The Occupy Wall Street organized
drum circle protest happening in downtown New York City, has its roots in present day Europe.
Greece is on the verge of financial collapse, the EU (namely the countries with the money, like Germany) are pondering yet another bailout of the sexy Mediterranean nation.
As with any country on the brink of financial collapse without the ability to come hat-in-hand to the Chinese, Greece is trying to get in better financial shape the only way it can, through massive austerity measures.
Surely, the global financial crises that have resulted from dozens of factors in and out of the various world markets played a role, but undoubtedly Greece’s spending was the biggest problem. The country spends 47% of the total amount it produces never mind the fact that they only tax their poor citizens at the rate of 35% of GDP.
For a second you should ignore the “only.” 35% is a huge tax burden (the U.S. taxes less than 27%, but somebody has to pay for the lap dances er, humongous benefits its citizens and State workers get.
So when one of the worst financial collapses happens in its history, especially in the way this one came, the ONLY solution is to cut, and make drastic cuts. Sure, we can get into the merits of what role the euro had in causing this, and how big of a bubble it has created in countries like Greece, who might need the autonomy of its own currency, but frankly I don’t have the expertise to go there.
Instead I wish to commentate on the sheer observational fact that when you’ve spent yourself into such a dire situation, the only way you can begin to fix it is by doing what Greece is doing now, cutting and cutting deep.
Of course the world sees these cuts through one very narrow looking glass. Of course I am talking about the global news coverage of the young rioters being destructive to their country. God forbid their State salary and benefit plan-which would make the UAW worker blush, might go under the knife.
And thus is what I see in this Occupy Wall Street movement. These people are sick of the right things, a corporation and banking system swollen to the point that government must coddle it, but the alarming difference is that it has very little to do with these Americans’ lives.
First and foremost, you may find it “cool” to go down and protest a system you haven’t even tried to comprehend (based on the elementary-level signage I’ve seen) but in the end, the cuts to various programs in the U.S. doesn’t even compare to what’s going on in Greece, and nor do the starting points of the spending levels which are being cut.
Second, don’t for a second characterize the GOP, or any other politician or political party as hypocrite while you shout down corporate wealth and greedy bankers while capturing the highlights of your day protesting with the video feature on you Apple iPhone.
And finally, don’t now; after what you protest has been happening for the better part of two decades decide it’s time to do this. Just because you see a bunch of young protesters in a foreign country rioting and protesting big bad government and corporate greed give you the idea that you somehow have it that bad living under capitalism.
One more thing…The whole organization of this anti-capitalism protest this weekend was of course led by none other than Michael Moore, who (still) cannot elaborate on just how much he’s benefitted from America’s generosity to his career and the role capitalism has played in the girth of his notoriety.