Monday, November 14, 2011

Evolution Occupy

"If a congressman learns that his committee is about to do something that would affect a company, he can go trade on that because he is not obligated to keep that information confidential.... He is not breaching a duty of confidentiality to anybody and therefore would not be liable for insider trading." ~March 3, 2006 - STOCK Act Fact Check

 The occupy protest has come to and end in Oakland. just this morning I watched as the protesters were removed from Frank Ogawa Plaza. There was no teargas, no graffiti, no rubber bullets, and no rocks thrown.
  Watching you couldn't help but see even the protesters knew it was time to move on. There were several factors that came into play when the choice was made to shut down the protest. A group of anarchists had spawned from the occupy group and were calling for violence against not only police but against reporters too. There was a shooting and a man was killed this week during an altercation (it's not clear whether those involved were part of occupy)
  I know some people have a vision of tent cities popping up across the land as the people gather in a peaceful protest against the evil corporations and as the tent cities grow we watch the corporate monsters crumble and fall around our feet. That's not going to happen. I would hope that other cities do have occupy protests and they send their opening message to the companies that do not have our best interests in mind as they use our own money against us. I also hope the people involved are intelligent enough to know when that leg of the protest has run its course. What turned out to be a good beginning now needs to evolve into something that takes action from as many people as possible. Many people supported the issues represented by occupy protests but they could not just drop everything and go to live in tents outside city hall.

   People have been critical about my opinion that the tent cities were not effective. They seem to think just because people are living in tents it will force companies and politicians to change their behavior. I don't see that happening. I do see them paying attention, waiting to see if maybe the occupy protests have something in mind that would effect them. Now we are in a few months the only thing that has happened is more protests have popped up in more cities. That's a good thing, it shows the sentiment is widespread. but even if protests were to occur in every single city across the country what else is that going to achieve?

  I don't have all the answers to solve our problems but I have some ideas. I also believe that sooner or later some of these ideas will have to become a reality or our nation will no longer be around for us to demand to be changed.
  We need to start voting. The highest percentage of voter turnout in 2010 was 56% in Minnesota and the lowest was in the District of Columbia at about 29%. Pathetic to say the least. How can we complain about the way our country is being run when at least half of us don't care enough to do anything that would have an effect on it?
  Move your bank account to a credit union
   I consider this the first real productive action coming  from the occupy protests. People are moving their accounts from big banks like bank of America to smaller banks or credit unions. The way banks make their money these days is on bullshit fees like the $5 fee they put on us when legislation was enacted to limit the fees that could be charged for using your card at the time of purchase. Take the time to move away from that big bank, if losing a charge of a few cents worried them enough to blatantly try and screw us in public then losing customers all together will have some effect.
   Stop buying from the big chains. Start shopping at that independently owned store and support small businesses whenever possible. If you drive across the country you may notice that every city is starting to look exactly alike. There are shopping centers which contain stores like Home Depot or Lowes (sometimes both) Walmart, Taco Bell, KFC, Barnes & Noble, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond. In many of these same cities you will also find what used to be a busy downtown that looks like a ghost town. All the businesses run by the people who lived in town are closed due to people helping the corporations grow bigger and bigger. As a business get larger it tends to lose any personal relationship with it's employees, instead treating them as a number. How easy is it to be concerned for the number 34617? If I were to tell you number 34617 was late to work because their child had a cold how much care could you muster up?

 The last thing I am going to address this time around is the way our elected representatives are cashing in on inside information about companies. This information is being used to effect stock purchases.There is legislation written to help stop this practice but there is very little support for it by congress....I wonder why.
 CBS did a story on this and you all need to read it and act accordingly. Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
Send an email to your representative and make it clear how you feel. Here's a link to help you do that
Ask them if they support the Stock Act and tell them to co-sponsor it. If they don't, go camp on their lawn

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