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Do you support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement which is spreading globally?

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My only complaint is that it took to darned long. This should have happened years ago. Oh well. It did finally start and I support it. So many of their grievences are legit. Not all, but nobody and nothing is perfect. This sort of protest is desperately needed in America.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Protesting is good, and I support it providing people do so thinking about some viable alternatives and solutions. Protesting just to join a mob merely dilutes the thrust of the main objective and if those hangers on start resorting to violence and destruction, the whole movement is finished. Let's hope they can maintain the rage without the destruction.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Protesting is good; violent protests, not so much.

I can't say if I support the protesters or not - there's not really a unified theme or manifesto or anything so I am honestly not sure what the protesters really want to achieve, other than vague objectives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I should have posted here about this movement.

The question is this: Do you support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement which is spreading globally?

Of course, when it comes to English we all just assume the question means is your heart behind them or do you believe what they are doing is right. That would be a better question to ask readers.

No this question is: Do you support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement which is spreading globally? Have you donated to their cause? Have you bought a bumper sticker? Have you actually been to a sit-in demonstration or march? For most of us the answer is NO (But we like the idea).

Not to criticize but rather to give you a bit more caffeine in your coffee so you wake up, I'm telling you that most people who vote yes know that what is happening in our societies, this economic divide is WRONG. Are they supporting it? Probably not. This topic is a lunchtime side dish for most. I can't even say I'm supporting the movement even though I know it's right and I also know that 1% are cheating the world.

I only hope they can get more information out so more people can protest against the powers that be. The People want their country back. It's not for sale, nor are their lives.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think "We are the 99 percent" is a thuggish, cheap-as-spit slogan; and one that absolutely thrills totalitarians and collectivists.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Of course, when it comes to English we all just assume the question means is your heart behind them or do you believe what they are doing is right. That would be a better question to ask readers.

Good points. I wonder how many answered no because they are not supporting the movement directly with money, food, and things like that?

I answered yes because I support the spirit of the movement.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I answered yes because I support the spirit of the movement.

This is an American spirit that all of us need to pass on to next generations.

It takes a courage and a sense of ownership of government in our hands . We Americans worked very hard to earn these rights in the past history. Notthesame, well said.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For those who answered no, you either have no real idea of the underlying issues they are complaining about, or you work for Wall Street. Every living person on the planet should support the change they are calling for.

What am I talking about? Here is a repost that posted last week:

For those who don't know what the core of the protestors are protesting about, do yourself a favor and watch these 2 videos and learn why 'Wall Street" especially the privately owned "US Federal Reserve" supported by the major Wall Street banks are controlling everything about our finances, and how the banks all benefit (profit) by supporting the US Federal Reserves lunatic lending policies.

People want control of the nations finances put back into the hands of the people, and then to be managed and controlled by the people and not the Federal Reserve and the mega banks (Goldman Sachs, Chase, JP Morgan etc, etc)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't know what they want, because they don't know what they want, which makes it difficult to support them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

make the rich pay more taxes!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Let's face simple facts, working people have been losing ground in most of the industrialized world for a long time. And most of that ground is going into the pockets of people who are already well off. The same people who lay working people off to keep stockholders and investors happy. And the same people who come to us begging public funding when their schemes backfire.

It is about time that people voiced their outrage and frustration. In that alone this is a good movement.

But it cannot end here. It has to evolve into a movement with a tangible agenda. One intent upon changing the system to better care for the needs of working people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A lot of what Wall street, and European banks has done is wrong and needs to be changed. On the other side, a lot of what the protesters are demanding should not happen. Regulate the banks, and tax the corporations like they supposed to be taxed yes, give me money for not doing anything, and live life for free, no. A medium needs to be found, Stop enriching the top of society buy such a large margin, and let the middle class live, and survive, and at the same time, don't give people who don't work for anything an easy life and way out, it'll just encourage more laziness.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think "We are the 99 percent" is a thuggish, cheap-as-spit slogan;

Yeah, what you like is "Keep your government hands off my Medi-Care!"

Those were words you were rallying behind.

I'm laughing riiiiight.....NOW.

Taka

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I'll may chose to support the OWS protesters in spirit AFTER they make up their minds about what they are protesting and announce what they are going to do about it.

"We're angry and we're not going to take it anymore", is an interesting slogan but nothing more. What does this mob want? Someone else's money?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I support the citizens who are willing to protest to seek justice and accountability for the leaders of the banking and finance industry who created and sold the phony financial instruments that ended up driving the U.S. economy into crisis. What decent American wouldn't support that goal?

Especially since the people in Washington who are supposed to represent them -- Republicans particularly -- have been working to dismantle the few protections that have been put in place since the meltdown, and still are tying up any attempt to regulate derivatives. Why? Because they are in the pockets of the finance industry.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Take from the rich and give to the poor!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm part of the 99% who is sick of hearing about how EVIL banks and financial institutions are. I was under the impression that professionals made enough that they didn't need to tear down other economic venues to feel better about themselves.

Oh, that's right. Professionals don't; they worked hard to obtain a profession and don't have trouble getting or keeping a job unless they display incompetence. Perhaps if these protesters took the time they're spending protesting to perfect or improve a skill, they would be able to get a better job, invent something, or even start their own business! Or is that too much actual work?

Look, the Wall St. bailout was wrong. Virtually no one, conservative or liberal, denies this. So why continue to blame financial institutions for saving their sorry behinds when the government was the one to provide them with the opportunity for a bailout in the first place? Any business in financial trouble would accept virtually free aid lest other similar businesses would earn a competetive advantage and potentially overtake their market share.

If the banks fail, its their own fault; better equipped institutions will quickly take their place. Most people understand this. What Americans can and should do is have their voice heard in political forums where logic and reasonable course of action is debated. Then, and only then, can politicians be held accountable for ignoring the will of the people to support their own agendas.

~ IBHMC

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm part of the 99% who is sick of hearing about how EVIL banks and financial institutions are. I was under the impression that professionals made enough that they didn't need to tear down other economic venues to feel better about themselves.

Winning a Congressional Medal of Honor is a special. thing. How about listening to a revered Marine General who won the Medal of Honor twice? Here is what he had to say about Wall Street financial institutions.

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How about listening to a revered Marine General

Of course, the person quoted was none other than General Smedley Butler -- 2-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States' highest decoration for courage by a person in uniform.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

General Butler served the U.S. marine corps with great distinction, but a major problem with quoting him here is that his views don't accurately represent modern capitalistic structures for a variety of reasons, including the exponential rise in international trade and standards of living since his death in 1940. At that time international travel for most people was still extremely rare, and the biggest catalyst for modern business (the internet) hadn't even been conceptualized. The issue at hand with Occupy Wall Street is people are unhappy with their earnings and job status as compared to those working at major, modern financial institutions. However, it would appear that the protesters' anger is being misdirected due to the ambiguity of the word 'fairness'.

Investing money anywhere, in banks or otherwise, requires risk. Many people don't look at it that way, but that's the case. Placing money in a risky bank with high interest rates is not a good investment. If the bank goes under, that responsibility is shared with both the bank and the investors. Why? Because the investors chose to place money in that bank out of their own free will. The investors are the enablers.

People, bank bigwigs included, make poor investment decisions. They don't want to, but they do. There is no law on the books or off that can prevent this, because investing requires risk. Giving a bank your money means that it is no longer in your control, no matter how safe it may seem. The solution to this is not investing one's money through one of those institutions, but hording it or investing it themselves.

The bottom line is no general bank/wall street entity is liable for anything because no laws were broken pertaining to investment strategies. Century old imperialistic POVs/examples represent a view of foreign policy which no longer exists, and does not apply to current 1st world financial models. If they were, then the protestors would have something to back their cause other than perceived unfairness of the American capitalistic financial system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yabits - How about listening to a revered Marine General who won the Medal of Honor twice? Here is what he had to say about Wall Street financial institutions.

Wow. Smedley Butler was fighting in Honduras in 1903. He must be the oldest protester on Wall street. Do you think he would know what the goals of the OWS, inc or LLC is?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The issue at hand with Occupy Wall Street is people are unhappy with their earnings and job status as compared to those working at major, modern financial institutions

I don't believe that is the issue at hand. I believe it has far more to do with their futures -- and what the people who've gotten away with creating the financial instruments of mass destruction have done to make things perilously difficult for so many millions of Americans -- as well as for people all over the world.

Investing money anywhere, in banks or otherwise, requires risk. Many people don't look at it that way, but that's the case.

The amount of risk is associated with a rating, with the lowest-risk investments being designated as triple-A. What the Wall Street gang did was to pay to have extremely risky investments rated very highly so that the most conservative investors -- the ones most adverse to risk -- would pour money into them. Your little Investment 101 dissertation seems to neglect that.

but a major problem with quoting [Butler] here is that his views don't accurately represent modern capitalistic structures for a variety of reasons,

Well, Butler mentions organized crime figures. They've modernized too, but it's still the same game. The same is true with the bankers. You want to bury your head in the sand and pretend it's all wonderful and on the up and up, be my guest.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

yabits, there's no need to act demeaning. I've laid fourth a very basic, yet logical argument. Your counter-argument is essentially that the 'Wall Street gang' paid off credit rating agencies to profit off of the ignorant American public. My question to that would be, "Where is the proof?" Such a grand accusation must have some solid proof behind it. It sounds like a conspiracy theory. Even if proof was readily available your theory assumes that common investors are so clueless as to whats going on that they have no chance to see through the lies themselves and that the checks and balances in place are useless.

I believe investors are smarter than that. If not, they shouldn't be investing in the stock/commodities markets in the first place. As I previously mentioned, there's nothing stopping people from investing their money outside of stocks and rather inside of an invention, idea, or business of their own. That action creates value for everyone and leaves the outcome of final product in the hands of said investor. That person controls their own destiny.

I think everyone would appreciate that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IBHMC,

Maybe you grew up in a different time, but being a "professional" doesn't guarantee you a job anymore. Ever read that book that came out a few years ago, "How Starbucks Saved My Life"?

That guy that wrote that book was a huuuuuuge hot shot advertising executive, Ivy League educated, well-known in his industry. He got laid off and couldn't find a job, ended up sweeping floors at Starbucks.

That's the kind of economic environment we live in these days. It's not as easy as "go to college, graduate, get a job"

The Baby Boomers lived in a bubble. That bubble burst long ago.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Your counter-argument is essentially that the 'Wall Street gang' paid off credit rating agencies to profit off of the ignorant American public. My question to that would be, "Where is the proof?"

I believe the proof needs to be presented to you one simple, logical step at a time. So first, do you require proof that very high risk mortgages were, in fact, bundled as securities and rated AAA?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Even if proof was readily available your theory assumes that common investors are so clueless as to whats going on that they have no chance to see through the lies themselves and that the checks and balances in place are useless.

Ah, here you are being more than a bit disingenuous. Here you appear to be claiming that -- while ratings from Standard & Poor's and Moody's have been trusted and relied upon for years -- the common investor should have been smart enough to outguess the ratings agencies as it regards a given investment.

Please explain what checks and balances were on the ratings agencies?

Only a relative few were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and know there was something seriously wrong. Michael Lewis wrote about them in his book, The Big Short.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why are OWS supporters so unconcerned with the lot of average folks whose lives are being impacted by the people playing protester?

The New York Post:

Infuriated lower Manhattan residents went ballistic on Zuccotti Park protesters at a chaotic Community Board 1 meeting tonight while blasting politicians for allowing the siege to continue without any end in sight.

"They are defecating on our doorsteps," fumed Katherine Hughes, a stay at home mom who has the misfortune of living one block from the chaos. "A lot of people are very frustrated. A lot of people are concerned about the safety of our kids."

Fed up homeowners said that they've been subjected to insults and harassment as they trek to their jobs each morning. "The protesters taunt people who are on their way to work," said James Fernandez, 51, whose apartment overlooks the park. "I walk out of my apartment and see people urinating on my steps."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The New York Post:

Perhaps they can get Murdoch to plant some bugs or wiretap the OWS supporters to find out what's really going on.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

yabits - Perhaps they can get Murdoch to plant some bugs or wiretap the OWS supporters to find out what's really going on.

Hahahaha. NYC authorities already have some of the most advanced cell phone tracking and facial recognition equipment available. The only thing not known is what the Occupy "something" organizers intend to do with the collection of lonely heart protestors that they've collected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can only see this movement resulting in a collapse of capitalism in the U.S. resulting in utter chaos like a quasi civil war. This will offset the world power balance. China and Russia may rise from this and thats not cool.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

T_rexmaxytime - I can only see this movement resulting in a collapse of capitalism in the U.S. resulting in utter chaos like a quasi civil war.

This OWS "movement" doesn't have much popular support. There are 310 million people in the U.S. and 25,000 cities. A few thousand protestors in a hundred cities isn't anything more than a distraction.

The real problem solving will be done by the voters who pressure/force the U.S. Congress to read the bills that they vote on and to provide better laws and leadership or the voters will elect someone who can.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I believe the proof needs to be presented to you one simple, logical step at a time.

I'm amazed that people still feel that the best way to approach a discussion is to first mock or degrade another's intelligence. I guess its in the spirit of modern politics, eh?

Please explain what checks and balances were on the ratings agencies?

Even assuming that the question is restricted to American ratings agencies, many checks are in place. Regulations set fourth by both the International Accounting Standards Board and Financial Accounting Standards Board (via IFRS and GAAP, respectively) are in place to verify that corporations accurately report their holdings and transactions. These corporations are then subject to audit, and the auditors are overseen by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

With accurate records individuals, businesses, and governments have the ability to use financial models to compare corporations (including banks) to each other with both modern and historical data. The Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (a merger of the former Federal Housing Finance Board and Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) are government run agencies who oversee American financial institutions. Further, regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are held with regulatory powers over publicly traded corporations.

Major credit agencies, as either corporations or LLCs, use this public data to come up with their financial ratings. These ratings include a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, and typically are similar between agency to agency. Anyone can come up with their own personal rating for a corporation or government; in fact, credit agencies rely on the individual ratings of several prominent investors before their overall rankings are made public. There is nothing that makes an agency's rating infallible. Its just that many investors recognize these companies' historical expertise, and they use their ratings to supplement their own findings.

Of course the greatest checks of all are individual investors themselves. They are the ones who ultimately determine if the 'expert' investors' ratings are correct or not.

Only a relative few were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and know there was something seriously wrong.

Again, I respectfully disagree. I believe there was plenty of evidence available that the housing bubble was going to collapse, even to those without a background in finance. First, from the mid-90s to mid-2000s, home values were increasing well above historical averages partially because they were seen as good investments. From Ezra Klein of the the Washington Post, May 29th, 2009:

In 1997 Congress made the first $500,000 of capital gains on the sale of a home tax-free for a married couple and $250,000 tax-free for a single person. This gave real estate a distinct advantage over other capital investments and distorted investment decisions from that time on.

At the same time, banks were encouraged to provide mortgages to those in less than practical financial situations in order to increase home ownership. People in poor situations were unable to pay for their mortgages, and as this compounded the foundation of the sub-prime mortgage crisis began. It is illogical to assume that more people would be able to own their own homes as prices rose, but that's exactly what played out.

So why did credit rating agencies not correct for such an obvious problem? The reason is because a situation like this had never arisen before. Banks were unable to properly anticipate the outcome of offering large scale sub-prime mortgages because they didn't have sufficient historical data to prove it wouldn't be profitable when paired with newly enacted government mandates. Ultimately, was the decision many banks made to continue offering sub-prime mortgages a good one? Of course not, in retrospect. I'm not trying to defend the financial institutions' decisions, but I am trying to point out that the outlook was debatable and many thought the situation would work itself out. They took a risk they felt was minimal, and by the time they realized it was not, they were deep in the red.

Maybe you grew up in a different time, but being a "professional" doesn't guarantee you a job anymore.

This response is directed at HumanTarget. Sure, a professional degree does not guarantee a person will have a high paying job, but I maintain that the job prospects for professionals are far superior to those without knowledge of a trade. Further, a competent person who obtains a skill set which differentiates them from others in their field provides as good a guarantee that they will earn & maintain employment as this world will allow.

Those who view college as simply a means to get a job offer would be better off utilizing their time and money elsewhere. What college should be used for is a way to obtain knowledge which can be applied to the field of a person's choosing. The obtainment and application of this knowledge is where a differentiation can be made to oneself, and in turn their job prospects. This is not a contradiction; a degree on its own does little to distinguish oneself other than to say "I've taken examinations with proficiency." Application of the knowledge gained, either through an internship, idea development, or personal venture shows an understanding of the knowledge obtained as well as intuitive. Any employer would be willing to hire this type of person if it is within their means to do so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It really seems to me like people are just "supporting" because it's the trendy thing to do. Nothing wrong with that-- that's how Britney made her money after all- but it doesn't really make the whole thing appealing to those that are uncertain or on the fence.

According to them, I am one of the 99%, because I'm not a billionaire. Fair enough. But I want to be one of the 1% one day, and I'd rather spend my time trying to get there, instead of sitting in the park. Sorry!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also, I don't know if this is what most of the OWS supporters are there for, since I see varying "demands," but tax reform-- I don't support increased taxes for the rich, or for anyone. In fact, taxes should be decreased. What should happen instead is reform of the money spent. If the budget is better taken care of,then there would be no need for extra money, and plenty of money to spend on things like education and health care and public transportation, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't have time to support lost causes.

@IBHMC: Dude, you should shorten your comments a little..... very reader-unfriendly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Let me re-phrase that please: I morally support this, but don't physically support this because it's a lost cause.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dude, you should shorten your comments a little..... very reader-unfriendly.

This is the only time I'll comment on something like this because it diverts from the topic at hand and the moderators are picky about this sort of thing. I can appreciate no one want to read a 'block of text' like we often see, and I made efforts not to post one. Each topic I responded to is separated from the others by a quote and divided into multiple short paragraphs. In addition, each topic's parent quote came from either questions or disagreements to my previous comments' stated points of view. I wasn't ranting, I was explaining my position.

A statement asking "Please explain what checks and balances were on the ratings agencies" is a complicated request which can not be answered without describing the many layers of oversight already in place. Similarly, to disagree with a stated idea is worthless unless there is evidence to back up the disagreement, which is why I believe it to be necessary to provide a short historical background when presenting my positions.

Since disagreements to my POV were specifically directed to me by yabits and HumanTarget, I felt it was only right to provide a complete answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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