Not to sound dumb in the sea of concerned political activists but what is Occupy Wall Street (OW) /Albany? Who are the 99% and 1%? How did they arrive at these figures? And more importantly, what is their voice?
According to the Occupy Wall Street, the 1% is the good for nothing upper-class bankers who are “writing the rules for an unfair economy”. This is basically a classic “haves” against “have-nots”, the oppressed standing up to the oppressor. Still, how they derived the 1% is quite difficult. If we assess this in terms of simply those who work at banks, that might be one percent. But only having banks is apparently not accurate, for this 1% also includes corrupted government officials and corporate greed-that’s got to have accumulated over one percent. Also in terms of who controls America’s wealth, the extremely wealthy one percent only control ten percent of the wealth; yes, that is a lot, but it is not ninety nine percent. However, the wealthy 10 percent control around 70 percent of the wealth-while still not ninety nine percent, it is a little more accurate, and it would make more sense if Occupy Wall Street went on those figures.
Does the 99 percent really represent the 99 percent? These people are fighting for the 99% that are unemployed. Unemployment in the U.S. is extraordinarily high-at around 9 percent-but that is NOT ninety nine percent. They also fight for the ninety nine that live in poverty, again poverty, while extremely high (around fifteen percent) still is not ninety nine percent.
So what or who exactly are they attacking? The answer seems unclear. In their Oct. 25 blog, they suggested in a humorous way to write letters to the bankers- they were insinuating verbal abuse as a way to show their anger. That seems a little ad hominem also generalization, assuming the voice of the few matches the many. But on their about page they claim they are against “the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.” This is attacking the role of Wall Street. They are two separate things.
In an article from the Nov. 2 edition of the Hudsonian, Victoria Reyes, Executive Director of the Social Justice Center of Albany, said, “We represent the 99 percent, [and] we are tired of being controlled by the 1 percent, and a million things fall under that category… that’s the best part, it’s a blank canvas that anybody who’s part of the 99 percent can bring their issue [to].” So it seems the only thing one can accurately state is the “99 percent” want and demand change. Having a large group of people with no unified coherent goal can be dangerous because this large crowd could be swayed in any unpredictable direction. While there are considerable amount of people who know what they want and what they are doing, any group whose aim also includes rapidly expanding through social media are bound to absorb a large amount of people who have no idea what is going on. One also in this situation must be aware of crowd mentality.
Before, the expected line comes; some good has come out of this-this mass political event might be one of the largest political events that try to mitigate religious, political, ethnic, economical and other social divides. Of course in many cases this can also make for a hilarious scene. Think two people at Occupy Wall Street, one person holding a sign saying we should oust Obama, standing next to a person holding a sign that says the opposite.
Also, important and what could sway this as an incline of Western Civilization, those in the Occupy protests were allowed to rally without (for the most part) being arrested, thus the Constitution was upheld. However, even with these positives, Occupy Wall Street is just another sign of the Decline of Western Civilization.
“Should I take the plastic off my textbook now?” – Adam in ADM105
Marketing professionals see what you are doing as an example of the “buy-in period.” You are committed only inasmuch as you have to be, but, you are not fully-committed. Your reticence in opening the book- is it a strategy to limit the cost to you of the course? You might be hoping to earn the grade you desire without reading the textbook? Economists explain your actions as “efficient” when you achieve the same output with the minimum of inputs. Your strategy ignores the extra benefits which reading and learning bring – positive externalities of a college education.
It is already midterm and you haven’t had to open your book yet – why start now?
“I am starving! What can I do?” – Famished in Fitz
Free Pizza is a given away in the campus center every Thursday at lunch. Many of the events on campus sponsored by the Student Activities Office will also have refreshments. While I am on the subject, your student activity fees also pay for other bonuses, like subsidized health insurance to some students (see if you qualify), reduced-price movie tickets, and clubs. Over $1 Million is raised from Student Activity fees every year. Are you a student who does not take advantage of these programs?
“My boyfriend goes to college in Boston. Everytime we get together he wants to come back here even though I told him I would really like to meet his friends and see what college life is like out there. What can I do?” – Languishing in Lang
You are trying to make sense of someone else’s actions which is always difficult because of asymmetrical information. Be confident that he is doing everything because he perceives his benefits outweigh his costs, however, is he concentrating on maximizing benefits or avoiding costs? You only know your end of the story while your boyfriend knows what it is like in both places. I am sure there is nothing in Boston too terrible for you to face – it is a place every college student should visit. Long distance relationships can really stink – but at least you (should) get a change of scenery out of the deal occasionally. I suggest you get a few friends together and take a field trip to Beantown.