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December 26, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Why the 99 percent movement was wrong

This is meant to explain why the 99 percent movement’s approach (aka Occupy Wall Street) might have been askew:

1. As the founder of Carrot Mob pointed out:
“Would you rather punish businesses and get the same old results, or show love to businesses and gain unprecedented power and influence over how our economy works?”

2. March on K-street or Washington DC, not Wall Street. Or better yet, march on the SEC or Fanny and Freddy (a suggestion no one in the popular press has made to date to my knowledge)–or the Real Estate Association who should have seen this thing coming (and perhaps looked the other way, even though they should have known better than almost any other body). In fact, most of Wall Street isn’t to blame–they didn’t cause our great recession.
3. You can’t have progress without a plan. Period. Without a unified message and without a plan or policy besides the hodgepodge of pipe-dreams which individuals–you aren’t going to go anywhere (or at a minimum you are spinning your wheels) Its like being on vacation and not having a map or a place to go.
4. America is about freedom. Its not about coercion. Making enemies of the rich is not a wise idea.

That said, I respect their desire to stick up for the first amendment and to change America for the better. I just worry that their efforts may be in vain…or worse coopted.

Note: I’ve changed the order of this list (ie #1 was a late edition and everything shifted down) so if you decide to read the comments…consider that change.


Leave a Comment
  1. Curtis Steinhauer / Dec 28 2011 4:21 am

    Another severe problem with the movement is that their efforts affect and hurt the 99% just as much as they do the 1%. In Seattle they blocked a major roadway and cost working class citizen millions in wages and late delivery fees. Good cause, bad execution.

  2. Sharif Bakri / Dec 30 2011 7:48 am

    1.) To change the political system in Washington you have to follow the money – Wall street. Protesting DC would be like complaining at a bomb site after the bomb has gone off – The legalised corruption by the way of political donations and lobbying has a stranglehold on American politics and the only way to change that is to take the fight to the very place where it happens. Simple really.

    2.) Seriously?! Perhaps you have been watching too much Erin Burnett or some Fox news special but the Occupy movement as a whole is extremely organised and have to the intelligence to explain what they are fighting for unlike the Tea baggers. The unified message is simple if you’re paying attention, the disparity between the rich and poor is getting wider and it has to stop – This is relevant in any country and that is why this movement is so relevant. Remember the GFC in 08? That kinda pissed people off.

    3.) America used to be about freedom, but since has become a corporatist police state where the wealthy and privelegded get all the perks. So making enemies of the rich is not a wise idea? So by that comment you actually agree that the wealthy have a disproportionate standing in society where they can unleash havoc on anyone who dares rock the boat? Is acknowledging that you may piss off your enemies by your dissent a reason not to fight for what’s right? If I’m a civil rights activist in the 60s, should I just back off because I might anger some racist segregationists who love the status quo? Hell no! You say you respect the desire to stick up for the first amendment but it sounds like you don’t at all – All you do is criticise – A backseat driver. I believe change can happen but it seems that you think you’ve lost before the game has even started. I guess I understand the establishment’s reaction to the 99% since you know where they’re coming from but if you’re not ready to stand by a movement trying to save what’s left of a once great country and democracy itself, I ask: What exactly do you stand for?

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