Occupy Wall Street campaign: Meet the 99 percent.
Attention Username: Muppetpants
Okay so the first chick, her problem is going into massive debt to get a degree with no job prospects? How again did “Wall Street” force her to do that?
Sometimes, we need a little luck. Often times, we just make bad decisions. I spoke to several people last night at Zuccotti Park and one of them told me he believes this 99%/1% slogan could be a big negative, as “it’s something of an exaggeration; it’s a sound-bite. it’s what our stupid corporate media wants, they can’t understand anything if it takes longer than 2 minutes to explain it because they have to go to a commercial break. But it’s true that people with a lot of wealth are more represented in government than the majority of people.”
I don’t really know what that means. How did “Wall Street” force this unlucky girl to go into crushing debt for a college degree? I mean, I get the point (maybe about crushing interest rates on educational loans, aggressive and dishonest loan consultations, the unjustifiable student loan exemption in bankrupty laws in 2005), I think, but it’s not like some New York banker said “hey, borrow $120,000 to study modernist literature or I’ll kill you.”
That’s the other side of this. Informed consumers don’t make as many bad choices, or get exploited as badly, and that’s where I think Elizabeth Warren has a powerful message. But, at the end of the day, one of the reasons I didn’t major in musical theater was because I assumed it would leave me with no job prospects, which is yes sad face I won’t ever win a Tony and follow my dreams like Kurt Hummel, but also I have my finances under control.
I’m also fascinating by how similar this movement is the Tea Party. The TP wanted the government to stop bailing out the banks, to stop bailing out GM, to stop forcing unwanted economic and political policies on them, and they felt powerless to end it other than taking to the streets and electing representatives. Despite that, the TP has a very unfocused message of what it’s for, only what it’s against (Democrats, social programs, government debt), and I think that’s why its message and reach have never really resonated with a huge number of voters.
The Occupy Wall Street protests fit the same mold: lots of outrage against a faceless Other (is there really a difference between saying “DC has hurt the country” and “Wall Street has hurt the country,” when neither really makes sense as a unit of analysis or when considered as a single actor?), with very vague, if any plans, for how to fix and improve the situation. (At least, none I’ve seen in my spare-time reading up on it.)
Interesting, the two sides, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, could probably team up with the same message, and the same action plan: going Galt, starving the system they hate of the money and people it needs to run, and forcing change through catastrophic negligence. It’s a thought, but something tells me the two sides will never talk to each other.
What he said. (Although, I did get an undergraduate and graduate degree in something pretty useless, but I don’t let that get in my way of total world domination.)
*Also, the Tea Party has Fox News. That helps with their non-yet-anti-message.
**If you’re not following Josh (the other, more sophisticated Josh), now would be a good time.
I get the argument about being an informed consumer in all aspects of life, but can we not still see the great unraveling here? Was it always the case that people with BA’s in Comp Lit lapsed into joblessness upon graduation? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. The truth is that the current state of unemployment means today’s graduates will have less lifetime earning power than yesteryear’s regardless if they studied systems engineering or basket weaving.
Speaking of being better informed, we have no reason to believe that her “dream degree” wasn’t something that we’d all think was a perfectly reasonable thing to pursue, so let’s not rush to judge, here. I’d also say that getting kicked off her medical insurance is one of those “I played by the rules and got shellacked” situations, and all this criticism is just very neatly dancing around that like it’s not out there, too.
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