Before I get into the next level of solutions, I need to write about Occupy Wall Street. What’s happening in New York and now throughout the country makes what I’m writing about here seem facile. And maybe it is facile because what those people are doing at those protests is tremendous. This is how change happens.
We got to this point because 1% of America is now dictating demands and reaping nearly all the rewards of the other 99%. The 1% has structured a society where we the 99% must pay massive corporations and Wall Street interests in order to function at the most basic level.
There are dubious corners of the media where they are reporting that a big majority of our taxes are paid by the top 10% of the wage earners. What they aren’t communicating so well is this: this is happening as a result of devastating economic inequity that is paralyzing this country. The reason they’re paying such a big portion of the taxes for the country is because they are taking in almost all of the money too. The richest 20% of the U.S. owns 85% of the wealth, leaving just 15% of the money to be shared amongst 80% of the entire country.
When disparity gets that egregious, it means a concentration of power that is so intense that the needs of the vast majority are irrelevant to those with the power because the majority now exists to fuel the elite. It means a disproportion of control so profound that even information is manipulated. You can look to the ownership of major news media as one example (see graphic below), or the fact that NYPD has been specifically targeting people withe cameras for arrest at Occupy Wall Street protests as another example. That, of course, is incredibly dangerous because it ultimately—and understand it is not hyperbole when I write this—means the end of democracy. Nor is it even sustainable for the power elite because they will eventually squeeze the rest of the country so dry that there will be nothing left to extract from us for their boundless avarice.
But here’s maybe the biggest problem in all this: When the 99%, rather than working together against an unjust system, fight amongst themselves. That is a travesty and an embarrassment.
When people of the 99% are seduced into do the bidding of the 1% who will be the only ones to benefit from their efforts, that is a shame.
When the people of the 99% scream and holler about protecting America, but instead are only fighting to protect the swollen wallets and corrupt power of the elite, that is a dismal state of affairs.
I’ve written about economic inequity before on this blog and I probably will again because it’s a central issue for Unserville, which is about finding solutions to many problems through better communities and one of those major problems we can solve this way is inequity. The reason this is possible is because better communities allow people to live without being dependent on a power elite, and it provides an environment where people can interact with one another more effectively rather than walling themselves off from one another and trying to manipulate one another for self-serving results.
What Occupy is doing is drawing attention to this serious problem. It’s people finally and dramatically speaking up. And we should all be grateful for that. What we should also be grateful for is that there are real solutions to these problems and we know what they are and they are achievable.