard that one.

MARK GRAVE's picture

For all of you, who want to

For all of you, who want to tear down our corporate system, be careful for what you wish. While there is no guarantee that wealth trickles down, I can say with 100% certainty, I would not have a job if the corporate structure on top were not making money. None of us have ever been employed by a poor person.

The Globalization Genie is out of the bottle; it is here whether we like it or not, and it has opened up new labor markets to US companies, especially for unskilled or semi-skilled workers. This will not change, if anything, it will get more challenging for us (the US labor force) when labor is allowed to flow freely across borders – perhaps a reason for lax U.S. border enforcement.

It becomes a simple supply and demand issue for labor; more lowed skilled workers leads to downward pressure or wages, or worse if a company moves offshore to find cheap labor. This phenomenon is reflected in data form Bureau of Labor and Statistics [1]. The September unemployment rate for individuals with a 4-year degree is 4.3% as compared to 10.0% for high school graduates.

While I’m not happy with the current state of affairs, we individuals can stay ahead of the game. How? Get educated, even if it means setting up residency in a state that has lower cost public education system. Remember the Nike mantra – Just Do It! Moreover, do not pay for an education in a field that can be easily outsource or in a field, such as liberal studies, that is not very marketable. Pick a field of study that requires human presences in the US.

In closing, I would like to say the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has misplaced aggression. Capitalism is what it is; remember the tale about the scorpion and the frog [2]. It is the job of the Federal Government to provide an appropriate level of checks and balances, take the Glass-Steagall Act for example. It is those individuals who have failed us. They have become corporate prostitutes and for what in return?

[1] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
[2] http://allaboutfrogs.org/stories/scorpion.html

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

I totally agree

The redistribution of wealth that has taken place in this country in the last 20 years is shocking. All of it has been in the direction of the wealthy and away from the middle class. This is the cause of the OWS movement and I don't expect it to go away any time soon. Their target however is misplaced. It is not the fault of corporations that they want to fatten up the bottom line it is the job of our legislatures to make sure they aren't doing it at the expense of the health of our nation. They have failed at this miserably and I believe the cause has to do with lobbying and they laws that allow lobbyists to buy and write the laws of this country. All you have to do is look at which economies are prospering at this time. See China, Germany, India, S. Korea. None of them are practicing the "Laissez-faire capitalism" that is being sold to us as the solution to our job problems. They all have a thriving capitalist base with a strong regulating body. They also are all spending heavily on things like education, infrastructure, and energy conservation and development. Most of our investment is in drilling,wars and fattening up the offshore accounts of billionaires. The OWS movement is pointing out a serious problem and hopefully they will soon hone in on the cause.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You should really rethink your position.

Claire,
Okay, let’s slow down a minute. Using China, India, and South Korea as positive examples in the same discussion you complain about income disparity is really a weak position. These three counties have far greater income disparity amongst the population than we do in the U.S.. Just stop and think why corporations are rushing to setup factories in these countries? What is the human rights history of these countries?

I have travel to all three of these countries. Moreover, my wife is from South East Asian, and I have travel to her home country many times. Parents in these countries go thought extraordinary sacrifices to educate their children, and I can tell you the Government has nothing to do with it. These people see first-hand what real poverty looks like, and that is what drives them to make the sacrifices they do and work for as little wages as they do for foreign corporations. Have you ever thought why Asian’s outperform all other student classes in this country? Moreover, look at the unemployment rate among Asians in the labor statistics I posted; it is comparatively lower than other classes.

In closing, I have to laugh when we us terms like “Food Insecure” in this country to frame poverty. American’s are generally naïve when it comes to understanding how most of the peoples of the world live.

You should really rethink your position.

RONALD RIML's picture

There's a reason....

Mark writes: "Have you ever thought why Asian’s outperform all other student classes in this country?"

We must supposedly 'educate' all of our children. In a number of Asian countries education is not mandatory, and fierce competition exists for those seats which are available.

Entirely different systems and values. (unfortunetly)

MARK GRAVE's picture

Ronald, You are correct, and

Ronald,

You are correct, and what is the alternative for these children if they don’t get the education?

Perhaps they can work in one of those foreign factories for $5.00 a day.

The alternative is stark, that what drives the fierce competition.

Mark

RONALD RIML's picture

Pie in the Sky

They can be like American kidz and pretend they're going to be a movie/rock star, sports hero, or some other crap.

Doesn't matter no how. American 'Exceptionalism' will be that the Yellow and Brown races eventually save our dumb asses..... (How's that for fueling a fire.)

MARK GRAVE's picture

Ronald, I personally will not

Ronald,

I personally will not go far.

First generation is hungry to succeed since they have fresh memories of where they came from and what they came from. They will push their kids to succeed as well. Probably not so much from 3rd and 4th generation though once they’re inculcated with the entitlement mentality.

Taking the path of least resistance seems to be part of the human condition,and our society seems to enable that behavior at the moment; everything is a right or an entitlement.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Correction

I personally will not go that far.

David A. Gagnon's picture

Oh please Mark,

CNBC is what your source is. LMAO

Mark Wrenn's picture

ROTFLMAO

And you have what source?

RONALD RIML's picture

Perhaps

A Convicted Felon Fox News Contributor???

(Who the ACLU got off on a technicality)

David A. Gagnon's picture

Sorry

The OWS can't think nor spell and they act and talk like they are owed something. They also live like slobs and they are financed by Soros and company. Soros has never created a job, while the Koch brothers have. I find it amazing how you vilify capitalism yet you run around with your Iphones and Ipads as well as your laptops all created and produced by the so called greedy capitalists you so despise.

RONALD RIML's picture

And

What is your 'Inside Track' on this?? How 'Movements' live, act, talk??

David Gagnon writes: "The OWS can't think nor spell and they act and talk like they are owed something"

THE 'OWS' is a 'Movement' - Movements, as inanimate objects, are incapable of thought and spelling.

Now you should compose a posting as though you are capable of thought. Readers here are owed that.

David A. Gagnon's picture

Wow Ron

You actually mustard up enough brain power to attack my thought process. And your type never attack anyone on a personal level and never call people names even though you know well enough what I was talking about. It's hard telling whether you or Danny the boy Breton are kings in the department. But that's what the progressive social movement is all about. When you have nothing to continue the discussion, attack the individual on a personal level. So when will you practice what your preach?

RONALD RIML's picture

Get a 'Clue"

Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Pipe.....???

One 'Musters' up brain power - not slathers it on as 'Mustard'

And you wish to talk about the 'thought' process. Bwa-hhaa-haa-HA!!!

 's picture

Seems like YOU and yours do

Seems like YOU and yours do all of the personal attacking

David A. Gagnon's picture

To quote you Danny Boy

"And if you're a teawagger, then you're just a moron, and your opinion is worthless."

 's picture

and where is the personal

and where is the personal attack?

Joe Morin's picture

Hey Dan....

.... Don't play stupi.....don't play normal

 's picture

Hey Joe, when you sober up

Hey Joe, when you sober up post again, maybe we'd understand what you type.

Mark Wrenn's picture

Soros?

That's a joke, right? "So Soros funded Tides, which funded Adbusters, which designed a poster. So Occupy Wall Street is a Soros plot, right? Well, one problem with this idea is that Soros never heard of Adbusters." "The real story here isn’t the backing of one person but the way online fundraising has allowed Occupy Wall Street to attract shocking amounts of cash. Kickstarter, which allows people to request donations for projects they are starting, raised $75,000 for Occupy Wall Street’s newspaper, Occupy Wall Street Journal. Almost all of it came from individuals pledging less than $85 a piece." "No doubt the success and persistence of Occupy Wall Street will eventually attract some big donors. But so far it appears there is no shadowy financier committing class-treason by financing Occupy Wall Street." http://goo.gl/KkWs8

Mark Wrenn's picture

contrasts

There are some very important contrasts between the Tea Party protests and the OWS protests. The Tea Clown protests featured misspelled signs, pictures of Obama with either a Hitler style mustache or African tribal wear, gazillions of obese white people on scooters screaming "keep your gubmint hands off my medicare", assault weapons, and financing by the Koch brothers. On the other hand, the OWS protests started small and went global based on a popular message, and they can actually think and spell.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

In all Tea Party ...

... protests put together, few were hurt, few (in the Tea Party) were arrested, and no one had to clean up after them - none of which can be said of the current "protests". Some have a mighty low threshold of chaos and pandemonium - and endorsement. The media did a thorough job of twisting events to portray the Tea Party as violent racists. No twisting is needed to see the "occupiers" as such, and worse.

The Tea Party is working within the US political system to reduce the size of government and especially to reduce its reckless spending. The "occupy" protesters are working to destroy that system - and destroy it violently, given their preferences - although they can't explain what they want in its place. They are not focused and certainly not spontaneous. They are the "useful idiots" seen at every moment of totalitarian history, all with only one thing in common: They are the first to "go" when the revolution succeeds.

 's picture

you are correct,few

you are correct,few teawaggers were arrested, simply because of official bias. As far as no one teawaggers being racist, the mob at the capitol is evidence enough. The teawaggers are not working the system, they're working against the system, to create more chaos than Occupy Wall Street has, including having the credit rating of the US downgraded for the first time in history, all because they obstruct the system to not allow anything useful to occur. Teawaggers will be the death of this nation, if they're not stopped, and that would suit them just fine.

 's picture

Way to go, Ms Hoeh, you've

Way to go, Ms Hoeh, you've manage to do something this 'newspaper' has failed to do, bring attention to a major movement scanning the globe. When this paper's teawaggers friends were creating chaos and pandemonium, it was highlighted frequently. This movement, which is a threat to it's cushy position, nary a word. People are being arrested, beaten all in the name of protest, where as the teawaggers got away with browbeating, spitting on congresspeople, and hurling racial epithets, with the tacit endorsement of this paper.

Joe Morin's picture

Why?

In certain moments I can step back and gain perspective as to the motives of others...but yours is interesting. You use material that you know to be not true as supposed evidence... to convince who? The ones that already know you are lying?...maybe in hopes of the uninformed believing what you write? or , and I find this most likely, to simply antagonize & provoke those that have a different view than you by frustrating them with nonsense... From what I've gathred Dan, you're probably 40-50 yrs old, yet you use tactics becoming of a 8-10 year old...Snide sarcasm reminiscent of "I know you are but what am I". You'll laugh at someones gramatic error, as minor as it may be, as... a refute??? Typicaly following a rash of your own. You'll insult someone directly or through inuendo and then say "what? I don't insult people" like we don't see you hiding behind that flag pole... Ad Hominem, Red Herring, Straw man, appeal to authority, Appeal to ignorance, Appearance and reality, Hasty Generalization & Salva Veritate are all things that were taught to me in college. All the afore mentioned topics are things I was taught to know but not use because they do not support a logical argument. The class was critical thinking and the idea was how to see through the crap and look at things that are truly relevant. So when I ask why? Why would a grown man conduct himself in such a manner? I only have a few explanations... none which are very flattering.

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