Posted by Aquarius on December 8, 2011, at 20:19:48
In reply to Re: The Psychology of Occupy Wall Street, posted by Solstice on December 8, 2011, at 14:46:52
> My point in saying all of this is that Yes - I am someone affected by the economic crisis. But those who are 'Occupying Wall Street" - why don't they occupy a retraining program? Occupy a college in a degree program in a field that is growing? If they do that.. then maybe they can join me and "occupy the workplace"!
I know retail is growing. Isn't the service industry always growing simply because of population growth? My gosh, if everyone pursues college, who will serve the wealthy at restaurants? Who will clean the homes of the wealthy? Who will pick the vegetables? Who will shingle the roofs of the $500,000 homes?
Nursing jobs are growing too. Not everyone has what it takes to work in the medical field. And not everyone is smart enough to pursue careers in statistics. And not everyone has the mental stamina to pursue careers in engineering or hard sciences. And especially-not everyone has the luxury of having someone to watch their children so that they are able to pursue retraining.
I'm not a member of Occupy Wallstreet, probably because I am depleted of all my mental energy from chasing the "American Dream". Another reason is that I am probably jaded. But I am glad to see people willing and able to stand up for those who may not be willing and able.
I put myself through school as a single mother as well, working full-time throughout much of my studies to support my small family. Yes, it was draining. My mental health problems escalted, and my health deteriorated from the stress, so I quit my job just prior to graduating with my Master's degree, thinking I could survive a couple of semesters on student loans to hang in there. Oops, the economy crashed and hiring freezed.
Apparently, I picked the wrong major even though the Department of Labor's statistics showed, and still show, growth in my field. I am now overqualified for jobs, but I suppose I was lucky to be taken on by a small company to work at a job that requires no education (and small, thus no advancement opportunities). Now I earn the same--in nominal dollars--that I earned 20 years ago. If compared in real dollars, perhaps I earn $5 an hour. Only now, I carry a huge student loan debt, of which only some carry the option of deferrment, and I make "too much money" to qualify for any type of government assistance. Maybe some feel I deserve my fate for the mistakes I made.
There's a lot of luck involved in how far I've gotten, and I was lucky to be born intelligent. I was lucky to have been born to intellectual parents. And I was lucky to have been born with a certain temperment that allowed me to survive my nightmare childhood as my siblings did not fare so well.
So I have a few months before my house is sold at a sheriff's sale. The realtors I contacted told me I'd have to list my home for considerably less than what I owe. Oops, should have thought of that before I bought it 10 years ago.
The government gave billions to those who grew rich off of the housing market. Do you even know how difficult it is to obtain a mortgage modification through the government's "homeowner's assistance" program? Did you know financial organizations in charge of allocating these funds were sued by various state Attorney Generals for knowingly creating barriers that prevented homeowner's from obtaining these funds? Did you know government policies were created to give tax breaks to those who have enough liquid assets to buy foreclosed houses off people like me? If it's not opression, what would you call that kind of power-the power of those who can successfully solicit the government for handouts, while people like me are thrown out in the streets?
Every low-cost rental I looked at so far does credit checks. I looked into dumpy extended-stay hotels in my city, and there are none in proximity of my employer. I cannot afford to live in a hotel AND afford transportation to get to work. Yet, if I default on my student loans, it will bar me from many employmers. I am afraid to apply for jobs that require background checks. If they have 100 applicants with a clean credit history, why would they hire someone with credit that is now destroyed? For all they know, I could be irresponsible or unethical.
How is it that people who have assets and savings feel they are entitled to receive unemployment benefits? Why is it that multi-millionaires feel they are entitled to social security checks just because they paid into the system? All kinds of citizens pay taxes for services they don't use. Many people even die from stress before they are old enough to collect social security. Who are the one's with entitlement? How is this for an idea-those who think people don't deserve help can simply forgoe their benefits.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe the credit checks required for employment and living and transportation are opressive to people who had some bad luck, those who made some mistakes, the imperfect, the downtrodden...while many who reaped huge profits are not oppressed from operating their businesses, despite poor financial management? Did it occur to you that the U.S. government who mismanaged the budget, spent more than it earned--will not hire people who have bad credit for many jobs? Who has the freedom here?
Your solution might have worked for you, and that's great. But I think a better solution would be for those against sharing the wealth simply forgoe their social benefits-namely, social security, medicare, and unemployment.
This is nothing personal to you, but this is the type of thinking that fuels my decisions at the voting polls. I don't even agree with probably half of the (non-social) policies of Democrats, but I will never, ever, ever vote Republican.
Aside from retirement benefits, social safety nets cost peanuts compared with what this government spends outside of social capital. Yet, the republican party knows exactly how to appeal to the un/der educated. Who has the power to influence government spending? Education is power. The poor are not as educated as the wealthy. The poor do not have that power. Occupy Wallstreet is a threat to those who do have the power.