Wednesday 26 October 2011

Are you part of the 99%

In the last few weeks I've been following the the Occupy Wall St movement that started in New York. The movement began as a response to the economic crisis in America and Europe.

It's now inspired similar protests across America and the rest of the World. Here in London we have our own 'Occupy London' protest taking place outside St Paul's Cathedral.

Last week I was reading more about the protests on the Occupy Wall Street website.

On the home page it talks of the movement representing The 99%. The 99% that 'will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.' The 1% being the likes of bankers, politicians and multi national corporations.

There's definitely a crisis with capitalism. Three years ago we saw the reckless business practices of the banks almost ruin the global economy, and we've been stuck in near recession ever since.

After ordinary tax payers helped bail out the banks with public money, it's beginning to look as if nothing much has changed.

While the 1% continue to act in their own self interest, the remaining 99% are seeing their living standards fall; cuts in public services, growing inequality and rising unemployment. Look at Greece if you want an extreme example of this!

Some people want to dismiss the protests, arguing there are no real goals or aims from the protesters, but they're missing the point.

You can't ignore the anger and resentment that's growing against the current political and economic status quo.

I've decided to come out and declare that I agree with much of what's being said.

I'm part of the 99%. Are you?

One thing that stood out for me when I watched a report on Channel 4 News was that many of the people on Wall St weren't your typical anti-capitalist/anarchist mob.

Some of those inteviewed had never taken part in any kind of political protests or campaigns before. It's people like this that should make governments and bankers worried.

It's those people that have generally benefitted from growing economic prosperity. They've played by the rules all their lives, but they're seeing those benefits disappear, while an elite minority prosper.

In America, the 'American Dream' is dying if it's not dead already. In the UK we hear about the 'squeezed middle'

It's these types of people that are making these protests so important and relevant.

All this week, I've been following reports on the never ending Euro crisis and the battle to save the Euro.

When you look at the levels of debt that are being talked about particularly in Greece and Italy, it makes you wonder how our political leaders could ever of got into such a mess.

Ordinary people have been let down by their leaders, and are having to foot the bill for their mistakes. I haven't felt compelled to put up a tent outside St Paul's, but if I was Greek, I think I'd be out on the streets myself.

The 99% are having to make sacrifices for the actions and policies of an elite few, and the longer this goes on, the more we're going to see of these protests in the coming years.

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