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I am a Ninety-Nine Percenter


Unfortunately for most of us ninety-nine percenters, the initiators of the Occupy Wall Street movement forgot a key ingredient for a meaningful (let alone successful!) protest: focus and goals.

 

Opinion Piece by Meagan Yockey, Staff Writer

A protestor of the Occupy Movement

Via _PaulS_

Taco Tuesday has become a bench mark in my life. Once it was just a way for friends to get together, eat, drink and be merry, but now it has turned into a meeting of the well educated and unemployed. The stories I’m hearing of filling out job applications, going to job interviews and the quiet disappointment that comes after is all too familiar.

The young and old [er] alike seem to have the same problem: they apply, they interview and nothing happens. This process seems to be the job itself, and after so many mornings of dressing in our ‘go get em’ attire, we’re starting to feel the burn that is unemployment. So we now focus on the injustice that is the unemployment rate, we watch the news and educate ourselves on the protests and all that it encompasses.


In this regard, I am a ninety-nine percenter.  At least I’m pretty sure I am.  But I don’t want to occupy Wall Street (or the business district of my home town).  Neither am I a “…Starbucks-sipping…” malcontent, and I do not want to “…eat the rich…” as Charles Krauthammer recently suggested in his weekly Washington Post editorial that ninety-nine percenters or the ‘Occupy Wall Street’  (or the OWS, as they are called) demonstrators want to do.  No, Mr. Krauthammer, we just don’t want the rich to have us for lunch!

What I want, and what I suspect the large majority of the demonstrators want, is a broad spectrum of change.  Change in the political system and the politicians who can’t seem to accomplish anything without threats and accusations that it’s the other side who doesn’t ‘get it.’

Change in a banking system that is happy to accept taxpayers’ money to bail them out of a conflagration of poor decisions and short-sightedness, but gasps and rails at the mere suggestion that they should be grateful or that they should learn from their mistakes.

Change in an investment environment that, having grown to a global network, welcomes and honors gambling and risk taking the likes of which Reno, Las Vegas and Atlantic City have never imagined.

Change to a corporate culture that benefits from a myriad of tax-payer underwritten tax breaks and loopholes, yet has the gall to suggest that those who are unable to find employment are at fault, not the economy or the government.

Unfortunately for most of us ninety-nine percenters, the initiators of the Occupy Wall Street movement forgot a key ingredient for a meaningful (let alone successful!) protest: focus and goals.  If you don’t like how something is being done and want those doing it to do it differently, you have to be able to explain what is being done wrong and provide a clear and compelling reason as to why different will be better.

So here we are a month into the protest, without a clear agenda or set of objectives.  A lot of national and international attention has confirmed that lots of people nearly everywhere are mad as hell at our collective financial, political and economic situation, but we haven’t figured out what to do with that anger and frustration to compel change to any of the key areas that need it.  When do we set aside the anger and find a constructive way to improve our way of life?

Taking the issues raised earlier one at a time, we’ll start with politics. 

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