OWS a Start, But Next Step Needed
Logan Carlson - OPINION
lcarl555@uwsp.edu
The widespread anger and rage that the public should have been feeling for years has finally taken shape in the Occupy Wall Street movement. While it may be a little late, I am delighted it is happening and hope that tangible results are seen, rather than the movement dying out like I fear.


While some presidential candidates like Herman Cain say we should not be directing our anger at Wall Street but we should instead be directing it towards the government for failed economic policies, they could not be more wrong.

The economic policies of Wall Street and the lax regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission are the reason why we are in this situation.

As Matt Taibi puts it, we "are being bled dry by a tiny oligarchy of extremely clever criminals and their castrato henchmen in government."


These banks devised utterly complicated schemes that produced nothing in the form of tangible goods, sold them to pension and retirement funds, and then bet against them because they knew how much of a "shitty deal" those mortgage backed securities were.

It did not matter to them whether people were able to make payments on an adjustable rate mortgage that was set to balloon in a couple months because they wanted to take that mortgage that they knew was worthless and use it to form a bond that they would get rated as AAA and then sell to retirement funds that can only invest in AAA-rated securities.

When the banks realized how much of a mess they created while they were getting drunk off their profits from swindling retirement funds, they crawled to their friends in the government and asked them for a bailout from the American people.

 
Photo by Ben Furnas
 
Our nation is under the heel of these financial institutions, even more so now with the decision by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.

We bailed these banks out and this is how we get repaid. They walked away from the financial collapse as if nothing had happened and continued with business as usual. They foreclose on peoples’ homes without even owning the mortgage or even attempting to have their paperwork in order. They use their piles of cash to find new ways around the regulations that were imposed on them with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill and bilk us for more.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been going on for over a month now and while it has generated some media coverage for the protesters and their goals it is entering a make or break phase and that is: where does the movement go from here?

Simply maintaining the occupation will not suffice; the media’s attention span is even shorter than most Americans’ and they will eventually tire of reporting on how many protesters were arrested by the police each day. Protesting is a way to mobilize people and draw attention to your cause but simply being in a public place and voicing your opinion doesn’t do anything politically.

There is clearly one political party who is on the side of the banks and the filthy rich in this country and one party who is attempting to stand up against them even though they themselves are not perfect one hundred percent of the time.

Do not mistake protesting as the sole means to achieve the change this movement seeks.