Dallas Hyland is a St. George News columnist, the opinions stated herein are solely his own and not those of St. George News.
OPINION – What is your problem with Occupy Wall Street exactly?
This is what I asked an older fellow recently as he bemoaned the lazy college kids looking for a handout.
What was unsettling to me was the context of the conversation and the blatant contradiction; not two minutes before, he was decrying the injustice of corporate politics and our cash-flow caucus elections (i.e. those with the most cash, carry the election).
Don’t see a connection?
Let’s try the old high cholesterol analogy:
Your lab work comes back proof positive you have high blood pressure largely due to high cholesterol. Your doctor prescribes you Lipitor. Follow the prescription and keep eating as you like, the drug will save you right?
Not likely. It may prolong the inevitable, but keep pumping food containing high amounts of sugar and highly saturated fats and you are toast. It’s almost a formula.
If you do not address the root of the problem, no preventive or intervenient method will do anything more than prolong or exacerbate that problem.
Many who have taken part in OWS see our political system as the problem; they see it as fundamentally compromised, they believe that unless the system is corrected, nothing can change for the better interests of citizens.
While countless lists of demands have been disseminated across the media purporting to represent the multitude of occupy chapters, the main thrust of the occupiers’ argument can be synopsized in three succinct points:
1. Get the money out of politics. Allowing limitless money to be funneled into the campaign process creates a for-profit precondition in the leadership of our country and creates a wall of separation between citizens and legislators that was not intended by this country’s founding principles.
2. The banking system must be restored to a construct that does not allow fake derivatives. The separation between investment and commercial banks must be re-established. It is the role of banks to hold, care for, and protect our money, not gamble with it.
3. Members of Congress must not be allowed to pass legislation allowing them to profit on corporations or projects in which they themselves are investors.
A local example of offense under point number 3 may be seen in the local legislators of the City of St. George who profited from the construction and maintenance contracts of the new airport. While nothing was illegal about it, many saw it as unethical and unfair.
On the other hand, implementation of the overbroad restriction proposed by the occupiers in point number 3 is likely unfeasible. Legislative action is fluid and the industries and corporations it may impact can hardly be wholly foreseeable by any congressman. In fact, I can’t think of a corporation or investment project that is not impacted in some way by some law. It’s difficult to imagine how one would avoid or extricate oneself from investments in entities or opportunities that may fall within the crosshairs or regulation of some legislation present or future.
If, for the sake of argument here, these were the common threads driving the OWS movement, would it not stand to reason that the movement has more in common than not with the average American’s frustration with government at present?
You see, all political leanings aside, there is a growing unrest among people.
No amount of Lipitor is going to change the fact that we have poly-saturated fat cats getting rich on the backs of average hard working Americans, fat cats who shamelessly pass legislation which strips us of our basic civil liberties as well as our hard-earned money.
The suspicious and unprecedented shut down of OWS at Zucotti Park could be an indicator of just how close to the mark the protestors were getting. Press was illegally and unconstitutionally cordoned off, under threat of arrest, to keep actual documentation of the eviction from happening. Your government did not want you to see what it was doing. If this does not send a chill through you, you might not understand the implication here; and that is too bad because you are the ones walking to your own demise calm as a Hindu cow.
The violent shut down of OWS at Zucotti Park was possibly the first skirmish in what might become the second civil war in this country. Only in this case, one side was peacefully demanding accountability, justice, and change. The other side responded with total dismissal of the occupier’s demands and violence.
No, I don’t like it either when people are asking for a free ride or handouts. But I implore you to consider that OWS was much bigger and vastly more complicated than that. And take heed, it may appear dormant, but it is far from through.
See you out there.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.