Monday, October 3, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, the Obama Campaign, and Everybody Else on the Hill

With protests being organized across the nation, it is clear that Occupy America ain't going away. When these things erupt, politicians - especially when it's campaign season and they're up for reelection - go into a "wait and see" mode. From a strategic perspective, it makes sense. And this country hasn't seen these sorts of widespread protests since the 1960s. Things are changing and rapidly in this country. The 99%, as we keep saying, are fed up, and we're making a point to voice how angry and disillusioned we are with the state of this country. Through a collective expression of anger and frustration, we are seeing glimpses of real democracy. These camps of occupiers are organized democratically behind an oligarhic curtain - larger structures here are seeming more insignificant, despite the tremendous power they wield over our lives. When I spoke to a well-known author and activist about the unfolding events, she said, "I am transfixed by OWS."

While many politicians have clammed up or have yet to speak about the nationwide protests, some have already begun to speak out in support of the movement. For instance, when I was tweeting wildly about the arrests of over 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1st, I made an appeal to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and asked him to help the protesters out. (He was not the only one I sent tweets to, just like other activists supporting the group remotely and on the ground). Several others sent the Congressman tweets as well. Here's how he replied to all of us (my twitter handle is @cjohanns):

Rangel has continued to send out tweets that express support for the protesters.

Now that the campaign season is heating up, how will the Administration respond? At the writing of this piece, the White House - as far as I know - has remained mum.

I have a take on how they should respond. Stay tuned for that.

Related Links

"Gregory Warner at NPR's Marketplace Discusses Occupy Wall Street And Student Loan Debt," AEM (Oct. 3, 2011)

"Occupy Wall Street Movement Gets Support of Cornel West, Russell Simmons, Lupe Fiasco," The (September 30, 2011)

"'Occupy Wall Street' Becomes Nationwide Movement," The (Sept. 27, 2011)

"Occupy Wall Street - Tweet About Student Loan Debt And Medical Debt," AEM (Sept. 25, 2011)

"Dustin Slaughter's Picture: 'In Debt? You're Not Alone,'" AEM (Sept. 19, 2011)

"Occupy Wall Street - Begins Tomorrow, Sept. 17th," AEM (Sept. 16, 2011)


Diane A. said...

I was in the streets in the late sixties and early seventies, and I'll be there again. Go Cryn!

Anonymous said...

Charles Rangel? The one with ethics violations and unpaid taxes from a "property" in the Dominican Republic...

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anonymous 7:42p. Rangel is not the oil to call for this. Talk about wait-and-see crowd - Rangel can only rankle.

Anonymous said...

BTW, make sure those big baby blues get plenty of rest along the way!

SG said...

All I really care protesters realize is:

1) The right AND left are bought out. Partisan politics is largely a smokescreen.
2) The Fed is largely at the root of the problem. Its Keynesian policy of print, print, print helped blow up the housing bubble and the student loan bubble. Keynesian policies will always be the darling of politicians because it allows them to offer pain-free solutions to economic problems by just throwing more fake money at the problem. Only problem: if you inject cash into an economy faster than it's growing, you get inflation, which is already happening. The Fed can't do this forever, because inflation will get insane. And the Fed's zero interest rate policies are killing people who are responsible with their money and SAVE their money in CDs, which now have pitifully small interest rates. This country needs to revert back to a nation of SAVERS, not SPENDERS, which is anathema to Keynesian policy.
3) Deregulation and capitalism isn't necessarily to blame. CRONY deregulation and CRONY capitalism is, and this also helped blow up the bubbles. In a truly free market, companies and banks (no matter the size) don't get special privileges from the .gov like subsidies, tax loopholes, deregulatory goodies like the dissolving of the Glass-Steagel act, and bailouts. In a true free market, if companies are thriving on their own, they don't need .gov help, and if they fail, they don't get bailed out. They just fail and pay for their idiocy.
4)Democrats are manufacturing poverty by increasing the amount of aid to the poor. For example, extending unemployment benefits just allows people to put off looking for a job even longer, which keeps them out of work longer, which makes it harder for them to ultimately get re-employed. But the democrats rely on the poor vote, so they continue to give them handouts that weakens them -- and the economy -- in the long-run by depleting tax revenue that could have been saved and put towards our national debt. On the other side of the coin, Republicans manufacture war because that buys them the neocon vote. RINOs and Neocons vote for Repubs because "they want to be kept safe" (from what, an ideology such as terrorism?), and Repubs spend trillions of our tax dollars on ideological wars of choice, running up our debt into the stratosphere. Taken together, there's little reason to have faith that raising taxes will help much considering how poorly the government (both dems AND repubs) handles tax revenue.

It's all rotten and it's time for a reboot, not a reform.

Cryn Johannsen said...

First, I am not mentioning Rangel in a positive way or a negative way. I am simply stating a fact - he's talking about Occupy. That's it.

Second, SG, I agree. I've been saying the same thing for over a year (perhaps longer), i.e., it's time for a REBOOT.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else see that Obama Administration is trying to change the law to allow Student loan collectors to harass by robo-calling cell phones?
Yea baby...
Nail those student loan debtors... keep it up Obama.

Cryn Johannsen said...

@Anonymous 10:48 Yes. I wrote about that last week.