Apparently, there is some friction between the Wall Street protesters and the homeless(who I believe have artificially inflated the population of the Occupy events around the country). I think we all could have seen that coming, and this is likely a very great reason why the law enforcement agencies in such cities have stepped up patrol and security measures. I hope any coming conflagration between the groups will help the Occupy people recognize that right now, THEY TOO are homeless, but that they would rather have common ground with the corporations than this sea of unbathed folk. One cannot move out into the streets amongst some very rough (and often mentally ill) people and think they're going to nudge the real homeless out of the way with their Rubbermaid tubs of electronics and their The North Face™ and Patagonia™ camping gear. People who live dirty often know how to fight that way, too.
I love this article on the group in Asheville NC with a photo of a guy lounging under a blanket reading a Kindle or a Nook.
I wonder what he thinks made possible the technology he's enjoying while slaving away at his protesting gig? Yes-- big corporations. Let's face it-- a vast majority of the modern conveniences we all enjoy were made possible expressly by big corporations. This fact is lost on the Occupy lot. They do not see that without the huge currency and stock exchanges throughout the world, instead of lazing about in broad daylight enjoying catered meals by bleeding hearts and perusing the latest in technology they would be schlepping to a neighboring burgh every so often in hopes of trading a goat, a ham hock and some nice taters Uncle Bubba dug out of the back 40 for Beaulah the cow in hopes of having milk for the family. Some may believe life would be sweeter and simpler without those big companies, but I contend they are far more socially responsible than reputed to be by the Occupy lot. That, and if I ever am to live like Grizzly Adams, I would like that to be out of a state of choice, thank you very much, and not simply because irrational lunatics were allowed to chop big businesses off at the knees.
I'd like to turn the Occupy gang's focus to all this technology in which our culture is steeped and how the relative luxury of the common person's life would stagger the wealth of even much of the aristocracy in other ages. Instead of the big current corporate giants, think in a more simplified fashion of what process birthed the big, modern corporation: think Dutch East India and British East India companies -- their exploration and shuttling needed goods from areas of surplus to areas of need was truly the beginning of a massive exchange between staggeringly different cultures and climates. Lest anyone want to tread down the hackneyed path befouled with cliches that such companies only exploited poor cultures and skimmed the wealth-- those companies had to pay their sailors and cooks and engineers and staff on both legs of the journey-- they did their best to keep their holds full on both directions of the trips. Also, let us save the argument about the contents of those holds for another time, as well. The point was big business was afoot, and it was only going to grow from there. And as a result, untold millions of little nameless people like you and me throughout the ages have risen in fortune, able to feed, clothe and house families, often in escalating degrees of comfort and luxury. All this because these little nameless people threw their lot in with the Big Guys.
If these people want to use their protest time productively, they'd do better to go camp out on their US Senators' and Representatives' doorsteps and hold THEIR feet to the fire for abject mismanagement of their responsbilities in shepherding the function of our nation's government. THEY are the bad guys, and in many cases, they have effectively hobbled the big corporations with punitive taxation and ridiculous regulation (compact fluorescent lightbulbs, anyone? regulation that caused the home mortgage industry crisis? I'm sure we could name others...) and they are making it increasingly difficult to open a small business that might one day blossom into something huge.
Big corporations built our nations rail system, and paved countless miles of roadway througout the nation. Look at what Henry Ford did-- he did not have a goal of producing a scant few boutique automobiles for only the wealthy-- he wanted his line workers at his factory to be living advertisement of the accessibility of his product. That's good thinking, and I think Ford is still in business (and not taking government bailout money, I noticed) for just that type of thinking.
Corporations in general are the rising tide that raises all boats. While I don't think they are all run on sterling principles, I think the ones that aren't won't stay in business permanently. I think they deserve a little credit, and I bloody well think they deserve to make a little money for their efforts. Last I checked, bringing iPhones and snuggies and grande lattes to the people isn't a crime, and neither is making money.