Weekly Writing Challenge: Unoccupied

The anniversary of the beginning of Occupy Wall Street came and went.  The occupy movement went on for several months in several cities before it quietly went away.  Hopefully it highlighted some of the inequalities in our society, though there are many more.

My post yesterday was about how I don’t believe that things should always be equal, and that’s true.  I don’t believe that things are fair, and that’s true too.  I don’t want to be rich, and I don’t think I have the right to take money from the rich.  I didn’t earn it.  I’m a middle classer, and I’m happy there.  I do think that the rich should have to pay the same percentage of taxes that I do.  That’s just common sense.  If we want things to run smoothly, they should have to pay too.  Not more, but at least the same percentage of taxes without all these nonsense tax breaks.

As to the Welfare issue, that’s a stickier issue.  I’m on the ground with this.  I’ve seen people who abuse the Welfare system and think the world owes them something, and I’ve also seen people genuinely in need who would go to work if they were able to.  I’ve worked with the sickest of the sick, and I’ll never forget the look of pride on one of their faces as they told me they were able to work two days a week cleaning toilets for the elderly.  Yes, there are Welfare queens who sit around eating and watching Jersey Shore.  But there are also sick people who really want to work and know that cleaning toilets is an honorable job, and fills a need.

Did you know that about 50% of the homeless work?  Isn’t that scary? If 50% of the homeless have jobs (and this doesn’t count panhandling), why don’t they have homes?

So what’s the solution the the Welfare system?  Well, it’s not “giving” them money indefinitely; that hasn’t worked.  We have a system that’s broken, and there are all sorts of things that sound good, but each of us is responsible for change, if we really want change.

I believe that as a society, we’ve gotten lazier and more apathetic when it comes to helping our fellow man.  Even churches don’t give out food anymore (most of them); that’s a job for food banks and soup kitchens.  If you complain about the poor, the undereducated and the sick, I challenge you… instead of protesting, volunteer, even for one day.  Volunteer in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter so that you can get to know the people who get hurt when programs and public assistance lose funding.  Maybe someone else can help find solutions.  As I said, I don’t know what the solution is; I just know that what we’re doing isn’t working.

Occupy Wall Street

We all know the economy is bad, and only seems to be getting worse.  The question is: why?  We’re a capitalist nation, and the theory behind capitalism is that supply and demand dictate what products are made and how much is paid for them.

In 1980, CEOs made 42:1 to the average worker.  Today, that ratio is 263:1.  When did we worker bees become so unimportant?  When did the people in charge start believing that it would be okay to bail out banks with my money??  In the laws of capitalism, if those banks couldn’t survive, they should have failed.

Many people are suffering.  From lack of jobs, lack of healthcare, lack of hope.

People have decided to fight back.  So far, the protests are non-violent.  We just want our voices heard, and are having to take drastic measures.  People have been arrested for closing their bank accounts because it’s in “protest.”  It’s my money.  I can burn it all if I want to, in protest, or just because I’m plain crazy.  I’m tired of others telling me what I can and cannot do with my money.  There is no reason for a bank to call the police because people want their money.  That is not democracy.

In my opinion, you can stand wherever you want on this issue, as long as you stand for something.  As for me, I am the 99%.

Official webpage:


Signs from Occupy Wall Street: