The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a grass roots protest by the unemployed and disenfranchised against the gross economic inequality prevailing at the present time, and against the power and influence of corporations, and lobbyists over government.
From New York the protests are spreading across the country.
Unfortunately, like most unorganized grass roots demonstrations, they are unfocused. So far they have been relatively peaceful. But there is the danger that hooligans and anarchists will gain control, and then there will be violence.
They would be more effective if they concentrated their efforts on Members of Congress that are stonewalling the Administration's attempts to provide job growth and to control excesses of the financial institutions.
As effective as these demonstrations are at arousing awareness of existing problems, they are totally ineffective in achieving any solutions. The financial institutions and big business will continue to pay outrageous salaries and bonuses, hedge fund managers will continue buying and selling, shorting and putting huge blocks of stocks, driving stock prices up and down, creating no new businesses, no new jobs for the unemployed. However, they will continue to provide millions of dollars to members of Congress (of both parties) to ensure that their profits are not affected by any legislation.
The administration has requested legislation to control these excesses, to provide loan guarantees and funding for urgently needed investments in the national infrastructure, for research, for training people in new energy technologies, for jump starting new businesses. Present Congress adamantly refuses to do anything, has even cut funding for programs authorized by the previous 2009-2009 Congress.
All Americans everywhere, not only on the street, should pressure Congress to act NOW. If they do not, then voters should turn them out in November 2012 and replace them with representatives who will act.
YOU can do your part. Contact your Senators, your district Representative. Congressmen/women on both sides of the aisle are equally responsible for gridlock and need to work together to solve America's problems.
You can easily find their address and a record of their performance. Go to Votesmart.org which provides you with a complete record of how each Representative and Senator has voted on every major issue. It also provides a record of major speeches and the approval ratings by organizations such as Veterans and Chamber of Commerce. You need to know YOUR voting District Number in your state to access the records of YOUR representative and of the candidates in the next election.
You must also put pressure on
your state officials and representatives. You need to know your state election district number (it may be different than that for federal elections) to review their voting record.
In many states, new administrations elected in 2010 actually overturned job creating projects already underway. For example, Gov. Christie in New Jersey halted the long planned Hudson tunnel project, idling 5,000 construction workers and thousands more in support enterprises, The half-billion dollars of tax-payer money already spent has been wasted, leaving a big hole in the ground. New governors in Florida, Ohio and Florida likewise halted construction projects already in progress.
The present majority in the House and their senatorial counterparts have made the present deficit their main issue, conveniently forgetting that it was a Republican dominated Congress and administration that had created it. There is no doubt that the deFicit is a serious long term problem that must be addressed. However, virtually all economists, including editors of Republican oriented media, such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Barron's, have stated repeatedly, that not only government costs and waste must be reduced, but to solve the problem revenue must also be increased.
Conservative politicians refuse to consider any increase in taxes on the wealthy or elimination of economically unnecessary tax benefits for large industries, like the industrial agriculture enterprises and oil producers. They blame the Administration for unwieldy regulations running into thousands of pages, forgetting that Congressmen have added to this complexity with numerous pages of additions and exceptions to every basic rule, in order to satisfy the demands of their supporters and lobbyists. Some of them would like to return to the 19th century by eliminating any controls on pollution of the air and water, or safety regulations; eliminating Social Security and Medicare.
They label Obama's plans to provide government support for new emerging industries and research as socialism, conveniently forgetting that some of the largest government construction investments in history, such as Hoover Dam and the Interstate highway system, were originated by "socialist" republicans Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower!