Sunday marked the 23rd day of the Occupy Wall Street protests that originated in New York and have since moved to numerous other cities across the country, including Ashland. The protests’ central goal is to fight corporate greed and social inequality, and I say it’s about damn time.
Consider this: Executives are making salaries approximately five times higher than they were 30 years ago, yet the average American worker is making about the same as in 1980. Are only executive jobs getting more difficult, requiring more money? Are executives the only people who have to face increased costs of living? I don’t know about anyone else, but my rent is being raised every damn year and I’m not making any more than I was when I originally signed the lease. But I digress…
So,executives are making more money than ever before. You know
whoelse is making more money? Corporations. Their profits are at an all-time high, yet they are paying lower taxes than ever before. In fact, there are some corporations that aren’t paying any taxes at all. One would think that with their inflated profits and low tax rate, corporations would be hiring more working-class Americans, right? Think again. Millions of Americans have been laid off while the corporations send jobs overseas to take advantage of despicable labor practices while exploiting cheap labor.
Is this a party issue? Some say yes, including GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who told CBS that the “anti-American” protesters “were encouraged to get together” by unnamed forces to draw attention away from Obama’s “failed policies.” Cain and Newt Gingrich, along with many others, are also calling the protests “class warfare.” But, the fact remains that there are plenty of members of the conservative parties that are struggling just as hard as member of liberal parties. One of the most memorable stories I’ve read was about a member of the Tea Party spitting on members of Congress in Washington D.C., so I don’t think it’s fair to call this an issue that falls along party lines.
To quote one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, “There is something very wrong with this country.” I feel it, most of the people I know feel it, and I’m betting that 99 percent of the people reading this feel it too. Something must change. We cannot keep going down this failed course of the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the middle getting screwed just so 1 percent of the people in this country can make more money than they know what to do with.