Category: OccupyWallStreet



When compared to other similar countries, retirement benefits in the United States are relatively modest. A report from CNBC took a closer look at retirement systems in numerous countries and found the U.S. to be performing lower than the average.  Retirees in the U.S. generally receive about 47 percent of their pre-retirement income on Social Security.  Similar programs in Europe and elsewhere generally pay about 68 percent of pre-retirement income.

In the 2011 Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index, the U.S. was given a middling grade of “C,” along with France, Singapore, Brazil, Poland and Germany.

http://crooksandliars.com/kenneth-quinnell/social-security-us-less-generous


 

My college age daughter is attending the Wall Street Protest in New Orleans. Her eyes are open to what is happening to our Democracy, along with the other young people in her college group. Since I can’t go to the New Orleans Protest and I feel I should do my part– I will do what I like to do best—Write.

 Here is —How I see it and what I have seen for a while now.

                       The financial chaos in 2008 began with Wall Street.  However, this did not happen overnight. It took years of policies (under Democrats & Republicans) that has led us to where we are today by changing the basic structures of banking. There used to be a very well-defined division between commercial banks and investment banks. The biggest political decision and banking reform was in 1999, when parts of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed. Now we have big banks which are too big to fail and rich hedge fund managers gambling with the money. They gambled big in the years up to 2008 and lost big. The American people (99%ers) bailed out the banks, many people (99%ers) lost their homes, many of us (99%ers) lost money in our IRA’s & 401k’s, and big business lost money and started firing workers (99%ers).  The bubble burst in 2008 and the American economy went with it.

                     The figures in 2009, state, 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans. Much like in Cairo, and in London, and in Athens-the protests are about too many Have Nots. 

          The problem is NOT –I repeat— The problem is NOT the Teachers or Laborers, or the Unions,  or the Poor, or Immigrants, or the Working Class with their earned income credit, or spending on Entitlements, it is not the Middle Class or your mom on Social Security or your grandfather on Medicare. Money and most important the Political power in the hands of the few is the injustice. It is not the 99%ers that are in charge but the 1%ers.  The middle class continues to shrink, and the number of poor has grown.

                         The Haves have the money, has the power, and have too much political power to buy our politicians and our Democracy. Is anyone asking why nothing gets done in Washington? Because the HAVES like it that way! Until there is Banking Reform, Tax Reform and Trade Reform, nothing in America will change. And I don’t think the Haves want large and sufficient modification in Banking Reform, Tax Reform and Trade Reform. Big corporations sit on $2 Trillion holding back the money as they wait for the 2012 elections, while the American economy slows and the 99%ers suffer.

                Until we get the money out of politics nothing will change. And things are only going to get worse. The Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United is an awful ruling, which will put more money into politics and elections. In the election of 2012–the 99%ers will not even know who is giving money to whom. Billionaire Warren Buffett recently remarked that the class war is already over; his class won. They win elections, they win getting their way, they win with the tax code, they win with weak banking rules and they win the politicians. They employ successful Lobbyist to keep the rules in their favor, hence the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act and the recent Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United.

                 In America we have a very resilient and robust Wall Street; and a downcast and depressed Main Street. And the object of the game is to keep the downcast Main Street (99%ers) ignorant to what is going on. They keep the low information voters busy with the stupid stuff, the crazy political issues that are not real issues at all. Instead of doing their political homework they inadequately attempt to entertain and persuade with simplistic talking points and slogans and misinformation email forwards. This is an intellect insult to the ones that know better — the ones doing their political homework. But more importantly, unbeknownst to the unaware, it is an intellect insult to them too. 

                It takes a lot of work to be politically savvy—to be in the “know” – with each informative magazine & article read, with each intelligent TV Program watched, with each rational and sensible Political Talk show viewed, with each illuminating newspaper read– gathering more and more information is needed to figure– What THE HELL is going on! Don’t think you can do it watching one political News Cable Channel. If you think so–you are deceiving yourself. This unfairness taken place is to ourselves and to our country.

            And now finally we see the protest on Wall Street and in many other cities around the country attended by many of our young people. This new generation is showing us the way. By their demonstrations and protests they obviously see the dilemma. Finally, the real problem will come out of the darkness and the young will lead us into the light.

                The protest called Occupy Wall Street is not about begrudging the rich. Although, I have seen and heard recently, many people begrudging the poor. This is not about beating up on capitalism. This is about fairness and injustices. It is about American’s Democracy eroding away for the 99%ers. It is about losing our Democracy to Corporate Governance. 

                The Government is not the root of the illness, its infection of dysfunction is the symptom. Through the years, our governmental systems, our politicians, and the office of the Presidency is  held hostage to big money- rich special interest- corporate bought system.  Pay to Play is the norm. They are caught in this system with no way out until the 99%ers apply the pressure needed to change the process.

                   At the root of America’s economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America’s political and economic elite. A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty and compassion toward the rest of society and the world. ~ Jeffrey Sachs -The Price of Civilization

                    The media (Corporate Media) for far too long have not informed the people well and kept us pretty much in the “unknown” for a reason. I am sure we will hear the media reporting the protesters are young people, lazy and don’t want to work, or they are hippies, or their arresting them because they are trouble makers. Don’t believe it! Don’t be fooled!

                             These are the people conscious and responsive to what is going on in America. They see the damages of inequality–they have done their homework. They know the root of the breakdown IS not and WERE not the results of the 2008 Presidential election, which immediately and quickly spurred protest with vitriol anti-government rhetoric.

                    It is this young generation, the ones that care, the ones with their eyes open to what is really happening in the world, these are the ones that will change the things that need changing.

              Change does not happen from the Top–they change from the Bottom—from the people—-the 99%ers! There would be no Honey without the Bees.

SusanThur     A  99%

Go 99%ers, I am with you in Spirit    

 

 

 

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