Oct 14

Misplaced Civil Disobedience: The Top Five Adverse results of the Occupy Movement

In the past three weeks I have had the great pleasure and luck to be in three of my favorite American cities: San Francisco, New York, and Boston. While all three cities are important economic hubs of the US each has different cultures and highlighted strengths. The one thing these cities have in common in the last month is the presence of the Occupy movement.

Contradiction at its finest (Source Facebook NewsFeed pictures)

In brief the occupy movement is a protest movement started by people who fundamentally believe that the current economic woes we find ourselves in are as a result of “Wall Street” and corporate avarice. While the movement’s roots may be noble its applications and consequences have proved disastrous. Here are the top five reasons why Occupy is more of a hazard than a help.

Reason 1: Misplaced Blame, Anger & Understanding of the Issue

It is true that corporations and banks used the resources provided to them to aid in creating an economic super bubble.  It is incorrect, however to blame banks and corporations solely on the collapse.  As in any economic crash there are numerous parties to blame.

First and foremost one can thank our economic policies which encouraged Banks and Corporations to irresponsibly use cheap interest rates and money to create vehicles to spur the economy.  Our government did not use sound financial fundamentals with their policies and their reforms in the years leading up to and during the crisis.  One has to remember the government is responsible for creating the environment and rules that all businesses must comply to. Most businesses were using the power provided by these governmental policies.

Everyday consumers and buyers did not use common sense when taking out mortgages, and consumer loans that were well beyond their economic capability.  These middle class Americans relied on the buy today think tomorrow mentality, which has become an instilled value of American and European society.

This then led to a snowball effect where many people in the society not directly involved in the bad economic policy and principles of that time still faced the economic consequences that had to be addressed.  Every American was affected on some level by the crash, and everyone is paying the consequences.

Reason 2: Added Costs, Disruption & Turmoil to a Toxic Environment

Most Americans are already filled to the brim with the effects of the crisis. Cities and local governments find themselves out of budget, in debt and needing to cut programs to stay within their means.

The organized large-scale protests in these cities has created a significant financial cost to all those involved. The mayors of each city have had to assign extra police officers paying them time and a half to keep the peace and the protesters within the means of the law. This means that already broke districts are now further indebted beyond their will as a result of the protests.

This does not even factor the time delays and affects on workers productivity caused by the protests. For instance in many areas of Boston commuters had to trudge through an extra hour of traffic to get past the protests in Charlestown, in San Francisco the effects of the protests could be heard quite clearly in all downtown financial buildings, and in NY parts of the road were closed to allow the protests, meaning workers had to find alternative routes. All these things do not endear Occupy to the common worker but rather have the opposite effect to the affected parties.

Reason 3: Fight Against the Corporations While Using the Corporations

This so called organic fight is meant to tear down the tyranny of Wall Street and corporations. However, the vehicles used to support and promote the movement are based on social networking platforms, and corporate innovations. These protests would have never occurred without the aid of corporations like Twitter, & Facebook and the news coverage provided by large media conglomerates like the New York Times.  At best this leaves a very contradictory message to most about the Occupy movement.

Reason 4:  Does not provide a true solution 

When Thoreau spoke of the need for civil disobedience he meant it as to be a catalyst with a solution for positive change. Shutting down corporations within the Wall Street umbrella does not provide a long -term solution or any short term solution. It is protesting and complaining only as means of venting rather than for any constructive purpose.   If Occupy really wants to be respected as a true vehicle of change it needs to construct a platform for tangible and positive change. Protest without purpose is meaningless.

Reason 5: Occupy Further Divides Rather Than Unites A Nation In Need

Controversial Vice President Joe Biden stated it best when he said that members of occupy were just as extreme as those of the tea party movement. America is already a nation divided across so many lines that needs to pick itself up from its worst economic situation in over eighty years. The last thing the nation can afford is extreme views dominating the political environment during a needed economic transition.

In taking a quote from the most successful athlete in American History Bill Russell  “those who choose to dwell on the nature of their misfortune only prolong it, give it more life, and allow it to define whatever afterlife it will have.”  Occupy is a movement focused on the past it is nothing but a result of frustration with the cause and effects of past mistakes. Americans need to stop focusing on the rear view mirror and start finding ways to make the present and future more rewarding and promising.  

1 comment

  1. Ramonita

    And where is the facebook like link ?

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