Recent editorial cartoons regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement are among the most ignorant I’ve ever seen. Yes, there may be a handful of kooks associated with the movement, but really no more than are associated with the Tea Party. The majority of those who back the Occupy movement simply want to restore a sense of fairness to this nation.
As your own Oct. 24 editorial observed (“The senator from another planet”), those who still have jobs in the private sector are too often finding themselves doing the work of two or three people with no more compensation than they received for doing the job of one person. Another recent editorial pointed to the fact that many CEOs and other corporate executives are so grossly overpaid that they could easily take pay cuts that would release funds to help hire other people and still not feel any great economic pinch.
What we have seen over the past decade in this country is a great imbalance in the distribution of wealth. The rich and powerful take a greater share while the poor and so-called middle class have seen their incomes and buying power fade away.
We need to re-establish this nation as being “of the people, by the people and for the people” rather than of the few, by the few and for the few. We must break the power of people such as Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who has all Republican political candidates living in such fear that they feel they must sign his no-taxes pledge to gain or remain in political office.
I would agree with those who insist we need to cut government spending, but why must these cuts be to programs that benefit the people? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., keep many of our citizens from having to live on the streets. Before any of these programs are touched, we need to cut back on all the programs that benefit corporations, banks and the über-rich.
Is over-regulation hurting business? Yes, there are some really questionable regulations, but for the most part the regulations are in place to protect citizens from corporate excess and greed, and to protect the health and welfare of the general public. Our government does not need to allow more pollution; industries need to take advantage of scientific and technical advances to manufacture goods or extract ores, oil and other materials without poisoning our air and water.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not about socialism or communism. It’s not about forcing wealth redistribution. It’s about saying we the people have had enough of the lies and whining of a greedy, selfish few who care only about themselves. It’s about seeing a handful of people concentrate all the power and wealth in their hands while the majority of us slowly slip into Third World conditions. But mostly, the Occupy Wall Street movement is about restoring faith in America.