Occupy L.A. Movement ~ What do they stand for?
The burning question here seems to be what is it that this movement stands for? Some say that the banks are corrupt and that the Wall Street bankers should be jailed. Comments range from anger about how the bankers have been bailed out, and were not held accountable for their actions, to the inability of full-time workers to make ends meet. Others say that corporations control the government via lobbyists, which ultimately corrupt politicians. It does bring to mind the small percentage of the population that is comprised of bankers, lawyers and politicians that are some of the highest wage earners in America. The unbalance seems to cause a lot of unrest, as the average person in the United States seems to feel that the system has failed them.
To complicate things even further, there has become an increasingly large part of the population that has taken to working under the table or engaging in income opportunities that are illegal. The problem here is that these workers that are selling drugs, running illegal gambling rings, or working under the table are not paying taxes. That is a real problem as it puts too large of a burden on the legally employed as they are taxed too heavily. There are a lot of supporters of the Fair Tax Movement, which goes something like this: Income taxes are eliminated and replaced by a consumption tax. It is a simple concept: Whatever someone buys is taxed. This offers fair taxation to everyone, not just those who are following the rules and working legally. It seems unfair for a percentage of the population to pay the taxes for those who are not working legally, if at all.
Furthermore, many of these people working under the table or participating in illegal income opportunities are also taking advantage of social services. They can get cards with free money to use at establishments that take EBT cards. They can get food stamps without proof that they do not have any income. The system is definitely broken and the deficit proves this. But many ask: Why should so many be able to abuse the system doubly? Many working legally have resentment for those that are getting a tax free ride. There are so many aspects of the American economy that are broken, that of course the issues seem to be confusing.
Some of the people at these protests do not even know what they stand for, but they are mad about inequality. They know of the cushy lives that so many lead, while they struggle to make a living. The movie “Network” comes to mind. It is as if they have stuck their heads out of the window to yell that they are as mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. It is a fact, that the economy is spiraling out of control, but these protestors do not know what to do about it, nor do I. The loss of the American Dream comes to mind. Have people lost hope?
A lot of these protestors site their constitutional rights for freedom of speech and assembly. However there is nothing in the Constitution that says that you can have an ongoing sleep over on city property that comes with health issues caused by urination and littering. Furthermore, there is nothing in the constitution that gives anyone the right to loiter or trespass on city property when told to leave. If they wanted to get our attention, they have it. But, most people do not understand what it is they really want to have happen. It is not some specific thing many say, but I can only ascertain that it is all about change. I agree with that. We live in a country whose economic system has failed the bulk of American workers. The American dream of working hard and being successful is not available to most people. I think that a lot of people feel frustrated that they live paycheck to paycheck and just can’t seem to get ahead. Many people feel unable to get ahead as credit card debt is a way of life.
As far as the city asking the campers and protestors to disperse, they do have the right to ask them to leave, even if the protestors disagree. All citizens do have a right to enjoy a sanitary park, and this assembly that says it is one of peace, has become a public nuisance and a health issue where drugs abound. Of course a peaceful assembly and a right to protest is a part of the first amendment, but it is not unconditional and limitless.
The arrests from Occupy L.A. were many, and yes, they have made a real statement, and that I agree with. What upsets many people, is the millions of dollars that has been spent to disperse these protestors. I wonder what has really been accomplished here. Will anything really ever change? So many things are broken when it comes to the economy. It did not get this way overnight, so ultimately change will be slow, if any. I can only hope for some kind of change, but do not think that the entire overhaul that is necessary will ever happen. I hope to hell that all of this will prove helpful and create some kind of awareness of how so many people feel that they are chasing a dream that they may never achieve.