Compare and contrast: Black Friday campers vs Occupy Wall Street protesters
Wednesday night (before Thanksgiving) we stopped in Best Buy to look at televisions. There was a row of tents – the camping kind – on the sidewalk outside.
I asked, was Best Buy getting into selling outdoor equipment? Nope. Those tents contained people who were getting in line – at least 36 hours early – for Black Friday.
“OK”, I thought; “If they save $360 on a ginormous TV, they’ll clear ten bucks an hour.” Not bad, except the hours in question are all in one go, and spanning a holiday at that.
I couldn’t help contrasting the bargain-hunters with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, living in tents to draw attention to the huge hit our economy has taken from financial speculators. And with a little unintentional help from the authorities, they’re succeeding.
There is a very good reason for the OWS protest. The bailout cost of the 2008 collapse was about seventy times that of the infamous Savings & Loan debacle in which the administration of then-president George Bush senior sent more than 3,600 bankers and S&L officials to jail. Our current president has not sent anybody to jail. Where are the handcuffs?
The difference is directly traceable to the influence of the finance industry on our political process: the 1% are choosing our representatives. They can do this because we have abandoned the Fairness Doctrine, Glass-Steagall, and because they have the Citizens United supreme court decision giving nonliving corporations the same rights as actual people. But apparently, none of the responsibilities.
In spite of this there seems to be some manufactured confusion (pdf document) as to what, exactly, Occupy Wall Street wants. It’s really simple: get the money out of politics before it destroys our country.
Some people think it’s silly to camp on a sidewalk to get a low-priced TV. I can’t really see anything wrong with it myself. But the OWS people want something more important than a television: they want a government Of The People instead of Wall Street Government. When’s the Black Friday for that?
- Seen the documentary Inside Job yet? Find out what risks the speculators were taking with your money
- Major corporations complained (again on the basis that corporations are somehow people) that the Fairness Doctrine interfered with Free Speech, so it was struck down. Here’s the result: 232 media executives now control the information diet of 277 million Americans.
- More background on the crackdown on OWS; there’s more going on than just local authorities’ overreaction. You have to wonder why it’s SO important to shut down a nonviolent protest movement.
- Our local paper complains that nationwide, OWS protesters “are costing millions in taxpayers’ dollars” for police “protection” and civic services. First I couldn’t help wondering who was protecting them from the police, and then I couldn’t help comparing and contrasting that (probably inflated) millions figure to the trillions they are protesting.
- In New York the police have been shooing reporters with press passes away from enforcement actions – and physically abusing those who remain. Almost as if they don’t want anybody seeing what they are doing.