Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?
OccupyWallSt.org Occupytogether.org somosel99por-ciento.tumblr.com wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com
ATTENTION: Documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart is looking to connect with people who have submitted their stories to We Are the 99 Percent. She would like to bring your stories to life in a new feature documentary film. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more and explore being interviewed on camera.
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I am a middle-aged man working three part-time jobs that pay anywhere between $11 and $17 an hour. I have three different college degrees to my name but full-time work is still an elusive endeavor. The only reason I have medical insurance is due to my wife. Our medical premiums continue to rise, doubling this past year, as our out of pocket expenses exponentially increase. This while the insurance company cries poor and posts quarter profits in the billions.
Still, I consider myself very lucky to have what I have. I am deeply concerned with what has transpired in this country for the last thirty years. Our country was once known for its commitment of upward mobility and the “American Dream.” That commitment has been called into question as more of us struggle to make ends meet on whatever meager incomes we garner. Many of us are facing a crisis in confidence in many of our personal and professional lives. It has been said that great civilizations die from suicide rather than homicide. What we are experiencing is the hijacking of our political system from the corporate oligarchs that have swayed the judicial and legislative process for decades and have thus created a plutocracy where malfeasance is a common occurrence. Our current economy favors consumption over production; debt over saving; and self-indulgence over altruism. We Americans must insist on complete transparency, clarity and accessibility when it comes to conglomerates dictating policy and procedure. This goes for K-street as well as Wall Street.
The first step in overhauling the mores and values of Wall Street is setting up a system of checks and balances that would make the framers of our constitution proud. All corporate entities that were on the receiving end of the bailouts should be subjected to unilateral fiscal and management audits conducted by reputable & independent firms. These audits would not only track every transaction, settlement, and agreement; it would disseminate where money went and to whom. The mantra of “trust but verify” would echo the halls of all federated entities that have parlayed public monies. However, it would be naive to think that pure unadulterated accountability would ever happen in our current capitalistic paradigm where it’s every man for himself; capitalism without a conscience; and profits before the people. As Lord Action once stated: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The next step towards reform is to bring government back to “We the People” … Not, We the Directorate. Both political parties have contorted and blended themselves into an amalgam of dishonesty and distrust that depend on the deep pockets of big business. Lobbyists have taken away the principle of “one person one vote” and have rigged and exploited the political process to the detriment of the Middle Class. In 2009, over 13,700 registered lobbyists spent well over 3.5 billion dollars to control and manipulate the legislative process. That comes out to 6.5 million dollars for each legislative member. I have learned from OWS that change comes from within, that democracy is not a spectator sport and that we all need to get into the game. I want to believe that we can create a fair and equatable capitalistic environment where everyone can be held to the same standard, no matter how much money they have. We have always taught our children to work hard, be honest, have integrity and they will succeed in life. That is no longer true. The people who succeed lie, cheat, and steal at any cost to advance in life. That’s why I am proud to be part of the 99%. Occupywallstreet.org