I think this video is a good opening for this article.
I personally appreciate the Occupy Movement. Someone somewhere has to do something to end corporate greed and the unwavering assistance to the same from our very own governments. Somebody up high somewhere has to see the suffering that all of this has caused the everyday citizen of the world. Somebody has to stand up and become the voice of logical, positive direction. The kind of direction that actually gets something done.
To date, the Occupy Movement seems to only have made people angry, given a reason for police forces to hone their riot skills, and every once in a while made some politician somewhere nervously walk the fence by saying they agree with the freedom of speech…unless you mess up my park. What’s up Oakland? Did you ever hold a party where a whole bunch of people you didn’t know showed up? Some of those people inevitably mess up he whole party. In the Occupy Movement, the party crashers are the Black Bloc. I say this because they are the antithesis of the peaceful Occupy Movement. They are the hesitant revolutionaries. (Do you suppose some of those “peaceful” demonstrators by day are also Black Bloc by night? Hmmm…). We have no discernible leader to either the Occupy Movement or the Black Bloc. This one world, power to the people attempt to sway political policy needs a head or panel made up of leaders from each Occupy Movement. What happens if we do not find a way to make his happen and we continue having no movement in change at all. I will tell you what will happen. We will continue to be allowed to let off steam, yell, scream, and cry in any park we gather in via our freedom of speech as the government has no intention of adjusting policy. We will continue to see an increase in Black Bloc type activity which will force a harder crack down by police forces and municipalities. At that end, the Occupy Movement will become a detriment to National Security as per our governments. I am pretty sure they are waiting for that turning point. Play the video below to see what the future of the Occupy Movement will look like.
So, where did all of this come from? Is it the downward economic spiral? Partly…yes. Is it the unemployment rate? Getting warmer. Is the foreclosure crisis? Warmer still.
Is it about corporate greed and the Bank Bailouts? Now you’re cooking.
If you don’t remember the sheer magnitude of the bank bailouts by the U.S. government. Here is a comprehensive list of over 600 companies and amounts that were given. Bailout List. I would like to concentrate for a moment on four of the largest bailout amounts. JP Morgan Chase $25 Billion, Wells Fargo $25 Billion, Goldman Sachs $10 Billion, Morgan Stanley $10 Billion.
This wonderfully dressed man to the left is James “Jaime” Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase. He got a raise this year. I believe it was a large increase from last year when this whole bailout mess happened. He gets paid a $23 million salary. Wait a minute, they were bailed out $25 billion. Boy, that is pretty close to one-tenth of 1%. Good job Jaime, I hope you sleep well at night. By the way, did you know that JP Morgan Chase provides 26 states food stamp debit cards, 15 states child support debit cards, and 7 states with unemployment debit cards? In short, they profit more when more people are on state assistance. They also outsource call center jobs to India. India? Call me crazy…but I thought we had an unemployment problem here. Calm down Jaime, I know you are not the only one with less than righteous moral or ethical standards. We should all be used to that by now. After all, we have suffered through George W and Obama for quite a while now.
How about John Stumpf CEO of Wells Fargo? Well, he is only paid $17.5 million. Maybe he should talk to Mr. Dimon’s agent. Wells Fargo handles many state unemployment cards. Some of you may be familiar with the Eppicard. So the same thing applies here. The more people on unemployment…the more Wells Fargo profits. In fact, if you reside in Nevada you know that every time you call in to check your balance they take a fraction of a dollar off of your card and that they will put you in the negative if you so happen to call too many times.
Then there is James Gorman of Morgan Stanley. He makes a $15.1 million salary which is a small island less than the smug looking Dapper Dan in the picture above. Morgan Stanley is no stranger to controversy throughout this affair. They have been accused of everything from criminal activity to gross ethical misconduct. The Middle East Institute of prestigious Columbia University has one former Morgan Stanley/ Citigroup (David Cuthell) executive and the current Advisory Director of Morgan Stanley (Richard Debs) on its advisory board. Yes, yes…you have screwed over the American people long enough. There is an entire world out there to steal and corrupt. Interesting that one would think that they are only concerned with rebuilding the Middle East.
Here is the kicker to all of this information. In total, the U.S. government gave $204,808,576,320 in bailouts. $96,249,045,000 of which has been paid back. This leaves $108,487,042,320 out there collecting interest. Here is what I couldn’t understand for a while. You would think that if the government would have just bailed out the people’s mortgages, it would have helped not only the people, but the mortgage companies as well…right? With over $108 billion, the government could have paid for over 4 million ($250,000) homes. It could have paid over 43 million apartment dwellers a one time credit of $2,500. Let’s say you are an apartment dweller and your monthly rent is $1,200. that would be a yearly cost of $14,400. Yes, the government could have paid over 7 million families rent for an entire year. Notice that I am not even talking about the entire original bailout amount. I am only talking about the remaining balance out there collecting interest…including Wells Fargo’s $25 Billion.
I was later to realize that if the government were to bailout the people by paying off mortgages, then the banks would lose out on all of their profit potential on all of those properties. After all, they do make money off those 30 year interest laden mortgages. I think what bothers me more is that with over $108 billion, the government could have bought over 3 trillion packs of ramen noodles. That…is a lot of food. Anyone hungry out there?
What then is the answer to change all of this mess. I don’t think there is any one answer. I believe there are two potential avenues that the populations collective can take to fix this.
1) Revolution – I don’t mean pixie sticks and sign boards. I mean a mirror image of the Arab Spring.
2) Politics – Play the politic game and hit the politicians where it hurts. Constant, peaceful, loud, unwavering. A movement with leadership, purpose, demands, and logical direction before groups like Black Bloc turns this into #1 above. We have to do more than go to the local park and have a lively political discussion where everyone around you agrees with you.
The Occupy Movement is only a beginning. It is time to take everything the movement needs into a well formulated direction and leader before the government uses groups like Black Bloc as an excuse to shut the lights out on the entire movement.
Are you listening out there?
~ Erik Sudberg