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Thread: Occupy Wall Street

  1. #41
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    99% is not really even accurate anyway. Technically the upper 60th percentile is living okay to comfortably. If anything, OWS represents the lower 40th percentile of Americans and even that number is somewhat diluted by the fact that we have so many left-over baby boomers, creating a disproportionately large number of people in retirement (0 income) as of current.

  2. #42
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Just because they're living "okay to comfortably", it doesn't mean they can't be annoyed at not sharing anything near the level of luxuries the super-rich enjoy. In addition, when OWS brings up "the rich", it means "the super-rich" - the top 0.01% would be more accurate than the top 1%.
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  3. #43
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    In a capitalist society, is it really reasonable to be annoyed that someone isn't sharing their personal wealth with you? I understand being annoyed by deceit, or by beating cheated out of money such and such. But being angry just because you're not as rich as the other guy is kind of the point of a system based on personal incentive. You're not supposed to be.

    Either way, I'd argue the real issue is (or should be) that the average American is not getting the opportunities they once had to make money. Being mad because you're not rich is kind of mehhh~

  4. #44
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Being mad and not doing anything is pretty stupid, but symptomatic of some sort of wider problem. Probably the problem of an instant gratification-based culture.

    The problem is the lack of opportunity, yeah.
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  5. #45
    Lucky Member Blue_Dragon's Avatar
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    Dudes, I don't think it's so much that everyone is mad at the rich. I mean, yeah, the disgustingly rich are often just a waste of space and resources (Paris Hilton,) but people aren't just pissed because "he's rich and I'm not." That's over simplifying it. People are mad about things like the bailouts of banks and companies, with very little repercussions to the CEOs who screwed up, while the average American isn't given hardly any aid and certainly not bailouts. Unless you're actually poor, or know how to work the system, it's hard to catch a break. And even those who are poor getting aid, it's not like their life is stress free (you know that, duh.) The average person, unlike a big corporation or bank, just isn't important enough.

    People are getting pissed about how the rich want taxes cut, even though they can afford it. What the f*ck?! People are mad because they're being laid off from their jobs and the banks are repossessing their homes they had to take mortgages on for whatever reason (sometimes it's because they buy a house that's too costly, other times they don't have the spare cash for major problems.) People are mad because it's getting harder and harder for the majority to basically support themselves reasonably. I'm pissed I have 8 years of college and I'm working two shit jobs that pay minimum wage and suck. I don't mind cleaning offices, it's respectable work that needs to be done, but I should only need one job to survive, not two. I still don't make enough for my bills I'm trying to pay back.

    I'm probably just going on a b*tch rant, and I'm sorry for that. I just keep reading people's opinions here, and on facebook, and elsewhere, and some of the responses are so cold and just... ridiculous (not on this site, but others.) I don't have any answers, but I am getting a little pissed how condescending a lot of people are towards these protesters. Some of them are probably just trying feel self-righteous and blow themselves up as these great intellectuals. But those types are in any crowd, not just the OWS.

    Others are truly pissed. I know how they feel. I have that debt. No, I don't feel everyone else should pay for it, but I do think I shouldn't be taken advantage of with such high interest either. The cost of college texts books is rape. Sorry, that's it. $200 for a new text with no used options (and even those high priced online or otherwise) is ludicrous, and wrong. Its hard to keep up with re-payments with part-time minimum wage jobs, and every time you can't make it--more interest. Late fees (which should just be outlawed--if one paid their shit late, it's probably cause they didn't have it. Piling on bullshit fees like this is just a way for them to make it so that you virtually NEVER get out from under them.)

    The majority/lower income people expect their government to protect their interests and livelihood as well. Sure, we can't donate as much to the campaign, but we do vote. We do pay taxes which pay their wages. We pay their health care, when we don't have it. We pay their retirement, when we aren't guaranteed Social Security in the future. People are protesting because inanimate, non-living entities such as corporations are considered to have the same rights as a person--indeed, seemingly more rights. And who owns these entities? Who owns the banks and credit card companies? The rich. That's why they're angry with the rich. Not because the rich exist, but because they have a major influence in the subjugation of the majority. It wouldn't be a problem if we weren't drowning in debt that's so hard to pay down, but since so many are they're starting to get angry.

    **I want to stress that I am not trying to piss anyone off, or act like I'm all super smart, cause I'm not. Most of you here are probably--if not most likely--more intelligent than me. But I did want to get this off my chest, and what better place than the OWS thread? Since I'm experiencing what they're protesting, I feel I have a right to throw my two cents in, too. And for the record, I don't envy the rich or want to be rich. All I want is to be able to have one job, pay my bills, have a little leisure time, and live comfortably. I don't think that's a lot for a person to ask.**

    Edit: Sorry Delph, this is a little off topic from your last comment, but I felt I needed to put it. You guys can just ignore and keep going back and forth if you like (not that you need my permission.)
    Last edited by Blue_Dragon; 10-27-2011 at 06:34 AM. Reason: grammatical error
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  6. #46
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I'm just making a point that taking money out of rich peoples' pockets isn't necessarily going to put money back in your pockets. The greatest emphasis here is to open up the job market, which can be done if we could get companies to stop outsourcing cheap labor and saturating the unemployed with overqualified people. It sucks to have to compete with college graduates for entry level positions. This is leaving a lot of undergraduates jobless or severely underpaid because the only edge we have over a BS holder with two kids to feed is that we can be bought for a cheaper price.

    Given that credit card debt is the second most common debt among Americans, I'd chance it to say the loan debt issue is a direct result of the recklessness of borrowers. Americans are just not good at handling long-term investments. As far as student loans go, all of the terms are written on the paper in pretty clear print. But, with the general accessibility of such things, students are just filing Stafford Loan applications back and forth, regardless of need, without any forethought as to how they will pay them back. They just want immediate security and don't consider the caveats of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in someone else's money into a degree that might not even get them work (BLA's rarely do) in the harsh economic climate. College, right now, isn't a great investment. But, even then, long-term payment plans are very much available. People just need to do the research.

    It's a cultural flaw, as Delphinus said. Even if, miraculously, we are all granted debt forgiveness, it's only going to take one year and one more wave of high school graduates to create the same situation. And, chances are, the spending habits of credit card holders ain't changing any time soon. Instant gratification rarely has a place in a capitalist society. Yet, culturally, Americans are at odds with their own system.

    And I don't think any lower-middle class citizen has ever had to work less than 2 jobs to support themselves, given you are a single income household. I am working one job part-time and applied for a seasonal job just to pay off my rent, split among 3 other room mates, and still have pocket cash.

    In short, asking for charity isn't the solution. The solution is to put the economy back into a situation where the 1% didn't even occur to us aka. the 1990's.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 10-27-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  7. #47
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    @Blue Dragon I agree - but like I said to Kodos over AIM last night, those are problems with the actions of the rich, not the existence of the rich. Well, you said that in the last paragraph, but OWS seems to be mostly populated with leftists of the "kill 'em all" sort.

    I wouldn't normally support an increase in state power, but if there's one area where it's justified, it's to protect those without power from those in power. Justice should be blind, and if she takes bribes, we should pluck her eyes out.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia
    It's a cultural flaw, as Delphinus said. Even if, miraculously, we are all granted debt forgiveness, it's only going to take one year and one more wave of high school graduates to create the same situation. And, chances are, the spending habits of credit card holders ain't changing any time soon. Instant gratification rarely has a place in a capitalist society. Yet, culturally, Americans are at odds with their own system.
    Instant gratification is tied to consumerism, and serves the interests of the wealthy. Plus it's promoted. While it might be bad for the economy and bad for everyone who gets into debt, it's very good for the rich. The constant definition of people's worth by material goods is despicable and the number one reason why so many people are in debt: while this isn't an inevitable result of capitalism, it is an inevitable end result of companies trying to push goods that we don't need on us. I wouldn't even include computers or media products in that - those are cultural objects; computers have become necessary for participation in social spheres, and media products are just the latest type of art. I think we can recognise that while art isn't necessary for survival, it's still important for satisfaction and the good life. I'll stop before I start sounding like a treatise on virtue theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia
    And I don't think any lower-middle class citizen has ever had to work less than 2 jobs to support themselves
    Depends how old they are. In times of full employment and prosperity, like the (pre-Great Depression) 20s and 50s, one lower-middle class job would have supported an entire household in reasonable comfort. In times of scarcity, they don't.
    Last edited by Delphinus; 10-27-2011 at 09:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  8. #48
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I was meaning to say instant gratification has no place in terms of attaining power in a capitalist society. Usually, success in America involves a lot of long-term investments unless, of course, you are incredibly lucky (legacies). Long-term investment for ultimate pay-off is like the anti-thesis of credit cards and gratuitous student/mortgage/car loans.

    And yeah, I guess. But the standard of comfort is so high these days that I don't think those comparisons are relevant. Oh, and not to mention much higher work qualifications, lower demand for sheer manpower in fulfilling most job descriptions due to technology, stuff like this.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 10-27-2011 at 09:27 AM.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    You know, an overwhelming majority of Americans have no idea what it's like to face war, famine and disease like the rest of the world does. Even the homeless have higher standards of living than dozens of other countries in, say, Africa and the Middle East. Now I support fair legislation and care for the poor as much as the next guy, but I can't help but feel that these people are being somewhat hypocritical to fight for fair treatment only for Americans in the US. Specifically, they're doing it for themselves.

    Think about it. If they really wanted fair treatment and social justice, wouldn't it make more sense to lobby for spreading the wealth outside the richest country in the world?

  10. #50
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    ^ A country's first responsibility is to its own people. If a government can't even satisfy all of its own people, what hope does it have in helping the rest of the world?

    Also, TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE is bad for everyone involved.
    Last edited by Delphinus; 10-27-2011 at 10:02 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

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