After last weeks debunking of an #occupywallstreet promotional image/poster I have been able to gain a little more of a glimpse into the Occupy Wall Street movement. One of the problems with this protest is that it does not appear to have any defined goals, so it’s hard to know exactly what these protesters want. However a list of demands has now appeared but there is a disclaimed on the page stating that there is “No official list of demands”. So how can any take these people seriously if there are no demands? Is the Occupy Wall Street movement just protesting for the sake of protesting?
Let’s look at some of these demands for the proclaimed ‘unofficial’ list. Without an official one this is all there is.
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr. –Source
Bring the US minimum wage to $20 an hour. Currently the US minimum wage is $7.25 so that is a 176% wage increase. That is equivalent of raising Australian minimum wage to $42.80 an hour. Now you don’t need an economist to realise that doubling the income of a large percentage of people is going to cause huge problems. Why should a person working a minimum wage job suddenly be paid more than double their normal wage. How would employers cope with such a labour cost increase? My bet is Replacing workers with automation, reducing number of staff for same work load, more stringent employee selection (only employ those who are worth the higher wage).
Such a downright silly demand will at best cost allot of jobs, clearly this demand was never though out. Not that I expect much thinking from protesters without a cause. Otherwise they might think “Why the fuck am I protesting?”.
Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period. –Source
This is almost laughable, if it wasn’t so stupid. Suggesting that people should be able to borrow as much money as they like an never give it back is just ludicrous. Would you be willing to lend people money and have them never pay you back? In fact if you think debt forgiveness is a good idea you can lend me money via PayPal to Dan@danscomp.net or mail cash to PO Box 72 Northbridge, Western Australia, 6865, AU and I promise not to pay you back. After all that’s what debt forgiveness is all about.
Between these insane demands, the conspiracy theorists and the apparent lack of central purpose I cannot take these Wall Street protesters seriously. They seem to consist of idealistic hippies, paranoid tin-foil hatters and people with too much free time on their hands.
At the end of the day Occupy Wall Street will achieve nothing. It’s one thing to bitch and protest, but getting something done actually requires effort. Protesting is a good way to get media attention, but you need to have a message you can present. It’s not enough to just protest and that’s all this appears to be. A protest for the sake of protesting. Yes, some people are bringing their own messages to the protest but the lack of consistency and consensus about what that message is ultimately means that the protesters are wasting time and effort that might be used elsewhere. Encouraging people to become involved in the political process is a good start. The United States is still a democracy, despite what the conspiracy theorists claim. Protest to popularise the idea (you need to have a message), and political action for the change.