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Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

The Almighty Buck 1799

__roo writes "The New York Times reports that the Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired hundreds of Facebook pages, Twitter posts, and Meetup events, and that 'blog posts and photographs from all over the country are popping up on the WeArethe99Percent blog on Tumblr from people who see themselves as victims of not just a sagging economy but also economic injustice.' What do Slashdotters think? Do you relate to the 99% stories? Do they make you angry — either at the system, or at the protesters? If it's at the protesters, is it rational or a just-world effect?"

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The 1% are insulated (5, Insightful)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667382)

Even if you're screaming right outside their door, they're just going to call the cops and crank up the volume on the TV. I don't seriously believe that the Occupy campaign are going to do that much to change what is going on. The 1% already control everything. Everything that you buy, everything that you watch and everything that you do is controlled completely by this 1% group. Just about the only way I can think of to wrest power away from these folks is if the 99% were to stop buying everything for more than 90 days. Once the corporations see their income statements go to zilch then you would see real change.

Re:The 1% are insulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667482)

> Once the corporations see their income statements go to zilch then you would see real change.

Yes... they'll have the government raise taxes on the middle class, and subsidize them to make up for the lost revenue. In the name of "innovation". After Hurricane Wilma, FPL & its captured regulators in Florida's government imposed a new fee to reimburse them for the revenue they lost because they weren't able to supply power to a few million customers for up to a month. The chutzpah was mindblowing, even by jaded modern standards.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667490)

I cant remember who it was that worked out that almost 30% of the people are employed to keep the rest controlled for that 0.1% in control.

Re:The 1% are insulated (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667538)

So start your own business. I did.

Re:The 1% are insulated (3, Interesting)

OpenGLFan (56206) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667862)

So start your own business. I did.

I can't, nor can many of Slashdot's audience. Why? Because of a law IBM bought in 1986 prohibiting programmers and software engineers from working as self-employed individuals. (Citation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/us/19tax.html [nytimes.com] ). So, once again we see regulations bought by corporations to steer things in their favor. Which is kind of the whole point of the protest.

Re:The 1% are insulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667630)

The 1% already control everything. Everything that you buy, everything that you watch and everything that you do is controlled completely by this 1% group.

False. You control those things yourself. If you buy/watch/do something the "%1" wants you to, it's because your desires happened to coincide with theirs on that occasion. You can choose to do something different if you want.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667692)

The 1% already control everything. Everything that you buy, everything that you watch and everything that you do is controlled completely by this 1% group.

False. You control those things yourself. If you buy/watch/do something the "%1" wants you to, it's because your desires happened to coincide with theirs on that occasion. You can choose to do something different if you want.

One person can make a choice ... this makes no difference anymore these days. These days, it takes a critical mass of at least a billion people in order to put into place real lasting change. If billions of people suddenly stop giving money to every single corporation...there would be instant change.

Re:The 1% are insulated (0)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667720)

Instant change, in that those billions of people would have no idea how to obtain a single one of the necessities of life.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667814)

Instant change, in that those billions of people would have no idea how to obtain a single one of the necessities of life.

The necessities of life can be obtained without using corporations.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667872)

Ok. Start now.

Re:The 1% are insulated (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667634)

Even if you're screaming right outside their door, they're just going to call the cops and crank up the volume on the TV. I don't seriously believe that the Occupy campaign are going to do that much to change what is going on. The 1% already control everything. Everything that you buy, everything that you watch and everything that you do is controlled completely by this 1% group. Just about the only way I can think of to wrest power away from these folks is if the 99% were to stop buying everything for more than 90 days. Once the corporations see their income statements go to zilch then you would see real change.

It's mostly a problem of identification. The real power-brokers love to be behind the scenes. They aren't the ones who are out there, on TV, participating in campaigns, issuing press releases, etc. That's all a puppet show for public consumption, to put it simply.

The real aristocracy does everything by proxy, by funding, by corporations, and by front organizations. The single most effective thing they ever did was to replace real state-issued money with bank-issued monetized debt. That's how you grab a nation by the balls without ever using physical force.

I doubt these protestors have the sophistication or the awareness to see through the bullshit and understand what they're actually opposing. Unfortunately, they are likely to be useful idiots, pawns on someone's great chessboard. That's generally the problem when you have blind, stupid, unfocused rage that lacks understanding and a strong sense of constructive purpose. That's why (in terms of Establishment priorities) it's okay to give them so much media attention. It's little more than a way to get the "troublemakers" to identify themselves and be arrested or otherwised put through the system.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667640)

Marie Antoinette was insulated too. How did that work out for her?

Re:The 1% are insulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667668)

If the 99% stop buying everything, won't they starve to death? Except for some of the 99% who happen to be farmers of course.

If the 99% only buy food, and stop buying everything else then they'd be punished with brutal layoffs. Then austerity measures.

The 0.1% can live in Abu Dhabi where the average citizen has a net worth of $17 million (and there are close to 500,000 citizens that city.)

The 0.99% will be looted by the criminal faction of the 99%.

So basically, if most of us stop buying "everything" for 90 days, normal people get hurt first and most.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667802)

That is, until the 99% rally together and realize they truly are the majority. That's when they drag the 1 percenter out and chop his head off.

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667806)

The point is not to convince those who benefit most from the world as it is to change what they are doing; that's a fantasy. They have no reason to want to change anything.
A mass movement is always chaotic, but if it's strong enough to overcome the world as it exists then it opens the door to changes that would have been impossible inside the old order. Once that great task has been accomplished, it can be decided how to move forward with an arrangement that would not put us into the same cycle of crisis we've endured.

Of course, that is not the first great task but the second. The first great task is to bring everyone with the common characteristic of lacking franchise in the current system to action and only then will the movement be strong enough to achieve anything serious. Once we've met each other, working out the details is remarkably quick.

There's probably a big protest of indefinite duration starting this Saturday in your city. Seek it out. [occupytogether.org]

Re:The 1% are insulated (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667810)

98% of us wish that the 1% who are claiming to be the 99% would stop pretending they're speaking for us.

Re:The 1% are insulated (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667860)

Sure, they have power, armies of private security, full control of the government, etc. But that's no match for the protestors' mighty drum circles!

Re:The 1% are insulated (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667868)

I agree with you, but even making more people aware of this and perhaps take a little bit of interest in whom they're voting for... I dunno. It's better than doing nothing, I think.

Bitcoin (4, Funny)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667440)

Want to do something about the current failure of money? Start using Bitcoins. It'll be the biggest protest with the biggest impact in history.

http://www.weusecoins.com/ [weusecoins.com]

The problem isn't the currency (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667480)

The problem is a financial system built on making enormous amounts of money without contributing to society.

Re:The problem isn't the currency (-1, Troll)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667526)

And that's exactly why Bitcoins is the only way to get dent in the current financing system.

Re:The problem isn't the currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667670)

Vincent,

Do did you buy some bitcoins and want to sell them?

Re:The problem isn't the currency (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667834)

If you think Bitcoins are going to put a dent in the current system, you're incredibly naive. It's like expecting a BB gun to put a dent in an M1 tank.

Re:The problem isn't the currency (1)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667694)

Contributing to society is not the problem. The problem is they contribute (read: Bribe) to elected officials in one way or another. Greed is all well and fine. What's not fine is rigging the system by buying politicians, getting laws passed or shot down, and otherwise gaming the system so that you may crush competition or take advantage of people. This is what's been going on since the early 80s and the government, instead of protecting the people, not only allows it to continue but refuses to enforce the laws that do exist to prevent this sort of thing.

And this is the reason I laugh at the people who blame Obama or blame the GOP or blame the Dems. ALL of them have been doing this to us for 30 years. Not one side or the other - ALL OF THEM.

Re:The problem isn't the currency (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667818)

The financial system does contribute to society by proving risk-willing capital, that is why it was too big to fail.

The excessive gambling going on inside the system might not be to our benefit however, but all investments are fundamentally speaking gambles, so there is no way to prevent gambling in finance. We can only hope to find mechanisms that will make it safer for the rest of society.

Re:The problem isn't the currency (1)

bigmattana (646048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667836)

You do honestly not think banks contribute to society? The entire world economy is based on banks and their ability to leverage the money the have to create loans.

I hate some of the big banks as much as the next guy but I am not sure how you can not see how much our economy depends on banks. Do you have a retirement account? Ever use a credit card? Ever borrow money for a car or home? Would you prefer a corner "money store" or borrow from the mafia? I personally enjoy being able to take advantage of the services banks or credit unions offer at virtually no cost to me.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667820)

I prefer my Bisondollars

Unfortunaly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667452)

Useless, nothing will change, people are wasting their times...

NOT the 99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667470)

These people are still in the top 20% of the current global population and the top .0000000000001% of everyone who has ever lived.

A sense of scale would be useful.

Percentages (2)

janeuner (815461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667472)

From what I've seen, it's actually 80% arguing with 19% about 1%

Protests (5, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667486)

I'd join the protest if I wasn't taking care of my Mother after my Father died. I think it's a crock how things are but I also feel the top 1% aren't fully to blame. The 99% needs to learn to not be asleep at the wheel half the time and learn to say no together in order to get things done like boycotting things and not just go for "I got mine, too bad about yours" deals.

Re:Protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667632)

Maybe the 99% can learn to avoid mono space fonts too.

Re:Protests (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667766)

I'd join the protest if I wasn't taking care of my Mother after my Father died. I think it's a crock how things are but I also feel the top 1% aren't fully to blame. The 99% needs to learn to not be asleep at the wheel half the time and learn to say no together in order to get things done like boycotting things and not just go for "I got mine, too bad about yours" deals.

I blame the politicians who claim that 1% are sacred cows. Something rather sick about the way they keep protecting them and demanding they get tax cuts (which have proven not to help the economy or encourage investment.)

Completely valid (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667510)

It's about damn time. The disparity in wealth and power in the US is staggering, and I know that most don't like it.

I bet Obama's going to make this an issue in his re-election campaign. If he gets re-elected, hopefully he'll remember it once the election is over...

Re:Completely valid (1, Insightful)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667598)

The problem isn't wealth distribution, it's the fact that the government can regulate the industry and just print money and give it to the corporations. With a central point of failure (the federal government) it's easy for business to become corrupt.

Treat the source, not the symptom. Get the federal government back to doing the (very) few things that it is mandated to by the constitution.

As for Obama, he didn't really remember much of his campaign platform after he was elected last time, I don't see why it'd be different this time.

Re:Completely valid (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667784)

Note that I don't feel strongly one way or another on the protests - from what I've heard the people are justly angry but are focusing it on the wrong people and are asking for the wrong change. It's likely that if they get legislation passed then they will be making the government clamp down on the businesses - which is just as bad, but in the other direction.

Re:Completely valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667790)

Correct. The problem is power distribution, not wealth distribution. If you have corrupt power brokers then wealth can lead to power but wealth is secondary.

Re:Completely valid (1)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667642)

Yes...you will see Obama use some of the Occupy issues as talking points. No...it is my believe that you will not see change as a result of it. It would take an awful lot of editing of US Laws and Regulations as well as changes in the attitudes of those in Wall Street and running the US Corporations in order to see real change. Most of all, you would need to see real compassion in the hearts and minds of those running the world. This will not happen anytime soon. Most likely, what we will see is a polarized election debate wherein the 99% are pitted against the 1%. The Republicans are going to continue to say No. The Democrats are going to vilify the very people that they will support post elections. The right wingers on Fox news are going to derp some more. The left wingers are going to mock the derping some more and we will be ... still ... at the mercy of the 1%. It has been this way for more than a thousand years. It will be this way a thousand years from now unless people wise up.

Re:Completely valid (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667792)

I bet Obama's going to make this an issue in his re-election campaign. If he gets re-elected, hopefully he'll remember it once the election is over...

Well, last election he DID say he'd Spread the Wealth Around. What he didn't tell us is that it would be to AIG, Citigroup, Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GM, Chrysler, etc, etc, etc, etc...

perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667516)

these people are all americans with one of the highest standards of living in the world. They're the 1% on a global scale, and they think they're being opressed by the 0.001%. Which to some extent they are, but they desperately need some perspective.

Re:perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667594)

To what ends? How far down the drain must things slide before they become worth fighting for?

Re:perspective (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667704)

So, you're saying that unless they are the one person on earth living in the worst possible conditions without actually dieing, they should cheerfully accept their regular ass-raping and just be thrilled that they're not that guy? That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Sick of it... (-1, Flamebait)

malakai (136531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667518)

Obama wanted a class war and now he's got it.

There's nothing I can say without provoking someone on the "other side" into an ad hominem attack. Dialog, or what remained of civil dialog, on any of these matters is pretty much suspended until after the 2012 elections.

Re:Sick of it... (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667552)

About time the losing side in the class war started fighting back, I say...

Re:Sick of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667772)

Too bad they suck at it.

Re:Sick of it... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667880)

the losing side in the class war

Look really closely at the Occupiers, and I bet you find a bunch of elitist bastards from Ivy League and other top-tier Universities.

Re:Sick of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667622)

Obama wanted a class war and now he's got it.

There's nothing I can say without provoking someone on the "other side" into an ad hominem attack. Dialog, or what remained of civil dialog, on any of these matters is pretty much suspended until after the 2012 elections.

Suck off, pick a side you a-hole. Either way, I hate you.

Re:Sick of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667718)

But I love you.

Re:Sick of it... (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667752)

The simple fact that you're mentioning a class war makes me think you have little useful to say. What's going on right now has nothing to do with class warfare, and all to do with people being sick of bailing out private institutions when their bets failed.

Re:Sick of it... (1)

Howard Beale (92386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667760)

and what makes you think it'll stop after the 2012 elections? I was thinking 12/21/12 was a better date.

Re:Sick of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667796)

Obama wanted a class war and now he's got it.

There's nothing I can say without provoking someone on the "other side" into an ad hominem attack. Dialog, or what remained of civil dialog, on any of these matters is pretty much suspended until after the 2012 elections.

Class war has been going on for 30 years. In case you didn't notice, you lost.

What is the goal? (4, Insightful)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667522)

These protests lack a specific and/or measurable goal. It's really difficult to reach a goal that you haven't set. I agree with most of the rhetoric being brandied about, but the lack of focus could be a deal breaker for the occupy movement.

Re:What is the goal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667620)

It seems to me it takes about 30 seconds of thought to realize it all boils down to wealth disparity.

Re:What is the goal? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667662)

End the Wars
Tax the Rich
This isn't Rocket Science

Courtesy of Tom Tomorrow:

http://thismodernworld.com/archives/6027 [thismodernworld.com]

Re:What is the goal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667682)

The government let things get this bad. It isn't the job of the protestor to figure it out.
They are making people aware that the problem has reached a tipping point.

The government produced close to $20Trillion for the banks when they reached their tipping point.

This will end with the republicans taking power and using the US military to rid the streets of these mobs.
You can tell this is the end the media and establishment wants. It is in the language they use when covering the events.

Re:What is the goal? (2)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667726)

The goal seems to be to get enough people riled up to join the protests and finally to annoy the wealthy enough so that they call in the government guns on a large scale - inciting a revolution ala Egypt. I do not know how I feel about this.

Re:What is the goal? (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667828)

This is my thoughts exactly. There is a very definite lack of focus in these protests. That is the reason why they will fail to accomplish anything and why I cannot support them.

Re:What is the goal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667884)

I think the value is that it gives politicians who bandie around the same rhetoric political capital.

Re:What is the goal? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667888)

This has been posted about the internet since this all began. The goal is rather obvious, to level the playing field, to reduce the influence of money in our political system and to weaken large corporate influence over our economy.

It's how they expect we go about doing that I'm foggy on.

It's the left version of the Tea Party (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667524)

Populist rage of the disaffected, only these are unemployed college grads instead of moderately racist suburbanites. And while this group lacks coherent talking points, at least they are angry at the right people.

Re:It's the left version of the Tea Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667664)

"moderately racist suburbanites"

Evidence?

Re:It's the left version of the Tea Party (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667832)

Assertion is all the proof needed, or haven't you been paying attention to politics (and Slashdot) for the past decade or so?

Re:It's the left version of the Tea Party (3, Insightful)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667728)

Populist rage of the disaffected, only these are unemployed college grads instead of moderately racist suburbanites. And while this group lacks coherent talking points, at least they are angry at the right people.

Really? Then why aren't the protesting their University for putting them tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for a degree that isn't worth a tenth of that? You know, the universities sitting on multi-billion dollar endowments yet are raising tuition many times the rate of inflation? In an age where information is vastly cheaper and easier to acquire, they are making it much harder and more expensive.

The fact they are blaming Wall St, which has absolutely nothing to do with their degrees' cost, shows their university did not provide them with the necessary critical thinking skills to make it in the world.

Re:It's the left version of the Tea Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667736)

It's the left version of something alright, but it's not the Tea Party.

Re:It's the left version of the Tea Party (3, Insightful)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667742)

They have cogent talking points, tax equity for individuals and corporations. One person, one vote ( minimize the power of money from the top to influence elections and elected officials). There message is simple and close to the message of the original Tea Party which came out against Wall Street before the Koch brothers and Fox took over that group and steered them to be anti-government instead of anti-wall street.

Mindless dupes of a well financed astroturf outfit (2)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667546)

Oh, wait, sorry . . . I was thinking about last year's protestors.

rabble and scrabble (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667554)

Sweep the protesting rabble into the Hudson ... then line-up and shoot 1000 investment bankers. Ah yes ... much much better .....

Awareness (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667556)

It's raising awareness of the issues, that's really all I can expect. What people do after they've become aware is the fun part.

If I was close to where the large areas are I'd be there tearing up my $900/month student loan bills too.

The protesters need to refocus their anger. (2)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667560)

They're too focused on the "greed of wall street," which makes the protesters seem like they're after handouts.

They need to instead focus on financial crimes, the fact that many of the people in the so-called 1% who are responsible for the subprime lending crisis, etc. aren't sitting in jail despite the fact that it's these white-collar crimes which bankrupted many innocent people. If they focus on the tax evasion, insider trading, blatant abuse of trust, and so forth, then they would have a more convincing case.

Re:The protesters need to refocus their anger. (4, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667590)

Funny as it sounds: Bernie Madoff is sitting in jail right now for ripping off the rich, and they all got their money back. None of the people who wrote loans to everyday people knowing these people would default ended up going to jail. None of the people who inflated credit ratings on subprime financial vehicles are getting punished. This is where the protests should focus on, not just "greed," whatever that is.

Re:The protesters need to refocus their anger. (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667780)

+5, Insightful.

Realizing, as another poster wrote, that they are the upper crust of the richest nation on earth (like that black who guy knelt down on Wall Street, screaming, "I'm a law student at GWU, my parents make $350,000 a year, and the bank is repossessing our $500,000 mansion!" when the bank actually wasn't.)

Boo Fscking Hoo!

Re:The protesters need to refocus their anger. (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667844)

I'm sorry but "these white-collar crimes which bankrupted many innocent people. If they focus on the tax evasion, insider trading, blatant abuse of trust, and so forth," are all examples of greed. You are just enumerating the ways that we are aware of for greed to steal from the rest of us. Then there are the people that buy companies and fire a lot of people and sell the carcase or move jobs overseas and fire workers and get tax breaks, bonuses and high salaries for it.

I am somewhat annoyed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667562)

Most of the "We are the 99%" stories I have seen have been more along the lines of someone blaming the state of the economy for their own bad decisions.
There are problems with big business and some of the truly rich, but those problems are not really the reason for many of the things these protestors are claiming.

Well someone's going to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667564)

From the top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Overdue. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667576)

Middle Ages income distribution per law :

33% lord, 33% church, 33% peasant.

Modern income/wealth distribution :

5% gets 72% of everything. 85% gets 15% of everything.

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html [ucsc.edu]

even worse, the means for wealth generation, the tools are totally on the off side on the hands of minority, so this means the income/wealth disparage will only grow bigger.

85% of people dont have enough from economy, despite they are being worked to generate that economy. as a result, they are not able to spend. economy suffers. education dives down. culture is neglected. people dont care for anything outside survival.

the top 0.1% of society, which owns and controls entire scheme on the other hand, just hoards. more and more. naturally, as a single person cannot want and spend for an endless amount of things, after a certain point spending on the side of the rich declines, and it turns to extreme luxury and afterwards just hoarding. insurmountable wealth stays in assets and keeps getting bigger through investment tools that do not produce anything solid in stock and fund trading schemes.

situation now is worse than the situation in middle ages. no duke could dream of having 72% of wealth in the nation. all serfs would laugh at modern man taking only 15% of available amenities in the society. and serfs had their livelihood guaranteed by law.

we progressed technologically. we regressed socially.

Bitterness (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667610)

I see a lot of bitterness on Slashdot about the U.S. political system: the sentiment that all the politicians are bought by moneyed interests and are at best indifferent, at worst actively hostile, to the needs of the person in the street or the country as a whole. I see the "Occupy<Location>" protests as expressing the same sentiment.

At this point I think it's more important to build consensus about the need for action, than to determine a specific course of action.

Professor Chaos (1)

spblat (26399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667626)

Just saw South Park S06E06 last night (Professor Chaos). Butters is feeling bummed and rejected and isolated and ignored and vows to disrupt life as we know it for everybody. And the power he's revolting against doesn't even notice.

So it will be with these protests unless and until a clearer message comes together, and until protests here and there turn into a real nationwide movement that wields genuine political power.

some of the stories don't help.... (-1, Troll)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667628)

There's been some stupid "99% stories" out there that I think are not helping their case. "I owe $70K in tuition fees to a high end college. My parents are ultra liberals with six figure salaries apiece. I'm in the 99% boo hoo." Well, I guess that (being not in the 1%) is probably true from a strictly technical standpoint, but I have a hard time FEELING SORRY FOR YOU. Or thinking that in any way you are entitled to money you did not earn. Or, at very least, before you get your tuition paid off for free at your froo froo school, I should be able to afford that cleaning service for my house.

Globalism and technology (1)

jothar hillpeople (1789504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667636)

Back in 1976, Jobs and Woz made their own computers. Today, the iStuff is made in China- nothing is manufactured in America anymore. A lot of Furthermore, technology and globalization has made many other jobs obsolete. We need less secretaries, lawyers, accountants, etc. The resulting drop in employment means government can't continue expanding at union-friendly paces, and government workers are forced to be laid off or give back gains. Years ago, people predicted the 3-hour workday from all the technology . Instead, a lucky few work full-time and the rest are unemployed. This is progress. The singularity is coming because we can't afford to be humans anymore. It's much cheaper to exist in an online-only version.

Clueless (1, Insightful)

bigmattana (646048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667644)

I think this photo pretty well sums it up.

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/10/down-with-evil-corporations-photo.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667740)

Yes, because advocating people be just a bit less greedy(via government regulation if needed) is EXACTLY THE SAME AS COMMUNISM.

Incoherant progressive astroturfing (0)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667646)

It feels manufactured and the fact that unions are supporting it make it all suspect to me.

Re:Incoherant progressive astroturfing (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667870)

This movement, like the tea party movement before it, is about to get co-opted by the establishment, and then it's just background noise.

Unequivocal support (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667648)

These people are the best chance we've had to turn around a country that's been headed in the wrong direction for at least the past 30 years. We live in a country where Goldman Sachs can commit thousands of acts of felony perjury, and not one person stands trial. They create fraudulent financial instruments, and pay back a small portion of their ill gotten gains as "fines" (bribes). Yet if I were to write a bad check to cover some groceries, I'd be going straight to jail. There's no way to describe this but tyranny.

Barack Obama, the greatest hope in a generation, is either unable or unwilling to do anything about this. If he's unwilling we have a severe political problem. He was elected to bring us change he refuses to deliver, and we have no way to hold him accountable.

On the other hand, if he's unable, we have a much more serious problem. That means democracy is well and truly dead in this country. The corporations have a complete stranglehold on our government. Unfortunately, this is more likely to be the truth.

It's a good start (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667656)

It may not phase the rich but it sure makes a statement to the politicians. By hanging out at Wall Street, financial dists, etc. It lets the common folk put an arrow at where many of us believe where the problem is located, I applaud that thought.

Iv'e heard some of the politicians say hang out at the white house, etc. That does not highlight the source of the problem from my perspective.

Go Occupy Wall Street! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667698)

I am sick with Corporations welfare and personhood. Money shouldn't equate to votes. It was not fair to bail out the financial sectors so they can bankroll bonuses to their employee, while foreclosing on the wrong houses. The Dodd's Bill passed and there is no funding to enforce it at all, the reforms for the financial sector is effectively dead, it's just so frustrating that the Corporations have so much power over Government.

The protests are.... odd. (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667700)

They finally made it to San Francisco. But they either moved away from their initial location on Market Street, or were completely forced out of the city. What little I saw of them made me think that
* the local homeless and drifters finally found something to do with their free time
* they have no chance in hell of accomplishing anything

Specifically, they won't accomplish anything beyond getting attention. They have hundreds of different, sometimes opposing goals. They're all upset with the status quo, but have no workable solutions. They're largely made up of young, idealistic people with little corporate or political experience. They cannot tap into any networks that carry any weight. They're doomed to be nothing but friendly protesters who will at some point run out of steam.

To some extent, I can understand them. The system we're in is set up to benefit a very small minority (0.5%, from what I've seen actually). There's less and less economic mobility. Profits are privatized, losses are socialized. But they're not the equivalent of the Arab Spring, because they have no solution. Worse, they're pointing at the wrong people when they're asked to point at the culprits of the current situation.

Winter is coming. It's going to be cold. Tthe tent cities will disappear. And with them, the movement. Maybe it will be reborn into something different, something with more teeth, simpler goals, and a better understanding of politics and economics behind it. That is their only real hope. I wish them well.

Re:The protests are.... odd. (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667804)

But they're not the equivalent of the Arab Spring, because they have no solution.

Well, to be fair, I don't think the Arabs had a full solution either. Getting rid of Mubrarak was a necessary but not a sufficient condition for improved social and economic justice in Egypt, for example.

Re:The protests are.... odd. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667864)

That's very true. But there was a simple goal, a simple method to achieve that goal, and the goal was the required first step in their search for improved social and economic justice. These people are lacking even the first step.

If I were not 2000+ miles away... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667702)

I'd be there with them.

Though I think protesting on the Capitol Mall might be more effective - I'm pretty fed up with the GOP bending over backward for Wall Street and weeping about poor Bankers and Wall Street when the call for better regulation was made after the banking crisis. Also rather sore about the bonuses being paid, right after the bailouts. A lot of the rhetoric regarding "we have to leave these people alone because they enable our economy" fell on my deaf ears - the economy took a right battering thanks to their blind pursuit of margins and percentages on return, never mind the risk.

Re:If I were not 2000+ miles away... (1)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667756)

The protests have been expanding to other countries as well. If you look on their website you'll see they have been organizing in large and small cities.

It's just fun (2)

FilatovEV (1520307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667710)

As a slashdotter from Russia, I feel a great curiosity towards the Occupy Wall Street. It shows the U.S. that foreigners like me weren't able to see yet. Other than curiosity, I feel some sadness, as we have two socialist parties in Russia, that get all pro-Socialism votes. What the Occupy Wall Street strives to achieve is a smaller part of our political system, that used to be a greater part once ago. That's why Occupy Wall Street makes me to think about our past, present and future.

What do they want? (0)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667712)

They don't really seem to know what they want. Do they have a list of demands? I haven't seen one.

Even though these guys seem to be mostly young liberals, they actually have a lot in common with the Tea Party people -- ordinary folks (mostly lower middle class) fueled by rising populism against what they perceive to be injustices by [large corporations/banks/Big Government].

TARP money was given to big banks and other entities deemed "too big to fail" by.... the most liberal president this country has seen since LBJ... go figure. And AFAIK, both the current protesters and the Tea Party people oppose the Obama bailouts/sweetheart deals for GoldmanSachs/Solyndra/etc... maybe they should just join up.

Many ways; here's one (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667724)

I see it (hopefully) within the context of similar protests that have occured throughout US history.

For example, the Pullman Strike [wikipedia.org] . That, and other labor unrest during the later part of the "robber barron" era lead to things we now take for granted such as minimum wage and the 40 hour week.

There were also grass roots leftist movements during the Great Depression.

When you read these histories, some of the things said by actors on both sides are eerily similar.

The hope is that these actions will reform and perfect our republic; but not destroy it. "Revolution" is a word that gets tossed around a lot; but I think there are very few people who want a true revolution (which I would define as a new constitutional convention that unseats all currently elected officials in one fell swoop and replaces them with something else).

The US has been flexible over its history, and that's a strength. We don't need a revolution because it's built into the Constitution in the form of elections and even the ability to ammend the Constitution itself. For example, some have proposed an ammendment that would overturn Citizens United and strip corporations of personhood. I'm not arguing for or against such an ammendment. I'm just citing it as an example of how change can occur within the framework of the Constitution without destroying the nation.

In other words, we have the rights of speech and assembly, and they are being used. I just hope they don't get abused and destroyed.

The chanting is scary (0)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667754)

Seriously, the unison call-and-repeat chanting is straight outta Mao [youtube.com] , as is the refusal to allow videotaping of a public event.

Re:The chanting is scary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667878)

Shit, I guess all those taped news broadcasts that I saw of the protests must have been acid flashbacks, then!

Its co-opted (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667838)

Its co-opted. It started with those on the left and right who were concerned about financial mismanagement by government and private corporations. Now unions are co-opting it because they fear union money will be restricted along with corporate money, democratic party operatives are co-opting it trying to create a "tea party" like organization that is shadow group for the democratic party, etc. Much like the tea party started with those legitimately concerned with fiscal mismanagement and an ever encroaching federal government and has subsequently been co-opted to some extent by republican social issues and republican party operatives. It will be interesting to see if the tea party can regain its original focus and it will be interesting to see if the occupy wall street movement can avoid the same mistake. Unfortunately it looks like history repeating itself, the only difference being tightly aligned with a different mainstream political party. Sad, since the tea party founders and the occupy wall street founders had an incredible amount of overlap in their concerns and grievances, although you would never really see that given only the incredibly shallow coverage of the "main stream media".

My favorite.. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667850)

Some 18 year old who finished high school at 16 and college at 18. Complained that he/she barely manages to pay his or her bills.

Or to paraphrase: Whaaaa, I'm 18 and not rich!

Most of them are useless idiots, some I do feel bad for. I'm swinging towards supporting a pseudo single-payer system, health care seems to be the biggest problem. In terms of education - end easy student loans for Basket Weaving degrees. If you are demonstrably intelligent you should get free college through grants/subsidies. Otherwise you should pay for it. By limiting the _demand_ for college education we will force prices down.

If every Tom, Dick, and Harry can get $100k in loans, why _wouldn't_ the higher education system make $100k (or more) the price of an education?

We need to stop the lie that college degree=automatic success. Instead have more trade schools, and send most capable to college.

On one automotive forum (1, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667854)

That has to do with trucks, everyone in the in the Wall Street protests thread thinks these people are unemployed, welfare communists. Yes same guys that bitch about the gov and how they are taking away their rights and bringing down the country are calling the ones who are out there trying to get the ball rolling communists from behind their computer screen.

My view on this is that there needs to be more protests like these. It doesn't matter if these people are unemplayed or on welfare. Its the publicity and if it manages to spark more protests it'll get even more media attention which will being in more protesters.

7 Core Demands of Occupy Wall Street (5, Interesting)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667858)

1) End the Collusion Between Government and Large Corporations/Banks, So That Our Elected Leaders Are Actually Representing the Interests of the People (the 99%) and Not Just Their Rich Donors (the 1%).

2) Investigate Wall Street and Hold Senior Executives Accountable for the Destruction in Wealth that has Devastated Millions of People.

3) Return the Power of Coining Money to the U.S. Treasury and Return to Sound Money

4) Limit the Size, Scope and Power of Banks so that None are Ever Again âoeToo Big to Failâ and in Need to Taxpayer Bailouts

5) Eliminate âoePersonhoodâ Legal Status for Corporations

6) Repeal the Patriot Act, End the War on Drugs and Protect Civil Liberties

7) End All Imperial Wars of Aggression, Bring the Troops Home from All Countries, Cut the Military Budget and Limit The Military Role to Protection of the Homeland

Not sure where this came from, but it was making the rounds on Facebook. Numbers 6 and 7 seem rather "wishlist"-y, but other than that this looks roughly accurate.

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