by Jeremy Leaming
The Occupy Wall Street movement, receiving some derision from mainstream media as close to being pointless, is garnering serious attention from other sources, and is possibly gaining a more balanced hearing within some of those older mediums.
For example,The New York Times reporting earlier today described the protests as challenging “corporate abuses on Wall Street power,” which have spread to other cities “to rally against corporate greed, unemployment and the role of that financial institutions have played in pushing the country into its continuing economic malaise.”
And the Los Angeles Times also took notice, reporting that when the Occupy Wall Street movement launched about a month ago, the protestors numbered in the hundreds. Now demonstrations are likely “more than several thousand.”
At a Take Back The American Dream Conference in Washington, D.C., former White House adviser Van Jones cited the Occupy Wall Street protests as gaining momentum against the drumbeat of calls from the right-wing to push austerity measures and protect tax benefits for corporate interests.
On the Rebuild The Dream website, Jones says the movement is on the rise and fueled by millions of Americans standing against “right-wing attacks on the middle class.”
As noted here recently conservative talking heads are deriding the nation’s largest economic gap since the 1920s between the top 1 percent and everyone else. Fox’s talking head Brit Hume asked, “Who cares?”
A Wall Street protestor, Sean Richards, told The New York Times, “We’re sending corporations a powerful message that we know what they’re doing. For people, we’re sending the message that we have to unite as one front.”
As noted on this blog, frequently, Columbia University Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote earlier this year that the nation’s super wealthy are doing everything possible to hold the status quo. They like things just the way they are, and are increasingly indifferent to the rest of the nation.
The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government—one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.
Speaking of working to keep the status quo, just days ago, JPMorgan Chase donated an “unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation,” according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. press statement. “The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple.”
[image via occupywallst.org/]