I've resisted posting anything about the Occupy Wall Street protests to this point, but I wanted to say something about it today.
Here in St. Louis, we have our version of it currently operating on downtown St. Louis.
Even the local newspaper can't figure out what the fuss is about. With that being said, it seems that one of the common themes of these activities is to make the wealthy pay their "fair share", which apparently translates into simply meaning they need to "pay more".
If the some of the people doing the protesting are, in fact, currently unemployed, then they are essentially working against themselves.
Let's say that the politicians adopt the strategy of taxing the wealthier even higher rates. Inevitably, this will lead to the wealthy moving their financial assets from the American economy to another economy with less exorbitant taxes. In doing so, the American government will take a massive hit on tax income. The result of that income loss will lead to program cuts. Undoubtedly, some of those program reductions/eliminations could be in the welfare programs that currently support the unemployed, although knowing that politicians recognize this program as a way to maintain/buy voter support for re-election, I doubt many drastic measures would be taken.
In the above scenario, if cuts do happen in these programs, the unemployed will be the ones paying the price, not the wealthy. And if they didn't happen, the politicians would be scrambling to find other areas to reduce their expenditures. Given Washington's track record of late, I think it is more likely that they would borrow against the future even more and drive the country towards a place where unemployed protestors in a park are the least of our worries as a nation.
In the meantime, the lack of a clear agenda and recognized leader of the movement provide little reason to listen to them at all.
Get organized (beyond union lines), figure out what your issue is that you want changed, offer several viable solutions and work towards influencing people in a positive direction.
At the moment, it would seem that this is a bunch of unhappy people ready to protest anything.
And that is fine, because they have that right.
And they have that right, because other people are working hard and paying their taxes.
But that doesn't mean they should be given the power to dramatically impact the lives of others or the future of our nation.
We'll see how the protest hold up when the weather turns much colder.
- Oh, and with the St. Louis Cardinals going to the World Series, I'd like to see the fans of the game reclaim the public property that has been used as a rally area for years and, prior to Wednesday's game 1, take back Kiener Plaza from the "99%" that are currently monopolizing it.